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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking on the board for some time and finally got registered to post. I've been running back and forth between these two cars- the S55 (03 model) and the 03 M5. I know the two cars are not easy to compare, so I was hoping someone here has driven both at length.

I spent this weekend shopping and I am just stumped on this one folks. When I get in the M5 and drive it, say for 15 minutes, it's a no brainer. It's "the clear winner" When I get in the S55 and drive it for 15 minutes, it's a no brainer. IT is, also, "the clear winner" Both are exceptional vehicles. I have eliminated 3 other cars (06 GS430, 03 E55 and 03 Audi S8) from my search but it's now down to these two alone.

Both depreciate at the same rate (at least on paper) and have the same major service intervals and cost (with the exception of the M5 clutch and the S55 valve train issue which essentially counteract one another)

If I buy on lust, I'm getting the M5. If I buy on sense and reason, I'll be driving the S55. But how much of this is my sense that the "automatic" vs "standard" transmission is what makes these cars so different? What I really want is someone to make the decision for me. ouich

Has anybody logged 10-15K miles in both? If not- can someone give the Mercedes the coup de grâce? Tell me I am being ostentatious if I buy the S55. Anything, at this point. I'll take lies.
 

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Much depends on how you use your car. If you have many clients to ferry around, then the S55 is more accomodating. Or if you commute in crawling traffic then the auto-tranny may be a blessing. The M5 is more of a personal vehicle that delivers the maximum smiles per mile rating of any sedan on the market.

If you ask someone on this board to make your decision for you, then you are buying an M5, plain and simple.

Good luck with my decision. :)

CP
 

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I have drive the S55 and personally I must say its a great car, but I still bought an M5 and have NO REGRETS. The M5 is just so much more personable. I mean you feel the road like no other sedan. If it was me I would stick to the M5, but they are both great cars. Your gonna be driving it. S55 does not have a manual. In a car like this you need to have a manual transmission option. I dont understand????




Lex_traitor said:
I've been lurking on the board for some time and finally got registered to post. I've been running back and forth between these two cars- the S55 (03 model) and the 03 M5. I know the two cars are not easy to compare, so I was hoping someone here has driven both at length.

I spent this weekend shopping and I am just stumped on this one folks. When I get in the M5 and drive it, say for 15 minutes, it's a no brainer. It's "the clear winner" When I get in the S55 and drive it for 15 minutes, it's a no brainer. IT is, also, "the clear winner" Both are exceptional vehicles. I have eliminated 3 other cars (06 GS430, 03 E55 and 03 Audi S8) from my search but it's now down to these two alone.

Both depreciate at the same rate (at least on paper) and have the same major service intervals and cost (with the exception of the M5 clutch and the S55 valve train issue which essentially counteract one another)

If I buy on lust, I'm getting the M5. If I buy on sense and reason, I'll be driving the S55. But how much of this is my sense that the "automatic" vs "standard" transmission is what makes these cars so different? What I really want is someone to make the decision for me. ouich

Has anybody logged 10-15K miles in both? If not- can someone give the Mercedes the coup de grâce? Tell me I am being ostentatious if I buy the S55. Anything, at this point. I'll take lies.
 

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I have not driven an S55 but have driven an E55. I'm a bit perplexed about your hesitation...these kind of cars are usually not rational choices anyway (go buy a Honda Accord, or at least something that gets > 25 mpg during city driving).

It sounds like you want an M5 but need a push...OK, PUSH!

If you need a large sedan, and want an auto, get the S55. If a medium sized sedan will do and/or want a manual, your choice is likewise made.

From a handling/fun to drive perspective (based on the E55), the M5 wins hands down. But then you are posting on an M5 board.

Good luck!
 

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Mercedes makes great cars, but they are not driver's cars in the same way as BMW. If you care about handling or precise driving at all, that would rule out the Mercedes in my opinion. Do you want to drive or do you want to DRIVE?

Let's make this easy for you...
...empty your mind, forget make, model, color, sound...
...seriously, empty your mind...
...NOW list the first three things you like most about your "dream" car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There's nothing "rational" about an S55, either. That thing is a brute ballerina. I really was hoping someone had logged a lot of time in both the cars under similiar running situations. Like how they handle on a long trip, how quickly they warm up (I understand that the M3 is the one that needs the lengthy warm-up cycle) and how they both perform as daily drivers and just give me any other pointers.

For the record, I am really leaning towards the M5. And yeah, maybe I'm looking for a push. :M5launch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
palantirion said:
...NOW list the first three things you like most about your "dream" car.
ooh fun test.
let's see
in order
1)excessive power for it's weight
2)car performs at the track, car performs on the street. No clear line when I leave one for the other.
3) I enjoy the thought of buying new tires, rather than budget for them.
4) Pisses my neighbors off. (sorry, that's not 3 but I'd sure like something to get their old panties in a ruffle)
 

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Lex_traitor said:
There's nothing "rational" about an S55, either. That thing is a brute ballerina. I really was hoping someone had logged a lot of time in both the cars under similiar running situations. Like how they handle on a long trip, how quickly they warm up (I understand that the M3 is the one that needs the lengthy warm-up cycle) and how they both perform as daily drivers and just give me any other pointers.

