: BMW 550i - What a waste



CVP33
03-13-06, 08:27 PM
I actually almost in a moment of weakness thought about maybe buying one of these M5 wannabe's. Or should I say a CTS-V wannabe. Here's the deal. The 550i bases at $59,095, dangerously close to the CTS-V. But to option the 550i the way a CTS-V or SRT-8 comes stock you'd need to spend almost $68,000! How's that for a bavarian broke back behinder? I thought this was the affordable barn stormer that was going to compete with the more American cars. Ehhhh, nice try fella's.

BASE PRICE - $59,095
Heated seats and headlamp washers - an extra $750
6 disc changer in the glove box?! (you've got to be kidding me) - an extra $1,800
Sport pkg. - traction control, dual power seats - an extra $2,300
Keyless start and entry - an extra $1,000
Navigation system - an extra $1,800
Satellite Radio - an extra $595
Side airbags - an extra $585

Not so grand total = $67,925.

With SRT-8's going for $45K and CTS-V's for $48K you have to ask yourself......is it really worth $20,000 more dollars to drive a slower car? I mean c'mon a CD changer in the glove box? Didn't GM do that in the 90's?

Zorb750
03-14-06, 02:44 AM
It's not all about speed. I personally hate the new 5 series, I think they are ugly. All I can say though is it's apples to oranges. Sit in the car. Listen to noise at highway speed. Drive the car to Florida form Michigan. I used to do it in my 540i Sport all the time before I sold it. I've been in a 300C, as well as SRT8. They do NOT compare. The 5 is so much more comfortable to drive, and to drive hard, that if you drove the car you would never have posted this.

Driving the 5 gives you this message in the back of your head "You know you can take that 30 mph turn at 65 without slowing down" and "I want to go faster. You're going too slowly."

With the 540i Sport 5spd Auto running 0-60 in 5.7-5.9 seconds, it's pretty quick too. It also has a very smooth transition to pushing it and overdoing it. Remember the first gen vipers? If you broke their limits by just a hair you'd go spinning off the road. This car's not like that. It tells you how hard you're pushing it by feel. I test drove the SRT8. No offense, but it's way the hell back where BMW was in the 1970s.

The current 5 series has lost a little of the sporting demeanor, and is overpriced. I agree that the CD should be standard. Mine was in the trunk not the glove box, as is the one in my current one BMW.

The bottom line is that if you drop prices, the BMW is better in every way except straight line speed, though at high speed, it's a much more assuring drive. Mine was natural at 150 MPH. The 300's floating and vibrating.

CVP33
03-14-06, 03:07 PM
It's not all about speed. I personally hate the new 5 series, I think they are ugly. All I can say though is it's apples to oranges. Sit in the car. Listen to noise at highway speed. Drive the car to Florida form Michigan. I used to do it in my 540i Sport all the time before I sold it. I've been in a 300C, as well as SRT8. They do NOT compare. The 5 is so much more comfortable to drive, and to drive hard, that if you drove the car you would never have posted this.

Driving the 5 gives you this message in the back of your head "You know you can take that 30 mph turn at 65 without slowing down" and "I want to go faster. You're going too slowly."

With the 540i Sport 5spd Auto running 0-60 in 5.7-5.9 seconds, it's pretty quick too. It also has a very smooth transition to pushing it and overdoing it. Remember the first gen vipers? If you broke their limits by just a hair you'd go spinning off the road. This car's not like that. It tells you how hard you're pushing it by feel. I test drove the SRT8. No offense, but it's way the hell back where BMW was in the 1970s.

The current 5 series has lost a little of the sporting demeanor, and is overpriced. I agree that the CD should be standard. Mine was in the trunk not the glove box, as is the one in my current one BMW.

The bottom line is that if you drop prices, the BMW is better in every way except straight line speed, though at high speed, it's a much more assuring drive. Mine was natural at 150 MPH. The 300's floating and vibrating.

For the record the 300C SRT-8 is vault quiet unless your "on it". Also for the record it tracks nicely, no drama at 150mph or 173mph for that matter. :highfive:

Zorb750
03-15-06, 05:06 PM
Impressive. I was in a regular 300C and it became unsettled at about 135-140. It felt like the front was on a waterbed.

I think the current 5 is ugly though, do you see the resemblance to a Pontiac?

Blackout
03-19-06, 02:28 PM
I think the car is worth the price tag. Its the crem de la crem of the luxury sedans and because Chrysler or Cadillac has a car thats faster for less money makes the 550i for less? After being in the CTS-V and the SRT-8 I can tell just by interior fit and finish as well as the quality of the interior of the BMW makes up the price tag. SRT-8 and CTS-V's interior is very plain and plasticy while the BMW's looks more refined and upscale. Speed doesn't justify price tags alone.

CVP33
03-19-06, 03:53 PM
That must be one hell of a $20,000 interior. Let's see pool or interior. Let's see new boat or interior. Let's see dream vacation for 4 or interior. I think I made the right choice. :thumbsup:

Blackout
03-19-06, 04:50 PM
That must be one hell of a $20,000 interior. Let's see pool or interior. Let's see new boat or interior. Let's see dream vacation for 4 or interior. I think I made the right choice. :thumbsup:Well if all you care about is going fast then yes you did make the right choice. But not everyone is looking at that and that only. BMW guys tend to be a little bit older and want the top of the line. If you want to compare the 550i to anything then it should be a regular CTS or a CHrysler 300 or 300C. Not the top of the line 300 and CTS. If you wanted to do that then you should be talking about the M5 which I think that price is quite justified.

CVP33
03-19-06, 05:49 PM
You lost me. Compare a V8 powered sedan for roughly $50K (SRT-8 and CTS-V) to a V10, $100K sedan (M5). You're going to have to help me here, clearly I'm missing it.

Your other example has me lost too. Compare a base V6 CTS and 300 for about $29K to a V8 powered 550i for around $68K. Again you have to help me here I'm not getting it.

