View Full Version : Not the best forum, but wanted some thoughts on a car

Paper Shredder
04-15-2016, 08:19 AM
So Bon Vivant and all, I'm looking for a new car. My 9 year old BMW 5 series clocked 180K... been everywhere in that car from Montreal, Madison, Miami, New Orleans, and everywhere in between the Eastern Seaboard.

I'm a BMW guy... I like the platform and performance with practicality. I'm expecting a baby next month and I don't want to buy another SUV. So my choices are a 7 series big boy or another 550i, but M Sport. Anyone have experience carting around kiddos in a smaller sedan or should I just bail on the sportiness and get a larger car for baby gear (with a tactical load out of course).

I have considered a Jag XJ... wife likes it, but doesn't really strike me as a "man's" car. All are probably low mileage CPO used cars 2014 or newer.

Greg Nichols
04-15-2016, 08:23 AM
I'm assuming that this is your first child. You would be fine with another 5 series. New parents always over estimate how much room they need for the vomit/poop combat bag, bottle reloads, boob pump, stuff like that.

04-15-2016, 08:27 AM
Stay away from British cars. They're reliability is substandard. If you get one of the premium German brands (BMW, MB, AUDI" etc.) it is critical that your local dealer be a great one. Those brands are very good but extremely complicated and are dependent on the dealers. Older German cars could be brought to independent workshops. Nowadays, that very hard to find. Just some stuff to consider.

04-15-2016, 08:30 AM
As the father of two boys, ages 8 and 10, I have some different advice for you. Please bear with me.

If you are considering a 7-series or an M5 class car, CPO or not, you are talking about dropping some relatively serious coin on a new (to you) car. I'm going to suggest that rather than buy a single aspirational car, you should get two new, lower priced cars. One should be for hauling the family, and one should be for hauling ass (having fun!). Your kid will destroy whatever car you put him/her in. Ask any parent about the mass of crusty Cherios, dried milk/juice, legos, and other assorted crud they find in the back seat any time they take out the car seat. It's disgusting.

I'd suggest buying a lower-priced SUV, truck, or (gasp) minivan for hauling the family, and then maybe dropping down to a 3-series or something similar (Audi A4/S4, etc.) for driving yourself to work, or for use when you and the wife are heading for a night on the town.

My two cars are a Toyota Tacoma for hauling the family, and a Lotus Elise for hauling ass.

04-15-2016, 08:32 AM
I'm a BMW tech for a living at a independent shop.

How long are you planning of keeping the vehicle?

The newer V8 BMWs from '06 and on have a fair amount of issues that require pretty expensive repairs. Especially the twin turbo V8 models like the 750 and 550.
You'll probably not find a better balanced car in regards to driving and power but man, you're going to need a deep pockets to drive it long term and a deeper love for it in order to keep it.

If you're able and willing to keep it up an going (most of our customers won't) I say go for it.

Oh one last thing, stay away from the SMG transmission!!!!

04-15-2016, 08:45 AM
I'm assuming that this is your first child. You would be fine with another 5 series. New parents always over estimate how much room they need for the vomit/poop combat bag, bottle reloads, boob pump, stuff like that.

The most important part is how easy it is to get the baby in and out of the car. When our daughter was born my wife drove a coup... It was annoyingly hard to get the carrier in and out of. We got her an SUV lol. When we went on road trips we packed it to the gills and wished we had more cargo space because at the time I drove a truck with only front seats; I went the other direction when I got my Excursion lol.

Paper Shredder
04-15-2016, 08:51 AM
Noted on the advice from you guys. A bit more information.

Yes, my first child. Point taken on baby gear. I think my wife will skinny it down to essentials once she figures out the PITA factor of a full baby gear load out.

I already have a Land Rover that is our SUV and will serve as primary hauling and such. Its a LR3 from whenever the last year they had it before the LR4. Its a good car, which I've already replaced the differentials and other weaknesses that Land Rovers had. Have had it paid off for some time. In fact, we've been saving money for the past 4 years on zero car payments.

I usually keep cars well beyond typical in the luxury segment ownership durations. This time around though, I may go 5 years instead of the near 10 I've kept my current BMW. Yes, I've put money into maintenance, but I have done some myself and some at a very dependable independent garage. I'm pretty on top of maintenance so my cars are usually in great shape even at the end of the ownership.

I hear you Jesse on the 2 cars deal. We already have a "fun" car, which is an Alfa Romeo Spider (but I can't drive this without my wife....for fear of rainbows and unicorns that may be associated with me ; P). I'd really love to get a restored 240z or an older 911 and a family hauler, but i'm running out of driveway space and I don't need another car that sits around for the rare occasion that I'd want to just "fun" it. It seems at this point in my life, I don't have enough time or money for expensive hobbies like tracking, guns, flying, you name it, i've done it and I'll have to get used to paring it down! The essential defense tools and training will continue.

