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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Folks,

I recognize these options seem all over the place and hits nearly all of the German brands but I'm shoping for a $15k-ish toy/daily driver (although I work from home) and of course it will be German ;-) Considering how rare all of these cars are I'm hoping to get objective feedback from each community and factor into the decision.

For a little background I've owned several BMW's including Z3M Coupe and Roadster, Z4M Coupe, 740il, e36 325i etc. I have also owned several Porsche's including 993, 944 Turbo, 944S2 and 968. The only Mercedes were an ML430 and an SL500.

928's have always intrigued me, they are rare, sound great and just have mega-pressence.

500E's are just cool. They represent are the epitome of build quality and the peak of Mercedes over-engineering being based off the legendary W124 with collaboration with Porsche. Understated quality, muscularity, rare etc.

I've been looking at E34 M5's and 540/6spds. I had not been shopping the E39 M5 and 540 because they seemed to a bit conservative compared to the E34. The E34's are great bang for the buck and look quite menacing dropped on some wheels. But I've recently began considering E39 M5.

Finally the 944 Turbo is just a light flickable high bang for the buck toy. You can tune the snot out of them but they ain't cheap to maintain (neither are the others listed


So here are my questions for all of you...

1) What is life like with your M5? What other cars you have owned as well?

2) Does the E39 satisfy your need for a toy as well or does it feel too heavy and refined, steering too detached etc? This next car will be my primary toy.

3) Is maintenance ridiculous to the point where its frustrating because something is always broken?

4) Have you ever driven an E39 M5 or 540 and how would you compare?<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
 

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Is maintenance ridiculous to the point where its frustrating because something is always broken?


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No, but there will always be something small to fix or restore on a 20 year old car...Get the 928 and you'll learn the true meaning of frustration.........
 

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I've owned my E34 M5 for 12 years and I get a big grin every time I drive her. Maintenance is a bit expensive, but my Honda is about as bad.
I only drive her in the summer about 3,000 miles a year.:haha::haha::haha:
Let us know what you decide.
JohnR
 

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have to agree, my e34 is 17 years old this year, but has been properly maintained throughout its life.
in the short time i've owned it, it has been a joy, i never get bored by it, fantastic car to drive, a real joy, but as stated,
always something minor to do, on the cars. i don't regret buying mine one bit, i love it, and if i were not going back on tour this year, for a few years to come, i would never have considered selling it :)

i used to own a s14, nissan 200sx, that i ploughed thousands into on the engine etc, it never will compare to the m5 :)
 

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So here are my questions for all of you...

1) What is life like with your M5? What other cars you have owned as well?

2) Does the E39 satisfy your need for a toy as well or does it feel too heavy and refined, steering too detached etc? This next car will be my primary toy.

3) Is maintenance ridiculous to the point where its frustrating because something is always broken?

4) Have you ever driven an E39 M5 or 540 and how would you compare?<!-- google_ad_section_end -->
1) Life is good. Sure they require a fair bit of work, but it's one of those cars people tend to try and keep a lifetime. I bought mine when I was 21 and I am now 25 and I have thought about selling her but just could not bring myself to do it.

2) I have experience of E39's (not of the M5 though). Great, comfortable cars. Bushings failing and the subsequent vibrations can be a nightmare to solve. Would I get one as a toy? A "regular" one, nope. Cannot comment on the M5 though.

3) Parts and maintenance are obviously more expensive. But it's a toy so who cares. And I like my women high maintenance...

4) I can compare to the E500E as I almost bought one before I got my M5. I love the 500E, the way it looks, the flared arches, the interior, the V8 etc. They only thing I could not get over was the sluggish 4 speed gearbox. As a quick daily driver I would get one in a heartbeat (I believe Alois Ruf did or still uses one as his daily). As a weekend toy the automatic gearbox just does not cut it!

I recommend you try both the E34 M5 and the E39 M5. I feel that some of the reviews of the latter car on here are biased. E39 M5's are really good cars and I doubt your average joe would complain about it feeling less driveable than an E34, a car which also has wolly steering.