Thanks for your patience.

chris

Zorb750
03-19-06, 06:44 PM
Ok... Pretty much you are (should be*) paying for a higher quality interior, better noise damping, the BMW's transmission is flawless, near telepathic, never seems to do the wrong thing, more adjustability of seats, more customizability and programmability of options, things like that. There are differences that are hard to just say outright. The feeling of closing the door, the self closing trunk (not just powered pulldown) even by remote. The adaptive headlamps and brake lights. The hoods that never get stuck down unlike a lot of GM products, no clue if any Chryslers do this.

All that being said, I think the e39 5 series was a work of art compared to this current car. The newer car is marginally faster and quieter, and I do mean marginally. A 2000 540i 5 speed Auto Sport does 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, normal 540i 5 speed Auto does 6.0, and the 540i Sport 6 Speed manual 5.6. BMW claims 5.6, 5.9, 5.4 respectively BTW, but these numbers are Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines, which I consider more accurate. Same numbers were in each.

I guess you just have to feel the solidity of the car to appreciate it, the old one more than the new one. As I think I indicated before, I am not a current 5 series fan. To put it mildly, I think it has way more plastic than my 540i Sport had, and it lighter everything, but it's still more solid than any 300, CTS, or STS. No, it's not as fast as the SRT8, CTS-V, or STS-V.

Whoever that was that said the CTS-V could outperform the e39 M5 is on crack BTW. I've seen track times and average speed for each, only GM's test (and on a preproduction car too) had it ahead of the M5. No test on a production car has been very close at all. Kind of like that 300C that got sent to Car&Driver before the model came out. The "Rocketlike" in their words 5.4 second 0-60, the 330-something HP they dynoed it at both led to more than a few angry words bring written by the magazine about that business after the production car came out, dynoing 28x HP and running 6.4.

CVP33
03-19-06, 08:03 PM
Zorb,

Please find some reports of CTS-V and 5 series track times. I'd be interested in seeing those. The only ones I was able to find were C&D or MT's that showed the CTS-V beating both the M5 and the M3. I'd be interested in seeing your track times.

Thanks,

c

CVP33
03-19-06, 08:26 PM
http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=3127

CVP33
03-19-06, 08:29 PM
"Around the Nürburgring, the V is heroic. Without trying too hard, we were able to lap in less than nine minutes, just four seconds shy of our best time in the ultimate pre-993 Porsche 911, the RS 3.8. John Heinricy, director of high-performance vehicles for GM's Performance Division, has gone around the circuit in eight minutes and nineteen seconds, which is better than the current M3 has managed to do."

The M3 is quicker around a track than the old M5 and certainly better than a 540 or 550i. Using the transitive property, the CTS-V is better than the M3, M5 (old), 540 and 550i.

Here's a link:

http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/sedans/0309_cadillac_cts_v/index1.html

CVP33
03-19-06, 08:34 PM
We also enjoy the fact that the "sport" in this sport sedan has as much to do with finesse as speed. Through our slalom, the CTS-V feels responsive and easily controllable-more like a sports car than a 3800-plus pound sedan-even with all electronic aids switched off. The CTS-V works the cones best under power, which keeps the rears solidly planted. Its 46.2-mph top speed through the 490-foot course bests the E55 (42.9) and the last-gen M5 (44.0), even with a wheelbase that stretches longer than either. Only the M3 and C32-which are at least six inches shorter between the axles-come close, at 46.0 and 45.1 mph, respectively. Through it all, the CTS-V exhibits only the barest hint of body roll.
The Caddy will also power around our 200-foot skidpad with a moderate amount of understeer, staying balanced with the smallest throttle inputs and pulling 0.88 gs in the process.
http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answers/reviews/aw-2.jpg

Bringing the whole show to a stop, its brakes-and a terrific set of Goodyear Eagle F1s-pull the CTS-V down from 60 mph in an M5-matching 112 feet (and besting all other aforementioned competitors). No dive, no drama, just a lot of serious negative gs.

Clearly on the test above the CTS-V outgunned the old M5 so again using the transitive property I would have to conclude that the CTS-V will out handle the 540 and 550i.

Here's another link:
http://www.cadillacfaq.com/faq/answers/reviews/aw-article.html

I think I'm done with this thread for awhile until I see some conclusive evidence regarding the handling prowess of the 540 and 550i. I need facts to stay entertained.

Zorb750
03-19-06, 10:02 PM
The same owners did have a few complaints. The shifter could be more precise, its throws shorter and the clutch effort not so light, most said. Why the CTS-V lacks steering-wheel audio and nav controls present on the base car perplexed many. Some still complained about the presence of hard plastic bits on the door panels and dash, others about the lack of space to rest the left arm. The two biggest gripes involved the foot-operated parking brake (just plain stupid) and excessive wind noise around the doors.


This sums up most of it right there.

I never said the 540 or 550 were better on track than CTS-V. I said the M5 was. Get me a comparison of the RS6 in there, other than just a mention. Mentioning that car in this game is a mistake. I almost bought one. I bought the 7 instead. I looked at the M5 too. I didn't want a manual transmission because I drive in cities too much. As a toy ok, as an every-other-day car, no.

I can just tell you that I've seen the M5 and CTS-V on a track. The M5 usually does better. It's definitely a better car, even if it were slower either way. At least your average M5 will still operate, and be driven, in 15 years. That disco Cadillac will be rusting in a junkyard.

CVP33
03-19-06, 10:10 PM
Again I'll just wait for some facts to respond to. Saying something is "disco rust" or whatever really doesn't get me too riled up. I'll just wait for some facts as everyone has opinions. :thumbsup:

Zorb750
03-20-06, 02:08 AM
Disco Cadillac. It's my name for the CTS because of its odd styling. Not necessarily bad, just unusual.

