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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always thought my next move would be an E39 M5. But the 550i has got my attention. Once you figure in tax and license, the 550i will be a touch more expensive. The 03 M5 has 14k miles. I'd like to hear some opinions if you were faced with this decision. While I'd love an E90 M5 my budget is right at $60k. If you're not familiar with the 550i it has the 360hp 360tq 4.8 and will come in both manual and SMG.
 

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Hit_Apex said:
If you're not familiar with the 550i it has the 360hp 360tq 4.8 and will come in both manual and SMG.
My understanding is that the 550i's first month of production is dedicated to autos, with manuals following. SMG will no longer be available for the V-8 E60.

I have an '04 545i/manual/sport. As much as I love my car, a part of me wishes I went with an E39 M5 for about the same price. The M5 would have been less practical (fuel consumption, lack of warranty, and higher insurance) and I went with my head instead of my heart.
 

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Hit_Apex said:
I've always thought my next move would be an E39 M5. But the 550i has got my attention. Once you figure in tax and license, the 550i will be a touch more expensive. The 03 M5 has 14k miles. I'd like to hear some opinions if you were faced with this decision. While I'd love an E90 M5 my budget is right at $60k. If you're not familiar with the 550i it has the 360hp 360tq 4.8 and will come in both manual and SMG.
Can you drive both, or are you thinking of the 550 without a test drive?
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Hit_Apex said:
I've always thought my next move would be an E39 M5. But the 550i has got my attention. Once you figure in tax and license, the 550i will be a touch more expensive. The 03 M5 has 14k miles. I'd like to hear some opinions if you were faced with this decision. While I'd love an E90 M5 my budget is right at $60k. If you're not familiar with the 550i it has the 360hp 360tq 4.8 and will come in both manual and SMG.
E90 is the 3 series. Worth taking a look at too.
 

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What Jerry said. First, though, I'd test drive a 545. And I mean spend an hour with it; same goes for the M5. As far as I know, the only significant change that the 550 will bring over the 545 is the more powerful engine, but it's not enough of a bump to seriously transform the driving experience. The M5 and 545/550 are very different cars in many ways. Take the test drives -- you'll know what works best for you.
 

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EdP said:
Take the test drives -- you'll know what works best for you.
Absolutely. You should not worry about the opinions of others. It is what YOU want.

I owned an M5 and have time driving the 545i. Different characters, different target markets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've driven the 545i and am open to ordering a 550i w/o a test drive. I have never driven an E39 M5. I currently have an E36 M3 with suspension so I lean towards performance vs luxury. I intend to get what I want - what I need now is information and seat time behind each. Thanks for getting me started with info and insight.

Sorry about the error, meant E60 M5. The E90 is not a consideration, I really need more cabin room - I'm 6'-5" and the E90 cockpit is not much bigger than my E36.

Manual and/or SMG production should begin soon after the sept automatics.

Chuckc - care to elaborate on the character contrasts? Thanks
 

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Hit_Apex said:
I've driven the 545i and am open to ordering a 550i w/o a test drive. I have never driven an E39 M5. I currently have an E36 M3 with suspension so I lean towards performance vs luxury. I intend to get what I want - what I need now is information and seat time behind each. Thanks for getting me started with info and insight.

Sorry about the error, meant E60 M5. The E90 is not a consideration, I really need more cabin room - I'm 6'-5" and the E90 cockpit is not much bigger than my E36.

Manual and/or SMG production should begin soon after the sept automatics.

Chuckc - care to elaborate on the character contrasts? Thanks
The 545i was smooth and deceptively fast going from corner to corner in the back roads. The E60 chassis/suspension/brakes are much better overall than the M5 stock. Less float, tighter overall feel. However, the M5 has a more robust character with that awesome motor. The M5 with that motor, exhaust, cockpit type interior and overall environment is more like you are in a serious performance car. The 545i did not really "draw me in" like the M5 did.

The 545i I drove had the active steering which I got used to, but I would not want it. The feeling is not that natural. I drove a 530i with essentially the same chassis but without the active steering and the steering was awesome. As you may know, the recirc ball steering in the M5 does not have the tactile feel of the R&P found in the E60 chassis.

Its worth waiting to drive both. Hopefully, you can drive them back to back on the same roads. Good luck.
 

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I went through a similar process last year. I drove a 545 for some time before I made my mind up about an M5. I was able to test an M5 locally and drive one at the BMW driving school in SC.

Both are wonderful cars but I found them very different. The 545 was very smooth and did not feel like much of a performance car. The M5 is...well, just DRIVE one! If you are leaning towards a sporting edge, you will probably want an M5. It is true that the recirculating ball steering in the E39 M5 is not the greatest but the active steering in the 545 I drove also seemed to diminish steering feel.

Either way you really can't go wrong. My biased opinion is that the E39 M5 is a classic that is hard to improve on.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.
 

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I've driven both the M5 and the 545... I know youre talking about the 550 but reguardless and honestly... the M5 is more fun! the raw power theres more... And I know it'll still be more than the 550. In the end E60 styling won for me. I'm sad to say... if you put both the E60 and E39 together the E39 is dated... Plus the active suspension and the awesome driving and road holding and smoothness of the E60 is a very very good. Hard choice...
 

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I also went from an E36 M3 - loved the car, handling, steering, everything about it but the lack of room. I drove and considered a 545i vs M5, and in the end it was all about personality of the car. The 545i drove great, handled well, cornered flat but didn't seem to "involve" me at all. Hate to say it, but it reminded me more of my E320 in the way that it was more of a comfortable cruiser. The M5 is a whole different story. Agree that it is slightly dated styling now (though I still think classic clean lines), and I dislike the recirc ball steering very much - especially compared to the wonderful R&P of the E36 M3. But that wonderful V8... just the sound is enough for me :7:

I also had to look long and hard (and drive a few miles!) for an immaculate '03 M5. You may want to keep that in mind if you've found the "right one", although they should become more abundant with the E90 M5 around the corner.

Just my $0.02. Best of luck with your decision!
 
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