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10 hours ago, JonSW said:

That's a lovely car Charles. I once had a BMW 540i Touring. SE body and factory de-badged. Nobody ever 'raced' it as it looked like a 520i. This is my way of saying you are only a hairdryer, dental floss and bit of polish away from ever being 'raced' again!

 

TBH, I am thinking of changing my 7.5 R Estate. I am fed up to the back teeth of being 'raced' by morons, I worry unduly about where I park it, I am paranoid about putting swirls in the paint and, more crucially, I am fed up of the noise it makes on the motorway and my wife is uncomfortable in it. Mine is mostly on the motorway so I end up turning up the (Helix) audio a good amount so I can hear the music. Each long journey is therefore much more draining than it should be. I can fully understand your change to a more 'grown up' car.

 

I really love the directness of DSG. However, the ZF 8 speed is not far behind but with the advantage of being so much smoother off the line.

 

I swore off BMWs due run flat tyres (I have a wonderful horror story that happened to me) but your lovely example has me thinking about them all over again!!

 

 

Christ Jon, are you married to my Mrs as well? I didn't have DCC which I think was a problem for her, and also why she didn't like the M Sport 535d which had even firmer suspension. I drove the 5 of us today, all in relative comfort (something I couldn't do in the R Estate) with chassis in Comfort setting and she and my daughter didn't complain about feeling sick. Possibly the first time in over 10 years in one of my cars!!!

 

And the noise.... I'm guessing you mean road/tyre noise rather than engine. There isn't much. That I guess is the biggest difference -  I did the R for 3 years and loved it, but know exactly what you mean by being "fed up" with the noise, not that I was quite at that stage. Initially coming from a 5 series it took some getting used to, but I was happy enough with it. As for engine noise, maybe you find that the engine drones a bit. That again isn't present, but of course is one of the characters of the R, which as I say, I was happy with. Now I've changed, I'm happier without it but that's being a little picky.

 

As for being raced, not sure that changes. Since Wednesday I've had a A35 or A45 trying to goad me, a Golf 8 GTi (I think the more powerful one) and a Corsa!! Or maybe I misinterpret their intentions and they just like driving right up my chuff!

 

Gearbox wise, I didn't find that the 0 speed (think it a ZF) in my 2008 535d was that much slower when in sport setting than the DSG. And I really don't find the ZF8 to be any slower than the DSG when it is in sport setting. I think in "normal" the DSG might be quicker to respond.

 

And run flats....I know what you mean. First thing I did with the e61 was to buy a space saver and get rid of the run flats. But with this one, there is no room for a space saver, and with the DCC equivalent, the ride and run flats are just fine. 

 

But again I would say/advise, if it is space that you need over and above the R Estate, the boot is that much smaller, there's no underfloor storage but you can drive 5 up in comfort and that's with me as driver who is 6 foot 3 - ie what you lose in luggage space, you make up in passenger space. 

 

But to me the strangest thing is, I find myself being much happier driving at slow speeds, while in the R I was much happier at higher speeds with full aural effects. Having said all that, the value you could get with an R was really great. At least for the 7/7.5 - not really looked at the 8 so not sure if that value for money is still up there. 

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12 hours ago, Charles M said:

 

Christ Jon, are you married to my Mrs as well? I didn't have DCC which I think was a problem for her, and also why she didn't like the M Sport 535d which had even firmer suspension. I drove the 5 of us today, all in relative comfort (something I couldn't do in the R Estate) with chassis in Comfort setting and she and my daughter didn't complain about feeling sick. Possibly the first time in over 10 years in one of my cars!!!

 

And the noise.... I'm guessing you mean road/tyre noise rather than engine. There isn't much. That I guess is the biggest difference -  I did the R for 3 years and loved it, but know exactly what you mean by being "fed up" with the noise, not that I was quite at that stage. Initially coming from a 5 series it took some getting used to, but I was happy enough with it. As for engine noise, maybe you find that the engine drones a bit. That again isn't present, but of course is one of the characters of the R, which as I say, I was happy with. Now I've changed, I'm happier without it but that's being a little picky.

 

As for being raced, not sure that changes. Since Wednesday I've had a A35 or A45 trying to goad me, a Golf 8 GTi (I think the more powerful one) and a Corsa!! Or maybe I misinterpret their intentions and they just like driving right up my chuff!

 

Gearbox wise, I didn't find that the 0 speed (think it a ZF) in my 2008 535d was that much slower when in sport setting than the DSG. And I really don't find the ZF8 to be any slower than the DSG when it is in sport setting. I think in "normal" the DSG might be quicker to respond.

 

And run flats....I know what you mean. First thing I did with the e61 was to buy a space saver and get rid of the run flats. But with this one, there is no room for a space saver, and with the DCC equivalent, the ride and run flats are just fine. 

 

But again I would say/advise, if it is space that you need over and above the R Estate, the boot is that much smaller, there's no underfloor storage but you can drive 5 up in comfort and that's with me as driver who is 6 foot 3 - ie what you lose in luggage space, you make up in passenger space. 

