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GS400-Will I miss Automatic

1108 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jon45
I’ve been driving a Lexus GS400 for the past two years and have truly enjoyed the experience. I have had an M5 on deposit since March and I read all your posts about this wonderful car and even have someone’s Titanium Silver saved as wallpaper on my pc. I can’t wait.
The problem is I have not driven a stick in thirty years. I live in Florida and have very few opportunities to use the GS400 to its best. Do you think I will regret the decision to go with this wonderful car? It’s not that I don’t think I can drive the stick it’s will I be so lazy that I will regret having to shift all the time.
Really enjoy hearing all the M5 stories and hope you all can share with me your thoughts if you have had a similar experience or anxiety.
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For me, shifting is half the fun. You are ALWAYS in the gear you want to be. But don't worry - the M5 has so much torque that you can start in second and stay there all around town. Not that I recommend this, but you really can minimize shifting if you want to this way. You can actually make a reasonable rolling stop down to a few MPH in 2nd and move on out without ever depressing the clutch.

The reason most people choose the M5 is because they WANT to be heavily involved in the driving experience, and the M5 rewards that involvement like no other car. I can't tell you how you will like it - if you really think you want an automatic with similar performance, get a Mercedes E55 instead.
In your day-to-day driving, are you forced to endure lots of bumper-to-bumper traffic? If so, you might not enjoy the stick as much as if you can DRIVE it. If you have lots of traffic, you'll never get out of third, and your left leg will tire quickly.
I traded in my GS400 for my Beast.

Very seldom do I miss e-shifting...only in traffic would it be nice again. The Beast makes up for it with piles of torque and flatter cornering.

Although marginally heavier, the M5 moves as if it were about 300-500 pounds lighter...absolutely tight as a drum and built like a tank.

No'll agree. :0)

I think you will find shifting the m5 is fairly easy. you will get used to the clutch in around 30 minutes - 1 hour and after that its just like riding a bicycle. The M5 is an unbelieveably easy car to drive- and btw- it moves

Adding to the other comments, shifting a BMW is not like any other car. BMW builds more luxury cars with sticks than anyone else. For example, of the eight I've owned only the last two have been automatics.

With this experience BMW has refined the standard transmission to the highest possible level and I have found shifting as natural as tuning the radio.

An example of this: A few years ago I sold my 535is, took my wifes 325i and bought her a 525it. I drove that 3er for 2 years or more every day, a stick. One night after a particuarly hard day I drove home and walked into the kitchen and pronounced to my wife that that 3er was sweetest driving car I've ever driven, I never get "sick of it."

I bought my first beemer in 1971 have never looked back and my garage has never been without a BMW in it since, and usually two.

So relax, your about to experience the thrill of a lifetime few people are lucky enough to afford. Drive safely....

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greg is on the money with his post. 2nd is extremely versatile in this car -- no clutching required for a look-both-ways-and-continue roll past a stop sign at 3mph or so.

Another beauty of 2nd gear is that a rev-matched downshift to it from most sane speeds will quickly slow you for a stoplight; the engine has tons of braking power. I find myself using the brakes only in panic situations and in spirited driving. If you're cruising around in "chill" mode, you only need the brakes for the last 5 mph or so at a stoplight provided you're willing to downshift. Cool stuff!
Thank you all that posted. Now I am sure that this is the best decision I can make. It seems like everyone enjoys the ride and I am going to be enjoying it too. Can't wait. I am supposed to be getting first 2001 that is available. Anyone know what month they will be delivering 2001? My guess is I should be driving one by October.
Thanks again for all the support on the stick shift dilemma. It's a wonderful world when we have such problems as what beautiful cars to drive. The beast wins.
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