Which is the best to do it all? E60 M5 vs E90 M3 vs supercharged E39 M5 - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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Poll: Which is the better choice as a daily driver, family car and occassional track toy?
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Which is the better choice as a daily driver, family car and occassional track toy?

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post #1 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Which is the best to do it all? E60 M5 vs E90 M3 vs supercharged E39 M5

Hey guys,

Which do you guys think is the best overall daily driver taking into account handling, power, versatility and fun to drive? I’ve had all three in the past, but never compared them back to back.

I currently have a modified 2011 GT-R that I am selling to help fund the purchase of a 2013 Land Cruiser for the wife due to a new addition to our family. The GT-R is my daily driver and I absolutely love it. Currently, I have no problems driving my two kids around, but the third one will necessitate a 4-door, which prompts the change.

Here is a brief rundown of my memories of each car.

E39 M5
· I have many fond memories of my E39 M5. At the time, it had the perfect blend of performance, handling and versatility in my opinion.
· Throaty V8 rumble
· Good power, with nice low end grunt, but felt a little winded after 5K.
· Great handling abilities considering its size. Very easy to drive at the limit.
· Nice interior, but very dated.
· Terrible audio system

E60 M5 (replaced E39)
· I LOVED the sound of the V10 with a full exhaust. I drove around at high RPM’s just to hear the music. The V10’s howl is the most memorable attribute by far.
· A lot faster than the E39
· Needed to be revved up to get decent power, but oh the music.
· More luxurious and comfortable as a daily driver by far compared to the E39 and E90.
· Hated the SMG transmission unless at WOT or on the track.
· 10 MPG was miserable, but I don’t commute far.
· Handling abilities were probably better than the E39, but the overall experience was not as involving.

E90 M3 (replaced E60)
· DCT transmission was a huge improvement over the M5’s SMG
· The M3 was definitely better handling and more fun to drive than either M5 when corners were in the equation. Much more nimble and balanced.
· The interior was cheaper feeling compared to the E60 and probably the E39 as well. However, it was much more modern with amenities than the E39 for obvious reasons.
· Optional audio system was great

I have budgeted approx $50k for my next car, which will be my daily driver, canyon carver and occasional track car. I am only considering 2009+ E60 M5’s (6MT only) and E90 M3’s with the updated IDrive and will limit modifications only to exhaust and minor suspension changes.

I have never driven a 6MT E60, but hope it has more driver involvement than SMG. I do have some concerns of future repair costs, since the factory warranties will be expiring soon and finding a good aftermarket one appears difficult.

I’m not sure how reliable the V8 M3’s are outside of warranty, but I hope better than the M5. I am somewhat leaning towards the M3 due to its superior handling and sportier character, but it might be a little small in the back seat a few years from now.

If it’s an E39, it must be a clean 2003 and I plan to install a supercharger, suspension, wheels and etc. I have been in a supercharged E39 previously and it felt fairly strong. I do have some concerns of whether the E39 is the best choice from a long term perspective due to its aging platform and limited interior appointments.

Another car I am considering, but have never driven is the Cadillac CTS-V. From the reviews I have read it sounds like a well rounded performance sedan, with acceleration similar to the V10 M5, but with handling closer to the M3. Is this true?

Last edited by tonyracerX; 1st May 2012 at 07:25 AM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 08:39 AM
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I voted for the E60 M5.

I would suggest you test drive a CTS-V before you take a final decision. If it can handle corners like an M3, I will sell my M6 and get one.

Last edited by Hasan Shaikh; 1st May 2012 at 08:40 AM.
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post #3 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 08:42 AM
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I voted for the E60, since it seems to be the perfect balance of power, handling luxury, and practicality.

That said, depending on how much you value agility, the E90 M3 could still be a solid choice. It's just really a question of whether you are willing to give up the V10 scream (and added power) and luxury/room for the improvement in handling.

I would personally rule out the E39 as a choice because it's aging and since you will be supercharging it. It just doesn't seem like the best choice since you appear to be concerned about reliability.

As for the CTS-V, it's a great car and definitely has more bottom end than the E60, but it's shown to be slower after 60mph (stock for stock). It does appear to respond well to modifications. I wouldn't say it is "closer to the E90" in terms of handling but rather that it handles slightly better than a stock E60. With a simple Dinan Stage 2 suspension I think the E60 would win in the handling department.

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post #4 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 08:53 AM
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Please consider the fact that this is the M5Board and most opinions are prone to be biased towards the M5, including mine. Actually, mine for sure.

Had you posted this on a CTS-V baord, the reponses might have been different.
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post #5 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 11:21 AM
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post #6 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 01:37 PM
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I voted for the M3 and here's why. The M5 is wonderful, I won't trade it in for much out there because of the unique engine and I love naturally aspirated, high revvers. It is a great daily driver (15mpg on longer commutes), but thirsty and pricey to maintain.

