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Hey guys, i'm a newbie to this forum but came on recommendation from rennlist.com Ok, i already know that advice is worth what you pay for it but what I'm really looking for sage experience here!

I've got a 96 993 and it's everything I'd hope it would be- fantastic driver and wouldn't trade it for anything. So now we've got a little one (read: baby!) on the way and my wife says it's time to get a second 4 seater. (Don't worry, we're going to trade in our pickup!). But the choices I've been eyeing are a Surburban type (GM/Caddy, etc), a Cayenne S, or a late model M5 (prob 2000-2003).

So, i'm just curious if you guys have experienced these other rides and pass along your experiences with your M5 versus these other choices. I realize these are apples to oranges- i mean I drove a Denali and Cayenne and M5 and all are very different. But I'm particularly intersted in M5 drivers that maybe have owned other SUV/Cayenne/Surburban and can offer your experiences? I just got back from driving a 2002 M5 and it had spirit (394 hp!) but felt less visceral 993 (282 hp). However, i was most impressed with it! I know you can't really compare a Surburban from a 5 series, but both have 4 seats, carry a car seat. So it comes down to weighing pure fun (5 series) versus storage (surburban) versus a combo (Cayenne)- i think.
Thoughts are graciously welcome!

thanks all....

jeff

 

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Jeff... welcome, congrats and hopefully I can shed some light.
You're right.. you are comparing radically different things. Your 993 is much more of a "track car" than the 4,000 pound car we love so much... That said the M5 is probably the greatest sports sedan ever...

When we just had our son, packing everything in the car was not a problem. There was never a moment that we had to make a decision as to what we should leave out, or keep. The trunk is of good size and holds most everything. Since you also only have one child, there is still room on the backseat for soft items like blankets, diapers etc.

I own a Suburban. The good thing here is that if we go away for a 2 week trip to the country, I can throw 3 bikes on the bike rack, all of the clothes in the back, bring along friends and never have to worry about space. I also average about 17mpg on the open road (like the M when I drove her hard) but I only use regular gas... so I consider that a saving of sorts.

If I were in your shoes, given the limited info I have to work with, I would buy the M5. It can do everything you will need it to do for your family of 3. It can become tight if you are packing for an extended stay and you have a wife who needs a different outfit and accessories for each event. ouich But other than that, the BMW is the way to go.

Also, if you are concerned about "get up n go" on the suburban's.. take a look at this link... they will supercharge your truck and that will put a smile on your face BIG time.

Good luck!!!
 

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I don't really think you can compare an M5 to a Cayenne. I mean they are two completely different cars. One is a rear wheel drive sports sedan and the other one is a big 4000+lb SUV. Honestly, if you want an SUV, and Infiniti FX45 equals the performance of a Cayenne S for alot cheaper. But the M5 is more than capable of doubling as a "family car" if and when you want it to be. Personally I hate SUV's. If you want a fun car with some cargo space and plenty of room for the kids, why not get an Audi RS6 Avant? Wagons > SUV in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
M Power said:
You're right.. you are comparing radically different things. Your 993 is much more of a "track car" than the 4,000 pound car we love so much... That said the M5 is probably the greatest sports sedan ever... If I were in your shoes, given the limited info I have to work with, I would buy the M5.
Indeed- they are very different. My journey began with a practical "lets get a minivan" to which my wife said "no way!". So we began looking at the Surburbans for chiefly what they offer best- cavernous space. However, again, my wife felt it was too big (especially for parking) so wanted something smaller. I should note we have a ML320 too. So a smaller SUV? That's too much like the ML. But we've liked porsche so test drove a Cayenne. Not too bad, but still an SUV. And if we're getting a smaller SUV which has the size restrictions unlike a surburban then (using my logic!) why not a sedan. And if a sedan, why not a fast sedan. Which brings me to the M5. I'm sure there is some circular logic there... or maybe exuberient justifcation for something I really don't ~need~. But all things considered a fully loaded Surburban costs about the same as an M5. Also, the RS6 looks nice, but I don't want to spend quite that much ($75k i believe for a 03). Plus there's something magically alluring about the M5.

So all of that being said, I've arranged for a test drive this Saturday of a 2002 M5 w/ 30000 miles w/ asking price of $54000. I'll search the boards for FAQ/Watch-out's for this car, but if there's a sticky thread or other things I should keep a particular eye out for while i'm testing this out, please tell. Plus the price ~seems~ high, but i'm just beginning my recon so am learning.

