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To begin, I believe that both the M5 and E55 are fine automobiles that carry on their business exceptionally well. Both cars exhibit similar 0-60mph times. However, I've read in several journals that the M5 posts much better acceleration times in the 0-100mph (M5 over 1.5 second faster) and 0-150mph (M5 over 5.5 seconds faster) categories. While a few seconds may not sound that much, at those speeds we are talking quite a few car lengths. Can anyone confirm or deny this? I have a deposit down on an M5 but haven't ruled out the E55.

Thank you for your comments.

Tate
 

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I get 6 different car magazines, and here is what I have come across:

Slowest published 1/4 mile:
M5 13.5
E55 13.9

Fastest published 1/4 mile:
M5 13.2
E55 13.3

Although the fastest E55 time is better than the slowest M5 time, it should be noted that no one magazine I have read tested the E55 to be faster (in any acceleration aspect for that matter).

The M5 out-accelerates, out-handles, looks better from the outside (arguable), and the inside (no contest). The M5 is also better in the technology dept. with their engine, the E55 basically has a pushrod musclecar engine. And then there is the steering feel of a Mercedes...it sucks. I too considered an E55, but these are the factors that lead me to the M5.
 

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The dealer i picked up my m5 from is also a merc dealer. The salesman said the E55 is a sled compared to the M5. Doesn't even compare especially with the automatic. Must have been based on feel for the car?

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2000 M5 Titanium Silver/Caramel
 

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Tate,

As Shawn points out, the M5 easily bests the E55 in terms of track testing. Well, maybe not easily, as the M5 driver has to drive well: decent launch, smooth shifting near redline.

On the street, and the autobahns, things are not the same. Remember the E55 get's a quick advantage on you by the auto kick down... an advantage which the M5 will overcome with acceleration.

A massive performance difference in the real world? No... that comes down to driver skill (or balls)in Europe AND America.

And I, along with a few thousand other owners in the US, think the M5 is more than suitable for our roads. (And the roads accross the pond, as I live in both).

Dan
 

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Tate,

As Shawn points out, the M5 easily bests the E55 in terms of track testing. Well, maybe not easily, as the M5 driver has to drive well: decent launch, smooth shifting near redline.

On the street, and the autobahns, things are not the same. Remember the E55 get's a quick advantage on you by the auto kick down... an advantage which the M5 will overcome with acceleration.

A massive performance difference in the real world? No... that comes down to driver skill (or balls)in Europe AND America.

And I, along with a few thousand other owners in the US, think the M5 is more than suitable for our roads. (And the roads accross the pond, as I live in both).

Dan
 

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They ran the acceleration tests with DSC turned on? SACRILEGE!! People have been drawn-and-quartered for less than that.

An interesting point they made was that the E55 had a more supple ride. When I was making the decision between the two cars, most of my sources said the E55 rode rougher than the M5...couple that with the less responsive handling/steering and it seems like Merc was trying too hard to give it a performance feel.

Thanks for posting that Eric, it's nice to get a different perspective on these two marvelous automobiles.
 

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M5 is certainly not faster than E55 in 0-60 mph times, and 1.5 sec faster means sth like >20 meters in front, that's 5 cars lenght !!

The M5 have it difficult to beat E55 in 0-60 because of the quick automatic trans of E55, but between 60-150 the M5 certainly beats E55.
I've compared the M5 with lot of cars, and the most relevant point with the M5 is its acceleration between 100 and 180 mph, which is incredible. Some cars do times almost like M5 in 0-100 runs, but do much worse in 0-150 times.

The real strenght of the M5 is not in 0-60 times.
 

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i don't know about anyone else, but to my taste, the m5 is 100x better looking than the E55. it just exudes strength and power in a tight, elegant, and beautiful package. the e55 just looks, well, wimpy and frumpy.
 

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Tate...I picked up my 00 metallic black/black last week.. I had considered a E55 for quite a while before making the (right call). The m5 feels faster, although by a little. Of course, no compairson in terms of feel with the Benz shifter (or lack therof). the M5 was the better feeling and riding car.
 

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Tate: i believe the final analysis comes down to this: The M5 further separates the BMW "sports car" image, feel, handling, and arguably performance aspect from the Mercedes "luxury touring car " image. I enjoy the 6 speed trans and couldn't imagine the M5 with a steptronic gear box.
 

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Originally posted by healeyg:
i don't know about anyone else, but to my taste, the m5 is 100x better looking than the E55. it just exudes strength and power in a tight, elegant, and beautiful package. the e55 just looks, well, wimpy and frumpy.
I agree, old ladies car!
 

