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I own the new M5 since November of 99. For the past week I was looking in to eventually trading my M5 for a 2001 E55. The reason is the fact that when driving from work the traffic is becoming so heavy that by the time I get home my foot hurts from pushing the clutch. <br>So, I thought the E55 would be the equivalent of what I have now but with the automatic transmission. I read 5-6 magazines which compared in 2000 the two cars along with the XJR, Porsche, Aston Martin, etc. as well as all the relevant posted comments on this and on the M5 discussion group threads.<br>Even all the magazines put the E55 as the second best after the M5 I was still prepared to go ahead and buy the black 2001 E55 in stock at a local dealer.<br>I made the appointment and test drove the E55 and struggled for the past 2 days to be positive and go for the E55. Unfortunately the difference in my opinion is so large that I had to say no! I know that what I am going to say now is not something you will like to read but the following are my firm observations:<br>The E55 is a poorly designed car. The interior is simple but poor. The lower torque is supposed to be stronger than the M5's but in my opinion is weaker, the comfort and luxury level in the E55 are dramatically lower than in the M5. I believe the E55 is a good and reliable car but is a mistake to compare it with the M5 from any point of view.<br>I will conclude by saying that the E55 is a good proof that Mercedes will soon have a great car in this class but if I would have to buy one of the two again there is no question that M5 is a truly great car and the E55 is just transportation.<br>Sorry for the above! If you do not agree and have the opportunity to test drive an M5, JUST DO IT! <br>Regards,<br>NOBEL<br>00 M5 Silvertone<br>
 

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No thanks, tested the M5 but picked the E55

You have a point there, we certainly don't go home with a hurting left foot after a long drive.<p>To me, the E55 is the best all rounded car, I don't get frustrated in the traffic and if I need to go fast, I just step on it not having to worry about switching DSC off, Sport button on, dropping the clutch at the right rpm, etc. If I drive others around, I enjoy the roomier back seat and for long distance, I appreciate the bigger trunk and the peace of mind from a real spare time.<p>If I bought the M5, I would regret having to fight BMW dealership on fixing up little annoyances like rattling, squeaking back seats, burnt clutch (who's fault is it, a design flaw or bad drivers..), flaky aluminum trims, navigation software crashes, engine problems, etc. The large number of problems with the M5 is just not worth it, no matter how special the interior may appear.<p>I must say I quite disagree with you on the performance comparison, I find the E55 having much more torque than the M5. Of course, it could be just me being a bad driver with a stick, I don't know. However, my instinct certainly agrees with most magazine results, that the M5 and E55 are pretty much neck to neck unless you are on a track where the manual will be much more handy. To get the M5 to perform similar numbers like the E55, you have to not only be a professional driver, but also having the guts to treat your clutch most ruthlessly, probably not a good idea considering the number of premature burnt clutch complaints!<p>No thanks, I prefer my E55!<p>
 

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Ditto the above well said (eom)

: You have a point there, we certainly don't go home with a hurting left foot after a long drive.<p>To me, the E55 is the best all rounded car, I don't get frustrated in the traffic and if I need to go fast, I just step on it not having to worry about switching DSC off, Sport button on, dropping the clutch at the right rpm, etc. If I drive others around, I enjoy the roomier back seat and for long distance, I appreciate the bigger trunk and the peace of mind from a real spare time.<p>If I bought the M5, I would regret having to fight BMW dealership on fixing up little annoyances like rattling, squeaking back seats, burnt clutch (who's fault is it, a design flaw or bad drivers..), flaky aluminum trims, navigation software crashes, engine problems, etc. The large number of problems with the M5 is just not worth it, no matter how special the interior may appear.<p>I must say I quite disagree with you on the performance comparison, I find the E55 having much more torque than the M5. Of course, it could be just me being a bad driver with a stick, I don't know. However, my instinct certainly agrees with most magazine results, that the M5 and E55 are pretty much neck to neck unless you are on a track where the manual will be much more handy. To get the M5 to perform similar numbers like the E55, you have to not only be a professional driver, but also having the guts to treat your clutch most ruthlessly, probably not a good idea considering the number of premature burnt clutch complaints!<p>No thanks, I prefer my E55!<p><p>
 

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Re: No thanks, tested the M5 but picked the E55

And now read Automobile Mags review of the C32 AMG vs the new M3...the C32 matches and wins in most categories. They liked the M3 better only because, as they state, it has a manual but must be driven be a pro to get the output to match a C32. That means only the pros will beat you in every day driving. Not likely to happen.<p>Cheers to E55's.<p>: You have a point there, we certainly don't go home with a hurting left foot after a long drive.<p>To me, the E55 is the best all rounded car, I don't get frustrated in the traffic and if I need to go fast, I just step on it not having to worry about switching DSC off, Sport button on, dropping the clutch at the right rpm, etc. If I drive others around, I enjoy the roomier back seat and for long distance, I appreciate the bigger trunk and the peace of mind from a real spare time.<p>If I bought the M5, I would regret having to fight BMW dealership on fixing up little annoyances like rattling, squeaking back seats, burnt clutch (who's fault is it, a design flaw or bad drivers..), flaky aluminum trims, navigation software crashes, engine problems, etc. The large number of problems with the M5 is just not worth it, no matter how special the interior may appear.<p>I must say I quite disagree with you on the performance comparison, I find the E55 having much more torque than the M5. Of course, it could be just me being a bad driver with a stick, I don't know. However, my instinct certainly agrees with most magazine results, that the M5 and E55 are pretty much neck to neck unless you are on a track where the manual will be much more handy. To get the M5 to perform similar numbers like the E55, you have to not only be a professional driver, but also having the guts to treat your clutch most ruthlessly, probably not a good idea considering the number of premature burnt clutch complaints!<p>No thanks, I prefer my E55!<p><p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Look here...

