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Due to my recent unfortunate dealings with BMW NA and the unprofessional way that they have handled themselves I am seriously considering a move away from BMW. If I were to move to a 2003+ E55 what differences am I looking at in performance? I know the E55 has more torque and HP, but also has an automatic. Has anyone subjectively driven both cars and do they have a firm idea of what the tradeoffs are? I haven't decided for certain yet, I love my M5 but am appaled at BMW's service.
 

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TiSiBeast said:
Due to my recent unfortunate dealings with BMW NA and the unprofessional way that they have handled themselves I am seriously considering a move away from BMW. If I were to move to a 2003+ E55 what differences am I looking at in performance? I know the E55 has more torque and HP, but also has an automatic. Has anyone subjectively driven both cars and do they have a firm idea of what the tradeoffs are? I haven't decided for certain yet, I love my M5 but am appaled at BMW's service.
I'm interested too. I love my M5 but the E55 would be on the short list when it comes time to replace it. Also, suffering a groin pull this week and having to drive my M5 in traffic got me thinking an automatic wouldn't be so bad once in a while.
 

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Straight line the E55 will beat the E39 M5 - different league altogether based upon being different generation cars. You are comparing 500 odd (i think) horse with 400 - BUT - performance wise the 55 and 65 engines should be pitched aginst the E60 M5.

Handling wise, I believe there are different settings on the E55, and when I test drove a 2005 model I may have been set at the "Normal" mode, as I was VERY disappointed with roadhandling of the car - it is a powerhouse, was doing doing 135mph, before the salesman had to tell me thats what I was doing - just no response through the wheel.

One thing to remember is there is a new facelift model of the W211 being sold later this summer, although minor exterior changes, I would certainly look into this and its impact if any on pricing and a possible deal.

the new E class being launched in 2009 is one definitely to be going for.

Another point worth remembering, is that AMG are now discontinuing the 55 and 65 Kompressor/turbo based engines and replacing them with the AMG63 which is a normally aspirated engine. So which ever car you buy, it will need to be decided how long you plan on keeping it etc.

Just my thoughts...
 

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I drove a 2004 S55 this weekend and did not care for it. The MB auto trans leaves much to be desired. (Although these are adaptive units, I also found my old CLK430 very unwilling to kickdown promptly even after months of spirited driving.) In daily driving, these slow downshifts feel a bit like turbo lag. With 493 hp and 516 lb/ft on tap, I don't think you should have to wait so long for the car to get in correct gear. To me, the MB transmissions are totally unsuitable for a car in this class. My Infiniti (and previously my A6 2.7T) is automatic and its shifting is worlds better.

I know the E55 is 213 lbs lighter than the S55, but also has 24 less hp. I'm sure it feels more nimble than the S, but I would bet it's a far cry from what you're accustomed to with your M5. Unless you really WANT to drive an automatic, be prepared to be disappointed. Just my $0.02.
 

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well I have to say that the E55 is much faster, but the M5 is much more fun to drive. The M5 has the perfect feel for the weight, power, suspension etc. The E55 is a great car as well, probably more comfortable ,but doesn't handle as well. its more of a straight line car. I thought the tranny shifted pretty quick for an automatic. The only reason why I have'nt bought an E55 yet is because there are too many electrical toys, and when the warranty is up ???
:M5eyes:
 

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The E55 handles perfectly fine, so long as you drive it properly (like they teach you in racing school). It doesnt like being tossed around or muscled into corners (ESP kills the fun there) and the auto kinda takes away from the involvement a little. Give it a month, and you wont even think about your M5 anymore though....
 

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The E55 is an awesome musclecar, the M5 is an awesome sports sedan. Which car do you want?

The M5 also has better build quality and reliability, and fewer electronic nannys, if that matters.

In either case, I'd plan on finding a good independant shop so you can get good service.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I want a sports sedan but I want a company that cares about their customers and takes care of them......
 

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No one has mentioned the cost difference. Isnt it double the money for comparable year? I don't think its twice the car. But if $ is no consideration, just another point to ponder...
 

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TiSiBeast said:
I want a sports sedan but I want a company that cares about their customers and takes care of them......
Then find an independant shop. Seriously.