On the track, it is quite nimble for such a big car. But that's the point, it feels big still. An M3 with the V8 feels a lot better on the track than the M5. Almost like 2/3rds of everything an M5 has (I know the math is wrong), but I think it hits a sweet spot for doing all that you are asking.

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post #7 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 02:24 PM
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If you go E60 M5, make sure it's 2009.5+ - mine is a 2009 and I missed the updated idrive and associated electronics by just a few months. When I bought it, I was going off pictures of the console, in which the nav screen was washed out; the controller is the new one, so I assumed (wrongly) that it had the new computer/screen. Bought it sight unseen, flew to pick it up, and was unhappily surprised to find the old nav. Forgot all about it, though, while driving home from NC to MD...

The CIC retrofit is on my list, but it has (rightfully) taken a back seat to wheels, exhaust, etc.

Good luck with your decision.


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post #8 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revo View Post
I voted for the E60, since it seems to be the perfect balance of power, handling luxury, and practicality.

That said, depending on how much you value agility, the E90 M3 could still be a solid choice. It's just really a question of whether you are willing to give up the V10 scream (and added power) and luxury/room for the improvement in handling.

I would personally rule out the E39 as a choice because it's aging and since you will be supercharging it. It just doesn't seem like the best choice since you appear to be concerned about reliability.

As for the CTS-V, it's a great car and definitely has more bottom end than the E60, but it's shown to be slower after 60mph (stock for stock). It does appear to respond well to modifications. I wouldn't say it is "closer to the E90" in terms of handling but rather that it handles slightly better than a stock E60. With a simple Dinan Stage 2 suspension I think the E60 would win in the handling department.
I am trying to figure out just how important the agility part is to me. I have to admit most of my time is going straight during my commute, but there are the occasional freeway ramps

Also, i don't want to put too much emphasize on the track toy thing, since it is only 4 times a year on average.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasan Shaikh View Post
Please consider the fact that this is the M5Board and most opinions are prone to be biased towards the M5, including mine. Actually, mine for sure.

Had you posted this on a CTS-V baord, the reponses might have been different.
Any recommendations on a good forum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lopealle View Post
Keep the GTR and get the wife a Toyota 4Runner. Problems solved
I wish, but the wife would veto that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suprolla View Post
I voted for the M3 and here's why. The M5 is wonderful, I won't trade it in for much out there because of the unique engine and I love naturally aspirated, high revvers. It is a great daily driver (15mpg on longer commutes), but thirsty and pricey to maintain.

On the track, it is quite nimble for such a big car. But that's the point, it feels big still. An M3 with the V8 feels a lot better on the track than the M5. Almost like 2/3rds of everything an M5 has (I know the math is wrong), but I think it hits a sweet spot for doing all that you are asking.
Not sure if i should make a decision based on 4 track events a year, but I definitely like to hit the backroads on the weekends sometimes

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhirm5 View Post
If you go E60 M5, make sure it's 2009.5+ - mine is a 2009 and I missed the updated idrive and associated electronics by just a few months. When I bought it, I was going off pictures of the console, in which the nav screen was washed out; the controller is the new one, so I assumed (wrongly) that it had the new computer/screen. Bought it sight unseen, flew to pick it up, and was unhappily surprised to find the old nav. Forgot all about it, though, while driving home from NC to MD...

The CIC retrofit is on my list, but it has (rightfully) taken a back seat to wheels, exhaust, etc.

Good luck with your decision.
Thanks for this info. I just assumed the new IDrive controller meant it had the updated system.
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post #9 of 19 Old 1st May 2012, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyracerX View Post
Thanks for this info. I just assumed the new IDrive controller meant it had the updated system.
Me too...


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post #10 of 19 Old 2nd May 2012, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyracerX View Post
I am trying to figure out just how important the agility part is to me. I have to admit most of my time is going straight during my commute, but there are the occasional freeway ramps

Also, i don't want to put too much emphasize on the track toy thing, since it is only 4 times a year on average.

...

Not sure if i should make a decision based on 4 track events a year, but I definitely like to hit the backroads on the weekends sometimes
I would say that for back roads and freeway on ramps and interchanges, the E60 is quite capable and if you really need to go that much faster than what an E60 can do, you're driving way too fast for the street.

4 track days is a good amount, but not a ton. Definitely enough to eat through some tires. I would say get an E60, throw a Dinan Stage 2 kit on it and possibly KW V3 coil overs and keep a set of camber plates to throw on there for the track days.

The M5 is my dad's - but I drive it more than he does!
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