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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to trade in my Cayman S for sporty family sedan next year......... so.......

I decided to test drive my father in law's 550i and kind of liked it for a family summer sedan car......

I played with the sport mode, switched the traction control off and launched the car to check out the accelleration, nice, but
I was expecting more........(I guess I am spoiled by my Cayman S and 911)

How different is the M5?

Is its intoxicating raw power different than what a 550i can offer?

Any advice is appreciated......
 

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Yes, but the M5 is not a drag car. Light to light is not it's strong suit. Don't get me wrong, its fast (under 5 sec to 60) but the M5 really shines at higher speeds with lightning quick SMG shifts at redline that will keep pace with a Ferrari. If you want a 0-60 car with a lot of low down torque, keep looking as this is not an M5. Quite frankly if you want low down torque take a look at the new 550's. V8TT with 450 ft. lb. of toruqe.
 

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I've had both and I can tell you that the M5 is a completely different car in every way. The 550 was a lot of fun and always surprised other cars around it how fast it was. However there was never mistaking it for anything but a fast, refined family sedan. The neat thing with the 550 is that it always felt smaller behind the wheel than it's actual size. (I especially noticed this after I got the A6 and got me to truly appreciate the BMW engineering.) However I don't think you can compare the 550 to the M5 the same way you could compare the 550 to the 535. The M5 feels completely different than the 550 and the driving experience is definitely not comparable. You really have to take the M5 for a long drive to draw your conclusions as to whether this is a fair replacement for your existing ride.
 

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The M5 doesn't really feel like a fast car, which, in my opinion, is the beauty of it. The engine is among the smoothest engines I've ever driven and the power delivery is so gradual that you don't really get that speed feeling that you do in a car with lots of tq (ie a turbo'd car). Test drive one and see what you think...
 

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over 100 mph....not too many cars can keep up with M5. It surprises me every time, though I drive it everyday! It will put a big smile on your face every time you step on it! There is a reason they call it "Beast"!
 

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My girlfriend's sister has a 550, and I think that car is pretty damn fun for what it is. Like tdotM said, the 550 does feel smaller than it is. But I think it is unfair to compare it to the E60 M5. The M5 is just a monster on the highway. If it were just between these two cars, I would be all over the M5.

I know a lot of people here wont like this coment, but if your looking for raw power from stoplight-to-stoplight, test drive an E55 AMG. The big draw back from the E55 is, it does feel big, and not as nimble around town. Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys for your honest responses......

Just to clarify I am not looking for a "dragster", in fact I have the 911 that I club race with PCA, so stop light to stop light is not my thing........

(Not that there is anything wrong with that.......:))

I am looking for a sedan to replace my Cayman S, I drove the 550i and liked it, I just was wondering how much better the M5 was......

Thanks again.....:cheers:
 

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Welcome! Nice to see another Boston member here...I've only driven the 650i (and of course the M5) so I'll have to use the 6 for comparison. If you need to have low end power, maybe the 550i is a better car for you as there is plenty of torque and you really feel the power under, say, 3.5k RPM. However, I find the M5 tremendously better in many ways. Sure there is little power down low, but accelerating from 4-8k RPM in this thing is just insane. Plus, I love the SMG transmission in the sense that it feels like driving a true manual, and allows the driver to pull off perfectly rev-matched downshifts and crazy fast upshifts just by pulling a paddle (of course, 6MT is always an option if this is not your thing).

I say test drive them back to back. Drive your father-in-law's 550i to the dealership (BMW Gallery Norwood is a great place just so you know....I like it more than Chambers in Boston) and then hop right into an M5. This will allow you to compare the two cars best. I must say, though, that I'm about certain that you will want an M5 after getting behind the wheel. Not to mention, M5s depreciate so quickly in their first few years, making the prices for the M5 and 550i very similar.

Good luck with your search.


afc1
 

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I had a 550i sport which was totalled a few months ago, and replaced it with an M5. The 550i is a very, very nice all-around car with a great trans, handling and suprising power throughout the range (would be almost neck and neck to 60 mph), and is loads cheaper than an M5. In some ways, it is a better all around car than the M5, particularly if auto-mode is important to you). But you don't get the extra panache of the M5 when you own a 550i nor do you get the marvelous sound of that V10. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a 550 over an M5. They are both incredible mid-size sport sedans that go about their business in very different ways.