Ok, a fact is that the BMW is better built. Go look seriously at one. Feel what it feels like to shut the door, or to open the door, the feel of the mechanism. How does the clutch feel? Is it well weighted, though not needlessly heavy, or is it light, maybe too light? The V's got a lighter clutch than a Corvette does. I know that much. The M5 is perfectly balanced, easy to control. You're a pro within 5 minutes. The V I drove was too easy to let up too fast, leading to jerky launches, or maybe not jerky, but not smooth either. M5 can be driven smoothly without any real effort.

The bottom line is that there's more to price than performance. Do you pay +$300000 for a Rolls Royce then complain that it's not faster than your friend's Corvette? I would hope not. Now, that's an issue of comparing different kinds of cars, so it's not especially applicable here. I'm just saying that the M5 is a better car, and so is any other 5 series. BTW: A dinan kit for a 540i Sport will improve its handling beyond the capacities of the M5, and the CTS V. I know, that's a modified vehicle, and I am sure you can do something to the CTS suspension too, though not quite as much.

The intent of this isn't to get you riled up. It's just to explain why the 5 series is worth its higher price tag than the CTS. And as I said, it's not just performance that makes it a good car. I would not buy a CTS at all. I think it's cheap with shoddy interior quality. I love when you poke at the padding on the door, where instead of feeling your finger hit the bottom of the pad, you feel the plate behind it start to bend. Cheap. Really cheap.

Oh, and so you know, the M5 we've been comparing to was the last generation. It's essentially a 1997 car, with a package introduced in 1999 (euro) 2000 (us). The current M5 IS much improved, and exceeds the old M5 and the CTS V, even the Mercedes E55 for 0-60.

davesdeville
03-20-06, 06:53 AM
Great, BMW is God now, we'll all bow down...

Oh wait.

Jesda
03-20-06, 12:25 PM
I do miss my old, old 5-series, and I'll buy another only if I get a ridiculously good deal like I did before. Otherwise, the very apparent goodness of a BMW, to ME, isn't worth the price premium.

Its subjective, really. Perhaps emotionally, it has everything. Empirically, the 550i is a poor choice.

Zorb750
03-20-06, 06:22 PM
As before, I like the BMW for the same reason as the Cadillacs of my style. Davesdeville should get that one perfectly, his car's fairly similar to mine. Poke around the interior, examine everything, then do the same to a CTS, then to a BMW 5 series. The BMW 5 is about the same as the Eldorado is. The CTS is surprisingly cheap, actually really cheap. Not Econobox cheap, but not a Cadillac at all in interior quality. Probably why it costs so little.

Kadonny
03-21-06, 04:57 PM
As before, I like the BMW for the same reason as the Cadillacs of my style. Davesdeville should get that one perfectly, his car's fairly similar to mine. Poke around the interior, examine everything, then do the same to a CTS, then to a BMW 5 series. The BMW 5 is about the same as the Eldorado is. The CTS is surprisingly cheap, actually really cheap. Not Econobox cheap, but not a Cadillac at all in interior quality. Probably why it costs so little.


Guess what, I did this. I looked very hard at the BMW 550I, very hard. The interior is marginally better than the CTS-V. It had wood, which was nice, but the guage layout and and nav layout I did not care for and the rest of the interior had plastic too.

Why is the CTS interior suprisingly cheap? Lack of wood accent? I actually like the CTS-V seats much better. The suede inserts are genius and very very comfortable. The stock 5 series seats are uncomfortable. You either need to pay for the sport package and get the sport seats or even upgrade to the comfort seats to get a comfy seat.

Does the BMW have overall better material on the interior? Yes, but IMO marginally and definatly not 20k better. Check the E60 forums, there are plenty of people over there complaining about their transmissions and electronics. The 5 series is electronic overkill and it shows in many of the cars, especially the 04. Do a search on "software upgrade" and see how many hits you get.

Cadillacboy
03-21-06, 05:31 PM
How stupid people these who buy that rubbit hutch shape ugly car . It's nothing but wasting such an enormous amount of money to have a goofy desire

gobuster
04-06-06, 05:43 PM
I must confess that I think the E60 5 series has an ugly interior that is an ergonomic nightmare. I've not driven one but hear it is not as good as my E39 540i, a car I have the greatest respect for. Utimately, all the cars discussed here are pretty quick and the fact that one may beat the other in a drag is basically unimportant. I've driven the CTS-V and 300 SRT 8 and both are quicker than the 540, but, they lack the refinement, the balance and comfort that make the 540 so special. On a drive from, say Miami to Atlanta, none of those other cars could beat the 540i without driving insane speeds, yet I'll arrive fresh where as in a CTS-V or SRT 8 you will be beat up!

Hopefully my E39 will last till the next generation of the 5 series, which, hopefully will have a decent interior and better styling to go along with it's superior driving dynamics.

Rob

toysnob
06-07-06, 03:18 AM
I must confess that I think the E60 5 series has an ugly interior that is an ergonomic nightmare. I've not driven one but hear it is not as good as my E39 540i, a car I have the greatest respect for. Utimately, all the cars discussed here are pretty quick and the fact that one may beat the other in a drag is basically unimportant. I've driven the CTS-V and 300 SRT 8 and both are quicker than the 540, but, they lack the refinement, the balance and comfort that make the 540 so special. On a drive from, say Miami to Atlanta, none of those other cars could beat the 540i without driving insane speeds, yet I'll arrive fresh where as in a CTS-V or SRT 8 you will be beat up!

Hopefully my E39 will last till the next generation of the 5 series, which, hopefully will have a decent interior and better styling to go along with it's superior driving dynamics.

Rob

Well put. Everything said in this thread by the pro-BMW posters can easily be said too of the Audi S4 in the thread entitled "S4 vs. CTS-V....". I was banging the same drum in that thread but earwax seemed to prevent folks from hearing me.

Cars from BMW and Audi are not just desirable because of a logo or badge, but because by and large they offer more refined driving experiences, more reliability, genuine luxury as opposed to faux-luxury and obviously higher build quality.