For the record, I am really leaning towards the M5. And yeah, maybe I'm looking for a push. :M5launch:
I logged 11,000 miles across the US and Canada this summer with my wife in our M5. Not only are we still speaking to each other, but the ride was much more comfortable than I expected. I suffered from some neck stiffness once in a while due to long hours behind the wheel (yes, I drove all 11k miles), but I had no other problems. I have very long legs, but I found that if you twist you right foot slightly it'll fit between the clutch and brake pedals, so you can stretch out your right leg! My advice: If you plan to do long trips, get NavTv! Driving through Kansas was much more tolerable because we could watch movies :M5thumbs:

Sorry I can't tell you about my time in an S55...but I wanted a stick :hihi:
 

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Lex_traitor said:
There's nothing "rational" about an S55, either. That thing is a brute ballerina. I really was hoping someone had logged a lot of time in both the cars under similiar running situations. Like how they handle on a long trip, how quickly they warm up (I understand that the M3 is the one that needs the lengthy warm-up cycle) and how they both perform as daily drivers and just give me any other pointers.

For the record, I am really leaning towards the M5. And yeah, maybe I'm looking for a push. :M5launch:
My M5 is my daily driver. It is the perfect compromise between a 2 seat sports car and a boring sedan. I certainly don't notice any warm up issue, but I live in Arizona! However, I have never read of any systematic warm up issue on this board. Also, I picked the car up in Tennesee in winter and had no issues. I drove 1800 miles in 3 days back to Tucson. The M5 is a great long-distance hauler, but I suspect the same true (if not more so) of the S55. The real issue is day to day driving. It all comes down to what you want. The M5 will demand your involvement much more than the S55 will. I am basing this opinion as least somewhat from experience asI have owned several Mercs (currently also one of their SUVs) and grew up driving them (my parents owned/own various E and S series).

I hope someone can give you specific comparisons, but most M5 buyers probably did not consider an S55. I did drive the E55 extensively, as I mentioned before.

It's great to be able to make decisions that have no wrong choices!
 

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Lex_traitor said:
ooh fun test.
let's see
in order
1)excessive power for it's weight
2)car performs at the track, car performs on the street. No clear line when I leave one for the other.
3) I enjoy the thought of buying new tires, rather than budget for them.
4) Pisses my neighbors off. (sorry, that's not 3 but I'd sure like something to get their old panties in a ruffle)
1) Both fit the bill. The Mercedes is quicker in a straight line.
2) Track the S55? Not unless you know how to fully disable the traction control, change the auto tranny shift parameters, and too **** heavy ;(
3) Both could melt tires fine, but you'll have more kids ask you to light up your rears in the M5.
4) Definately the M5. Not that it's unwelcome in any neighborhood, but no one takes negative notice of a Mercedes backing out of a garage at midnight.

The score: 3-1 in favor of the M5. I think we can see where this is heading...

-"No clear line when I leave one for the other."
That's definately the M5.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
palantirion said:
1) Both fit the bill. The Mercedes is quicker in a straight line.
2) Track the S55? Not unless you know how to fully disable the traction control, change the auto tranny shift parameters, and too **** heavy ;(
3) Both could melt tires fine, but you'll have more kids ask you to light up your rears in the M5.
4) Definately the M5. Not that it's unwelcome in any neighborhood, but no one takes negative notice of a Mercedes backing out of a garage at midnight.

The score: 3-1 in favor of the M5. I think we can see where this is heading...

-"No clear line when I leave one for the other."
That's definately the M5.
I'd like to take both out to Cresson, throw em around and see. I just bet I would be faster around the track with both, traction control intact. I'd also be willing to bet I'd smoke both of them on my R6 so sheer lap times don't tell the entire story. :) I'm reading up on mods, and modding an M5 is not so bad. An S55 requires a new platinum card.... M5 is just a LITTLE on the small side the S55 is quite a bit on the "too big" side.
 

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So you need a push do you? Lets put it this way, the first time I drove an M5 I looked like this :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: for hours. I have not driven an S55, but the only other car I have driven that has made me smile like that was a Ford GT40. I had a non M E39, and that car made me :biggrin: everytime I drove it.
If you love driving a car, get the M. If you love watching the world pass you by as you hang out on a sofa, get the S55. You strike me as someone who loves cars more than looks, but for what they can do. If you love a car for what it is, what it can do, and how the total package fits into your life, get the M. The M5 is the one for a discriminating driver, a driver who knows driving isnt about the destination, it's about the journey. Dont sell yourself short.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I'm about to go drive an M5 and S55 back to back (neither of which is a contender for purchase, but they are both at a Mercedes dealer) and see which one picks me. I've failed miserably at picking one out so hopefully the one with the most balls will pick me.

This came in from my wife regarding the M5... It looks like a Honda. Could we just get one of those and put a BMW sticker on the front and back over the "H". :eek:)

How do you explain... How do you begin to explain.... And it's funny because she is a motorcycle racer as well, and understands power/weight and excessive fun at the edge of traction. But how do you begin to explain...
 

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BMW M5 is an automotive icon and a piece of automotive history. It has been the first or the best in more than one category. So how many sedans you can name to fit these descriptions? The choice is clear.
 

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Sound like you are one step closer to owning a Mercedes...

Lex_traitor said:
I'm about to go drive an M5 and S55 back to back (neither of which is a contender for purchase, but they are both at a Mercedes dealer) and see which one picks me. I've failed miserably at picking one out so hopefully the one with the most balls will pick me.


This came in from my wife regarding the M5... It looks like a Honda. Could we just get one of those and put a BMW sticker on the front and back over the "H". :eek:)

How do you explain... How do you begin to explain.... And it's funny because she is a motorcycle racer as well, and understands power/weight and excessive fun at the edge of traction. But how do you begin to explain...
 

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Lex_traitor said:
Nah I got that under control. I'll just buy her something she wants. Then we are all happy. :)
Buy her that Honda and put Mercedes badges on it :1:
 
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