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Discussion Starter #1
New member here:
Have test driven 3 and 5 M series but not long enough to make a good decision.
Manual clutch on M5 was really nice. There are not too many options out there for 400HP sedans, which is what I want to stay in, not a Corvette, etc.
After reading some negative posts here about wheel hop, and other really odd issues,
would any of you present owners, knowing what you know now,
have bought a used M series rather than the CTS-V?
I really like the lines and technology that Cadillac has come up with in this model, but if I am going to burn through $35-45K for a used three year old BMW versus a one year old CTS, what should I do?
Thanks!
 

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300 SRT8, 392 cubic inches of tire smoking power!
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I will never own another BMW that is out of warranty, the cost per mile to keep an M car running is HUGE and PAINFULL (unless you drive like a granny, then I understand the repairs are not so bad but I wouldn't know about that). The V will spank the used M5 (probably not the new V10 model) and the remainder of the 4/50,000 warranty on the Cadillac doesn't suck.

The wheel hop issue is pretty much fixed by the dealer now, the V doesn't hop much at all with the update (unless the street is wet)

The M's are loads of fun to drive and they look good in my rear view mirror.
 

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Jhenry - I know someone trying to sell a 2004 black on black V with 3500 miles. Full Warranty. No Problems What so ever. Has all TSB's. Car is IMMACULATE in every way. He is a car enthusiast - so its perfect. Let me know if your interested. Hes located in Texas. I will get you two in touch/
 

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JHenryAIA said:
... reading some negative posts here ...
Maybe some other V owners might want to chime in on this, but what you're hearing is a few things: 1) those that beat the snot out of their Vs and then have problems (DUH!), 2) those that see the car as being reasonably close to their ideal and are griping because they just want it to be perfect, and 3) legitimate problems that all manufacturers have. I'm with heavy ... buy an M and then tell us about it.:cool:
 

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'05 CTS-V (sold)
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Despite some of the negative posts, I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat!
 

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I have owned an E36 M3, E39 M5 and E46 330i, and a Z06 Corvette and now own a V. I have driven a few E46 M3's, but not owned one.

How to boil down the differences between M5 and V.

Advantage V:
steering feel, balance, nimbleness, braking, smoother engine below 2K rpm, technology features (nav, xm, etc), warrantee coverage (newer car)

Advantage M5:
general quality, interior

Equivalent: ride, grip, trans, accelleration

Problem areas:
- M5: clutch is weak, lasts ~15-30Kmi, carbon build-up in motor, Vanos ($4K to replace), various electrical problems
- V: diff and wheel hop

Both cars eat expensive tires. If I had to own one out of warrantee, I'd pick the V for sure purely from a repair / maint cost standpoint. I am assuming this rear end problem will be addressed sometime before the warrantee runs out on our cars. On the BMW the potential for huge repair bills is much greater. The car is generally pretty bulletproof, but the motor does cost $15-20K to replace, trans is also very expenive, and just minor systems like the Vanos could run $4K in repairs. The carbon build-up issue can cost $5-8K to fix, for example. Not for the feint of heart. If you go that route I would highly recommend a CPO car with at least 3 years left on the coverage. But then you are probably paying enough that you could buy a brand new 2005 or 2006 V and start off with a brand new car with a full 4 years and 50K of coverage.

So adding all that up, I chose to go down the V path. I actually like the car better than the M5 - it does most things better and has better and more useful features, plus a better sounding stereo with XM to boot.

Hope that helps,

Scott
 

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There's a V owner here who has both cars. I remember reading a great comparison from him.. maybe a search? I do not remember the name.
 

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I'm sure you know which way answers will lean on this board, so I'll weigh in from the other side. Don't get me wrong, I love the V from a driving standpoint, but qualitywise it cannot be compared to the $72k E39 M5.
Everything in the car (not just the oft cited cheap interior) is put together to the same exacting GM standards which seem to be applied equally to all their cars. Put aside the raw, visceral driving difference between the V vs. the smooth power delivery, sophistication of the M (which really make them poorly suited for direct comparison).

Having owned a second-hand E39 540i sport for nearly 5 years (all of that time out of warranty due to mileage), the BMW proved near flawless, with the exception of a few electrical parts (HID ballast, CD changer, etc). No engine flaws whatsoever in nearly 70k miles of driving (leaky plastic radiator end tank is my only memorable problem). P.S. I can assure you I didn't drive it like a grandma (pile of tire receipts should prove that).