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Originally posted by Eric:
A direct comparison of the two cars:
http://www.netspace.net.au/~pandalais/jrobbo/Articles/WheelsSeptember1999/Comparison.h tm

I think it's better off for you two drive the two cars side by side and compare. The E55 is completely different from any other Mercedes out there and is certainly easiest to drive very quickly.

Here in North America where I drive mostly from 0-80 mph, the E55 is more suitable.
The March 2000 Car and Drive directly contradicts this article. Maybe due to US vs Euro specs. The M5 out performs the E55 in every performance measure
 

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Re: M5/E55 Comparison in Wheels Magazine

There are are a few curiosities in this article, like the description of the M5 torque band as being from 3800 to 5000. It's more like a high plateau from 2000-5000, with still significant torque above 5000 and between 1500 and 2000. Or the description of the E55 suspension as more supple, subtle than the M5, and the description of the M5 as brash and busy.

Wheels is the only magazine that has been unable to out accelerate an E55 with an M5 from 0-60. But who really cares? How did we ever become so focused on 0-60 times as a measure of a car's performance? What grown man spends any time whatsoever doing that?

Richard
 

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I agree with Richard, it's silly to compare two cars only based on their 0-60 figures. Otherwise, we would all be driving souped up Camaros.

I was hoping to offer Tate who started the thread some insights from both sides.

I definitely much prefer the interior and exterior of the M5 over the E55 and the 5 series seem to fair a little bit better in crash tests compared to the E class as well.

However, the rear leg room of the 5 series is just too tight for our purpose, according to the specs, the 3 series is actually offering more leg room in the back! Other issues to consider would be build quality which is quite subjective, some people simply don't notice all the minor annoyances that some of us do.

In terms of value, I think the M5 is great even when compared to a 996. However, for pure performance and handling on the track, the 996 or even a M3 would be a better choice, while the M5 would be a better candidate for long distance driving with a more comfortable and quieter ride.

Whether one prefers a stick or an auto box depends a lot on ones personal life style so it's hard to compare the two really. I have seen people switching from the E55 to the M5 and vice versa. Personally, we were comparing the E55 actually to an S class or a slightly used 750il as the luxury car in the family. We picked the E55 for its better resale value. If we were to get a stick shift car performance car, we would be thinking of either the M5 or the 996, possibly even the rare 996 TT if one can find one.

However, the M5 is surely a good compromise.

The best way to choose between the two obviously would be a test drive first, which I suppose is quite difficult especially for the E55 considering how rare it is. I think the M5's edge over the E55 in performance is mainly in the control the stick gives the driver and the superior upper end power, and better steering perhaps. I think they brake equally well with similar grip. I find the Road and Track article quite accurate in comparing the two cars. In that particular test, the E55 out braked the M5 but the M5 won at the end by like 0.1 point. I'm not too surprised as an autobox in the E55 is simply not suited for track driving which is how they evaluated the two cars. I have no experience with the understeer they mentioned about. One annoyance I have of the E55 is that it tends to follow the irregular surface of the road which I'm not sure if it's caused by the tires (the same Michelin Pilots in the M5) or the suspension.

I would personally love to see how an M5 will flare when pushed to the limit. Unfortunately, the only friend I know who has it is not a very aggressive driver and with the new car, I don't think it will be too nice if we were to borrow it and push it to the max while he cares for it like a baby. From my limited experience riding in the M5, the suspension is quite nice and I could not hear of the rattles a few complained about.
 

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Well that just about does it for me, I have lost ALL credibility in foreign (to the US) car magazines. The two I subscribe to also have the same moronic testing procedures/results as the two articles Eric posted. If they don't know how to drive powerful cars (or any cars for that matter), then why do they even bother doing write-ups with published numbers on them. If they don't have the expertise, then maybe they should do like Automobile Magazine does and only publish manufacturer's specs, and focus their articles on driving impressions.

Just when I got fed up with US publications' advertising influenced journalism, I'm shown that nobody else knows how to effectively drive a car to it's limits.
 

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For what it's worth,

Both Wheels and Motor magazines are Australian. I'm extremely dissapointed that my fellow Aussies prefer Automatics over manuals.

But for yet another Aussie story, check out http://www.drive.com.au, and have a look at the article titled "Hot Commodore claims the Ring of Confidence". These guys took a 300kW Commodore (local GM product) to the nurburgring, and put it up against the M5 and E55. Drivers were Anders Olofsson.

Regards

John

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Visit the ///M5 Springboard, at http://www.netspace.net.au/~jrobbo/M5
 
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