If I had to sum up my feelings, I still miss my 550i to this day but it goes away when I start up the M5.
 

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I just was wondering how much better the M5 was......

Thanks again.....:cheers:
More exclusive?? YES...Better car?? Only you can decide that because they are so different in the way they deliver power. I can tell you this, after a test drive of both, you won't look at both of them and say "holy sh*t the M5 is so much faster". But you will have had a better overall driving experience, especially with the SMG.

You also must decide how much that ///M badge is worth to YOU, and if you want 12.7 mpg in the M vs 20+ in the 550i, and if 230 miles to a tank is ok for you in the M.
 

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I had a 550i sport which was totalled a few months ago, and replaced it with an M5. The 550i is a very, very nice all-around car with a great trans, handling and suprising power throughout the range (would be almost neck and neck to 60 mph), and is loads cheaper than an M5. In some ways, it is a better all around car than the M5, particularly if auto-mode is important to you). But you don't get the extra panache of the M5 when you own a 550i nor do you get the marvelous sound of that V10. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a 550 over an M5. They are both incredible mid-size sport sedans that go about their business in very different ways.

If I had to sum up my feelings, I still miss my 550i to this day but it goes away when I start up the M5.
Well said! I miss the low-end torque and all-around practicality of my 550, especially in the city. However, the M5 never ceases to put a smile on my face during spirited runs. Can't go wrong with either car.
 

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More exclusive?? YES...Better car?? Only you can decide that because they are so different in the way they deliver power. I can tell you this, after a test drive of both, you won't look at both of them and say "holy sh*t the M5 is so much faster". But you will have had a better overall driving experience, especially with the SMG.

You also must decide how much that ///M badge is worth to YOU, and if you want 12.7 mpg in the M vs 20+ in the 550i, and if 230 miles to a tank is ok for you in the M.
I disagree. I've owned a 528, a 530, a 535, a 550 and 2 m5s. The m5 is significantly quicker than the 550... Though that is really from about 30-35mph and up. The hp (and tq for that matter) is in the higher rpm range, but that is by design... BMW philosophy of high revving engine.

The m5 is an executive race car. It truly is the king of the road for all around wonderfulness... And honestly, when I had my sl55 amg, then hopped back in the m5... I felt home again.

To me, the real questions are related to gas mileage and maintenance costs... The m5 is definitely significantly more perfect as a driving experience.
 

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After driving them both back to back the transmission is probably the largest difference. The 550i has great power range and just feels much easier to drive. The M5 fills the small gaps minus the transmission (auto mode). but no matter how i calculated it, 550i made more sense: cheaper insurance, better gas mileage, better range, cheaper payments, the m5 just casts a love spell and you cant get away from it!

sidemarker
 

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I disagree. I've owned a 528, a 530, a 535, a 550 and 2 m5s. The m5 is significantly quicker than the 550... Though that is really from about 30-35mph and up. The hp (and tq for that matter) is in the higher rpm range, but that is by design... BMW philosophy of high revving engine.

The m5 is an executive race car. It truly is the king of the road for all around wonderfulness... And honestly, when I had my sl55 amg, then hopped back in the m5... I felt home again.

To me, the real questions are related to gas mileage and maintenance costs... The m5 is definitely significantly more perfect as a driving experience.
We can agree to disagree then. The M5 is not 'significantly' quicker, but it is faster. It's all in the torque #'s - 360 vs 383 isn't that much of a difference.
 

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We all have choices... I was deciding between the two as well but know comparison until you drive it..... Then buy one and drive it. DRIVE IT! .. Having the M button changes all... Go to You tube and watch the TOP GEAR Video..

Type in M5 top gear... You will understand for sure why that button changes everything....

Why settle life is to short.. Good luck it whatever you decide...
 

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I had a 550i before I got the M5 and must agree with what everyone else has said. The low end torque in the 550i makes it much easier to drive around town, however, when you rev it up it only feels like the M5 in P400 mode. The M5 just kicks it into another gear in P500S and pulls harder at higher speeds. You really can't go wrong with both cars and there are days I miss the 550 during my daily commute.
 
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