I just purchased my 01' M5 about 3 months ago. It now has close to 4k miles on it and I love every single mile of it. I test drove the E55 as well as the XJR. The XJR wasn't what I thought, sure it looks nice but the ride is WAY to soft, the cornering is like crap on that car. The E55 was a so so car...I expected more from MBZ. The car's interior felt very cheap with all the plastic, the engine had a lot of power but you had to punch it to get the power and without the 6-speed it lacks a lot. I test drove the M5 and just LOVED it! great handeling, styling, interior, everything! And when you gun it going on the freeway it just pushes you into your seat, and the sound of the engine! WOW! Now your probably thinking I don't know shit about cars. Well I do...I have owned close to 10 motorcycles in my days. 8 sport and 2 Harleys. My most recent bike is a 00 Suzuki Hayabusa and a 01 RC-51. Between these two cars, the M5 wins! hands down! if you want an "old" mans car that is only for around town then get a MBZ. But for all sport, handeling, braggin rights, the M5 is the one to have!<p>Once again, BMW wins!<br>
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No thanks, like most of us, we find the M5 inferior

Way too many quality problems, rear deck rattling, fake aluminum plastic trims peeling off, VANO problems, the famous premature worn clutch, inaccurate temperature sensor, climate control out of control, rear arm rest misalignment, GPS glitches with random computer crashes, rattling front dash, burning engine oil...<p>The M5 is too fragile and temperamental for our taste. The car doesn't even have a spare tire so I can't imagine wanting to rely on it for serious long distance use.<p>The E55 may not be as flashy to fulfill your bragging rights, but it's much more functional and reliable with better real life performance. Clearly we have different priorities.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Exactly. (nt)

: Way too many quality problems, rear deck rattling, fake aluminum plastic trims peeling off, VANO problems, the famous premature worn clutch, inaccurate temperature sensor, climate control out of control, rear arm rest misalignment, GPS glitches with random computer crashes, rattling front dash, burning engine oil...<p>The M5 is too fragile and temperamental for our taste. The car doesn't even have a spare tire so I can't imagine wanting to rely on it for serious long distance use.<p>The E55 may not be as flashy to fulfill your bragging rights, but it's much more functional and reliable with better real life performance. Clearly we have different priorities.<p>
 

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Logical-do you know Babylon

You say you know cars but you then go on to talk about motorcycles. Come on, get it right, a motorcylce is not a car (or haven't you figured out the whole two wheel/four wheel thing). If you say you know cars so well at least make up some cars you have owned instead of being so blatantly stupid (on second thought, you must know Babylon)!
 

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[ Originally posted to the Bimmer.org forums, but worth copying here ]<p>Having owned 40 cars in the last 13 years, the E55 tops them all... yes, including the M5.<br>Unless you live 30 miles deep into the countryside, much of today's driving will be start-and-stop urban traffic.<p>Frankly, the M5 is a grand old pain in the arse in this respect. After 9 months of ownership, I used to loathe waiting in queues.<p>The E55 provides similar shove -- it has around 30 ft lbs more torque than the M5 -- and despite the M5 shaving the odd second here and there, there's little to separate them in real-world motoring. It's also automatic.<p>Oh, and one further thing: the 5-series now ranks as dead bloody common in the UK, whereas the E-class remains a little more special. Pretenders such as the 530 Sport, 535 Sport and 540 Sport simply dilute the individuality of the "real" M5, and towards the end of my ownership I got tired of seeing wannabe bad-boys with their M-sport bodykits and scaffold-pole exhausts.<p>The M5 may be the car of the moment, but the E55 remains a better kept secret and is more rewarding to drive in more real world situations.<p>Jamie -- London, UK
 

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Re: Look here...

Cheap? The E55 interior isn't cheap, nor is it plasticky. This was a <i>Mercedes-Benz</i> E55 you were testing, right? Bomb-sight on the bonnet? The car you claim to have tested also has more ft. lbs. more torque than the M5, meaning you simply do NOT have to "punch it" to get the wheels to turn. That's just out-and-out nonsense. Power is more forthcoming at lower revs than the M5, and the auto box gets the car to 60mph in 5 seconds dead -- maybe less, depending on the tarmac.<p>"Lacks", you say? Where?<p>The M5's engine is also more muted than the monster in the E55. The E55 barks and snarls like a NASCAR winner, whereas the M5 is more whirr and whine. It's also nearly impossible to separate the M5 from its sibling Sport-badged wannabees.<p>My guess: it's impossible to tell, of course, but the original message reads as though the guy is currently tooling around in a 1997 528i and would dearly love a bad-ass M5. He hasn't tested an E55 at all, but probably does own a Harley.<p>Which just about says it all...<p>Jamie -- London, UK
 

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Well said Jamie

The E55 simply beats the M5 as an all rounded high performance sedan.<p>The manual gear box, the delicate clutch, the lack of room for a spare tire, the confined rear leg room simply limit the practicality of the M5.<p>As an outright high performance sports car, the M5 is too heavy creating the annoying understeer, less-than-perfect braking performance for track use. <p>As a GT car, the M5 lacks the spare tire making one think twice before using it for long trips.
 
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