Reply to Thread

Post a reply to the thread: 650 vs. SL550

Your Message

Click here to log in

Please correctly re-type the phrase f o o t d o c t o r in the form box. Re-type it without the extra spaces and put the one space where it should be. We apologize for having to do this but this silliness helps slow the spammers.


Additional Options


Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 09-24-2006, 06:39 AM

    Re: Mercedes with flying numbers in all places

    Your numbers are slightly off...A new SL has a base price of $96,500 plus options puts you in the $105,000 range. As for Value. I paid $100,000 (msrp) for a 2003 SL500 and traded it in 6 months ago and the most any dealer would give me for it was $57,000. Great car and in a lot of ways its a better car than the 650, But the BMW drives better, has a back seat and it is $15,000 Less...The SL, The 650 and every other car in this class will tank in value..Maybe some a little more than others, But nobody should expect to buy any of these cars and think they are coming out whole in a few years.
  • 09-23-2006, 01:00 AM

    Mercedes with flying numbers in all places

    much much better design, more user friendly car and more value. the 6 is dropping the value big time while the SL keeps a lot more.
    I'm a BMW fan but the SL is a different class altoghether. SUre you can get the 650 conv cheaper but does it really matter ? we are talking about 60-70k USD for a car. SO does it really matter that you pay 70 for an ugly ragtop with a good engine, or 80 for a beautiful hardtop conv with a great engine ?
    go for the benz and never look back
  • 08-27-2006, 11:46 PM

    Obviously, it's a personal preference issue.

    However, after spending some time behind the wheel of an SMG 650 at the 6DE, one thing was clear to me. If you're going to drive the car in "automatic" mode much at all, SMG is NOT the way to go. Automatic mode was a jerky mess. Manual mode was only slightly better, IMO.

    But again, it's really a personal choice.
    '05 BMW 745i Sport (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 650i Coupe (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 325xiT (SpGraphite/Beige)
  • 08-27-2006, 07:52 PM

    Re: 650 vs. SL550 - Update and quetion on SMG

    Took my wife to drive SL and 650, and her choice is 650 for price and back seat. As such, this is the leader right now.

    There was only one 650Ci for sale at my dealership, which is one of the larger BMW dealers on the east coast. My dealer told me the only reason that it was still sitting on showroom floor was because of SMG. She is urging me to get either manual or steptronic. When pushed further she states that people either love or hate SMG and I don't want to make a mistake. I know this is a controversial topic (I recall [Oops!] D traded his SMG in if I'm correct). Any thoughts would be again appreciated. Thanks for all the useful comments below. MRB
  • 07-28-2006, 08:59 AM

    At least we hope that valets only know about 0 to

    10 mph! Perhaps the 650 conv. design is polarizing, but after nearly two months, I have received many unsolicited complements on the car, whch never happened with other cars I've owned. It may be that an equal number hate it but are just too polite to espress their view. I suppose that time will tell whether the design has enduring appeal. It is quite clear that many of BMW's design cues from the 650 have found their way into other makes. I can say from extensive experience with recent MB SL's and CL's that the 650 is a much more satisfying car to drive.
  • 07-27-2006, 12:22 PM

    Maybe instead of trusting automotive testing to...

    magazines, we should just write reviews from valets. Afterall, they're the experts in how cars handle and perform from 0-10 mph!

    Anyway, 6's gets lot of compliments; at the same time the styling induces nausea in others (who are usually polite enough to keep their mouth shut). That's the result of a polarizing design--people love it or hate it. But claiming a successful design based on only those who speak up results in a very biased sampling. What's important, of course, is what YOU like. Those who think it's ugly can politely avert their eyes...
  • 07-27-2006, 09:35 AM

    Still . . . .

    Haven't had the pleasure of driving the Jag, which seems like a very, very nice car, indeed. One could do worse than to have one in their garage, that's for sure. My concern was with Jaguar's overall lack of quality control (even the C&D article noted this) and lack of relative power -- plus, I have to believe the 6 will hold more of its value than the Jag over time. I'm not dissing the Jag -- just stating my humble view that C&D got it wrong. Others are free to disagree. Having driven 3 of the cars that C&D tested and NEEDING a semi-useable back seat, however, I am 100% confident that I made an excellent decision to get a 650i Convertible. It's been a sheer joy to drive.
  • 07-26-2006, 09:03 AM

    Re: 650 vs. SL550

    I read the C/D article with much suprise. While I do love my 645cic, I am aware that it does not handle anywhere nearly as crisp as an M3. I got to drive an M6, M5, M3 and M Coupe side by side by side a couple weeks ago at 6 series DE, and I came away with a new respect for the M3's handling.