I have never been a fan of BMW's interiors, at least compared to Audis, they come in a distant 2nd, but so does pretty much every car under $90k. But puleez, if you're going to compare a BMW interior to a GM, BMW will come out looking decadent.

I see a lot of manufacturers that try to copy German interiors. Even Volvo does it. The brushed aluminum look found in Altimas, Cadillacs/GMs, etc. don't measure up to the trim in the S4. I mean really, the leather on the S4's doors are so thick you can't feel the door that sits beneath them.

Or let's talk about the seats. The S4 comes with Recaro sport seating, with driver-side lumbar support. And the "genius" fake suede in the CTS-V? Yeah, it has been in the Audi S4 for the past 6 years, and it's otherwise found in Maseratis and other high end european cars.

I could go on. We could talk about paint quality (those found in cars from BMW, MB and Audi look better than what is on a GM and offer better protection and long term aging).

Or how about the leather stitching? The stitching on the CTS-V's steering wheel looks cheap compared to the wheels found in the S4 or RS4.

Then there's the layout of the console, which on european cars usually outscores American and Japanese cars by leaps and bounds. Even Volvo, whose dashboards can sometimes be so neat that they apear cold, would be preferable to what's found in GM.

The funniest thing I saw today was a black Chrysler 300C with silver side view mirrors. I don't know if that is stock or if it was a modification, but it makes me laugh since that is a signature of the S and RS Audis.

Exterior styling, exhaust note, etc, etc, etc, etc.. Sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Jesda
06-07-06, 06:22 AM
The flaws on a GM product are usually skin deep. When an Audi fails you, it leaves you stranded in a bad part of town, waiting for a tow to a dealer that will treat you like dirt and rob you blind. German dependability does not apply to Audi-VW.

Randy_W
06-07-06, 01:36 PM
the BMW's transmission is flawless, near telepathic,

I find this quite a compliment to GM, since BMW has been using GM automatic transmissions for years! GM was building and selling 5 speed autos to BMW long before using them in their own cars. Rolls and Bently as well as Jaguar also used GM trannys.:thumbsup:

toysnob
06-07-06, 02:19 PM
The flaws on a GM product are usually skin deep. When an Audi fails you, it leaves you stranded in a bad part of town, waiting for a tow to a dealer that will treat you like dirt and rob you blind. German dependability does not apply to Audi-VW.

Sounds like you're spreading FUD to me. Do you work for 60 Minutes? I remember the hatchet job they did on Audi a decade ago over the mysterious automatically accellerating Audi 5000s, which turned out to be idiot drivers slamming on the gas before taking the car out of Park.

I've had no problems with my S4 after 10k miles. On the other hand Mercedes Benz over the past 5 years has had serious quality assurance issues. Amongst the Germans, Audi is at the top of the list lately, I don't know where you're getting your information from.

You can believe what you want, but the quality of German cars is obviously above American cars. Just slam the door shut on your CTS-V.. Nice clanky sound.. Slam the trunk or door on an S4 or 3 series.. A nice solid thuddd!

And I don't know how you can say GM's problems are only skin deep. When a car is loud and noisy at highway speeds and starts to shimmy, I don't call that skin deep.

And from what I hear, the reason the CTS-V is being pushed off the lot for over $10k off MSRP is because they keep breaking. This opinion comes from one of your fellow CTS fans, check the S4 vs. CTS-V thread for more info.

Skin deep? Uhuh..

CVP33
06-07-06, 06:10 PM
[quote=toysnob]You can believe what you want, but the quality of German cars is obviously above American cars. Just slam the door shut on your CTS-V.. Nice clanky sound.. Slam the trunk or door on an S4 or 3 series.. A nice solid thuddd!

quote]

Sorry toysnob but that's just not true. One of the first things I noticed is how solid the CTS-V sounded when the door is shut, as is the SRT-8 for that matter. I won't argue the other points because frankly we've been there already.

toysnob
06-08-06, 02:44 PM
CVP33, if the CTS-V and SRT-8 doesn't suffer from this problem then that is a good improvement, GM should now bring this "feature" to all of their cars. As is the cases on the lowest Jetta or Golf, none of VAGs cars have this issue and there's no reason why GM should be different.

CVP33
06-08-06, 07:56 PM
CVP33, if the CTS-V and SRT-8 doesn't suffer from this problem then that is a good improvement, GM should now bring this "feature" to all of their cars. As is the cases on the lowest Jetta or Golf, none of VAGs cars have this issue and there's no reason why GM should be different.

Domestic quality is getting better, much better. I had some bad luck with my CTS-V but I have a 2002 Tahoe with 70,000 miles and absolutely no issues and a quiet/tight interior. We also have a 2000 LHS which had some issues early on, but has been scary reliable now with over 115,000 miles. My SRT-8 is driven as if I raped a nun at a Police picnic and I'm trying to escape and I've had no issues.

But don't use my anectdotal evidence, just look up JD Power. Buick, Caddy and other domestics are climbing up while some Europeans and Japanese vehicles decline.

CVP33
06-08-06, 08:01 PM
Here's the facts. I high-lighted the one's that I thought our group would find surprising.

2006 Nameplate IQS Ranking
PROBLEMS PER 100 VEHICLES
Porsche 91
Lexus 93
Hyundai 102
Toyota 106
Jaguar 109
Honda 110
Cadillac 117
Infiniti 117
GMC 119
Acura 120
Chrysler 120
Lincoln 121
Nissan 121
Chevrolet 124
Industry Average 124
Ford 127
Mercury 129
Saturn 129
Audi 130
Dodge 132
Pontiac 133
Volvo 133
Buick 134
Mitsubishi 135
Kia 136
Mercedes-Benz 139
Scion 140
BMW 142
Subaru 146
Mazda 150
MINI 150
Jeep 153
Saab 163
Suzuki 169
HUMMER 171
Volkswagen 171
Isuzu 191
Land Rover 204

Zorb750
06-09-06, 03:46 AM
Yeah but that doesn't mean a lot. A "problem" could be that the ashtray doesn't stay closed. I know that it would drive me insane to have an ashtray rattling open and closed but it's still not a major problem. Use a piece of tape to secure it until you can get a new spring for it.

