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Discussion Starter #1
E39 M5 or 996TT?


(I've read prior posts but I think my situation results in more of a stalemate)


These may seem like odd cars to compare, but I've narrowed it down to these; stay with me here.

Both are awesome, highly regarded machines that have depreciated the majority of what they will. I’ve tried to reason this to myself, and just want to pull some outside opinion into the mix.

Background on me:
  • I’m single, debt free, and have no responsibilities aside from my job.
  • I’ve owned a bunch of cool and high powered cars so far (C5 Z06, blown NSX, 600hp Supra, Stock Twin Supra, LS1 RX7, etc...)
  • I get bored easily and I only own cars for a few months to maybe a little over a year or so.
  • I only buy cars that have mostly depreciated and get into something else for little, if no loss, on a whim. I don’t mind enjoying cars long after they were the big deal.
  • I don’t spend money on much else.
Background on intended usage, needs:
  • This will be my only car, but I have a reliable fuel-injected/water cooled motorcycle which I try to ride as often as possible.
  • I commute 2 miles city one way now, but will change to 15 miles highway commute in a few weeks due to a move.
  • I usually don’t need to carry any more than 1 passenger; opportunities to carry more passengers are optional.
  • I can’t drive anything normal or mundane, just not in my nature.
  • I like big power, I don’t get to use it that often, but when I want it - I want it.
  • Some sort of mod-ability is important.
  • MPG is a psychological thing for me, so it does matter, but I do have the 40mpg on the bike.
  • Reliability is important, but I don’t usually own cars for more than a few thousand miles.
  • I've been to an HPDE once, and liked it, but don't see myself taking the car more than 2 times per year.
My thoughts so far:
  • 2001-2002 996 Turbo – Awesome looks, OK interior, great power, very responsive to mods. A little more MPG than the M5. Most owners report them to be pretty reliable aside from a seemingly week transmission in a few cases. Catch is I will have to take a small loan out to get one (nothing that will upset my monthly earnings significantly, but will be noticeable). Insurance is 50% more than M5.
  • 2001-2002 E39 M5 – Good looks, great interior, good power, mediocre response to mods. Just a tad less MPG than the 996TT. Extra doors and bigger back seats. Navigation standard and better than Porsche nav. Most owners report them to be pretty reliable aside from a few minor common problems. Insurance will be 50% less than the 996TT but also save me 62% versus my current toy (RX7). Greatest advantage is that I can pay cash for one of these.
Thoughts? I have not driven either car, so that could be a major turnoff (like the E46 M3 was).

Thanks!
Daniel
 

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Firstly, you got to drive them both to properly decide. I love both my //M5s, they do everything I want them to do (okay 0-100km/h in 3 sec would be nice).

That said:

If I didn't need 4 doors, and provided it was not a financial burden, I'd go with the 996.
 

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If I didn't need four doors occassionally, I'd be in a 996 TT; that's my short answer. Now as an only car, I too had an NSX and it was my only car for a time . . . fun and a PITA. Now that I think about it though, I personally don't know if I could go back to an only car being inches off the ground, inability to hang a suit jacket, VERY limited carrying capacity car-- You will have to make this decision for yourself, but while the TT would be fun on an occassional basis, a nicely modded M5 suits my dailey need just fine . . . KH
 

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Based on your profile, I think you've answered your own questions. Enjoy your Porsche!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
^^ Thanks for the responses so far. This decision is strictly pleasure in my eyes, so having two doors isn't a necessity it would just be a bonus and an excuse to fit more people in the car.
 

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^ haha... not sure if thats the advice he is looking for but I like your style.
 

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Sounds to me like you should buy the P-car. Don't get me wrong...the M5 is a FANTASTIC all arounder. It handles well, has great power, but realisticly it is not (nor was it intended to be) designed or capable of handling like a Porsche TT regardless of how you mod it. It is a fast, but heavy 4- door sedan.