I commute 25 miles to work and I will need to cart the little one to daycare while I'm at work. I do want to have comfort and performance while in traffic. I realize that the seats will probably get wrecked as the baby gets older, but its only car... I'll just have to view it more in a consumable way. Maybe use seat covers or whatever.

04-15-2016, 09:05 AM
The seats will be fine as long as you keep them clean and don't let stuff sit... even leather seats.

04-15-2016, 09:09 AM
Whatever you get, suck it up and get a 4 door. You'll be glad, especially if you keep it long term. An Audi S4 should fit the bill - German, a real sleeper, 4 doors, etc.

04-15-2016, 01:02 PM
++++1 on the kids will F up your car and it doesnt get better till they move out. As for the wife will reduce the load...... that was meant to be funny right? The simple version, is maaaaybe by kid 3; but dont count on that either.

So heres my 2 cents by the car you want but dont expect it to be "the car you want" after the car seat is installed.... Lemme be real clear I love my kids--they change your life AND change what you thought you had to have, cuz soon youll have somethin' better....start thinking now where youre gonna store that Alfa once bikes and scooters and and and fill up the garage

Oh and congratulations!

04-15-2016, 05:13 PM
The seats will be fine as long as you keep them clean and don't let stuff sit... even leather seats.
Make sure you put a towel under the car seat to minimize the imprint on the leather. It helps a lot.

04-15-2016, 05:20 PM
++++1 on the kids will F up your car and it doesnt get better till they move out...


So heres my 2 cents by the car you want but dont expect it to be "the car you want" after the car seat is installed....
Oh and congratulations!

We've always had a strict "no food" policy for the back seat. Resist the urge to let them eat back there. If you let them, toddlers will grind Cheerios and Goldfish into a substance harder than diamonds.

04-15-2016, 07:50 PM
FWIW, a lot of guys I work with who drive new beamers are having a lot of problems with them. Some of them traded in for a Benz.

04-15-2016, 07:58 PM
I must be the only person whom hasn't had issues with food turning to cement lol. I just cleaned it out every few days. This was in 4 different cars too so all the seats were different types and different materials.

04-15-2016, 08:09 PM
In case you don't make it to the humor thread, here are some BMW 5 vs 7 comments:


Consumer Reports rates the BMW reliability below average, but when I looked at specifics the audio system was what was dragging it down.

Paper Shredder
04-16-2016, 09:15 AM
Haha good one. Lexus drivers do need a good education now and then with the horn!

I just can't get onto the Benz wagon unless it's the AMG, which at that point, I'm not about to be tied down to a payment like that.

I like the 550 BMW because it's fast and practical. I loved my E60 because it was fast and practical... Handles like a sports saloon is supposed to. Reliability.... Well it will be CPO and I am staying away from SMG trannies.

Jeromy Hasenkamp
04-16-2016, 09:52 AM
I am sure most the cars you are looking at will have leather...But it is a must with Kids...Easy clean and more durable.

That being said, remember they bounce, them getting dirty is good for them, and too much antibacterial cleanser is bad for them because they will catch every sickness at daycare.

Practice E and E packing for the kid. Essentials only...they'll survive.

04-16-2016, 09:59 AM
No worries if you hate them, but what about a 3 series touring?

Admittedly, I'm a wagon fan. I drive a Mazda6 wagon, wife drives an E-Class wagon. We have a 21mo old.

I've got room in either for kid, gear, and the German Shepherd. Good fuel economy, better driving experience than an SUV, and I personally think the "easier to load kid into an SUV" thing is a myth. I'm 6'5", and it's fine to load him into a "lower" platform. Heck, my 5'5" wife has had to stick him in a friends M-Class for a trip, and didn't like how tough it was to hoist him up that high.

Biggest drawback I perceive is that I'm pretty sure AWD has been standard on BMW touring variants for a while. Dunno about you, but I'd want RWD. My 6 doesn't roll that way, but it's the best application of finances/solution for us right now.

Plus, if you wanted a 5 Series, I think you'd have to go all the way back to the E60? Older than you're shopping, I suspect.

And, I like keeping my fighting shotgun in a spot that's accessible from within the passenger compartment!

Anyway, just vote for estates/kid combos here. Good luck!

Paper Shredder
04-16-2016, 03:24 PM
Yeah we've considered the wagon. My dream would be a E63 Wagon, but that price point is pretty steep... At that price i would buy a used 997 S and a Honda mini van but I'm getting a bit too heavy on cars in a city house lot.

