Saturday, October 18, 2014

Video update: Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant Facelift

As the fourth generation A4, Audi introduced the A4 B8 in late 2007 at the Geneva Motor Show. In February the model range was completed by the introduction of the A4 Avant, while the A5 served as the coupe and convertible in this range. Both the Audi A4 and A5 share the same platform, which is also intented for use by more VAG-brands in the future.

After 4 years of production, the A4 received a facelift, in November 2011. Apart from technical changes, the appearance of the car was also updated. In the front, the grille and headlight have been changed, if the Xenon plus is included it also features and updated LED-design. Also at the rear of the car the design of the rearlights has been altered, including a new LED-design.

The interior has largely been retaining its old design, but minor changes have been made to the (available) steering wheel and the gear shift lever of the automatic transmission, they have been adapted to the design also found in the interior of the new Audi A6. Also the MMI now has less buttons, while the seat heating can be controlled directly from a button (in the pre-facelift generation it was operated on the climate control).

More videos / pictures and information about the current generation Audi A4 can be found here: Audi A4

Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant Facelift Walkaround - Exterior and interior shots of the car

Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant Facelift Fuel Consumption Test - testing the fuel consumption under real life conditions

Audi A4 2.0 TDI Avant Facelift Flatout - Putting the pedal to the metal on the German Autobahn

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Picture update: BMW 530d xDrive LCI M Sport

BMW introduced its current generation 5-series, known by the BMW-code "F10", in November 2009. Production commenced in January 2010 and the first F10s have been delivered to the dealerships in March of 2010. Compared to its predecessor (the E60 / 2003 - 2010) the new 5-series was 4cm longer while its wheelbase was 10cm longer. In April BMW introduced the 5-series Touring, known as the "F11". 
Just as the 5-series E60, the new 5-series is produced by the BMW factory in Dingolfing, Germany. Not completely true, the Long Wheel Base 5-series (F18) is produced in Shenyang China, due to the fact that this specific version is only available on the Chinese market.

In July 2013 BMW presented its 5-series LCI (Lifecycle Impulse), more commonly known as a "facelift". As already available on the 1- and 3-series, BMW now also introduced its BMW Lines in the 5-series range, both the Luxury Line and Modern Line. Another new feature are the Full HD Headlights (featured on this 530d), while the xenon headlights become a standard feature instead of an option. Also the rear lights have had a small update.
Some of the engines have been adapted, so that now all engines adhere to the EURO6-norm. New engine (types) include the BMW 518d and 520d xDrive. 

Model (Code / Model Year): BMW 530d xDrive LCI (2014 / F10)
Engine: six-cylinder TwinPower-Turbo diesel engine (2993cm³)  
Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
Performance: 258hp / 560nm
0 to 100km/h: 5,7 sec
Top speed: 250km/h (156mp/h)
Weight: 1885kg
Fuel tank (US gallons): 70 liter (18,5 US gallons)
Production date: February 2014

Exterior colour: Carbon Black metallic (416)
Upholstery: Black Dakota leather (LCSW)
Interior trim: Aluminium Hexagon interior trim
Wheels: 19" M Double-spoke style 351M alloy wheels

Optional equipment on this specific BMW 530d xDrive LCI:

€54.680,00 BMW 530d xDrive LCI F10

Included in the M Sports package

€0,00 8-speed Sport automatic transmission (automatic gearbox is standard)

€5.200,00 M Sports package

€980,00 Carbon Black metallic
€1.300,00 19" M Double-spoke style 351M alloy wheels
€0,00 Aluminium Hexagon interior trim
€1290,00 Black Dakota leather
€0,00 Headlining, Anthracite
€0,00 Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline
€1.630,00 Comfort seats, front
€0,00 M Aerodynamics package
€0,00 M Steering Wheel

€3.300 Navigation package ConnectedDrive

€0,00 Remote Services
€0,00 Concierge services
€0,00 Real Time Traffic Information
€0,00 Navigation system - BMW Professional
€0,00 ConnectedDrive Services
€0,00 Enhanced Bluetooth telephone with USB & Voice control

€2.000,00 Innovation package II

€0,00 Driving Assistant
€1.390,00 Adaptive LED Headlights
€0,00 Black panel display, full
€0,00 Head-up display
€0,00 Speed limit display

€2.000,00 Comfort package

€0,00 Loudspeaker system - BMW Advanced (HiFi-Lautsprechersystem)
€470,00 Air conditioning, automatic with four-zone control
€0,00 Rear-view mirror, auto dimming
€0,00 Lumbar support, driver and front passenger
€0,00 Seat heating, front
€0,00 Ambient lighting
€0,00 Park Distance Control

