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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking for some opinions/experiences from the members on here who have owned their M5 for a year or more. I really like everything about the e60 M5 and I am currently trying to decide between the E60 M5, the E92 M3, and the Nissan GTR. I have been reading the forums here for a while and I cannot help but notice how many threads there are about Vanos failure, SMG pump failure, and electrical/ECU issues. It has really started to scare me away from M5 ownership. In your ownership experience how many issues have you had? Also I would be looking at a 2006 or 2007 M5 so input from owners with cars from those years would really be helpful. Thank you so much guys!
 

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When people have problems they will post them on the forum. It is not an indicator of the car's reliability. No one posts thread entitled "No problems so far after 4 years, what should I do??"

Having said that, browsing the forum does tell you what kind of problems you might encounter if you do encounter some (but it won't tell you frequency). M5's will be expensive to fix (and maintain and own) if something breaks, but so will M3s and a GT-R. However, they are some of the most reliable cars in their performance categories, so you can't go wrong with either. Forget about GT-Rs transmission issues, it has been taken care of.

In other words, none of those cars have enough problems for reliability to be your deciding factor between them. Get an extended warranty and don't worry about it.

You should choose based on what you like and what you need (maybe not 'need', more like 'want' - none of us NEED 500hp).

Test drive all three and pick your favorite.
- If speed is your top priority than GT-R is hands down the winner. It has insane torque anywhere on the rev counter, and is an absolute blast to drive.
- If you want to have fun in a lighter car with a manual transmission and RWD than M3 is your pick. M3 would be a blast on the track.
- And if you want a 4 door beast of all trades that does everything well (but does trade some driving dynamics for 4000lbs of luxury and comfort) than M5 is your answer.

I would also decide based on how good your dealers are around you. The Audi service by my house has always found excuses not to do something under warranty, while my BMW dealer always went above and beyond to help me. This is more important to me than reliability. Even if something does die on my M5, I have a piece of mind that I will be treated fairly and that it will be fixed correctly. Nissan dealers fail at this sometimes, but it's on a case by case basis, you can't generalize.
 

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My M5 is a very early 2008 (April 2007) with 20,000 miles. Have had no problems to this point. Normal maintenance, and will go off warranty in April.
 

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When people have problems they will post them on the forum. It is not an indicator of the car's reliability. No one posts thread entitled "No problems so far after 4 years, what should I do??"

Having said that, browsing the forum does tell you what kind of problems you might encounter if you do encounter some (but it won't tell you frequency). M5's will be expensive to fix (and maintain and own) if something breaks, but so will M3s and a GT-R. However, they are some of the most reliable cars in their performance categories, so you can't go wrong with either. Forget about GT-Rs transmission issues, it has been taken care of.

In other words, none of those cars have enough problems for reliability to be your deciding factor between them. Get an extended warranty and don't worry about it.

You should choose based on what you like and what you need (maybe not 'need', more like 'want' - none of us NEED 500hp).

Test drive all three and pick your favorite.
- If speed is your top priority than GT-R is hands down the winner. It has insane torque anywhere on the rev counter, and is an absolute blast to drive.
- If you want to have fun in a lighter car with a manual transmission and RWD than M3 is your pick. M3 would be a blast on the track.
- And if you want a 4 door beast of all trades that does everything well (but does trade some driving dynamics for 4000lbs of luxury and comfort) than M5 is your answer.

I would also decide based on how good your dealers are around you. The Audi service by my house has always found excuses not to do something under warranty, while my BMW dealer always went above and beyond to help me. This is more important to me than reliability. Even if something does die on my M5, I have a piece of mind that I will be treated fairly and that it will be fixed correctly. Nissan dealers fail at this sometimes, but it's on a case by case basis, you can't generalize.
Truth right there!
 

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I have a 2007 (6 Speed Manual) M5 with 39,000 Miles. Had a vanos issue at 36,000 miles but everything was replaced under warranty. Other then that, car has been great with no problems.
 

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both of my M5's have had clutches replaced and smg issues, the second one even got a new tranny. It's a coin toss if you have problems with yours but be prepared for the cost of ownership. Thats why i dump mine when warranty is over.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have a 2007 (6 Speed Manual) M5 with 39,000 Miles. Had a vanos issue at 36,000 miles but everything was replaced under warranty. Other then that, car has been great with no problems.
both of my M5's have had clutches replaced and smg issues, the second one even got a new tranny. It's a coin toss if you have problems with yours but be prepared for the cost of ownership. Thats why i dump mine when warranty is over.