Having done all maintenance work myself, I was always impressed by the engineering and how solid the car was put together. Paint, body panels, even plastic underhood parts all felt more substantial than the V (I'm not sure if the sheet metal is actually thicker, but I perceived it to be), doors clunk shut solidly, etc. I once hit a deer with that car dead on frontal at ~25 mph and it slid up over the hood like Bo Duke -- leaving barely a ding and a few scratches. Obviously GM did upgrade the base CTS to the V to make it feel like a tank, but to beat the Germans at the performance game at a lower cost.

To make a fair comparison between M5 and V, you really need to compare apples to apples -- warranted V vs. warranted M5, or both out of warranty. Do you want low cost, raw power or do you want a solid, well engineered German tank/autobahn cruiser.

True, M5s have issues with VANOS, weak clutch, and a few sensors. V has issues with rear end of the powertrain, and quite a few minor service bulletins. Honestly, outside of warranty, I'm not sure I'd feel more comfortable than in a V than an M. I test drove M5s, and didn't feel the engine was rough at low RPMs or the steering was imprecise or lacked feel. Interior diffs are what you'd expect for the cost difference when new.

Look back on M vs. V threads on this board, and you see lots of favorable words about Ms. If GM gets the quality of the V up, and ratchets up the power, while keeping price down, the V has a very favorable future competing against the Germans. As the auto rags said, its a hell of a first try, and alot of fun to drive. A better feeling shifter (sans CAGS), more rugged driveline, and better interior would leap this thing into a whole other realm of popularity.

I still say buy the V, and curse GM. You won't be sorry, but if you want smoothness or high quality, buy the M and don't worry about slight performance differences.

Brian R.
 

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Which one is more fun to drive? Hard to answer that one. Z06 is more fun than either one btw :eek: CTS-V and M5 are pretty equal in terms of fun / rewarding to drive. They are very similar cars. M5 wins hands down in over-all quality. CTS-V slightly edges out the M5 in raw performance. But both are extremely satisfying cars to drive and own.

Scott
 

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Get the V. I was in veyr deep thought about a convertible M3 vs. a CTS-V myself for several weeks/months before finally settling on the V.

Wheep-hop is annoying, but there is a solution.

The weak-rear differential also has a solution (or, at least, an improvement) when the '06 becomes standard equipment.

If the aforementioned are the only 2 things you are worried about, then stop wasting your time.

Not only is the V much better bang-for-your-buck, the aftermarket mods (if you like that route) are much more plentiful, cost effective, and the results are generally much better.

About the only thing the M3 has over the V (the M5 is just out of either of these cars leagues IMO based on cost...), is the "image," which, admittedly, is no little thing; they can be really cool at times.
 

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Please get the M3. I can't handle another fast car on the road that I can't beat. With you in the M I know I've got you handled. With you in a V it's a driver's race.
 

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I live in Siberia. I commute 50 miles a day (round trip) on ice and snow covered roads, sometimes in depths of 3ft+. I am considering trading my Sno Cat for a mint used '04 V. I have heard that the F1s aren't that great in the snow. Any members care to elaborate? Thanks!
 

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Curiously, nobody has mentioned that even the M5 has wheelhop issues sometimes. Its an IRS thing IMHO, not just a Caddy issue...and at least GM has come through and tried to fix that.

Also, I LOVE the previous generation M5, but stock for stock, I enjoy driving my V better. The V is actually alot more balanced as the M5 tends to understeer a great deal. Both are about as quick, but I prefer the interior sounds the V makes compared to the slightly reedy, high revving M5. The M5 has a beautiful interior and quality is higher, but not enough to justify buying a used M5 over a new V.

Drive them both...HARD. :) Then decide for yourself!
 

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Yes - the V is more balanced while the M5 understeers and generally feels a lot more piggish in the corners. V is also more nimble and generally more crisp handling. Not sure I agree with the statement re. engine sounds, however - the M5 has such a sweet sound at full song it is just majical. The V sounds pretty good too, but not quite as good as the M5 - IMHO. The LS6 of course sounds a whole lot better in a vette....

Scott
 

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In the year and half I've been on this forum I've read a lot of griping posts, especially from some of the most ardent proponents of the "V"...go figure. I love my "V" and had had zero problems on a automobile with many mods. I'm still intrigued by the fact that an American manufacturer would build a car with four door and character. The euro cars provide good competition, albeit at a much higher price point. If you can afford a new M5 then you don't need to waste your time looking at a $50,000 Cady.
As far as I'm concern the CTS-V rules.:thumbsup:
 

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I am going from the CTS-V to a 2006 BMW M5 so here is my perspective on this...

I would take the CTS-V over the current M3 and an older M5 if you are looking for extreme power in a nice package. If power is not your ultimate goal and value elegance more then power then I would go M3 or M5.

If you want extreme power in an elegant package I would go 2006 M5 :)
 
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