The massive low down torque and outright pace of the E39 may sway you in it's favour.
The iconic looks and status of the E34 coupled with the superb S38 with its glorious sound, revviness and power may be love at first drive.

It is very subjective and without hands on experience, a very difficult choice!

Lantz
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. Ultimately I will have to drive both to compare but its great to get your feedback. Lantz, I have wondered the same thing about the 500e's trans.

And yes, I have actually considered the 840 but they don't come in a 6spd :-(
 

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And yes, I have actually considered the 840 but they don't come in a 6spd :-([/quote]


I have a 6 speed 850csi but prefer my 840ci sport for daily driving. The later cars with the 4.4 V8 have the steptronic autobox which is good fun in manual mode
 

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Ho ho ho...

Well ,, i have not owned a 928 ,, so i do not know,, but the maintance is quite a lot i have heard

IMO there is one carthat i would pick out ,, and that is the W124036 ,, better known as 500E... it is a stunning example of a great build piece of metal with 4 wheels,, a gorgeous car ,,

this is the best car that i have ever had ,,

i have had the E34 M5 ,, great all the way ,, but as a daily .. and what ever,, no BMW from this decade can beat the MERCEDES-BENZ E500E

I have a B10 BT and it is a lot faster vs the 500E,, but so what ,, the car is buildt by Ferdinand and his crew.. and this is a masterpiece in great engineering,,

not as advanted as the E34 but classic and stunning

keep in mind this is MY OPINION
 

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i can chime in on the m5 side of the equation. I daily drove an e39 M5 for about 7 years. Phenominal car in all respects. Mine was a bit modded as you can see in the sig, but it never failed to disappoint. I picked up the e34 about half way thru my time with the e39. Not as fast, but fun in different ways. I'm not sure what 15k will buy in e39 m5-land, haven't been watching the market. You can easily buy an e39 that needs 15k worth of work, so drive many and shop carefully. I've know many e39 m5 that have considerably less power than the advertised figure, sometimes due to maintanance issues, mafs, cps', and other electronics, but like all cars, some are just better than others. In the end, i liked the e39 M, but didn't love it enough to keep it forever. The e34 is a more solid car, that will soldier on for a long time. I don't daily drive mine, but it gets out enough to keep me entertained. Compared to the e39, and your M coupe, it's going to feel a bit old, but then again, it is.
 

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My two cents, E34 M5 is not an easy car to drive if you live in traffic congested area but if you commute more than 40 miles on freeways or mountain roads then get an M5 E34. I don't have an 500E but own 190E 2.3-16, 2.5-16, C36AMG, 300SL-24. I find that Mercedes sports sedan is the best daily driver. From maintenance point of view, I think Mercedes build quality is a notch above BMW. Also AC on E34 is weak.
 

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let me chime in about the 500E. That car is just EPIC. You can't compare it to the E39 or E34 because it's a different experience.
How is it epic? Don't get me wrong, I am a W124 fan and want to hear your thoughts on it :)

I drove several 500E's and E500's before I got my M5 and to be honest the car just didnt click for me. I love the styling, I love the interior, the V8 is a very solid engine. But do you really think that it is an exciting car to drive? Autobox coupled to traction control that is a ***** to disconnect...

When I jumped from a 500E to an E34 M5 the difference in feel was extraordinary. The feeling of speed, the sound, the control was so much better in the M5.

Lantz
 

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No, the 500E is not the most sporting drive. That's why you can't compare it to an M5 which is genuinely a sports sedan.

The 500E is something different. There is a sense of occasion when you drive it. It's a car for all occasions and it fits into any scene - driving through some of the rougher parts of London or arriving at a wedding at a country estate.