    However, that said, the most incredible statement in the article was that the C/D editors considered the 6 to be unattractive. Considering the number of positive unsolicited comments I get out in the real world with my car, clearly they got that point wrong (subjective or not). That makes their credibility on the other issues suspect in my book.

    Only way to put this issue to bed is to drive a 550. Will have to do that soon...
  • 07-26-2006, 12:38 AM

    Re: I Think C&D Got it Wrong

    driven both?
  • 07-19-2006, 01:37 PM

    Re: Good Points

    After 2 years of owning a 645 Convertible, I continue to get positive comments on the car's styling, not to mention its handling capabilities. I think that C&D just don't get it and that they are writing opinions to sell the mag rather than honest evaluations with solid research.

    2004 645Cic Atlantic Blue, Sport package, SMG, Logic 7, XM aftermarket, and a clear bra
  • 07-19-2006, 11:10 AM

    Well I read theC&D review and they predictably had

    only a few reluctant positive comments and a lot of negative comments. The reviewers clearly have little real world, everyday driving experience with any of the cars tested. If they did, they would not have made the reckless comments that they did. (I should add in full disclosure that I get AutoWeek, Motor Trend and R&T, but stopped subscribing to C&D many years ago because of poorly researched articles such as this one.)The fact is that none of the cars in the comparison were directly comparable to the 650i Convertible.
    Their final paragraph was:
    "Adding to the teamís doubts about the 650iís sporting credentials was a singular concern over its appearance. We thought it odd-looking with the top down and arguably ugly with the finned top up. All things considered, the BMW 650i is lucky it didnít finish fifth."
    They are entitled to their opinion about everything, but my experience with my 650 convt. in the past 6 weeks since I got it is quite different regarding styling. The 650i gets far more compliments and thumbs up than any car I have ever owned. Last night I asked the five valets at a Boston restaurant what the hottest car they had seen recently was and they all said the M6 followed by the 650i convertible. This included Lambos, Astons, Bentleys, Ferraris and Porsches. They roundly disliked MB's of all models. Cadillacs and Jags were not even mentioned. Maybe C&D should do a bit more research before their next comparison article.
  • 07-18-2006, 11:39 AM

    I like many of the updates to iDrive as well.

    But the sloweness of iDrive in my 6 is infuriating sometimes. Not to mention, waiting for that beep.
    '05 BMW 745i Sport (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 650i Coupe (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 325xiT (SpGraphite/Beige)
  • 07-18-2006, 10:47 AM

    Good Points

    The auto mags still have a bone to pick with iDrive and Bangle butts, so just about anything from BMW with any of these traits gets hurt by the reviewers. Over the past few years, iDrive-like devices seem to be all the rage, and Bangle-like butts are proliferating. I didn't love the Bangle butt on my old 745i, but it was OK -- on the 6, however, it works beautifully and I can't imagine it being any other way. As for iDrive, yeah, BMW could have done a better job out of the gate back in 2001-03 -- but the current generation of iDrive on the 6 is much easier than the one I had on my 7, and just plain easy IMHO. As if MB's COMAND system is easy to use (NOT). Plus, I NEED a back seat and a semi-usable trunk. Game, set, and match: 650i.
  • 07-17-2006, 08:21 PM