I'm quite convinced now that no dealership gives a rat's ***** about any of their customers, even if some of the service admins do. Some are just better at pretending. If you are going to be stuck with a dealership no matter what, check out www.dealerrater.com to read customer reviews. That website kept us from buying an Audi!
 

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Automobile Magazine - December European Touring Car Championship - Audi RS6, Jag S-Type R, E55 & E39 M5

I tried to find a link to the article but with no luck but here is the last paragraph

"Five years old, the M5 still manages to beat the new kids on the block. True, the cockpit looks a bit dated and the driving position isn't as relaxing as it should be, but the BMW simply drives better than the rest. Light and lean, its strengths are a beautifully progressive and creamy engine, a neatly spaced six-speed gearbox, great steering, ample brakes, and the best chassis in the super sedan league. The M5 doesn't ride as well as the S-Type R, lacks the explosive high speed acceleration of the E55 AMG, and can't match the RS6's traction and ultimate grip. But as a whole, the BMW is a masterpiece. Such cars as these are about more than numbers; they're also about sensations, emotions, and confidence. The M5 scores in all three departments. It is both smooth and edgy, subtle and lurid, light footed and rock solid. In short, it wins, uncontested

Even though this article is now 3 year old, it really says how great the E39 was and still is.
 

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TiSiBeast said:
I want a sports sedan but I want a company that cares about their customers and takes care of them......
Don't just expect that from jumping to another brand then. Every dealership treats their customers different, and most big manufacturer's stand by their dealerships decisions. I've seen the same horror stories come out of boards for Audi and Mercedes.

You might get lucky with your local MB dealers, or you might run into the same problems.
 

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People deal with cars in 2 different levels. One is emotional and the other is practical. There is yet a car who can capture these 2 aspects equally. Which one is you?
 

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MB isnt much better than BMW at their dealers, and as has been mentioned already, its sort of a crap shoot. If you're buying the car used...forget the dealer unless its BONE STOCK and still under warranty (and I mean BONE STOCK, mercedes does not tolerate mods PERIOD).

Indie shops are 100% the way to go (or DIY, if you're mechanically inclined), once the warranty period is done.

Another thing, you dont want any early production german cars...you always need to get one at least 1-2 years older than the intro year so you dont get the car with all the bugs in it. My father learned this the hard way with his E55, luckily we found someone desparate enough to buy it with 1500 miles on the ODO for just about what we paid for it (despite the fact that the electromagnetic clutch on the supercharger failed 3 times in that period).
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Did alot of reading last night on the E55 and started seriously looking into prices, dealer reviews, etc. I think that the lot here is right - I would not be happy in an E55. I am going to order new cats from Evosport today and just let the issue fall by the wayside. I truly love my M5 and can't really imagine trading her in. Nothing else out there really falls into the realm of what I want, sporty, fast, handling, 6 speed and room for 5. Thanks for straightening me out guys - just ticked at BMW NA's attitude.
 

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Audi customer service is just as bad if not worse than BMW. My friend has a S4, and is having all kinds of problems, Audi has been giving him the run around for quite some time now. Bottom line is I would not write off BMW just yet. Again your having serious issues, and I wish you luck that you get everything staightened out in your favor. :)
 

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The main difference between M5s and their AMG rivals is that the M5 gets better the faster you drive it where as the AMG will deteriorate.

Round corners anyway.:7:
 

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TiSiBeast said:
Did alot of reading last night on the E55 and started seriously looking into prices, dealer reviews, etc. I think that the lot here is right - I would not be happy in an E55. I am going to order new cats from Evosport today and just let the issue fall by the wayside. I truly love my M5 and can't really imagine trading her in. Nothing else out there really falls into the realm of what I want, sporty, fast, handling, 6 speed and room for 5. Thanks for straightening me out guys - just ticked at BMW NA's attitude.
<<<

I've driven a lot of MB's. S500, CLS500, SLK350... In fact, I was thisclose to getting an 03' CLK500 before I got my 540i. All very nice. BUT...for one thing I can't stand the brakes. *Feels* like the car isn't stopping. Probably more of a subjective thing, but "perception = reality". None of them handle like a BMW. (Subjective again? Maybe they *do* on paper...they just don't *feel* like it). Most important to me though: I don't own a nice suit. I can wear jeans and a t-shirt in a BMW. I think you can get a ticket if you try that in a MB.
 
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