I'm going to drive the 550 and 750 again to see and maybe 740 for better fuel economy. We are intending this to be 5+ hour road tripper car for us to get to the gulf shores to the beach with the little one.

Blacked out
04-17-2016, 05:50 AM
I am up to 3 kids now under 6. My advice is with one and two, a full size sedan is just fine but it must be a 4 door. Don't even bother with a 2 door even for one. That shit gets real old real fast. You will have a full trunk as the kid gear adds up fast, absolutely put a towel down under the car seat to save the leather. Being that you already have the LR you are good for a while on the hauler. We were fine with a sedan for the wife and my vette for me until we talked about kid 3. If you go that far, that's when it's a complete game changer. I will admit that we went to the dreaded Honda mini van at 3 and it was the hands down best choice and honestly the only choice. Until that time rock on with a 4 door sedan and love it. As an fyi following up on Edel's comments the kids will change everything. I haven't driven the vette in a year due to changes in our schedule and have been stuck in the silverado. Next year the beast comes back out of the cave.

04-17-2016, 04:21 PM
Had a similar journey as Blacked out but 2 kids. Before marriage, just myself had 3 vehicles (Nissan 4-banger frontier, Nissan maxima GLE fully loaded, and Mustang GT). With the 1st kid, had to upgrade and went with a 4 door sedan. That 2 door crap with the Mustang got really old quick and was doing wonders on my back. Also, safety rating on the older vehicles made us steer to the Honda odyssey. I remember my 1st SI class with payne as I pulled up in that van, LOL. While my ego and my image was not too happy about the van, it was very utilitarian from holding all kinds of stuff and family trips. Even the auto sliding door was handy. Had it for 7 years and finally I had enough. Today its a F150 Lariat while the wife has her Lexus 350. Also it helps with leather seats for clean up, even with 7 and 10 years old accidents still happen. Another plus is weathertech mats or something similar. If you have leather with those air vent holes, I would suggest a seat cover under kids who are still in their car seats / booster chairs. Either way, "yes" kids will change everything. Know I understand what my parents said "Kids will make you crazy in all kinds of ways....good and bad".

chad newton
04-17-2016, 04:30 PM
I wouldn't buy any foreign car other then an Audi or Mercedes. Most american stuff will last over 200,000 comfortably. If you keep your cars as long as you do maintenance costs are going to get you with another BMW. To me, it's as smart as buying a range rover.

chad newton
04-17-2016, 04:36 PM
In the 14 years I have had children, I have had a 02 ford explorer, 02 Chevy 1500, 04 ford explorer, 04 dodge Durango, 06 dodge 3/4 ton diesel, and my new one 2015 jeep rubicon and they have all been torn up by the kids. Another thing to think about. It dosnt look too "bon viviant" when your 2 year old starts drawing there names on your leather seats with a sharpi.....

Shooter Ready
04-17-2016, 05:00 PM
Get a 4 door sedan and plan on keeping it for a short period of time if you are planning on adding to your family. Once you have a second or third child, nothing beats a van for hauling junk. You already have a SUV so long trips are covered. When the kids are older, there are carpooling issues/ride shares, so a van or a LARGE 3 row SUV makes sense. A minivan just offers superior "gray man" status for the armed citizen. Extra cars are just a hassle at this stage of life.

When your kids are driving, then you'll need a beater car so they don't ruin your nice ride.

Congratulations and enjoy every moment. The little ones grow up fast (and sometimes not fast enough).

04-17-2016, 07:49 PM
Kiddie booster seats and leather upholstery don't mix too well in my experience, also. After a few years they leave permanent indentations or tears.

Shooter Ready has a point about mini vans. Don't be too surprised if you find yourself owning and driving one in a few years. My wife was dead set against them when we first had kids as they are the opposite of cool. It didn't take too long for her to change her mind.

Greg Nichols
04-18-2016, 12:14 PM
I'd drive this:


04-18-2016, 12:29 PM
I have learned to also look at an automobile with an eye to the modifications that I will want to make down the road. Vehicles in their first couple of years of production usually have very scant parts availability. A vehicle in its fourth year of production will have more parts availability. More popular vehicles have more available mods, and cheaper parts.

I realize that much of that goes against the very idea of owning a nice German automobile. You pay more so that you don't have to modify anything. You pay more--at least in part--so that you aren't driving yet another of the umpteen-million Fords or Toyotas on the road. So you have to decide how valuable that really is to you.

