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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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    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

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    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

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    Member No: 128851 jj546 is an unknown quantity at this point jj546's Avatar
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    Re: test drove another 545i this weekend.

    Get the 545 or a 550, you'll be better off in the long run. The M5 does not have the water cooled alt. or the valley pan leaks. That was a 540 issue, I had one and they failed as did many other things. I have a 545 6spd and like it alot. No failures yet w/ 68k on the clock. "I drive" is a non issue if you can operate a cell phone.

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

    I don't think you're going to get away with using regular gas in the '05 545i, so you can add that back into your analysis.

    You also gotta decide if you want the E39 look vs. the E60. I had a '97 528i and often told myself that if I upgraded, it would be to an '03 E39 because I just did not want to deal with the iDrive and liked the E39 look a lot better.

    Well, a tree fell on my 528i and I considered an '00 M5 but found and test drove an '07 530xi. Both were within $2k of each other and I just felt it made a whole lot more sense to get a 7 year newer car, especially since it was going to be my daily driver.

    I was where you are now, but I guess I didn't want the M5 enough. My guess is that if you're asking the questions you are, you probably don't want one enough either.

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

    FYI, the comments I often see on the E39 board, where I usually hang out, are that not only do the V8 engines generally require a lot more maintenance than the sixes (valley pan gaskets, water-cooled alternator, etc.), but the M5 has a bunch of parts that are unique to that model, and thus the M5 parts are significantly more expensive with limited or no aftermarket sources to save you a few bucks.
    '03 525i Sapphire Blu/Grey, SP, Nav
    '02 325it Orient Blu./Grey, SP, Nav
    '98 323is Arctic Sil./Blk, SP
    '95 M3 Cosmos Blk./Blk

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