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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Need advice…F10 550i or M3 or…?
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      07-19-2010, 04:00 PM   #1
d47m122
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Need advice…F10 550i or M3 or…?

Been reading this forum for a while now and finally decided to put out my own post. I have a 2008 E60 550i that I’m turning back in on Thursday because my lease is ending. It’s my first BMW and I have really loved it. I’m having a really tough time deciding what I want to do next. In many ways, I like the new F10 550i. I’ve test drove twice now but I gotta say that it feels different than my E60…perhaps not in a way that I’m crazy about. I read a post about someone who chose the CTS V over the F10 and had to relate a bit. The F10 550i feels (to me) like it’s lost some of its edge over my E60, even with things bumped up to Sport+. I also was kinda disappointed by the look of the new 550i but that changed when I saw the new M Sport Kit (still haven’t seen a F10 550 in the M sport Kit but hoping I will soon) which I think looks really sharp (my E60 has the M Sport Kit).

So my conundrum is as follows. Do I go for another 550i or something else. My two favorite other cars are the M3 and the 135i. I have test drove both and was impressed by how fun they were to drive. I love the 5er for the room so I can pack friends into it and for its gadgets like the HUD. I love the M3 for the fun, but when you price things out the 550i and the M3 are pretty close.

As I’ve never owned an M3, I was hoping that I could get opinions from folks on which way I should go. The ’11 M3 with the Competition Package looks like a really fun car, but am I way off on my feelings toward the F10 550i? Appreciate the thoughts!
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      07-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
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550i All the way!!
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      07-19-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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They are two very different beasts. I've owned two E60s and now have an 09 M3 (Coupe, Interlagos Blue, M-DCT, etc.). And I have recently driven both the F10 535i and 550i. The M3 is a high-performance, high-revving, high-profile (and, in the long term, high-maintenance) sports car that is phenomenal both on the track and as a daily driver. It will turn heads and get attention every time you take it out (I love the looks from all angles). You'll go through tires every 12K to 15K miles. It absolutely sticks to the road in the twisties. It is ok at low revs but astounding over 3.5K rpms and is a hoot to drive. Everyone should own one at least once. It is a good deal smaller and if you are over 6' (I'm 6'2) that could make a difference.

The F10 has moved the 5-series a bit away from sportiness and towards luxury. It seems to be a great car in its own right. But, even with some ///M-dressing, by no means is it a high performance vehicle bordering-on-super-car like the M3. I thoroughly enjoyed driving both the F10 535i and 550i but, like you, am not blown away by its looks (not sure if I would look over my shoulder at it in a parking lot...). And the F10 (either engine) seems to pack more punch than the M3 at the lower rpms. But the added weight (from the E60) seems to work against the sportiness a bit - especially in the twisties. Having said all that, I am seriously considering moving to the F10 from the M3 some time next year. I've had my fun and now want to go back to something a bit larger. Both are great cars. Good luck with your decision.

Last edited by hoganzdad; 07-19-2010 at 05:08 PM.
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      07-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoganzdad View Post
They are two very different beasts. I've owned two E60s and now have an 09 M3 (Coupe, Interlagos Blue, M-DCT, etc.). And I have recently driven both the F10 535i and 550i. The M3 is a high-performance, high-revving, high-profile (and, in the long term, high-maintenance) sports car that is phenomenal both on the track and as a daily driver. It will turn heads and get attention every time you take it out (I love the looks from all angles). You'll go through tires every 12K to 15K miles. It absolutely sticks to the road in the twisties. It is ok at low revs but astounding over 3.5K rpms and is a hoot to drive. Everyone should own one at least once. It is a good deal smaller and if you are over 6' (I'm 6'2) that could make a difference.

