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  1. #1
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    Member No: 18425 upsman1090 is an unknown quantity at this point upsman1090's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    shopping: '03 M5 vs '05 545i 6spd

    Hey Guys,

    Currently driving a 1992 535i 5spd with 410,000 miles on it. Motor is still solid, however was recently rearend and insurance totalled the car. But i am still driving it. Its fine, just cosmetics. Well I wasn't ready to spring for another car yet, but since this happened I have been shopping around for my next BMW and have narrowed it down to either a 2003 M5 or a 2005 545i 6spd. I'd like to spend around $20k and both these cars can be had for that amount.

    But I use my car for work everyday and drive between 100-200 miles per day. Not sure if the M5 would be ideal for this situation and give me the same reliablility as my current 1992 535i. Funny though they both get around the same gas mileage, so having an '03 M5 would be a nice upgrade but would the maintenance costs and reliablitiy make me regret buying it.

    then there is the 2005 545i ... its much more modern, has all those new bells and whistle, Ipod connection, and gets 25-30 MPG and I would image it might be less of a maintenance hog then the M5.

    So hard to decide...
    M5= 400hp=fun, 20MPG, 4000lbs, high maintenance? must use super fuel.
    or 545i= 333hp, 25-30MPG, 3600lbs, more modern, regular gas, low maintenance costs. new looks.

    I have driven a few M5s and one 545 and liked both, just cant make up my mind. I am leaning towards the M5, just afriad its gonna cost me a ton in maintenance and fuel.

    So guys if any of you have gone through this or have any input or insight that I might be missing here... please feel free to speak your mind - thanks
    Joe
    1992 535iJoe
    1992 535i

  2. #2
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    Member No: 67632 bilbmw is an unknown quantity at this point bilbmw's Avatar
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    Are you...

    ...planning on getting rid of the e34? If it's still running well (beside the cosmetics), why not get the M5 and keep the e34 as your trusty, daily driver. The M5 could your "toy" when you feel like "playing" a little. I have no experince(s) with e60 model.

    '00 M5
    -Carbon Black
    -Blk/Blu interior
    -Rogue short shift kit

    '97 528i
    -'99 Double VANOS motor
    -Jet Black
    -Sand Beige interior
    -Black Dashboard (upper/lower) and Center Console
    -Black all leather shift handle
    -Debadged
    -Mr. MPL lower mesh grille
    -Shadowline (diy) ext. trim
    -Frenched high beams
    -Clear front turn signals
    -Red/clear taillights
    -Clear side markers
    -Amber fr. fog lamps
    -Rear fog lamps
    -In-dash CD player (CD53 Business)
    -Dice iPod integration kit
    -CMT5000VR cell phone (old tech.)
    -Bav. Autosport mats w/ B/A icon (blue)
    -Burlwood e-brake handle
    -///M dead pedal
    -Rear view mirror w/ compass
    -Chrome instr. rings
    -...and a rebuilt GM 4L30E transmission!!

    '86 528e

    '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi w/5spd.

    '89 Merc. Grand Marquis

    BMWCCA member since 1998

  3. #3
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    Yes, I am keeping the E34....

    ... as my back-up emergency vechile. Plus I have been driving her for 12 years now and really craving a change, but yes I will definitely keep it.

    Bill - did you just get your M5? Only asking becasue you have a long list of upgrades for the 528i and only 1 for the M5.

    Joe
    1992 535i

  4. #4
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    I just...

    ...picked it up in August. I bought it from a buddy of mine. He got it from a salvor back in 2002. He finally got it done early this spring but now he wants to buy a house. I've watched the progress of the rebuild over the years and I'm close to the owner of the collision shop that did all the work. He made an offer I could NOT refuse and with only 13k on the clock, I grabbed it.

    '00 M5
    -Carbon Black
    -Blk/Blu interior
    -Rogue short shift kit

    '97 528i
    -'99 Double VANOS motor
    -Jet Black
    -Sand Beige interior
    -Black Dashboard (upper/lower) and Center Console
    -Black all leather shift handle
    -Debadged
    -Mr. MPL lower mesh grille
    -Shadowline (diy) ext. trim
    -Frenched high beams
    -Clear front turn signals
    -Red/clear taillights
    -Clear side markers
    -Amber fr. fog lamps
    -Rear fog lamps
    -In-dash CD player (CD53 Business)
    -Dice iPod integration kit
    -CMT5000VR cell phone (old tech.)
    -Bav. Autosport mats w/ B/A icon (blue)
    -Burlwood e-brake handle
    -///M dead pedal
    -Rear view mirror w/ compass
    -Chrome instr. rings
    -...and a rebuilt GM 4L30E transmission!!

