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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It sounds like the U.S. will have the opportunity to start specing cars sometime next month. While I am very anxious - I still have my reservations about SMG III. Having never driven it - and probably never getting the chance before I lay down $80K - I have a few questions:

1) Given your experience to date - do you like SMG?
2) If a manual were offered - would you chose it over SMG?
3) What car did you own before the E60? Was it a manual?

Thanks,

Scott
 

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stominovich said:
It sounds like the U.S. will have the opportunity to start specing cars sometime next month. While I am very anxious - I still have my reservations about SMG III. Having never driven it - and probably never getting the chance before I lay down $80K - I have a few questions:

1) Given your experience to date - do you like SMG?
2) If a manual were offered - would you chose it over SMG?
3) What car did you own before the E60? Was it a manual?

Thanks,

Scott
1) NO.
2) NO. I would go with a manual.
3) E39 540i manual, 330i manual, M3 SMG and 545i SMG.

I often leave it in auto and have to drive like a fool as it hesitates. Clicking a lever is no fun at all. I would recommend a 6-speed manual or a true automatic. Skip the SMG. But it's just my opinion......
 

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If you are basing your opinion based on the 'SMG' system in the current 545, then it is not valid. The true SMG III system in the M5 is totally different from that in the 545, which by all accounts is crap; you're far better off buying the true auto in that car, or the 6 speed.

We need to hear from current owners of the E60 M5 especially those who've previously owned/spent a lot of time in the E39 version.
Bish
 

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thebishman said:
We need to hear from current owners of the E60 M5 especially those who've previously owned/spent a lot of time in the E39 version.
Bish
I'd like to hear from current owners of E46 M3s with SMG II who can do a direct comparo from version II to version III!

Best regards,
 

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From my point i do have an M3 and M5 now.. The SMG II in the M3 feels bit faster in changes from D1-D5 and S1-S5.. the result of a bit rough ride on the M3. On S6 its very fast changes and you feel that the cars is slamming in gears. SMG II is a very sporty compared to the SMG III...

In the M5 the ride quality is bit more comfort than the M3.. resulting in cmfort ride and a slow gear changes from D1-D5 and S1-S5.. this makes the car more a as a comfort sedan with a sporty touch.. In S6 on the M5 you feel that fast gear changes and its also feels that the car is slammingin gears.

IMO i really like both SMG II and SMG III.. in the M5 as a sport sedan the compromises that u must have a slow gear changes to make the ride comfortable.. But in the M3 its a sport coupe which the rough ride suits it much better...

I dont think that am going to go back to manual.. SMG is just amazing and i really like it.

One more thing that i have noticed is when changing by the gear lever you can notice the difference between both SMG's.. in SMG II you feel that once you pushed the lever downward "+" the car change gear quickly and you feel that you have changed the gear using the lever.. but in SMG III the gear lever feel bit soft when changing gear.. maybe because of the differences in software that SMG III feels bit slower.. But in S6 both cars change in a blink.. the changes are so fast..

Its not a bad thing about the M5 although you feel the changes are bit slow but you get the preformance you want.. Its just suits the car cherecteristics and market it compete in IMO.

Thanx
 

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stominovich said:
It sounds like the U.S. will have the opportunity to start specing cars sometime next month. While I am very anxious - I still have my reservations about SMG III. Having never driven it - and probably never getting the chance before I lay down $80K - I have a few questions:

1) Given your experience to date - do you like SMG?
2) If a manual were offered - would you chose it over SMG?
3) What car did you own before the E60? Was it a manual?

Thanks,

Scott
1) YES!
2) NO. definitely not!
3) M5 E39, 545iA E60.
 

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1) YES!

2) NO WAY!

3) RANGE ROVER - Auto (one extreme to another!!!)

Regards
 

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1) YES!
2) NO, NO, NO and once again NOOOOOOO!
3) M5 E39
 

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1) Given your experience to date - do you like SMG? YES
2) If a manual were offered - would you chose it over SMG? NO
3) What car did you own before the E60? Was it a manual? X5 4.6is, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI

Greetings, Antonio
 

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stominovich said:
1) Given your experience to date - do you like SMG?
2) If a manual were offered - would you chose it over SMG?
3) What car did you own before the E60? Was it a manual?

Thanks,

Scott
1) If you are talking about SMG III in the E60 M5, only in it's fastest mode. In the slowest D mode, it completely sucks.
2) Never. No. Never. There's nothing like changing gears on the SMG III with the paddles. Simply Awsome.:M5launch:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
PLEASE TELL ME THE PHILIPPINES DID NOT GET THE M5 BEFORE THE US!!!!! WTF! grrrrrrr
 

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I think if your problem with SMG is slow shifts or issues with how it shifts in a non M car than SMG III would likely cure that. If your issue is you just enjoy stick shift, then no SMG system will fix that. JMHO.

