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      02-26-2012, 09:52 AM   #1
MojorisinM3
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M3 to E60 M5 - any experiences?

I've had my M3 for 3.5 years and thinking about making a switch to an 08 M5. Drove one the other day, and its MUCH different than I thought it would be. Its an absolute BEAST. Very different from the M3.

Anybody have experiences with the M5 - driven extensively or owned one?

The big downfall is the insanely expensive SMG issues and low MPG.

Thoughts?
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      02-26-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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I had an SMG M5 for about a month and gave it back. The smg was, imho, really bad as a manual and worse as an automatic. I find the DCT far superior. However, that said, I am a long time manual driver and was more anti-auto back then so it is possible I was overly critical. That said it was a lovely car, fast, comfortable and fun. It is alot bigger which is a plus for trunk and back seat users, a minus for driver. I drive alone mostly so the size and space were wasted on me.
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      02-26-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjposner View Post
I had an SMG M5 for about a month and gave it back. The smg was, imho, really bad as a manual and worse as an automatic. I find the DCT far superior. However, that said, I am a long time manual driver and was more anti-auto back then so it is possible I was overly critical. That said it was a lovely car, fast, comfortable and fun. It is alot bigger which is a plus for trunk and back seat users, a minus for driver. I drive alone mostly so the size and space were wasted on me.
Yeah, I had an SMG M3 and know all about it. Personally, I liked it. I know the DCT is worlds better however its raw and fun in its own right.

How about the other aspects - sound?
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      02-26-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojorisinM3 View Post
I've had my M3 for 3.5 years and thinking about making a switch to an 08 M5. Drove one the other day, and its MUCH different than I thought it would be. Its an absolute BEAST. Very different from the M3.

Anybody have experiences with the M5 - driven extensively or owned one?

The big downfall is the insanely expensive SMG issues and low MPG.

Thoughts?
I had an 08 M5 for about 2 years and loved it, very different though from M3.

Gas mileage was horrible first, I averaged less than 10MPG most of the time and the fuel tank is so small you end up standing at the pump A LOT.

I liked the interior more. Full leather, HUD, alcantara roof liner, a big jump up in quality over the M3.

It was fast, took it to the track quite a few times but don't bother unless you upgrade the suspension. I had the Dinan S2 and it made a huge difference. New M3 with ZCP is as good or better fresh off the lot. I haven't taken the M3 to the track yet but I have no doubt I'll get around quicker in it than I did in the M5.

For daily driver, M5 was better, more room, kids fit in the back easier, etc but if I had to choose right now, I'd take my new M3 over my old M5. F10 M5 I'd probably take over the M3 but really I'm just going to wait until the F10 refresh and hopefully have one of each.

Not sure if that helps, they are different, both amazing, M3 gets more looks, although the M5 does step you into a different league, not many 20 something's buying them and slathering them in CF and bits off their old Accords.

Good luck with the decision.
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      02-26-2012, 11:49 AM   #5
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      02-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #6
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One of my friends has an M6 SMG and is thinking about getting an M3 based on his experience with my car. I haven't driven an M5 or M6 myself, but based on what he's told me and having ridden in his car I can confirm the above poster's point that SMG is bad in manual and worse in auto -- and I've also read that even the 6MT version is bad (if you can find one) because the clutch is far too small. My friend is also getting hit with pretty high repair bills now (SMG pump and VANOS issues most recently) which he's grateful he has an extended warranty to cover. This is on an 2006 M6 with only 30K miles.

I would only consider that switch if you really need the extra space, and even then definitely consider whether the serious weight penalty is worth it. Yes the V10 sounds amazing but somehow at least from inside the cabin I think I actually prefer the M3's V8. The V10 is more guttural but the V8 is more dynamic; it sounds a bit like a muscle car up to around 4.5K and then switches into this glorious high-strung note that sort of channels F1, whereas the V10 retains more of that lower note throughout. The V10 does sound truly gorgeous if it drives by you at full tilt, but that's not a sound you'll get to hear much from your own car. You'll definitely pull harder in a straight line with an M5, but I think you'll have more fun in the turns in an M3.

Or you could just save up for a few years and get an F10 M5 after LCI.
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      02-26-2012, 11:55 AM   #7
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I went from M6 SMG to an M3 DCT and it was the best thing I ever did. The SMG is the worst transmission I have ever driven, it ruined the car IMO. The motor on the other hand was amazing and I had it paired with the Dinan mufflers...I swear it caused earth quakes! Bottom line is I would way rather have an M3
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      02-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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The gearbox is UNFORGIVABLE. End.
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      02-26-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken37.73 View Post
The gearbox is UNFORGIVABLE. End.
Word. Don't even know why BMW tried 3 times to make it work. Only reason why I didn't even consider getting the e60 M5 or e46 M3 was SMG
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      02-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAForever View Post
Word. Don't even know why BMW tried 3 times to make it work. Only reason why I didn't even consider getting the e60 M5 or e46 M3 was SMG
+1

Having switched back and forth between the M3 and M5 at two BMW 2-Day M Schools I would not go with the M5. Yes, it is more roomy and practical but in all other respects I give the tip to the M3.
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      02-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #11
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i don't understand everyone bashing SMG. The transmission was pretty dam reliable for my car. And it had a very unique manual feel.

The ONLY downside I see to the M5 in this case is the gas mileage.

