So, after just over four years of ownership 'we' (well the other half) traded in our BMW 535i GT for a 440i Gran Coupe (yes, I know, first world, white people problems).
Other half bought the car before we met, as at the time he had decided he wanted:
- a hatchback for the flexibility of carrying 'Stuff'
- a larger car than the 3 series Coupe
The 535 (actually built on the 7 series platform) was an ex-company car from Brisbane BMW with about 9000km on it and it was at a knockdown price. And so it came to our household.
What was good about it?
The Engine – silky smooth, just a delight to drive and on highway runs we would get the fuel economy down to 7s!
The Body – it’s an incredibly spacious car. Five adults fit in comfortably, plus luggage, and it still feels spacious . And the rear seats that slid back and forth were very handy.
The Ride – limo like, soft, and just lovely on the road.
The Drive – it drives very well, turns easily, corners nicely, and, if you flip it to Sport mode, it had a little bit of get-up-and-go.
The Service – when you’re a long term BMW Customer (the 535i was Beemer #4) nothing is too difficult and the dealers are there to help.
So, what was bad about it?
The Car – this thing is freaking HUGE, hence parking it required contortionist-like skills. Most attempts to park in shopping centres required a back-and-fill motion to get it right. And lets not discuss parallel parking; the nicks and scrapes and rash on the alloy wheels speak for themselves. This was its eventual undoing.
The Performance – this is not a performance car. Yes, it goes, and yes, you can throw it around a bit but its not a 'Performance' car. Its natural habitat is long highway cruises where you can sit back and enjoy the countryside whizzing by. My biggest regret is our longest drive in it was a 400km round trip.
Its Suitability – two men and two small dogs? No. It's really best suited to a family with a need for space but not necessarily seven seats.
Its Sunroof – panoramic sunroof with a blind. On the third blind failure (all out of warranty and BMW did contribute significantly to the replacement) we stopped using it. Discovered it was a fault on this car and the X5.
Its Cost – replace four runflat tyres? $2800, thank you very much (and they were never right again)!
Its depreciation – while not my issue, the loss of value on a five-year-old car with perfect everything (expect the alloys) and just 67,000km on the odo was eye watering…
Will we miss the car? The next time we have four people and suitcases to go somewhere, yes. And yes, the height of the car and its armchair ride were beautiful, but the 440i Gran Coupe gives us the hatch versatility, five doors, and a great engine as well as a bit of fun.
(and during that long ownership, I took no photos! Ed: We've got you covered Kirk with a stock image)