    '86 528e

    '87 Chrysler Conquest TSi w/5spd.

    '89 Merc. Grand Marquis

    BMWCCA member since 1998

  5. #5
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    Member No: 18425 upsman1090 is an unknown quantity at this point upsman1090's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    test drove another 545i this weekend.

    thought I would share the latest.

    This weekend I found a dealer in Long Island, NY that had a '03 M5 and '05 545i on his lot at the same time. I took a ride out there, unfortunately when I got there the M5 had a deposit on it and was in the shop for a muffle hanger so i didnt get a chance to drive it, but I did see it. They were asking $17,595 it had 97k miles was silver with all black sport seats. It looks great except for the paint on the roof above the rear window was starting to dry out.

    But I did get to drive the '05 545i, 6sp/MT, 108k miles, asking $16k, it was black/black, overall good shape, except for the headlights were starting to yellow on the tops and the rear window gasket had bad dryrot, oh and there was a very notice shimmy at 60+mph. But this car pulled really hard compared to the 1st 545i I drove. This recent 545i left a good impression with me regarding its power, adding a point to the 545i as a contender to fill the spot in my garage.

    well anyway still have to drive another example Joe
    1992 535i

  6. #6
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    Member No: 56726 lezonebay is an unknown quantity at this point lezonebay's Avatar
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    The E60 is a maintanance nightmare but the E39

    M5 isn't so much better.

    Buy a low mileage E39 M5 and you'll be all right. The E60 545i is a worst car in quality wise. Early prod 545i were the absolute #1 for troubles according to many magazines and testers.
    The E39 is a bulletproof car compare to the 545i.

    <a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15298"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15298" border="0"></a><a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15297"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15297" border="0"></a><a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15296"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=15296" border="0"></a>

    1997 BMW 840CiA
    1990 BMW Z1
    1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
    2002 Astro Van AWD
    2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
    1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
    1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
    1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
    2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
    1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze

    1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)

  7. #7
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    Yes | No
    Quote Originally Posted by lezonebay View Post
    M5 isn't so much better. Buy a low mileage E39 M5 and you'll be all right. The E60 545i is a worst car in quality wise. Early prod 545i were the absolute #1 for troubles according to many magazines and testers. The E39 is a bulletproof car compare to the 545i. 1997 BMW 840CiA 1990 BMW Z1 1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile) 2002 Astro Van AWD 2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package 1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale) 1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior) 1977 BMW 320i (project racecar) 2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile) 1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze 1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)
    Thank you so much for the post. It's really useful.
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  8. #8
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    Inner Circle ©61 since: May 20, 2011 ExAlfa is an unknown quantity at this point ExAlfa's Avatar
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    Yes | No
    How about a compromise - a 2003 540 M-Sport. You get the rear diff ratio of the M5 so it squirts out of the hole a bit faster than a stock 540 Sport, plus M5-like front and rear bumper covers, Sport suspension + seats + wheel, M5 black headliner, unique (and nice looking) 18" staggered wheels, and a few other little nice things. Rock solid E39 chassis, and 540 reliability and reasonable maintenance costs (as compared to the M5, maybe a third to maintain). Would be a great car for your work needs in a great looking package with plenty of power and gobs of torque.

    '03 540iA M-Sport, H&R springs & M5 trunk spoiler
    Genesee Valley BMWCCA
    Finger Lakes region of NY
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  9. #9
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    Yes | No
    Tough call - however IMO the E60 is not a nice looking car. The M5 is not as common. M5 will be quicker and is a more raw.... It's more about the driving experience vs E60 is bells and whistles like you mentioned.

    My vote - M5.... (probably biased)
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    Yes | No
    And out from nowhere, back from the dead here I am.
    Personally, I was shopping for a dishwasher over the holiday, and was deciding between an LG which is feature packed ... a fabulous 3rd rack that does all the bells and whistles, steam, and features through the roof, then there was the bosch, the german made one, and it was a little pricier for the feature, and nowhere as "up-to-date" as the LG was. Everything said, the LG was a better price to feature formula. The only thing was, the Bosch cleaned better, and works rock solid, where as the LG was great when it worked, but usually doesn't work, and parts/repair had to be shipped from Korea or somewhere far, and took forever to receive.

    How does this relate to the easier to maintain and kept running E39 vs. the 545? I have no idea - time for some Jamacian Blue Mountain coffee. Anybody got change?
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  11. #11
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    Yes | No
    E39 M5 = Bosch
    E60 = LG (Gulp

    So which dishwasher did you get?
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