CVP33
06-09-06, 05:21 PM
Yeah but that doesn't mean a lot. A "problem" could be that the ashtray doesn't stay closed. I know that it would drive me insane to have an ashtray rattling open and closed but it's still not a major problem. Use a piece of tape to secure it until you can get a new spring for it.

Tell that to the guy with the $60,000 vehicle and the broken ash tray. I get pretty shitty with dealers when I have problems with a brand new vehicle. As well I should for the money I've shelled out. As for the ash tray example, the domestic cars have ash trays too.

toysnob
06-10-06, 12:11 AM
Tell that to the guy with the $60,000 vehicle and the broken ash tray. I get pretty shitty with dealers when I have problems with a brand new vehicle. As well I should for the money I've shelled out. As for the ash tray example, the domestic cars have ash trays too.

Well there is a big difference with an ashtray and the car breaking down. Electronics being more prevelant in cars has also made this issue even more difficult to really quantify. I think most people understand that German cars are more reliable from a mechanical perspective, at least in the high end cars. Engines that are hand built in Germany are more desirable than ones built in a factory in Detroit.

toysnob
06-10-06, 12:12 AM
Btw, this thread should really just have been called German vs. American cars, because that is all this is about. I have a feeling CVP33 that you could have driven any German car and came out swinging with the same rhetoric :)

Zorb750
06-10-06, 04:09 AM
But I'm not (unusual I know) taking one or other side.

I had a 1989 Jimmy a while ago. My dad bought it new when I was in elementary school (Kindergarten). The S Jimmy was supposedly a very problematic car, and it did have its share of problems. They included three digital dashboard replacements, a VSS replacement, a new alternator, an air conditioner valve leaking that had to be replaced, a broken headlight switch, and a few interior little problems. This was over the span of 367000 miles that we kept the car, and sold it in good working order. Most of that which broke happened during the first three or four years. The alternator went at 180K miles. The dashboards at 30, 210, 280K miles. VSS at around 40000. Oh and a prom (chip) was replaced as defective a couple of times when the car was almost new to correct for a rising and falling RPM at idle in Neutral or Park. I don't have the receipt for that repair, but I remember it being donw. I have the others though.

That would be a horribly problematic car in the world of initial quality, but it was the best car that anyone I know ever had.

Randy_W
06-10-06, 08:29 AM
I think most people understand that German cars are more reliable from a mechanical perspective, at least in the high end cars. Engines that are hand built in Germany are more desirable than ones built in a factory in Detroit.

That is a severe misconception, when you remove diesel cars from the equation and compare gas engines, Mercedes has no better repair record than Chevy over the last 10 years.

I hear over and over about the "butter smooth" BMW auto trans, well Bubba, that trans is designed and built in America by the General Motors Powertrain Division and the electronic controls for it are Delphi! Rolls, Bently and Jag have all used GM tranny's in recent years. So this 'myth' of German enginerring and mechanical superiority is just that, a myth, if not, we would be saying Hiel Hitler instead of God bless America!:thumbsup:

CVP33
06-10-06, 01:32 PM
Btw, this thread should really just have been called German vs. American cars, because that is all this is about. I have a feeling CVP33 that you could have driven any German car and came out swinging with the same rhetoric :)

The term "rhetoric" implies; a way with words, elocution and articulation. I think you meant something else. My opinions were developed from test driving several German, Japanese and domestic brands. I've honestly never owned a German make but I certainly won't rule one out.

Right now I'm driving the perfect vehicle for me. It didn't handle quite as well as I'd hoped so I took car of that. The ragazines gave the SRT-8 a .88-.90g on the skid pad. With my coilovers and sways I'd imagine I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of .93-.95g's. Not many 4,160 lb. vehicles that can match those numbers, run a 12.9 second quarter mile and comfortably seat 4 adults for under $46K. I'm not saying the SRT-8 is the best car ever. Just the best choice for me.

CVP33
06-10-06, 01:34 PM
That is a severe misconception, when you remove diesel cars from the equation and compare gas engines, Mercedes has no better repair record than Chevy over the last 10 years.

I hear over and over about the "butter smooth" BMW auto trans, well Bubba, that trans is designed and built in America by the General Motors Powertrain Division and the electronic controls for it are Delphi! Rolls, Bently and Jag have all used GM tranny's in recent years. So this 'myth' of German enginerring and mechanical superiority is just that, a myth, if not, we would be saying Hiel Hitler instead of God bless America!:thumbsup:

Mercedes is awful. Most enthusiast don't even argue for M/B reliability anymore. They lost a lot over the last 10 years.

toysnob
06-10-06, 01:44 PM
Mercedes is awful. Most enthusiast don't even argue for M/B reliability anymore. They lost a lot over the last 10 years.

Yeah I think I made special note of that several times, unless it was on the other thread (S4 vs. CTS-V). No doubt MB has suffered serious QA problems.

CVP33, I am soon to put some CO on the S4 as well. I agree that with a few little mods these cars can be improved even further.

Randy_W
06-10-06, 10:29 PM
Yeah I think I made special note of that several times, unless it was on the other thread (S4 vs. CTS-V). No doubt MB has suffered serious QA problems.

CVP33, I am soon to put some CO on the S4 as well. I agree that with a few little mods these cars can be improved even further.

That doesn't address the tranny issue or the fact you said German units were superior. That statement means all German is better than all Detroit. If that's not what you meant, then specifically tell us which German item is better than which Detroit item and explain why.:thumbsup:

toysnob
06-11-06, 03:09 AM
I think it addresses it fine since I made several mentions that Merces Benz was recently an exception to the long held German mantle of quality cars. I think I was even the first to mention it, so what exactly is your gripe here?

Even that said, its uncharacteristic of MB, and in the history of cars its a blip on the radar.