€350,00 Active protection
€---,-- High-beam assistant
€380,00 Sunblind - rear windscreen, electric 
€590,00 Sunblinds for side and rear windows
€3.240,00 Adaptive Drive
€480,00 Alarm system
€790,00 Comfort access
€1.250,00 Electric Glass Sunroof
€50,00 Smokers package
€390,00 Split-folding rear seats
€380,00 Seat heating, rear
€100,00 Through-loading ski bag
€0,00 TeleServices
€0,00 BMW Emergency call
€0,00 LED Fog lights, front
€0,00 Headlights wash
€0,00 Floor mats, velour
€0,00 Apps
€390,00 Exterior mirrors - folding, auto dimming
€0,00 12v power sockets

Total price in Germany: €82.120,01*

*Prices are the German prices in September 2014

Carbon Black metallic with the blue tone in the sun
Full LED Headlights
19-inch style 351M alloy wheels

M Steering wheel
Navigation system Professional & front automatic air conditioning
Black Dakota leather & Comfort seats
Sport automatic transmission
Aluminium Hexagon interior trim

Dual zone automatic air conditioning in the rear, including seat heating
Some pro's and con's on the BMW 530d xDrive LCI M Sport:


  • Good interior finish
  • Good HiFi system
  • Good grip on the steering wheel
  • Good engine with excellent performance
  • Excellent 8-speed Sport automatic gearbox + nice leather at the base of the gearshift lever (opposed to the plastic part with the standard automatic transmission)
  • Excellent Comfort seats
  • Excellent 3d navigation system
  • Excellent full HD Headlights and high-beam assist

  • Con:

  • Bad location of the cup holders, right in front of the airconditioning
  • Handling of the xDrive model is more neutral then of the rear-wheel drive model
  • Fuel consumption in combination with the xDrive is above average, about 0,5l ~ 1,0l / 100km more then the standard 530d 
  • The button to open the trunk is located in an incovenient place
  • Storage space for personal items is scarce
  • Steep price

  • More pictures of this BMW 530d xDrive LCI M Sport can be found here, please click and scroll down.

    Other BMW 5-series F10 media:

    Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    The co-drivers view: Deventer - River IJssel

    In the first video of this blog we drive near the Dutch city of Deventer (just over 130.000 inhabitants), which is located in the eastern part of the Netherlands, on the eastern bank of the river IJssel. Shot on the western bank of the IJssel, we cross a lot of nature, while driving on the dykes and in the delta netxt to the river. 

    Passing through the small village of Wilp, we drive back alongside the second dyke (a first one is positioned closer to the river) towards the city of Deventer. Driving over the Wilhelminabridge - crossing the IJssel - we end up near the city centre. A fun fact: on and near this bridge the movie "A Bridge Too Far" has been filmed, as the original site in Arnhem has lost most of its historic city centre. After having drivin Deventer we leave the city southbound, towards the small village of Gorssel (and the third video).

    Gorssel is a small town located near the city of Deventer, in the eastern part of the Netherlands. With a population of just 4.000 inhabitants, it is a typical small village for this part of the country.

    Car used: BMW 520d (F10 / 2013)

    More episodes of "the co-drivers view":

    Saturday, June 28, 2014

    Video update: BMW 525d xDrive Touring (2012 / F11)

    Also known as the F10 (sedan) and F11 (Touring), the current BMW 5-series has been available since early 2010. The car is produced in BMWs Dingolfing plant in Germany, but also in Shenyang in China, where next to the standard 5-series the F18 - Long Wheel Base - 5-series is produced that is only available on the Chinese market. 

    Initially 6 engines have been available (four petrol engines and two diesel engines), while a four-cylinder diesel engine (520d) with 184hp was introduced later in 2010. In an effort to reduce CO2-emissions, BMW has replaced several six-cylinder engines with four cylinder engines. Thus the BMW 525d (204hp, six-cylinders) became a 525d (218hp, four-cylinders), the 523i (204hp, six-cylinders) was replaced by the 520i (184hp, four-cylinders) and the 528i (258hp, six-cylinders) became a 528i (245hp, four-cylinders). 
    Apart from these changes, BMW also introduced a 530i (until the LCI, after which it was dropped again) and a 520d "Efficient-Dynamics Edition". Changes from the standard 520d include a longer rear-axle ration, tires with a low rolling resistance and improved aerodynamics.

    Optional is the eight-speed automatic gearbox, that due to the large spread between the gears lower the torque and decrease both noise levels and fuel consumption. Even though the gearbox has two extra gears compared to the six-speed automatic gearbox used before, no extra parts were necessary, while the total weight of the gearbox only increased marginally. The gearbox is produced by ZF Friedrichshafen.

    In Juli 2013 BMW introduced the LCI (LifeCycle Impulse) - also known as a facelift - for the F10-range. Changes included the BMW Lines, previously known from the 1- and 3-series, like the Luxury and Modern Line. Another new element was the full-LED headlights, while the xenon headlights now have become a standard feature, rather then being optional equipment. Another new element is the introduction of the x18d into the 5-series, now available as the BMW 518d.

