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  1. #1
    Tom Noble
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    stupid question...'91 M5 vs. 540 6 speed

    I know all of the reasons to go with a nice M5, but who can make a real comparison to a '95 540 6 speed, chipped, springs, exhaust, etc for the same money as a stock M5? Some of you must own, or have owned, both cars.

    I am just debating the parts costs, maintanance costs, etc of the M compared to a nice, low mileage 540 with some goodies and readily available replacement parts.

    Thanks in advance!
    -tom

  2. #2
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    Member No: 130575 BMWE34M5 is an unknown quantity at this point BMWE34M5's Avatar
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    Have never owned a 540i but have driven a few....

    As an 8 year owner of a '91 M5 I can tell you for maintenance and parts costs the 540i is less expensive.The 540 has more low end torque and IMO is a better daily driver but for sheer driving pleasure or on the track-there aren't many cars that will give you more driving pleasure than the M5.
    The howl of the S38 at full throttle is unbeatable.
    If you can find a '95 540i with the Motorsport package (suspension,ground effects etc.)at a good price it is quite close to the handling of and possibly rarer than the E34 M5.

  3. #3
    mike
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    Re: stupid question...'91 M5 vs. 540 6 speed

    I have owned both. I had a 91' M5 and a 95' 540i sport 6 speed.
    Really the only difference is the M5 is more of a race car and the 540 is more luxurious. The M5's are noisey, rough idling, performance engines. The 540's are very, very smooth, but not as fun to drive. The 540's however are infamous for engine problems, cylinder wall defects and overheating. The M5's however are infamous for transmission syncro problems. As far as costs for parts, there is absolutly no difference, both are expensive. I liked my M5 better, but you should definatly drive both before buying.

  4. #4
    John
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    Owned two of each...here is my take.

    I have owned 2 95 M-Sports (6 spd) and 2 93 M5's. The cars are very similar in appearance, performance and cost to maintain. The differences, which are more subtle, are really in character or "feel". I'll echo the earlier comments that the M5 has an edgier, racier persona and the 540i Sport more civilized, more luxurious.

    My recommendation is to look at both and find the best car you can for what you want to spend. Ironically, the E34 M5's seem to carry a premium over the more rare M-Sports these days, a few years back the opposite was true.

    And yes, you need to watch out for the Nikasil issue with the 540i's.

    Good luck.

    John

  5. #5
    Davey V
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    Re: stupid question...'91 M5 vs. 540 6 speed

    Never drove an M5, but I have an MSport that I love more than any car I've owned. And that includes a '97 528i and a '99 540i sport. It's an exceptionally well balanced car. The problem is that most of them haven't been kept up very well, so the EDC struts and front ends need to be repaired. It seems that more of the M5s were bought by real enthusiasts who ponied up the big bucks for factory spec repairs. The MSport guys seem to have leaned towards eliminating the EDC systems and installing conventional shocks and struts. If you go for the MSport, I strongly recommend that you only buy a car with an Alusil engine. You'll pay a premium for it, but you'll sleep much better.

    Davey V.

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