American car fans remind me of Red Sox fans. Its like, yeah the Red Sox won the World Series, and yeah they trounced the Yankees in a historic playoff series, and they finally have a foot on the playing field of championship baseball. But it's as if that is supposed to erase an 86 year drought. As if the Yankees aren't going to own once again?

I mean common, GM is bleeding money out it's a$$, there are no gaurantees it will be around in 5 years, let alone 3.

toysnob
06-11-06, 03:12 AM
That doesn't address the tranny issue or the fact you said German units were superior. That statement means all German is better than all Detroit. If that's not what you meant, then specifically tell us which German item is better than which Detroit item and explain why.:thumbsup:

As far as the tranny issue goes, it wasn't I who made light of BMW's tranny, that was someone else.

But seeing as how you brought it up I think it's worth noting that its useless to point to this fact. What good is it if GM builds great trannys for BMW. I am an American. I know we have some of the smartest people in the world here. I owned American cars for my whole life until I said enough is enough.

Of course we can build great stuff. Its how the business is run that I think is whack. GM should stop building great xyz for another car company and start worrying about their own cars.

I think we have to limit the debate to technology GM actually ships in their cars, not the theoretical intillectual output of each country's car makers. We live in a globalized world now.

Zorb750
06-11-06, 04:11 AM
...
I hear over and over about the "butter smooth" BMW auto trans, well Bubba, that trans is designed and built in America by the General Motors Powertrain Division and the electronic controls for it are Delphi! Rolls, Bently and Jag have all used GM tranny's in recent years. ...

No no no no no. BMW 3 series automatics are GM. 5L40E usually to be exact. The 6 cylinder e39 5 series cars are too, as is the X5 3.0. All of the others use ZF transmissions, which is a German company. (Zahnradfabrik Freidrichschaffen if I am spelling it right). In the few cases where ZF and GM transmissions are on similar cars, the ZFs do have a better reputation for durability and do behave better. Additionally, when BMW does use GM transmissions, they do not use the Delphy control electronics, they use BMW's own electronic modules, just like the ZF equipped cars do (though not the same component model).

As far as Mercedes Benz engines, the incidence of internal engine malfunction (bottom end or valvetrain) is in fact lower than your typical American built engine. Same for BMW. Then again, they have each had one dud recently that I can think of... The 333HP M3 inline 6 (3.2) had an issue with bearings wearing through and causing connecting rod caps to break. This was fixed by changing suppliers of the bearings.
The Mercedes 4.2 V8 had more head gasket problems than our Northstar V8s ever did.

Randy_W
06-11-06, 09:16 AM
No no no no no. BMW 3 series automatics are GM. 5L40E usually to be exact. The 6 cylinder e39 5 series cars are too, as is the X5 3.0. All of the others use ZF transmissions, which is a German company. (Zahnradfabrik Freidrichschaffen if I am spelling it right). In the few cases where ZF and GM transmissions are on similar cars, the ZFs do have a better reputation for durability and do behave better. Additionally, when BMW does use GM transmissions, they do not use the Delphy control electronics, they use BMW's own electronic modules, just like the ZF equipped cars do (though not the same component model).

As far as Mercedes Benz engines, the incidence of internal engine malfunction (bottom end or valvetrain) is in fact lower than your typical American built engine. Same for BMW. Then again, they have each had one dud recently that I can think of... The 333HP M3 inline 6 (3.2) had an issue with bearings wearing through and causing connecting rod caps to break. This was fixed by changing suppliers of the bearings.
The Mercedes 4.2 V8 had more head gasket problems than our Northstar V8s ever did.

Why does it matter which models use them? Where is your documentation countering the gas engine studies, results, and those showing the ZF with fewer failures in the same model?

Also BMW has signed new agreements to buy GM's hybrid transmission as has DCX for use in the '08 Durango! If Germany offered a better option why wouldn't a MB owned company use it? Germany has no such advantage, like I said, if the Germans were such whiz kids, why did they lose WW II?? They were out teched and out produced by the greatest manufacuring machine on earth, the USA. It's just hard for those with anti American sentiment to admit!

frip
06-20-06, 10:44 AM
I test drove the SRT8. No offense, but it's way the hell back where BMW (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/#) was in the 1970s.

Really, got figures to prove it, lol?:)

Livin in the 70s (http://www.e12e28.ch/weblinks/15a05000.htm)

http://www.motorbase.com/pictures/contributions/990913/std_1974_bmw_520_japanese_advert.jpg

JCM1
07-24-06, 02:38 PM
"if the Germans were such whiz kids, why did they lose WW II??"

What does that have to do with it? Funny part is, if Hitler wasn't such an idiot when it came to miliarty tactics and left fighting the war to his generals, Germany would have won. And yes, that is a FACT. If you study the events of the Normandy invasion for example, Hitler could have committed his 13th Army Group to the fight instead of leaving the smaller, less equiped 7th Army to defend Normandy and it would have been all over. This would have given the German enginneers the extra three months necessary to complete their own atomic bomb and the Germans had a V-2 rocket delivery system. So it was by God's good grace that Hilter was an idiot and did not listen to his generals and we were not f***ed in that war.
And lets not forget all the technology that the Germans developed in the relm of rocketry was the reason for most of the advancments the United States and the Soviet Union made in the exploration of space as well as the development of ICBM's. And that's only one of several examples, jet engines were another area of German achevment as well as several major advancments in the business of developing nasty war toys. Both the United States and the Soviet Union shaved at least 15 years off of their R&D in several areas due to the information they captured after the war ended.

JCM1
07-24-06, 02:42 PM
P.S. Out produced yes but, considering the war was never taken to the U.S. mainland and the size difference of the countries that's no surprise. Out "teched", not a chance in hell.