I like having the ability to add a Console Vault to a vehicle. I like that product so much that I would limit my options to a vehicle for which they make a vault. The truck and van crowd is usually more inclined to modifications than the sports car set (unless you are getting into hotrodding). Sometimes an older truck is better than a new one, because the best suspension components may not be available for the new truck yet.

The particulars are, well, too particular. But the basic idea is this: Consider changes or additions you would like to make, and purchase a car that allows for those improvements.

Redneck Zen
04-20-2016, 07:01 PM
+1 to the minivan being the most practical once you have 3 or more kids. We did the same, and have had a minivan of some sort for the last 8-9 years. I'm proud to say our last van left yesterday, we're doing the Suburban now instead of a van, and don't see going back.

Our last van was a Honda Oddyssey; even if I have to buy another minivan I won't buy one of those again. They drive nice but the transmission problems aren't worth it.

Nothing wrong with a minivan if you need it. I never had one (we only had one kid) but they are versatile boogers:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: "These doors are handy!" (http://www.spike.com/video-clips/09gk10/mr-and-mrs-smith-those-doors-are-handy)

Paper Shredder
04-24-2016, 05:11 PM
Pulled the trigger on the 550i. Mint CPO car. 2014 and practically new. 450hp soon to be 500 with a chip.


04-24-2016, 05:53 PM
Looks sharp. I like it.

04-24-2016, 07:26 PM
very cool.

04-24-2016, 08:03 PM
Sweet ride!

Paper Shredder
04-24-2016, 08:16 PM
I want to get one of those rear deck drawer deals that I can store long guns in. The trunk is secure once locked as it can't be opened mechanically except from one of those pull tabs for trapped people.

04-25-2016, 10:37 AM
That's a little better than a minivan.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04-25-2016, 10:42 PM
Nice ride. Tell us more about the chip.

Paper Shredder
04-26-2016, 02:57 AM
There are a few chip tuners that have "piggy back" ECU modifiers that screw with boost, timing, and air/fuel. It goes from 30hp onwards. I think I may go the full stage 1 Dinan set up for 495hp and 578 lb ft torque.... Just because it keeps the factory warranty valid with Dinan

Paper Shredder
04-26-2016, 03:14 AM
I wouldn't buy any foreign car other then an Audi or Mercedes. Most american stuff will last over 200,000 comfortably. If you keep your cars as long as you do maintenance costs are going to get you with another BMW. To me, it's as smart as buying a range rover.

Double fail on my part LOL. Land Rover and BMW. I have the full extended warranty on the new car. Cost 4K but everything is covered.

04-26-2016, 04:07 AM
was watching Doug Demuro and its got me thinking about a preowned aston martin......;)

Blacked out
04-26-2016, 04:08 PM
I hate you shredder. Very nice car!! 450hp at the crank is nice power. Personally I wouldn't go too wild on boost. Been there blown motors, rebuilt them, and blew them again.

Paper Shredder
04-28-2016, 02:57 PM
Ok last update... I wish I would have brought the car seat with me on the test drive..... I think we have the largest one you could buy and it barely fits!


Paper Shredder
10-01-2016, 06:52 AM
A small update for those of you into it....got some Dinan goodies on.

Not inconspicuous... but it fits the car and my personality LOL!

I got an ECU tune with an exhaust so it's mildly obnoxious but still refined and totes the little one around.



Blacked out
10-01-2016, 08:09 AM
Very clean shredder. ECU reflash and exhaust is always a nice option. My car is completely obnoxious, lumpy cam V8 with no cats and fairly open exhaust. I have thought about welding in a couple electronic cut outs for Times when I want to set off car alarms

Paper Shredder
10-01-2016, 08:34 AM
It should be putting down 500whp with 630 lb ft torque... needless to say, 150 is easily done rather quickly on a service road....a bit too scary how fast it builds speed. It will eat corvettes and the like on the highway.

Blacked out
10-01-2016, 03:43 PM
It should be putting down 500whp with 630 lb ft torque... needless to say, 150 is easily done rather quickly on a service road....a bit too scary how fast it builds speed. It will eat corvettes and the like on the highway.

Careful what you roll up on. Mine puts 430hp 400tq to the wheel, you do the math on drive train loss at the crank and I have 2 less doors lol. Seriously though that's a big tq number and must be a monster. I really dig it.

Paper Shredder
10-01-2016, 04:43 PM
I'm not exaggerating.. look up BMW N63TU BMS JB4 Stage 2

Is a twin turbo 4.4L V8

Blacked out
10-05-2016, 04:49 PM
Looked thru it a bit but honestly didn't want to read in depth. Is this a piggyback system or a reflash?

Paper Shredder
10-05-2016, 06:09 PM
It's piggy back