 

But to me the strangest thing is, I find myself being much happier driving at slow speeds, while in the R I was much happier at higher speeds with full aural effects. Having said all that, the value you could get with an R was really great. At least for the 7/7.5 - not really looked at the 8 so not sure if that value for money is still up there. 

Run flats have improved over the years, but BMW offer non RFTs on cars other than full fat M now, I’d be very tempted to swap them and buy some foam.  I’m surprised you get 5 people in if you’re that tall (I’m the same height) unless you mean children in the back?  Two of my ‘children’ are over 6’, so the first test for me is the sitting behind myself in normal position test and a 3 series doesn’t pass that.    Nor does the Golf btw but it’s a second car so not an issue.

 

My wife rarely uses comfort as she thinks it’s too soft, so other than long motorway runs it’s in Normal or race (well, individual with race for most things other than sound).  She had a Boxster before, so motorway refinement is relatively good in the R.

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12 hours ago, Martin2 said:

Run flats have improved over the years, but BMW offer non RFTs on cars other than full fat M now, I’d be very tempted to swap them and buy some foam.  I’m surprised you get 5 people in if you’re that tall (I’m the same height) unless you mean children in the back?  Two of my ‘children’ are over 6’, so the first test for me is the sitting behind myself in normal position test and a 3 series doesn’t pass that.    Nor does the Golf btw but it’s a second car so not an issue.

 

My wife rarely uses comfort as she thinks it’s too soft, so other than long motorway runs it’s in Normal or race (well, individual with race for most things other than sound).  She had a Boxster before, so motorway refinement is relatively good in the R.

 

The C43 didn't come with a spare either (although there is room for one) but to my surprise it also didn't come with run flats. It's just got the old compressor and foam can thing in there which is fine with me. How often do people really get blow outs anyway? Every puncture I've ever had has been a slow burner, slow enough to inflate and drive on anyway. Most modern cars also have the pressure indicators as well so no risk of it dropping too low.

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No, I don't believe I am married to Mrs Charles, despite the similarities in car complaints, hehe.

 

Yes, I meant road noise. It's one of my biggest complaints with the R. Most of my other complaints are not really about the car, more about how it is wasted on me 95% of the time as I am just bumbling up and down motorways or though town. A genuine (not computer) average of over 35mpg since new tells the story really ...

 

Sad to here the 'racing' community is just as attracted to the 3 as the R. Perhaps we both misinterpret their intentions ...

 

As far as RFTs go, I had an explosive blowout on mine as I went over a bump. Tore a long gash on inner edge. When I limped to the tyre place, checking the tyre every two miles as the tread and outer wall continued to separate from the inner wall (just made it), I was well hacked off. When I got there, the chap said he see this all the time with BMWs. The rear camber causes the inner 'corner' to stretch beyond 90 degrees which causes the wire reinforcement to eventually give up. This causes the blowout followed by the inability of the tyre to run for anything like 50mph over 50 miles. More like 20mph over 20 miles. The tyres had over 6mm of tread over the whole width. When we looked carefully at the other tyre, there were tell tale signs of small bits of rubber missing on the inner corner. I was already wishing I had a smaller car so put on 2 brand new Dunlop RFT's, drove home and traded it in for the Golf within a few weeks.

 

The other BMW puncture I had was after getting rid of RFTs on a 3 series. Caught the tyre on some missing road edge (in the dark, didn't see it till too late). Tore a 1"+ gash through which the foam merrily squirted and I needed a flat bed ride home.

 

This is why I really appreciate having a spare. However, I am looking at potential, less sporty replacements for the Golf and many of them have no spare or provision for one ...

 

Incidentally, the only car I have test driven was a Karoq (yes, I know ...). I could not believe how refined it was on the motorway without all that tyre noise. 

 

Sorry, I feel I am derailing your thread a bit Charles 🙄

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@JonSW well I'm glad you're not married to my Mrs. I wouldn't want to inflict her on anyone else!!

 

The road/tyre noise was a shame on the R Estate but not a deal breaker. Very noticeable when coming from a 5 Series. I wonder whether it is worse in the estate than the hatch? I also wonder whether that was why I, in some subconscious manner, turned the soundaktor up to 50%, having had it lower/off. The "engine" noise drowned out the road/tyre noise a bit. 

 

They seem to have sorted runflats and the adaptive damping, with no bone shaking going on (except in Sport mode). TBH would be happier with a space saver. Had plenty of punctures over the years, but only two blow outs - one was catastrophic but at slow speeds when I ran over a pair of plyers - one arm & body was left inside the tyre, while the other arm punched a hole through both the tyre and the alloy - tyre was only 50 miles old. T'other was at 70 but was more a quick puncture than a blow out. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

 

As for racers, I had another couple of morons - 7.5 GTI and C63 Coupe - who thought that they should drive like tools (not racing). The GTI to show how fast he was, and the 63 how noisy he was! If I was in the R, I'm sure that I might have joined in, but as I'm not, I'm now a lot more mature! 🤣🤣🤣 But maybe as you say, its misinterpreting things.  