CVP33
07-24-06, 06:27 PM
Wow, defending the Nazi's war machine. Cool. The 550i still sux and isn't worth the money. :thumbsup:

thebigjimsho
07-24-06, 07:38 PM
I think it addresses it fine since I made several mentions that Merces Benz was recently an exception to the long held German mantle of quality cars. I think I was even the first to mention it, so what exactly is your gripe here?

Even that said, its uncharacteristic of MB, and in the history of cars its a blip on the radar.

American car fans remind me of Red Sox fans. Its like, yeah the Red Sox won the World Series, and yeah they trounced the Yankees in a historic playoff series, and they finally have a foot on the playing field of championship baseball. But it's as if that is supposed to erase an 86 year drought. As if the Yankees aren't going to own once again?

I mean common, GM is bleeding money out it's a$$, there are no gaurantees it will be around in 5 years, let alone 3.Bad analogies all over the place here. The Yankees are now the ones bleeding money out its a$$ and not winning World Series. The Red Sox are doing it the right way. And as for quality of American cars... I was able to drive my V around just fine during its break-in period. I know the difference between a Mass Airflow Sensor and an O2 sensor. And my V will still spank your RS4.

JCM1
07-24-06, 10:53 PM
Has absolutly nothing to do with defending the Nazi war machine. And considering I have Jewish relatives that's definalty not the case. The point is too many Americans allow themselves to become complaicent and rely on past victories regardless if it is war or automotive engineering. You can't stand there and salute the flag and claim to be number one as our market share slips to the Germans and Japanese. American auto manufactures once again are repeating the 1970's. It hasn't been until the last three or so years that some are waking up and realizing how much we have once again handed to the Germans and Japanese. It is as simple as this; if you don't know your enemy and understand his capabilities then you don't even know yourself. If we want to be number one again then we need to pull our heads out of our asses and start building cars with the fit and finish, superior construction, and reliability that will surpass the Germans and Japanese.

Zorb750
07-25-06, 01:54 AM
Американцы не могут понять это потому что они не могут посмотреть
критически на себе.

Они имеют самую лучшую страну с самой лучшей технологией с самой лучшей индустрией с самыми лучшими политиками и каждое знает что весьа мир желает быть ими.

thebigjimsho
07-25-06, 10:26 AM
Американцы не могут понять это потому что они не могут посмотреть
критически на себе.

Они имеют самую лучшую страну с самой лучшей технологией с самой лучшей индустрией с самыми лучшими политиками и каждое знает что весьа мир желает быть ими.Damn straight! I like the way this man thinks!

JCM1
07-25-06, 05:51 PM
كلّ واحد يعرف [مردس] [بنز] رقمواحدة.

CVP33
07-25-06, 06:24 PM
Has absolutly nothing to do with defending the Nazi war machine. And considering I have Jewish relatives that's definalty not the case. The point is too many Americans allow themselves to become complaicent and rely on past victories regardless if it is war or automotive engineering. You can't stand there and salute the flag and claim to be number one as our market share slips to the Germans and Japanese. American auto manufactures once again are repeating the 1970's. It hasn't been until the last three or so years that some are waking up and realizing how much we have once again handed to the Germans and Japanese. It is as simple as this; if you don't know your enemy and understand his capabilities then you don't even know yourself. If we want to be number one again then we need to pull our heads out of our asses and start building cars with the fit and finish, superior construction, and reliability that will surpass the Germans and Japanese.

Satan got a bad deal in the bible. Misquotes everywhere. I agree, American cars suck

























the life out of EVERY European and Japanese car in their respective classes. CTS-V's and SRT-8's consistently outperform any other $40K to $50K Euro or Japanese sedan period.

frip
08-08-06, 10:29 AM
And my V will still spank your RS4.

I sort of have proof of that. BBC's show Top Gear had a comparison of the S4 against the CTS-V and the V outpaced the Audi in a straight line and on the road course. Granted it was only the S4, but, looking at the margin the V had on the S4 it's highly probable the V could have taken out the RS4 too.:)

Zorb750
08-11-06, 05:12 AM
I HAVE that episode on my computer. That's total BS. The CTS was BARELY keeping ahead. The Audi would start to catch up at every turn, it did have a braking advange, it did keep right up with the CTS through the turn (fairly equal handling through turns), it just did NOT have the straight line speed needed to keep up through the straights. The RS4 is fairly significantly better at handling than the S4, and it's quite a bit faster in a straight line than either the S4 or the CTS-V.

thebigjimsho
08-11-06, 09:11 AM
I HAVE that episode on my computer. That's total BS. The CTS was BARELY keeping ahead. The Audi would start to catch up at every turn, it did have a braking advange, it did keep right up with the CTS through the turn (fairly equal handling through turns), it just did NOT have the straight line speed needed to keep up through the straights. The RS4 is fairly significantly better at handling than the S4, and it's quite a bit faster in a straight line than either the S4 or the CTS-V.Hey, look everybody! toysnot is back!

frip
08-25-06, 06:42 AM
I HAVE that episode on my computer. That's total BS. The CTS was BARELY keeping ahead.

Bear in mind that the Audi was driven by a professional race driver, whereas the CTS was being driven by Jeremy Clarkson (an average driver). To my mind that makes the CTS much better, the extra displacement more than makes up for Clarkson's driving skill deficit.:tisk:

CVP33
08-25-06, 09:34 AM
Frickin', frackin', bleeker, blackers! The 550 sucks. It will be a limited run even by BMW standards because it IS the car nobody wants or asked for.

Wiseguy2
08-25-06, 06:50 PM
Frickin', frackin', bleeker, blackers! The 550 sucks. It will be a limited run even by BMW standards because it IS the car nobody wants or asked for.

It's not going to ever be a high volume model, the 540 was never a high volume model and neither was the 535 before it. The volume cars are the 525 and the 530. And they don't exactly "suck".

The limited amount they do import do sell well.

CVP33
08-26-06, 02:12 PM
Agreed. The 525's are the bread and butter larger (not large) sedans for BMW. But once you option up a 550i you're looking at $70-75K. Someone's gotta ask, "hey wait a minute, for $10 grand more I can have the M? Screw this!" That's why it's a nowhere car. It just doesn't belong in the line up. Too far from the 535 and too close to the M.

