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Discussion Starter #1
Everyone,

I have been lurking here for a while now and I am ready to take the plunge into BMW with a new M5.

What would it be worth driving? I currently have a Caddy CTS-V.

Should I drive an M3 to get the feel for SMG? What about a 5 series to get the feel for the size of the M5?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Mike
 

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The M3 has a completely different tranny, so it may let you get the user-interface and general technique down, but it will not shift the same at all as an M5.
A regurlar 5 series should give you a good estimate of space and size.
 

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mikem said:
Everyone,

I have been lurking here for a while now and I am ready to take the plunge into BMW with a new M5.

What would it be worth driving? I currently have a Caddy CTS-V.

Should I drive an M3 to get the feel for SMG? What about a 5 series to get the feel for the size of the M5?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Mike
First, I'm not sure anything will give you a similar driving experience to the E60 M5. It would certainly be worth driving an E60 5 series and an SMG M3 to get a feel for a number of the features though.

I've been on the M5 list for several years, expecting delivery next month. I actually bought a 545i 6sp over a year ago, in part so I could get used to driving a similar car. I've made it a point to test drive a number of M3's with SMG transmission also. If the M5 transmission is similar to the M3, then I'll probably sell it and get a manual. If it's considerably better, as most people say, then I may keep it.

Honestly I can say it took me a good 3-6 months to really get comfortable with all the features in the 545. It is an incredibly complex car, and the features are very similar to the E60 M5. I would guess the handling is quite different. In my opinion, the more experience you can get with both an E60 5 series, and the SMG M3 the quicker you'll get acclimated to the M5.
 

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Tell you what if I fit in an M3, I would probably go that way, but at 6'4" I am forced into the larger car. They are just two different animals. Having driven both, the current M3 is zippy, extremely responsive and amazing in the "tight twistys". Not having driven the new E60 M5, I only have experience with my E39 M5.It was stealthy, powerful, a bit heavy, but with just the right amount of under stear. I think it boils down to what you are personally looking for, quickness and sporty-ness in the M3, or power, luxury and blazing speed in the M5.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the replies.

I two good friends both with BMW's. One has an 04 M3 SMG and the other has an 05 or 06 525. I should probably borrow both cars for a while.

I understand that the SMGIII is greatly improved over the SMGII. I am looking forward to no shifting in traffic ;)

How hard is it to get used to the iDrive? Can you customize it?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AbruzziBoy said:
Tell you what if I fit in an M3, I would probably go that way, but at 6'4" I am forced into the larger car. They are just two different animals. Having driven both, the current M3 is zippy, extremely responsive and amazing in the "tight twistys". Not having driven the new E60 M5, I only have experience with my E39 M5.It was stealthy, powerful, a bit heavy, but with just the right amount of under stear. I think it boils down to what you are personally looking for, quickness and sporty-ness in the M3, or power, luxury and blazing speed in the M5.
I prefer the 4 doors of the M5 and the current M3 is just too slow. It is amazing the power that BMW gets out of the 6 cyls of the M3...I was looking to get the M3 while I was waiting for the new M5 back in 2004 but decided to go with the Caddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wolverine said:
First, I'm not sure anything will give you a similar driving experience to the E60 M5. It would certainly be worth driving an E60 5 series and an SMG M3 to get a feel for a number of the features though.

I've been on the M5 list for several years, expecting delivery next month. I actually bought a 545i 6sp over a year ago, in part so I could get used to driving a similar car. I've made it a point to test drive a number of M3's with SMG transmission also. If the M5 transmission is similar to the M3, then I'll probably sell it and get a manual. If it's considerably better, as most people say, then I may keep it.

Honestly I can say it took me a good 3-6 months to really get comfortable with all the features in the 545. It is an incredibly complex car, and the features are very similar to the E60 M5. I would guess the handling is quite different. In my opinion, the more experience you can get with both an E60 5 series, and the SMG M3 the quicker you'll get acclimated to the M5.
Where are you at in Ohio? I'm in the Canton area.
 

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mikem said:
How hard is it to get used to the iDrive? Can you customize it?
My brother's wife figured it out the first day, and she is techno-illiterate. I think it is something that once you get it, it is easy. The question remains if it isn't intuative and distracts the driver more than normal controls -- it shouldn't be in a BMW. I think it isn't hard to figure out, it is just "why?" technology.
 

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With respect to AbruzziBoy's comment about headroom, I'm 6"3 and ordered my M3 without the sunroof which increased the headroom considerably. No need to delete the sunroof in the E60 which has tons of headroom.

Best regards,
 
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