These are the things that worry me...... It seems like the DSG in the M3 and GTR are a better fundamental design than the SMG 3. You just dont hear about as many of the same issues with those cars. If I get the M5 I will definitely go wioth an aftermarket warranty. I have found lots of info on warranties on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
When people have problems they will post them on the forum. It is not an indicator of the car's reliability. No one posts thread entitled "No problems so far after 4 years, what should I do??"

Having said that, browsing the forum does tell you what kind of problems you might encounter if you do encounter some (but it won't tell you frequency). M5's will be expensive to fix (and maintain and own) if something breaks, but so will M3s and a GT-R. However, they are some of the most reliable cars in their performance categories, so you can't go wrong with either. Forget about GT-Rs transmission issues, it has been taken care of.

In other words, none of those cars have enough problems for reliability to be your deciding factor between them. Get an extended warranty and don't worry about it.

You should choose based on what you like and what you need (maybe not 'need', more like 'want' - none of us NEED 500hp).

Test drive all three and pick your favorite.
- If speed is your top priority than GT-R is hands down the winner. It has insane torque anywhere on the rev counter, and is an absolute blast to drive.
- If you want to have fun in a lighter car with a manual transmission and RWD than M3 is your pick. M3 would be a blast on the track.
- And if you want a 4 door beast of all trades that does everything well (but does trade some driving dynamics for 4000lbs of luxury and comfort) than M5 is your answer.

I would also decide based on how good your dealers are around you. The Audi service by my house has always found excuses not to do something under warranty, while my BMW dealer always went above and beyond to help me. This is more important to me than reliability. Even if something does die on my M5, I have a piece of mind that I will be treated fairly and that it will be fixed correctly. Nissan dealers fail at this sometimes, but it's on a case by case basis, you can't generalize.

Lots of good info here. This would be primarily a street car for me as I already have a dedicated track car, which is why I keep coming back to the M5. I have learned my lesson that trying to have 1 car that is good at everything only gets you a car that really isnt good at anything. If it is great on the street it wont be great on the track and visa-versa(sp?).

Sincerly appreciate all of the info!
 

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If you go to the lastest generation Ford Mustang forum you will think that car was built with bubble gum and plywood. Same goes for most forums. The posters are hoping to get an answer to a specific problem and not really posting about non-issues other than mods and cosmetics, etc. (maybe a kill story in the mix).

This is a resource forum for M5 owners. It will look like the E60 M5 is not reliable but each car you mentioned here has its unique issues.

The E60 M5 has SMG reliability and VANOS rattle issues. Not everyone has these issues however. Mine is a 2006 with 43K miles. I have not had a problem with either.

There was a survey conducted last year on this board asking to vote if you had an SMG failure and I think the group was surprised to find out that the majority have not had any SMG issues. The ones that have however are pretty vocal about it (I would be too).

The M5 is a great car. I test drove the GTR (twice) and was going to purchase it but went with the M5 for the practical aspect and some of the luxury. I also didn't like the unwanted attention the GTR had (everyone wanted to race and the po-po gives you the stink eye).

I test drove the M3 and was underwhelmed by the new V8 platform and DCT. Not as fast as I thought it would be and hopping in the M5 after driving an M3 was an eye opener. I like that the M5 can be a nice daily driver but can also scare the bejeezez out of you if you want it to.. like the old muscle cars I used to own.

Any of the cars you listed are great so you have the hard part taken care of.
 

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2007 M5 SMG - Some little issues with the toys (active seats motor went bad and replaced under warranty along with a parking sensor which needed to be replaced) but otherwise 30K miles and very reliable. I've found my M5 to carry the same reliablity of my M3(E46) which had no major issues and sold it at 34K miles. I've heard horror stories on the forums but the reality is that M's are well built and the issues are not very common. I find the M's to be very reliable in the performance arena but due to the high cost on BMW modules and replacement parts....an extended warranty is required. My warranty is up in March and I'm shopping for extended maint and warranty as I type this :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all of the insight guys. I really appreciate it. my decision will still be a tough one. I believe some test drives are in order.
 