 

 

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I have to confess that I always thought the 7.5 R Estate was much better looking than many gave it credit for, especially the front end. It did look a bit clumsy viewing from 1-2 o'clock, down the flanks, but over all I liked it's lines a lot. However, and maybe this is because I now own it, I think that this is better looking, though looking at it from the rear, it can look a bit Volvo like!! But there is one thing that is beginning to play on my mind ..., I want my  quad tips back! 🤣🤣 Can be done, but boy, they're expensive.

 

One thing I really don't like at all, is the black gloss grille that some 3 series have. It looks fine with some darker colours, but otherwise it looks a bit Dinky car. Almost like an after thought just stuck on. Horrid. The brushed chrome here IMO fits in much better (though the photo might not do it justice)

 

 

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The black grille isn’t great but it’s a lot better than the chrome one.  The Cerium grey grille is the best with certain colours (yours being one) but it would be better if you could have all the other trim bits in black.    Once you get to a 3 series / A4 / C class size saloon car and above, the estates look better and always have but I can’t think of a smaller estate that looks better or even as good as the hatch and it gets worse the smaller you go (Clio Estate springs to mind!).

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@Martin2 let's face it, BMW have got themselves in an awful muddle with their grilles. It's the weakest point on many of their cars. Have to agree that the Cerium Grey (you know all the names/details a lot better than me!) works well enough, or rather, without being too challenging to the eye. The black can just look tacky, plasticky, cheap and nasty. But seemingly it is quite popular!

 

As for estates in the 3/A4/C size and above, you're preaching to the converted. Got my 1st estate (e39) in 2001 and not looked back since. I sometimes think that the best looking small one on the market is the V60, which is 5cm longer. I tend to agree with you about the small ones being bad, but I look at the Megane estate (and yes, a size above the Clio) and  think that looks OK. The Pug 308SW is somewhat disappointing given some of the other excellent designs Peugeot have at the moment.

 

Having initially been a little down on the 8R Estate, I think I saw a non R estate today in a dark colour. Looked pretty good to me and I think it bodes well for the upcoming 8R Variant.

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  • 5 weeks later...
On 05/06/2021 at 21:04, Charles M said:

@Martin2 let's face it, BMW have got themselves in an awful muddle with their grilles. It's the weakest point on many of their cars. Have to agree that the Cerium Grey (you know all the names/details a lot better than me!) works well enough, or rather, without being too challenging to the eye. The black can just look tacky, plasticky, cheap and nasty. But seemingly it is quite popular!

 

As for estates in the 3/A4/C size and above, you're preaching to the converted. Got my 1st estate (e39) in 2001 and not looked back since. I sometimes think that the best looking small one on the market is the V60, which is 5cm longer. I tend to agree with you about the small ones being bad, but I look at the Megane estate (and yes, a size above the Clio) and  think that looks OK. The Pug 308SW is somewhat disappointing given some of the other excellent designs Peugeot have at the moment.

 

Having initially been a little down on the 8R Estate, I think I saw a non R estate today in a dark colour. Looked pretty good to me and I think it bodes well for the upcoming 8R Variant.


Great write up’s Charles 

My last car prior to my R was a F31 Msport 320d

Not a lovely 6 but it served a purpose. I fiddled with that and put AC Schnitzer springs to help reduce that X Drive on stilts look with a huge front arch gap. Had a small uplift in oomph with a Steinbaur tuning module.

I bought it 6 months old and saved on VAT and a discount and it was a BMW Finance deal which I quickly paid off.

 

I only kept it for 12 months as the Mrs didn’t like the vision over the front end over from her previous B9 A4 Avant which the bonnet slopes away far more making it easier to park ( for her).

Her next purchase was the 190 Ultra Q5 as she says she likes to be high up which I can see the attraction.

 

I bought my 7 R hatch as a bit of an all round toy for weekends hence I do little long haul stuff in that hence I again fiddled with it going stage 2 and a BBK.

It has DCC which does add comfort and is quite versatile. Mine has a more vocal APR boy racer exhaust as it’s my toy I wanted more character being a 4 banger under the hood. Being in my mid 50”s I look around at more mature stuff from time to time but bang for buck the R does so well.

Some days I think M340i but for the majority of the time it would be sat on the driveway as I drive my company van on a daily basis.

I do fancy changing the Q5 to a 340 but the Mrs’s won’t have it so my other only option is to convince her we need an SQ5.

Im dreading the day of only electric cars although I’ll be too old to care by then !

 

Can you imagine loads of geriatric’s at motorway charge points trying to charge their cars trying to use a charge machine , downloading APP’s etc. Absolute chaos!

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Not sure how I missed this thread.

 

Thanks for the write up. As discussed on another thread….. This would be my perfect family wagon. Unfortunately I can’t afford one 😂.

 

Absolutely love them! Great choice of colour and spec. Looking forward to reading your thoughts over long term ownership 👍

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