It sounds as if you are at a point in your life where you are all you have to worry about :thumbsup:, so why bother with the extra seats (and weight). Do the P-car now, use it, enjoy it.

Good luck in your decision:M5rev:
Brian
 

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Won't matter. You will probably get bored with either in a few months anyways. :)

FWITW, out of all the cars I've ever owned (and like you, I've owned quite a few "cool and high powered cars") ... I find my E39 M5 to be a perfect balance of everything I need or want out of a car at this point of my life. So far, over a year of ownership, I still am not bored of her and wouldn't trade her in for anything else out there. Good luck with your search.
 

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Will you use the lucky winner for more than just cruising around on short trips. If you're planning on any long road trips, the M5 is the only answer. While it's not a TT, I recently drove a C2S from Calgary to Vancouver. It was very uncomfortable towards the end of the trip and the significant other said she would never do it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
^^ Thanks for the additional responses.

As for trips, I usually visit relatives anywhere from 1 to 3 hours away max. Other than that, I stay local.

Iconoclast, I know it sounds strange to compare them, but to me they are very different toys but both happen to interest me enough to consider either one.

When I'm looking for another car I go through every single make and model to see I've missed anything, eventually I come up with a few options that interest me. The problem is that I've never found one machine that does everything the best, and I accept that for now. Eventually I'll just have to own multiple fun cars.

-Daniel
 

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When I'm ready to trade in, a 997 C2S is on my shortlist.

But you need to drive both and see which you like better.
 

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What a horrible decision to have to make. Well done mate:cheers:

The M5 suits me down to the ground, but in your situation I might be tempted by the Porsche. It's a truly wonderful car. The M5 is an incredible all-rounder though; very capable in almost any situation.

If you value something a bit more discreet and practical than the Porsche, but really able to set your pants on fire when you want, it may be worth considering a supercharged M5. Dinan could build you one with over 600hp, or Discovery Automotive can get you closer to 1000bhp if you desire. There are 2 Discovery cars owned by active members here which are running around detuned to about 800bhp I believe and quite a few Dinan S3 cars. As far as I know, both the Dinan and D/A cars are thoroughly reliable. This route would not be cheap but you'd have a unique car that I don't think you'd tire of quickly.

My car is stock, but has been faultless in 135,000 miles and returns an average of about 23 mpg (UK) and I don't drive slowly.....

Enjoy your decisions...cherrsagai
 

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Won't matter. You will probably get bored with either in a few months anyways.
Let me add to this, ultraman might have the right answer embedded . . . Get the M5 now and in a year, the 996 will have taken another year of depreciation and may be within your cash budget. Then you won't have to finance and you will not have to choose . . . The M5 values have plummeted, so I think these will start to level out, the 996 may still have some distance to go . . . JMO, KH
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Let me add to this, ultraman might have the right answer embedded . . . Get the M5 now and in a year, the 996 will have taken another year of depreciation and may be within your cash budget. Then you won't have to finance and you will not have to choose . . . The M5 values have plummeted, so I think these will start to level out, the 996 may still have some distance to go . . . JMO, KH
VERY good point, and one that I was thinking about last night. I may not have to make the decision, just stagger the ownership. Plan to buy the M5 now, give it a whirl for a little while then sell for the 996TT. Why not try both? :2:
 

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As much as I love my beast and my m3, the porsche twin turbo and is its own. A fellow german brother to take in. If you can do it I WOULD DO IT. The handling and power and sounds is so unique and nothing else will feel like it. A porsche is a track car detuned for the streets, a bmw is a street car than can be tuned to do the tracks. Of course one of each is ideal, the handling and acceleration alone is worth it. Do a few mods to it and it feels like an f-18 hornet with its afterburner turned on. I had the opportunity to drive an 08" twin turbo this past christmas, 180 something miles later over a cause way while out beating two jap crotch rockets was good enough for me. I wasn't even pushing it. I say +1 to the porsche. Good luck with your choice, can't go wrong in either case.
 
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