Thanks for your ideas- they help!:cheers:
 

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Jeff: we have an M5, a 996, an E320 wagon, and a diesel Excursion in our household of two parents, 3 kids. We use them all for very different missions. My advice re SUV: avoid the psuedo-SUVs like the X5 and Cayenne - they are nice cars, but you might as well go for the UTILITY of a Burb or an Excursion. The Excursion hauls the family to the lake every weekend, and to the beach for vacation, plus it tows the race cars, and it is great at Home Depot. While I might enjoy driving an X5 or Cayenne, they really aren't any more useful than a Subaru wagon.

As for the M5, it is simply the best car I have ever owned.

Steve
 

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I agree with steve here. I have 3 kids, my wife has a lexus lx470, which is generally big enough to do what we need, but if i were doing it again, i'd push for a suburban or something similar. That wouldn't fit in the garage, so there'd be an extra space for a toy! I'm not sure what else you have besides the 993, with 1 or 2 kids, you could probably get away with an m5 as a 'family car' but it would be tight for a road trip. I can pack in all 3 kids and their gear, with a roof rack, for an event that the M5 must attend, like the monterey historics, but a larger suv is really needed for a real road trip. Now as the kids are growing, and want friends to come along, you need even more seating. 7 passenger minimum + cargo. the X5 has no cargo space, and the cayanne is just a little better, but still only seating 5, in a pinch.
Mike

TurboCarrera said:
My advice re SUV: avoid the psuedo-SUVs like the X5 and Cayenne - they are nice cars, but you might as well go for the UTILITY of a Burb or an Excursion.

Steve
 

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Audi did not bring the RS6 Avant to the US. They did bring over the S6 Avant.



///M5_Madman said:
I don't really think you can compare an M5 to a Cayenne. I mean they are two completely different cars. One is a rear wheel drive sports sedan and the other one is a big 4000+lb SUV. Honestly, if you want an SUV, and Infiniti FX45 equals the performance of a Cayenne S for alot cheaper. But the M5 is more than capable of doubling as a "family car" if and when you want it to be. Personally I hate SUV's. If you want a fun car with some cargo space and plenty of room for the kids, why not get an Audi RS6 Avant? Wagons > SUV in my opinion.
 

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If you had to have only one vehicle to serve as your daily fun driver and family mule, I can't think of a better car than the M5. However, since you're keeping the 993, I agree with those that say go with the Suburban. We use our 'Burb more often than I thought we would, hauling kids, adults, luggage, furniture, and just stuff. It also drives surprising well, and has great AC and stereo systems to boot. On the other hand, its sheer massiveness and resultant low gas mileage and parking difficulties are minuses that have to be considered-- I sure wouldn't want one as my daily driver. However, its limited use as a hauler makes these tradeoffs tolerable.

I never understood the point of the Cayenne/X5 breed of "SUV"s. They try to be both car and SUV, but in reality are neither.
 

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stumbo said:
It stacks up that well against the 996 ?
Yes, I like my 996 a lot, but I like my M5 more. Power, build quality, comfort - the M5 is the overall winner. But for a track car, the Porsche has no peers.

Steve
 

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Just curious, but why not a minivan? My wife drives an S6 Avant and with 2 kids it's still a tight squeeze on a long road trip so I've been looking at getting an Odyssey as a 3rd car. It has tons of room, drives like a car and gets okay gas mileage. Maybe I just don't get the stigma associated with minivans but if you're looking for a practical vehicle....
 

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The new MB R320 is kind of interesting as a family car, esp the V8. Spouse unit has shown some interest in one as a replacement for the E320.

Steve
 

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Sell the porche.........! (ive driven lots and they are imho way too sanitised ), and get an M5 to replace porsche . Then buy the cheapest largest wagon for the kids. You need lots of space to carry all the associated crap that goes with them , and kids ( and i dont care how well behaved ) will trash your car. Leather is a great option as its easy wipe. Think sticky fingers , food remnants , dirty shoes , spilt drinks.etc etc .On the odd occasion your wagon is in " dry dock " you can get your entire family in the M5.


Good luck and dont forget to switch the DSC off and SPORT on when you take your test drive.

Good luck
Nat.




twells said:
Just curious, but why not a minivan? My wife drives an S6 Avant and with 2 kids it's still a tight squeeze on a long road trip so I've been looking at getting an Odyssey as a 3rd car. It has tons of room, drives like a car and gets okay gas mileage. Maybe I just don't get the stigma associated with minivans but if you're looking for a practical vehicle....
 