    Have to check out the C&D review, but having owned

    an 03 SL500 Sport with ABC, an 02 CL500 Sport with ABC and an 03 CL55 Kompressor (also with ABC) there is no contest in my opinon, unless of course the SL550 somehow was suspension tuned very much differently from the CL55 and 500's I owned recently. My 650i Convertible is a far more satisfying car to drive than any of my MB's. C&D probably had nothing good to say about iDrive or the Head Up display, to say nothing about the active steering or lights on the 650i. No, the 650i convertible is not as fast straight line as the SL550, but after a couple of weeks with my CL55 I wondered why I really needed 516 lb.ft of torque and 493 bhp. (I was not about to race a 996TT in the 1/4 mile just to prove that I had a very fast car.) It was not useable on public roads and it would have been folly to track the CL. It takes more than 0-60 and quarter mile times to make daily driving enjoyable. I have no doubt that the cars in the C&D test are all quite capable, but having owned the MB's and an 02 C4S, my hands down choice is the 650i Convertible. (I even prefer the 650i to my GF's new 997 C4S.)650i Conv. styling is distinctive, seats and driving position are optimal for me (I am 6') visibility is good, Sport mode provides a bit more responsiveness and the ride is quite comfortable and much quieter than the 03 SL500 Sport. Finally, entry and exit are much easier. I suppose it is fashionable to praise the new MB 550 engine and the other changes to refine the SL. Try liging with the SL for a while and see if you feel as C&D does.
  • 07-17-2006, 03:45 PM

    I Think C&D Got it Wrong

    I have problems with the C&D review. They actually selected the Jag over the 6? No way. They're entitled to their opinion, but that view alone leads me to question the validity of their test.
  • 07-17-2006, 03:06 PM

    Check the latest C&D eval

    SL550 came in first among 5 high-end drop-tops.

    The 650i convert, uh, well: "All things considered, the BMW 650i is lucky it didnít finish fifth."


  • 07-13-2006, 05:15 PM

    Re: 650 vs. SL550

    You are 6'5" like I am... leg room must be important.. The 650 is the way to go and I am not saying that because I have a wicked 650 convertible... I have always been a fan of the hardtop convertible and that was what attracted me to the SL... but the legroom stinks. If you move the seat all the way back the back rest moves forward. I honestly don't know how the basketball players I have seen in the SL's drive them. I tried and tried to get used to that legroom but I like to take long drives and that will kill my knees... the 650 on the other hand offers you more legroom than you can imagine. I swear it is just as much as I had in the 745...
  • 07-13-2006, 01:27 PM

    Re: 650 vs. SL550

    While a retractable hardtop is very trendy and sexy, it doesn't help trunk space. Now, granted, nobody buys cars such as these for the trunk space. But it's something to consider at the margin. Bottom line: it's an emotional decision, and I just liked the 650i Convertible better. But they're both great cars, and it's a good thing that enthusiasts have choices like this. Talk about a high-class problem . . . .
  • 07-13-2006, 11:30 AM

    Both are fablous cars, but are quite different...

    I have not driven an SL 550, but am sure that the added power will make a very big difference. I owned an 03 SL500 Sport, but find that the 650i convertible that I have had for a month is a much better balanced car and far more satisfying to drive. The 650 seats are positioned better and are more compfortable than those in the SL, depite the lack of ventilation and message functions. In fact, the seats in my 650 are much more comfortable than those in my 03 CL55. I find that the 650 is more comfortable and quieter with the top up than my 03 SL500, which not only transmitted road noise, but also exhaust system noise inside, as opposed to the exhaust note one hears with the windows open. Regarding the exhaust note, the 650 in Sport mode is quiet pleasing. To me the design of the 650 is better as well, especially the soft top. The Head Up display is a significant plus for the 650 and until one drives with it it is hard to convey just how good it is. I never would have thought that such a simple option would add so much to the driving enjoyment of a car. One cannot go wrong with either car, but driving satisfaction for me is much better in the 650. You may want to consider a used SL55 if you decide to go MB.
  • 07-11-2006, 04:53 PM

    Re: You can do better on a SL lease??

    When I priced the SL500 vs. the 650i leases, the SL was quite a bit more. I typically do pretty well at the local BMW dealership, but still... that's great for you if the numbers are close.

    I haven't driven the SL550 yet, but I'm sure it's a good improvement. One other thing to consider between the two (because I know I did) is the amount of cargo room in the two cars. While the backseat in the 6 is useless for anyone with legs, it does provide a nice place to stow items (briefcase, groceries, etc.). And, my golf clubs go in & out of the trunk easily. I'm not sure if that's an issue for you with the SL or not, but it was on my list of SL "cons."

    With these two choices, it'd be hard for you to go wrong. Good luck.
    '05 BMW 745i Sport (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 650i Coupe (TiSilver/Black)
    '06 BMW 325xiT (SpGraphite/Beige)
This thread has more than 20 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
1e2 Forum