    Model (Code / Model Year): BMW 525d xDrive Touring (2012 / F11)
    Engine: four-cylinder turbocharged common rail diesel engine (1995cm³) / engine code: N47D20
    Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
    Performance: 218hp / 450nm
    0 to 100km/h: 7,3 sec
    Top speed: 228km/h (143mp/h)

    BMW 525d xDrive Touring Walkaround - Exterior and interior shots of the car

    BMW 525d xDrive Touring Fuel Consumption Test - testing the fuel consumption under real life conditions

    BMW 525d xDrive Touring Flatout - Putting the pedal to the metal on the German Autobahn

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

    Picture update: BMW X3 xDrive20d (2012 / F25)

    Late 2010 BMW introduced the new X3 F25, as a replacement for its predecessor, the first X3 (E83) that was available between 2004 and 2010.  In contrast to its predecessor, the X3 was not produced by Steyr in Austria anymore, but the production was moved to BMWs Spartanburg plant in Greer, South Carolina, in the United States. At this production plant BMW also produced its X5 and X6 models, in a move to concentrate its SUV-activities near the largest market for these vehicles (the United States).

    BMW offers the X3 with a range of different petrol engines, ranging from the sDrive18d (only available with rear-wheel drive) to the xDrive35i that produces 306hp. In the summer of 2014 the X3 will receive its facelift, with minor changes made to the exterior, interior and optional equipment.

    Model (Code / Model Year): BMW X3 xDrive20d (2012 / F25)
    Engine: four-cylinder TwinPower-Turbo diesel engine (1995cm³)  
    Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission
    Performance: 184hp / 380nm
    0 to 100km/h: 8,4 sec
    Top speed: 210km/h (131mp/h)
    Weight: 1790 - 1880kg
    Fuel tank (US gallons): 67 liter (17,7 US gallons)
    Production date: August 2012

    Exterior colour: Mineral Silver metallic (A14)
    Upholstery: Black Nevada leather (LUSW)
    Interior trim: Fine woodgrain interior trim 'Fineline Wave'
    Wheels: 17" V-spoke style 304 alloy wheels

    Optional equipment on this specific car:
    • Automatic Gearbox - Steptronic 8-speed (S205A)
    • Servotronic Steering (S216A)
    • Electronic Damper Control (EDC) (S223A)
    • Multi-function controls for steering wheel (S249A)
    • Sport Steering Wheel (S255A)
    • Run-flat tyres (S258A)
    • Performance Control (S2VGA)
    • Variable sport steering (S2VLA)
    • Reversing Assist camera (S3AGA)
    • Roof rails, matt aluminium (S3ATA)
    • X Line (S3XLA)
    • Panoramic glass sunroof (S402A)
    • Luggage compartment separating net (S413A)
    • Floor mats, velours (S423A)
    • Exterior mirrors - auto dimming (S430A)
    • Interior mirror - auto dimming (S431A)
    • Electric front seats + Driver Memory (S459A)
    • Split-folding rear seats (S465A)
    • Extended storage (S493A)
    • Seat heating, front (S494A)
    • Instrument panel embellishers, black (S4NGA)
    • Smoker package (S4U3A)
    • Headlight wash (S502A)
    • Xenon Headlights (S522A)
    • Park Distance Control (PDC), front and rear (S508A)
    • Automatic air conditioning (S534A)
    • Cruise control with brake function (S544A)
    • Light package (S563A)
    • Navigations system - BMW Professional Multimedia (S609A)
    • BMW Assist (S612A)
    • Internet, preparation (S614A)
    • Expanded BMW Online Information (S615A)
    • BMW Online (S616A)
    • Preparation, mobile phone, Business (S633A)
    • HiFi speaker system (S676A)
    • BMW TeleServices (S6AAA)
    • Control for Teleservices (S6ABA)
    • Music interface for Smartphone (S6NFA)
    • Connection Bluetooth + USB devices incl. (S6NLA)
    • Apps (S6NRA)
    • Navigation Professional / cellphone preperation Bluetooth (S7SPA)

    Fine woodgrain interior trim 'Fineline Wave'
    Electric seats with memory
    Reversing assist camera with Park Distance Control
    Standard seats with Black Nevada leather
    Navigation system professional
    8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission
    Some pro's and con's on the BMW X3 xDrive20d:

    • Excellent automatic gearbox
    • Good satellite navigation system with a large screen
    • Bluetooth connection for both the phone and MP-3 function works perfectly
    • Decent amount of space for four persons
    • Large panoramic sunroof
    • Considering the drag (higher position) and all-wheel drive, the fuel consumption of the 2.0 liter diesel engine is good (7.0l / 100km after 800 kilometers of mixed driving)
    • Steep price
    • Standard seats are "ok", but not great
    • Location of the USB-connection in the center console instead of armrest, makes the car look untidy if the phone flies around the center console

    Other BMW X3 F25 media:
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