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I would definitely get the Suburban, or if you think it is too large, go for the Tahoe it is about 18" shorter. Nothing like a lot of steel protecting your family.
 

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twells said:
Just curious, but why not a minivan? My wife drives an S6 Avant and with 2 kids it's still a tight squeeze on a long road trip so I've been looking at getting an Odyssey as a 3rd car. It has tons of room, drives like a car and gets okay gas mileage. Maybe I just don't get the stigma associated with minivans but if you're looking for a practical vehicle....
My thoughts exacly. My wife and I vowed never to get a minivan but with three kids and all the gear a minivan was the best solution. We bought a Sienna XLE Limited and I must say I love it. It is perfect for hauling around a family in comfort. The M5 is our second car but it just does not have the space to carry the family in comfort.

Personally I detest mid-size SUV's. They make no sense to me unless you need the off road ability. A sedan offers similar space, drives much better, is safer and has better gas milage.
 

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My wife drives a 2004 Cayenne S. We use that vehicle for baby hauling and I have also offroaded it half a dozen times. It does quite well offroad, I purchased a set of Pirelli Scorpions and 18 inch wheels, that I can swap for the 19 inch wheels and summer performance tires.

I had a supercharged Chevy Tahoe. After driving the Cayenne for a month, I found the Tahoe very lacking in handling, and sold it. I definitely miss the size of the Tahoe for road trips, but the Cayenne does well with a roof box. And without the roof box, it encourages us to pack less stuff and travel lighter, which is a good thing.

The Cayenne S is no M5, but on the other hand, it is more convenient, when the wife and child are involved. The M5 does do well as a secondary baby hauler.

I did a lot of research, found a great deal on the Cayenne S, and am happy with my purchase. It does a lot of things well. Handling is amazing for something that weighs as much as it does. :blabla:
 

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Nidan said:
Nothing like a lot of steel protecting your family.
Also a good idea to read the crash tests. It was a surprise to me, but the bigger bulkier vehicles don't always do as well as you might expect. There is, of course, the rollover factor to consider too.
 

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Well, since you already have a ML 320, I'd definately get the M5! This will allow you to travel with your family in with style and performance, while the SUV can be used when you need to haul things, etc. I'm not a fan of SUVs but I definatey like the smaller ones better. We also have an ML which serves its purpose well as a family hauler and for some simple off roading. We have the back row option on ours and a roof rack/carrier. With this combination we have hauled our 3 kids and gear on many vacations.

Good luck!
 

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Ronin M5 said:
Also a good idea to read the crash tests. It was a surprise to me, but the bigger bulkier vehicles don't always do as well as you might expect. There is, of course, the rollover factor to consider too.
This is so true. People think SUV's are safe just because they look big, but in reality, they aren't nearly as solid as you would like to think. The body structure of most SUV's these days is really not that strong. More like a big soft box. My friend's '03 Tahoe was T-boned recently by a late 80's MKIII Toyota Supra that ran a red light going about 40mph and the entire side of the Tahoe was caved in. The Supra on the other hand from the pictures he showed me only had a broken front bumper and the hood was creased up a little bit. But the Tahoe sustained waaaay more damage. Also, if you look at the brakes on most SUV's they're TINY! If you're carrying your entire family + cargo in the rear and coming back down the mountain from a camping trip, you had better hope the car's brakes can handle all that extra weight.

Also, if you're a fan of "Dubz" or "24's" on your Escalade, you might want to upgrade the brakes too, extra rotational mass + stock 10.5" brakes isn't a good idea. I still say you get a CAPABLE wagon or an M5 instead of a SUV.
 

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///M5_Madman said:
Also, if you're a fan of "Dubz" or "24's" on your Escalade, you might want to upgrade the brakes too, extra rotational mass + stock 10.5" brakes isn't a good idea. I still say you get a CAPABLE wagon or an M5 instead of a SUV.
I had installed the larger Baer Eradispeed Rotor package and stronger pads on my 2001 Tahoe, which had 20 inch wheels, to regain braking capability with the added weight. It's a completely different vehicle when you drive a full size domestic SUV. I think the Denalis and Tahoes appear to be a great value since you can get them for $10,000 - $14,000 off sticker. But, if you are driving your M5 or other high performance vehicle around regularly, it is tough to accept the handling and performance compromise when you go back to the big SUV. Ultimately, I found it difficult to drive, after driving the Cayenne S and M5. I think a nice sport wagon would be nice - but I've not yet owned one.

On a side note, I notice that fuel consumption between the Cayenne S and M5 are embarassingly close.
 
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