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I too was in the same boat as you on those three cars... Having owned a 98 M3 E36 and driven the hell out of friends E46 M3 both engines are 6's i couldn't really wrap my mind around a V8 in an M3. I am 6'2" tall so naturally its going to have to be a little bit bigger of a car to satisfy me. Also i was intriged by the GTR with its all wheel drive fast as all hell. Godzilla... i thought for sure that would be my next car. Hopped in one and scared the devil out of the dealer... alas it was not going to be easy. I didn't really like the cheap interior of the GTR. Also i felt as if i was king of the ricers. Nissan builds a scary powerful motor. which has my respect. But i guess when all was said and drove. it was the BEAST which won my heart. there is nothing like a V10 motor, the perfomance of a BMW M car and of coarse the class of people who will be lucky enough to climb behind the wheel on any given sunday. Good Luck!
 

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The GT-R is awesome looking

If you spend some time walking around and appreciating the shape. It just looks mean.
And, the interior is very nice. It did not look cheap to me at all.
 

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The GT-R is the king of the ricers, In my opinion BMW service is 100X better than Nissan (from personal experience). BMW is a higher class car than a Nissan. You will have the same mechanic at the dealer that works on Versas work on your GT-R. I would get the M5.
 

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M5 is a great car and so is the gtr but two different cars.

i have both since new and love them .

good luck on your decision
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It is tough for me to choose...especially since the GTR costs about 50% more used. Good used e60 M5s can be had for $40k whereas the used GTRs are going for $60k+.... Also the fact of the matter is that this will be a street car/daily driver for me since I already have a dedicated track car. I feel like the GTR's tallents will be wasted on the street while the M5 will be right in its element on the street with the added luxury features, 4 doors, extra space, smaller diameter wheels, higher ride-height/clearance, and softer ride. My brain says get the M5, but my heart says get the GTR. I am a performance nut at heart. I obviously still need to test drive both.
I guess I cannot forget that the M5 is also a performance car, just not to the degree that the GTR is. I am sure it will still be a "fun" car to drive....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I too was in the same boat as you on those three cars... Having owned a 98 M3 E36 and driven the hell out of friends E46 M3 both engines are 6's i couldn't really wrap my mind around a V8 in an M3. I am 6'2" tall so naturally its going to have to be a little bit bigger of a car to satisfy me. Also i was intriged by the GTR with its all wheel drive fast as all hell. Godzilla... i thought for sure that would be my next car. Hopped in one and scared the devil out of the dealer... alas it was not going to be easy. I didn't really like the cheap interior of the GTR. Also i felt as if i was king of the ricers. Nissan builds a scary powerful motor. which has my respect. But i guess when all was said and drove. it was the BEAST which won my heart. there is nothing like a V10 motor, the perfomance of a BMW M car and of coarse the class of people who will be lucky enough to climb behind the wheel on any given sunday. Good Luck!
So being 6'2" did you notice the GTR was too small for you? I am just over 6'2" so I am curious....Waht was it exactly about the M5 that won you over?
 

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i just returned my m5 after 48000 miles. i had no problems of any significance. however, there were a few chronic nags that the dealer could never figure out or replicate (trunk open indicator, suspension squeak in cold weather on day one, etc.). i drove it gingerly most of the time (got 25k out of my first set of tires). that said, I would NEVER, EVER own one of these off warranty. i think if you do the math of cost ownership with some reasonable assumptions about yearly maintenance and repair costs, you'll find that a lease costs you about the same or better.

i once saw a chart of repair incidence for a variety of brands and what it showed was: above 50k miles or so, repair incidents take a hockey stick turn for the worse. now, the difference between the sublimely reliable cars like toyota and the not so much cars like bmw or merc is how sharply that line diverges from what the first 50k miles look like. lesson: don't judge a car by its first 50k miles. if i say i have had NO problems in the first 50k miles, my experience means NOTHING regarding what you'll experience during next 50 or 100k. further, a car might be "reliable" based on number of incidents, but as we all know about these super cars, one incident can easily be a year's worth of car payments on a new car.

ps after doing the driving school in spartanburg, I think the m3 is the best car they make.
 
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