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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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