Wiseguy2
08-26-06, 07:42 PM
Agreed. The 525's are the bread and butter larger (not large) sedans for BMW. But once you option up a 550i you're looking at $70-75K. Someone's gotta ask, "hey wait a minute, for $10 grand more I can have the M? Screw this!" That's why it's a nowhere car. It just doesn't belong in the line up. Too far from the 535 and too close to the M.

Well the 535 is not imported (Too bad we don't get the 535d.. 0-60 in the 6s and close to 40 on the highway.. oh well) so there's the 525, 530 and 550.

I went and built a 550i about as close to an M5 as I could. I added sport package, cold weather, nav, Logic 7, SMG ($0) and I think that was it. I came up with close to $15k less than an M5.

Plus the 550i attracts a different buyer. There's no Automatic M5s (thank god) or 6-speed M5s (sucks) yet. Most BMWs are, sadly, automatics. Besides.. $67k is a big difference from $81k.

For $15k more you lose the flexibility of the transmission options, comfort seats, a smoother ride, a quiet exhaust, and not to mention availability. Also, you can get a discount on a 550i, M5s command full sticker. Furthermore, most of these cars are leased, BMW has decent lease programs on 550s and NO support on M5s (They dont exactly need any help selling them).

CVP33
08-26-06, 08:18 PM
Well the 535 is not imported (Too bad we don't get the 535d.. 0-60 in the 6s and close to 40 on the highway.. oh well) so there's the 525, 530 and 550.

I went and built a 550i about as close to an M5 as I could. I added sport package, cold weather, nav, Logic 7, SMG ($0) and I think that was it. I came up with close to $15k less than an M5.

Plus the 550i attracts a different buyer. There's no Automatic M5s (thank god) or 6-speed M5s (sucks) yet. Most BMWs are, sadly, automatics. Besides.. $67k is a big difference from $81k.

For $15k more you lose the flexibility of the transmission options, comfort seats, a smoother ride, a quiet exhaust, and not to mention availability. Also, you can get a discount on a 550i, M5s command full sticker. Furthermore, most of these cars are leased, BMW has decent lease programs on 550s and NO support on M5s (They dont exactly need any help selling them).

I stand corrected on all counts. The 550i is an excellent vehicle and a proper segment filler for BMW.

Wiseguy2
08-27-06, 05:16 AM
I stand corrected on all counts. The 550i is an excellent vehicle and a proper segment filler for BMW.

I wouldn't say excellent. It's still Pug-Ugly and I HATE iDrive... I still have my old 740iL for a reason :)

Zorb750
08-28-06, 04:05 PM
Wow, someone managed the impossible. Even I conceded that it IS a bit overpriced, not as badly as some people think it is, but I think it could stand to lose $6K or so off its sticker. Look at it my way, too... The $67-68K mark these cars hit fully loaded is dangerously close to entry level 745i territory, and the 745i has much of that crap standard. That, and the new 5 STILL looks like a Pontiac with the Extra-Fugly package. It really is a very good car either way though.

EDIT: 750i now, not 745 anymore. I RESENT the designation 750 being applied to any BMW without a 12 cylinder engine. Long live the E38!

Wiseguy2
08-29-06, 01:36 AM
Long live the E38!

Hear Hear! I have a 740iL that I still have because I HATE the new 7. The new 7s are into the 80s tho..

soupero
08-30-06, 02:41 PM
If I had to choose between a 550i or M5 it would be the 550i, the sound is so much better, the V10 sounds like shit! And I think the same about a 650i or a M6.

Zorb750
08-31-06, 03:17 AM
You know I really never did think about that one... V10s never do sound too good though. Listen to the F250's V10 and it sounds like it's about to rattle itself to pieces. They really do not sound healthy at all.

I had a friend point this out to me. I then took a look at one on a dealer lot, and while it does get the truck moving in reasonable order (though it is not nearly as fast as its numbers say it should be), it sounds like it is apt to disintegrate in the process.

Viper engines don't sound too hot either (engine wise, exhaust sound tells you nothing!) though at least they do not sound like they are about to explode.

The M5 should be a V12. V10s are silly.

Incidentally, the lowest undiscounted, full sticker price I could pull together for a 750i was $72495 US. It CAN be pushed into the 80s though easily, and most cars as shipped are about 80. the prices on these cars really don't change a lot. The E38 740i based at around 68000 through the latter half of the model run, with the 740iL at about 74000, and the 750iL at about 93000. These are absolute base figures of course.

Wiseguy2
09-01-06, 09:49 PM
Oh.. I beg to differ. I've driven the new M5.. it's got a wonderful sound.

Of course here's my baby.. I've had a couple of these, 2 E34s and 3 E39 M5s.. I keep going back the the original :)

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b367/motorsportrecycling/P6142442.jpg

frip
09-07-06, 02:04 AM
Of course here's my baby.. I've had a couple of these, 2 E34s and 3 E39 M5s.. I keep going back the the original

e12 & e28 5 series were rugged, I6 was a strong motor.

http://epage.com/web/AC/00/01/87/73/55/picture.jpg?t=1157607671062

e12 & e28 (http://www.e12e28.ch/weblinks/15a05000.htm)

http://epage.com/web/AC/00/01/87/73/55/picture.3.jpg?t=1157607671062

frip
09-07-06, 02:09 AM
Of course here's my baby.. I've had a couple of these, 2 E34s and 3 E39 M5s.. I keep going back the the original

e12 & e28 5 series were rugged, I6 was a strong motor.

http://epage.com/web/AC/00/01/87/73/55/picture.jpg?t=1157607671062

e12 & e28 (http://www.e12e28.ch/weblinks/15a05000.htm)

http://epage.com/web/AC/00/01/87/73/55/picture.3.jpg?t=1157607671062