The F10 has moved the 5-series a bit away from sportiness and towards luxury. It seems to be a great car in its own right. But, even with some ///M-dressing, by no means is it a high performance vehicle bordering-on-super-car like the M3. I thoroughly enjoyed driving both the F10 535i and 550i but, like you, am not blown away by its looks (not sure if I would look over my shoulder at it in a parking lot...). And the F10 (either engine) seems to pack more punch than the M3 at the lower rpms. But the added weight (from the E60) seems to work against the sportiness a bit - especially in the twisties. Having said all that, I am seriously considering moving to the F10 from the M3 some time next year. I've had my fun and now want to go back to something a bit larger. Both are great cars. Good luck with your decision.
My story is pretty similar. After four 5ers (see signature for details, but included an E39 M5), I went to a 335i, and then an E90 M3. (One reason I went to the Three was that I never warmed up to the styling of the E60. Two words: "Dame Edna".) After the M3, I'm seriously considering going back to the Five (probably 550i). HoganzDad has it exactly right -- the M3 garners a lot of attention. Start it up, and anybody within earshot who has ANY interest in cars will perk up at the exhaust note. But it's a high-strung vehicle. Things don't get really interesting until you're north of about 6k RPMs; on the 550i I drove, the low-end torque was a total kick. I have the same concerns about the F10 and its position too far to "luxury" on the "sport...luxury" continuum. Of course it won't handle like the M3, but I think I'll enjoy the car and the toys. (Okay, I admit it, I'm a gadget guy.) And I think it's always a delight to see a car like that with a manual transmission (which is non-negotiable in my cars).
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      07-19-2010, 09:50 PM   #5
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If the 550i leaves you a little cold, you owe it to yourself to test drive a CTS-V. The V is faster than the M3 (more than a second faster 0-100 mph), brakes quicker and is only one second slower through the slalom. Even versus the M3, several well respected authorities say the V is the better automobile:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/com...cedes-c63-amg/

Oh and since you're considering an M3, have you seen the CTS-V Coupe?



Yeah, I know.

Want to read the review? http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/09/2...iew-road-test/

Nothing like a little honest competition to improve the breed.
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      07-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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Your decision should match your lifestyle. Both cars are great either way and have their own purpose. Lastly, if you don't intend to track the M3, don't even consider getting it.
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      07-19-2010, 10:23 PM   #7
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      07-19-2010, 10:48 PM   #8
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Get a 550i. The M3 is a generation behind on many of the amenities, and is a much smaller car.

Last edited by lindros2; 07-20-2010 at 07:34 AM.
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      07-20-2010, 12:19 AM   #9
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Or wait for the M5
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      07-20-2010, 11:30 AM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I may just have to go drive an M3 and a 550 again. At this point I’m probably leaning toward the M3...I can’t really see myself in a Cadillac but maybe I ought to go give one a try. I think I might enjoy the fun of an M3 over the comfort of the F10 and hoganzdad I burned through tires on my E60 every 12k anyway. I will definitely miss the 5 series gadgets though cause I’m a gadget guy and it’s one of the things that pulls me toward the 5. I wish the M3 had a HUD for example and I guess I could wait for the M5 to get the best of both but damn that’s a lota car!

I'll post back when I order. I also really want to do ED this time. Does anyone have thoughts on that?
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      07-21-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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i am on a similar boat. as someone stated above, the M3 is a great track car. Personally what steers me away from the M3 is the fact that i will not really use the car like it should be used. I like the 5 series because it seems like a great everyday car and has the power to eat other cars on the highway when you want to. i live in Mass, so a 550i or 535i would be a king on the highway since you do not see faster cars too often.
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      07-22-2010, 01:04 AM   #12
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Thought I would share this video with everyone. It's a HD quality video of a nice looking 550. Still wish I could see an M-Sport kit on a 550 but this is a good looking car until then.

Originally featured: http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=399698



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      07-22-2010, 07:20 AM   #13
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The M3 is a ton of fun...and it can also have a lot of gadgets.