As for my personal experience- I had a SMGII M3 Cab. I turned it in because I became bored with SMG on public streets- when I drove a SMGII M3 coupe on the track for a few days it was a blast. My wife, who does not know how to drive a stick shift car, found the system too complicated and a little freaky to use (car rolling back on hills). So it wasnt a good fit for us as it was not enjoyable enough for me and my typical driving- just regular public roads- and it was too much of a performance system for my wife. Your experience may vary. I am trying to keep an open mind re: SMGIII because it seems so closely linked to the development of the V10 engine. But in the end I may go with the stick shift because I view it as the safe choice for me as I know its something I enjoy and I am not looking to make the world record performance times- just to have fun and enjoy my drives.
 

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Jerry, you hit the nail right on the head. The wife and I went to our dealer Tuesday to play in a M3 with SMG. After two minutes, she didn't even want to drive it. She is one of the small minority of women that like to shift for themselves. She said if I wanted it, that is fine, we would get the M5 and she would deal with it, since she would rarely drive the car anyway. But her comments really hit home. If I was buying a track car, I would get SMG in a heartbeat, without a second thought. I thought about the time I have spent in M3s with SMG, and they are alot of fun when you are really pushing them. But, in the daily grind, I just didn't like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I tend to agree about the SMG - and I have not driven it. But - I really am not interested in waiting another 2 years to get a manual. I think BMW M misjudged there SMG only approach.
 

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Guys --

I am heartened by the overwhelmingly positive responses to SMGIII by our European friends who have actual experience with it. My sense is that only someone whose overriding priority is to have a gear shift lever to move and a clutch pedal to press will be disappointed. It seems that most of the kinks in SMGII have been significantly improved or eliminated in SMGIII.
 

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I would definitely order SMG III. I currently have an E46 with SMG II and I really enjoy the transmission. I rarely use the A modes, but they are nice to have when drinking coffee, in stop and go traffic after a long drive, etc. Even with SMG II it is easy to drive smoothly in A or in S modes by lifting slightly at each shift. Of course, when you are not concerned about a smooth ride for passengers, etc. you can really hammer the gears in S6 or even S5. On the track, SMG really comes into its own. You can "stack" shifts, so if for example you are braking hard from 120+ for a second gear turn, you can flick the paddle down from 5th to 2d without waiting until the car is at the appropriate speed for each intermediate gear. The tranny will shift down through the gears, rev matching each one, when the car's speed is appropriate to the next lowest gear. That way you can concentrate on braking and hitting your marks. It is an absolute blast to drive SMG on track. I have driven contentional manual transmissions for years. I understand that SMG in the standard series cars leaves much to be desired, but I will always opt for SMG in an M car.
 

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I've had both a 2002 M3 with traditional manual transmission and a 2004 M3 with SMG. I have driven manual transmission cars for many years. In addition to my SMG M3, I also drive a 1991 Porsche 964 turbo Ruf BTR conversion; a 2002 996 turbo with a number of modifications and a Mitsubishi Evo VIII RS, all with manual transmissions. I give this listing only for purposes of establishing that I like high performance cars with manual transmissions. Having said that, I must say that I really look forward to driving my SMG M3. To those who suggest that SMG takes no skill to drive well, I would suggest they have probably never driven one or they don't drive them as well as they think they do. SMG is VERY entertaining and it permits, in my view, an even deeper dgree of appreciation for other aspects of the car. It allows for haigher concentration on other aspects of the drive, for example. I typically do not use the auto shift function. I seem to favor S5 or S6. The transmission shifts fast, it downshifts perfectly, if and when you as the driver both choose the proper time to shift and properly control the throttle. By the way, Audi's DSG works even better in my opinion, but that's a whole other topic. Bottom line, different strokes for different folks. For me, I want SMG III on my E60 M5, a 6-speed manual with the high RPM characteristics of the M5 wouldn't be nearly as interesting...to me.
 

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Being at first dissapointed at not have the option to choose between SMG and the 6 speed full manual, I am slowly embracing BMW's reasoning for not offering a full manual M5 (at least at first). I agree that the high revving V-10 motor is ultimately suited to the close ratio 7 speed SMG transmission. Things can happen very quickly when traveling at high speeds. Having both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road might just save you a trip to the junk yard.

No.#4 on the wait list!
 
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