Yes there are only four on the floor but it's all you ever need. The gear shifts are perfectly smooth (much more so than a lot of modern machinery) - it's a true slush box. You put your food down and there is power in any gear, just a relentless surge and a wonderful old school burble to accompany it. The engine the M119, is a masterpiece. Totally bulletproof, has race pedigree is the Sauber C9s (http://ll.speedhunters.com/u/f/eaga...01805_3150_2114_wolfgang_wilhelm_0209_013.jpg). It is a double overhead cam design with 4 valves per cylinder and variable valve timing.

The engine is much more tunable that the S38 which many tuning companies such as AMG, Brabus, Carlsson, Vaeth etc producing larger capacity engines in cars such as the E60 AMG or the Brabus 6.5 Brabus - Cars for Sale - BRABUS 6.5 (E 500 W124) .

Now onto the build which, as someone else has commented already is really superb. When you order a part from Mercedes, it's like opening a present on Christmas day - they are all so beautifully well made that it adds a real charm to the car. You just need to look at the interiors of these now, 19 year old cars and see how little they have worn compared to cars a quarter of the age. You just need to see the jerry can in the boot to appreciate the quality of the engineering.

In terms of looks, I think they look fantastic. Muscular but not vulgar and a timeless design.
 

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The 500E is an excellent saloon car that drives like an excellent saloon car. The E34 M5 is, to quote the Hamster, a race car with saloon car clothing on. That's the difference.

:cheers:

ralph (vadas1)
 

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Nice list you have there.

500E: if you convert it to manual...

E39 M5: I'm not a fan of its looks both interior and exterior (lack of character).

Maintenance: It will cost more than a regular car but not more than any higher-end hand-built machine!

928: I believe it's in a different program altogether. Although, I would hate being passed by a sedan or
worse a E34 wagon on the road :hihi:

I have driven and owned many BMW's (E10, E30, E36, E46, E53, E60, E90, ...), from 4-cyl to 12-cyl.
Torque is certainly nice for daily activities but if you believe the ultimate fun is ripping it up above 4k then
a nice responsive inline 6 is for you.

The engine, looks, build quality, solid feel, practical side, and overall package of the E34 M5 cannot be beaten (and probably never
will due to the increasing emissions and safety standards).

The cars you listed all have their strong points, whichever one you choose, you will be very satisfied.

EDIT: Forgot one more thing, if possible, I would test drive the cars and find out for yourself what ticks the most boxes.
 

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I'm on my second E39 M5 (third M5) and it's a great car if it's got low mileage and was well cared for. A $15,000 E39 M5 is going to be a high mileage maintenance nightmare.

The 928 is an awesome machine, and last year I considered one but they make maintaining a BMW look like a new Toyota under warranty in comparison. And Por$che parts are pricey. And the 928 is rare, so advice, parts, and experienced mechanics are hard to find. And they are getting old.

I've heard nothing but good things about the 500E but they are very rare and therefore demand a high price. I wouldn't consider it because of the automatic.
 

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The 928 certainly looks awesome and its performance (especially the later versions like the S4) was very quick for the day - but its perfomance was eclipsed by the M5 by a fair margin. I imagine the Porsche driver wouldn't take kindly to being passed at the Ring by a four seater family saloon! What was true then is true today. Looks to the Porsche, performance to the BMW.

:cheers:

ralph (vadas1)
 

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I have had the e34 M5 and the e39 M5 simoultaneously. Both of them were high mileage cars and the e34 definitely stood the test of time better. Both of them looked to be in basically the same condition, but the e39 had a fair amount of rattles, where the e34 still has none.
FOR ME though, there is no better car in the world than the e39 M5, but i just could not afford to keep it, and in the end sold it. The car still looked spotless considering the mileage, but it needed : Vanos, duelmass flywheel+cluch, engine mountings, front suspention overhaul, diff bearings, cats, tyres, brake rotors. These parts added up to what i paid for the car.
It seems like everything is +/- 4 times the price on the e39 compared to the e34 and it has too many electonic gizmos. I like old fasion engineering. The e34 is enjoyable in a totally different way.
 
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