But the new 550i is also a fine car. I would wait for the new M5 though.
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      07-22-2010, 11:02 AM   #14
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One thing for you to consider is that the E90 & Co. franchise is approaching the end of its product cycle. Will you be comfortable driving alongside with a bunch of F30s as soon as end of next year? With all due respect the current M3 (or any M3 for that matter) is a great car but some people don't feel like buying late into the cycle.
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      07-22-2010, 03:16 PM   #15
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i agree with you 100%. i wouldnt want to spend $60+ for a car (M3) if a new model is going to be coming out. Can you imagine shelling out that much cash then a year later seeing the new M3 on the road? What if it looks better? you shouldnt feel jealous after spending that much money and you probably will
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      07-22-2010, 10:22 PM   #16
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M3's don't come out for at least a year past introduction of the new 3 series. You've got at least 2 years before you see new M3's. Additionally, the new M3 will be a turbo engine, so there's always the "NA 4 LIFE" cachet of the current model.

This, of course, assumes that your major decisionmaking criteria is what others think of your choice of car.
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      07-23-2010, 09:44 PM   #17
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I came out of an E60 550 sport and went into a current model M3 sedan. You do give up a bit of room and comfort going to the M3, BUT, there is no comparison what-so-ever in the smiles-per-mile department. The M3 is a fabulous car, and you will not regret getting one. Steers like a go-kart, the suspension is perfectly balanced and NEVER gets out of shape, and the engine is absolutely sublime in a way no new turbo M will ever be.

I've got the stick, and the car is just a total blast to drive. I also think it looks a whole lot nicer than the new 5 also. I test drove the new 535. Didn't handle or steer as well as an E350.

The only bad thing about gettin the M is that you will be spoiled. Its hard to go back to driving a normal car.
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      07-24-2010, 06:59 AM   #18
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Ive just recently surprised my brother and friends with the purchase of a 2011 550i. I came from a Evo IX, a very bare bones but fun car, to give a comparison so you can imagine how shocked everyone was that this was'nt an M3 or used 997 or GTR. This twin turbo V-8 is absolutely insane, very smooth, freight train torque but very quiet which is slightly disappointing and may have to be changed soon
I have truly enjoyed the 600miles to date and find that the sport package and DRC enhance the sporty experience but it initially does feel like a car that doesn't necessarily care for getting "hustled" around quickly. Later I felt this was less true, those handling gimzo's kick in a the car becomes brilliant, Ive taken some turns and feel this big car would have given the EVO a run for the money in a couple of situations, probably not literally true but it feels very capable. Im definitely going to enjoy this car at least until the M5 comes out.

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      08-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #19
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No comparison between an e9x M3 and 550. Apples and oranges. I test drove the 550 with sport package and it's handling + steering was like crap. Also, it's grown too much...too heavy and unbalanced. It has plenty of power and is a beautiful car, but in my opinion it's a major disappointment. Performance wise I would prefer the e60 with sport package. It's a more confident car. If it's a sports car you want and something that actually drives/feels like a bmw, get the M3. If you want a lexus like luxo cruiser, then get the 550. By the way, the M3 just beat out the new RS5 and CTS-V coupe in the Car and Driver and Motortrend comparisons.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=413025

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=411419

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      08-01-2010, 01:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Or wait for the M5
+1
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      08-01-2010, 01:52 PM   #21
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I am happy with my 2011 550i for now. It is a fine car, but BMW shifted too much from Sport toward Luxury. I am optimistic that BMW will man up and fix the disappointing steering shortly. In 2013 I will likely go for the 650i 4 door sport coupe or the F30 M3 sedan.
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      08-02-2010, 04:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by pharding View Post
I am happy with my 2011 550i for now. It is a fine car, but BMW shifted too much from Sport toward Luxury. I am optimistic that BMW will man up and fix the disappointing steering shortly. In 2013 I will likely go for the 650i 4 door sport coupe or the F30 M3 sedan.
I also just bought a 2011 550i, frankly like that it's balanced between sport and luxury, and it's pretty much what BMW has in mind for the model for the time being. The 535i just didn't have enough sport, the 550i is pretty balanced, we'll have to wait for the M5 or the new 6's to get a car in this class weighted more to sport.

As someone who drove a 2002 back in the late 70's it's interesting that the current 3's are about the size of the very early 5 models, and with the 1's now there's something to match the old 2002 size. Seems sort of natural to offer the current 5's as a transition from sport to luxury for those that don't need/want the size and price of a 7.
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