Interior, power, motor symphony, looks all go the the m5.
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      02-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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I went from an E46 M3 six speed to an E60 M5 six speed. Needed the room for my 2 teenage boys. The power of the M5 is addicting. The interior is really top notch. The acceleration above 5000 to the 8200 rpm redline is "supercar ish" I love my M5. It is like owning a 4 door supercar. There is nothing like hearing that 507 HP V10 roar when it is unleashed. It really is "THE BEAST"
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      02-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #13
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imo you will be disappointed

I won't reiterate the bashing of the SMG. I agree with the negative comments on the transmission and compared to my DCT, they are worlds apart. The SMG was just a bad transmission imo.

The biggest disappointment I had with my e60 wasn't the transmission but the motor for a daily driver. Its a heavy car the relatively low torque just wasn't enjoyable. Once you had the beast rolling and really got into the motor, you were past the speed limit. Its a great motor for track use but I just didn't enjoy it for street driving.

Make no mistake its a great car but the nimbleness of the m3 and the fact that it gets 50% better around town mileage (my m5 got 10mpg and my m3 gets 15) just make it a more enjoyable daily driver.
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      02-27-2012, 06:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acbtx View Post
The biggest disappointment I had with my e60 wasn't the transmission but the motor for a daily driver. Its a heavy car the relatively low torque just wasn't enjoyable. Once you had the beast rolling and really got into the motor, you were past the speed limit. Its a great motor for track use but I just didn't enjoy it for street driving.

Make no mistake its a great car but the nimbleness of the m3 and the fact that it gets 50% better around town mileage (my m5 got 10mpg and my m3 gets 15) just make it a more enjoyable daily driver.
I totally agree. My biggest gripe wasn't even the SMG, which I found to be a pretty good transmission as long as you didn't drive it in auto mode. It was the fact that there wasn't a lot of power available below 5500 rpms for driving around in the city, and that it literally drank gas and oil.

Other than that, the exhilaration of 500hp was awesome...when you did find room to use that power.
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      02-27-2012, 08:21 PM   #15
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Feels like a boat compared to a M3... It needs 500hp IMO
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      02-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #16
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I don't care what anybody says, SMG is cool. It's not an automatic, it's an automated manual, and if you drive it that way it's fine. If you try to turn your brain off though, the same thing happens that would happen in a manual car - jerky nasty awful embarrassing tire chirping for no reason etc. I love the S85 cars and I still hope to own one one day, preferably with an extra 10gal fuel cell somewhere...
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      02-27-2012, 10:05 PM   #17
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I have both - got the M5 as a company car because I have to take co workers and clients sometimes, and my sons just got too big for the back of the 3. It's big and fast but has no guts until it gets to 5K, then it screams. Outside it sounds awesome. Inside it sounds weird. It handles well for a big pig, but it's still a big pig. If you need the room, it's still almost the only choice.

That said, the M3 sounds better and handles worlds better. It's simply more fun to drive in any situation except in a straight line at 5K+, where there's little on Earth that's more fun than an M5. But how many times do you actually do that? M3 = nimble, fast and fun. M5 = roomy and a rocketship above 5K, handles very well for a big pig.

If I could choose only one, there's NO DOUBT I'd take the M3. Unless I really needed the room.

Cheers!
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      02-28-2012, 11:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
I don't care what anybody says, SMG is cool. It's not an automatic, it's an automated manual, and if you drive it that way it's fine. If you try to turn your brain off though, the same thing happens that would happen in a manual car - jerky nasty awful embarrassing tire chirping for no reason etc. I love the S85 cars and I still hope to own one one day, preferably with an extra 10gal fuel cell somewhere...
Spot on. The SMG is a fantastic transmission 'if' you drive it properly.
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      02-28-2012, 12:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
Here, I am behind a Dinan M5 with the exhaust. Sounded AWESOME!...until I passed him
I hear a supercharger!

Back on topic, the M5 is nice! My only worry would be repairs...
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      02-28-2012, 01:32 PM   #20
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This thread is not going too well for the M5...lol.
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      02-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #21
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I had an e60 m5 and would like to formally agree with everyone on the transmission. My passengers constantly commented on the harsh gear changes. If there were only a way to get an e60 m5 dct...

I "upgraded" to an e92 m3 and the only things I miss are the suede headliner, active seats, and hud.
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      02-28-2012, 02:54 PM   #22
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OP,

I hope you have checked out m5board.com since there is more favor towards the M3 on this site.

I came from an e46 M3, now owning a M5. Apples and Oranges if you ask me. Like it has been said time and time again, the M3 is agile, lighter, nimble, and quicker around a track. The M5 is a brute and can lay the power down on a highway. It's not as agile as the smaller M cars, but handles well.

Having owned a M5 since April 2010, I've enjoyed every minute of it. Do I miss the M3, yes I do, but I still wouldn't give up my M5. Yeah the SMG is clunky, but you learn how to use it, and it is manageable. The MPG is bad, but that too can be managed as well. People forget that the e9x M3 MPG isn't that stellar either. I haven't had any serious issues with my car. I've only had the clutch replaced under warranty. Other than that, it has been solid.

It all boils down to what you want out of car. Nimble and agile? Stick with an M3. More room and a autobahn cruiser? M5.

Either way, you can't go wrong with either an M3 or M5. Both are great cars.
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