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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The 550i is no slouch - after all it has approx the same torque as our M5's do. It is very quick off the line - you need to use all of the M5 rev range to be quicker than the 550i. Handling - the 550i feels - like any BMW - that it is on rails, the M5 feels even more stable (if that is the right word) - I would say the M5 suspension and handling is noticeably better.
One note of interest, that I did not expect, the 550i sits lower in the front than the M5 does - an inch or two lower. The 550i does have the M sport package and the sport tranny with paddles. The paddles are different to the M5 pull toward you to up shift, push away to down shift - left and right paddle work exactly the same.
Tires are similar - both 19" wheels - same fronts, 275/30 rear on the 550i, 285/35 on the M5.
550i does have a space saver spare and fog lights. M5's have a nicer headliner (almost "suede like") even though the 550i has the optional anthracite headliner.
If you want an automatic that you don't want to mess with - the 550i tranny is great - much better than the SMG. But, after all we drive ///M cars to drive them - I would not swap the SMG.
The RPi on the 550i sounds great - it was very quiet stock - too quiet. I am looking to put either a Tubi Rumore or Eisenmann Race on the M5. It is not my daily driver so I am not overly concerned about it being too noisy.

Here is a pic of the fronts - the height difference is easier to see in a nose to nose pic - I have one somewhere - will try and dig it out.
 

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Great review! This surprised me:

"The paddles are different to the M5 pull toward you to up shift, push away to down shift - left and right paddle work exactly the same."

So it is SMG on the 550i? As Ive understood the SMG for the non-M cars have never been to appreciated?

The 550i is no slouch - after all it has approx the same torque as our M5's do. It is very quick off the line - you need to use all of the M5 rev range to be quicker than the 550i. Handling - the 550i feels - like any BMW - that it is on rails, the M5 feels even more stable (if that is the right word) - I would say the M5 suspension and handling is noticeably better.
One note of interest, that I did not expect, the 550i sits lower in the front than the M5 does - an inch or two lower. The 550i does have the M sport package and the sport tranny with paddles. The paddles are different to the M5 pull toward you to up shift, push away to down shift - left and right paddle work exactly the same.
Tires are similar - both 19" wheels - same fronts, 275/30 rear on the 550i, 285/35 on the M5.
550i does have a space saver spare and fog lights. M5's have a nicer headliner (almost "suede like") even though the 550i has the optional anthracite headliner.
If you want an automatic that you don't want to mess with - the 550i tranny is great - much better than the SMG. But, after all we drive ///M cars to drive them - I would not swap the SMG.
The RPi on the 550i sounds great - it was very quiet stock - too quiet. I am looking to put either a Tubi Rumore or Eisenmann Race on the M5. It is not my daily driver so I am not overly concerned about it being too noisy.

Here is a pic of the fronts - the height difference is easier to see in a nose to nose pic - I have one somewhere - will try and dig it out.
 

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thanx for the review... Very nice cars... Once you put an exhaust on the car, you'll have a new-found love for it. GL
I have asr that is extremely loud but i love it and do the people that hear it.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
The 550i is not SMG it is "sport auto" - different to regular steptronic but not the same as SMG.

Just to be clear -
The 550i paddles - pull towards you to shift up - left or right paddle does the same. Push away to down shift - left or right paddle does the same. So - you can up shift and down shift with one hand. It does have a "Sport" button by the tranny shifter - shifts are real fast with this engaged.

The 550i is great, if you are not a "driver" then it will be all you need and it will take you to the edge. The M5, however, allows you to drive "over the edge".
 

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Great review! This surprised me:

"The paddles are different to the M5 pull toward you to up shift, push away to down shift - left and right paddle work exactly the same."

So it is SMG on the 550i? As Ive understood the SMG for the non-M cars have never been to appreciated?

Nope the 550i has a full automatic transmission, although that does include paddles on the steering wheel for the tiptronic function. I think he meant that the left and right paddles both work the same way, not that SMG and the 550i's automatic transmission feel the same.

There was an SMG for non-M 5 series cars, however this was only available until 2007, I believe.



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I wish I would have saw a right up like this before I bought my M5, sometimes I really wish I would have just bought a 550i or a 535XI with a sport package and an M package.
 

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I wish I would have saw a right up like this before I bought my M5, sometimes I really wish I would have just bought a 550i or a 535XI with a sport package and an M package.
Thats a first. Usually its the non-M guys that wished they ponied up and gotten an M.
 

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I wish I would have saw a right up like this before I bought my M5, sometimes I really wish I would have just bought a 550i or a 535XI with a sport package and an M package.
Jim,

I'm just curious as to why you feel this way? I've driven the 550i with 6MT and the "M Sport" package and it is a great car but no M5. Plus, used M5s are pretty much in the same price range or cheaper than a 550i. Never driven a 535i for more than a few minutes, but I've spend a lot of time with a 335i and it is fast, but nowhere near as much power and excitement as an M5. Just my opinions, of course....



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