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Old 04-07-2011, 08:53 AM   #1
540iM
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E39 M5 or E46 M3 .... which one to buy?

I'll be putting up my 03 540i M 6spd for sale soon as I'd like to upgrade to an M5 (02-03) or an M3 (04-06). I'm having really hard time deciding which of the two cars to go for.... Which one would you choose and why?
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:14 AM   #2
NOTORIOUS VR
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The M5 has classic understated looks and the V8 power.. but, the M3 is cheaper to own and maintain then the M5.

I personally would go for the M5 though.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:27 AM   #3
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The m5 because it's comfy as hell to daily, and has the power of a much smaller car. I've always loved the idea of a big powerful sedan, especially german ones.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by NOTORIOUS VR View Post
The M5 has classic understated looks and the V8 power.. but, the M3 is cheaper to own and maintain then the M5.

I personally would go for the M5 though.
The only thing "Cheaper" Would be Gas consumption cost on the M3, Cheap doesn't apply to the "M" cars. All around pratical car the M5 for sure,
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by NOTORIOUS VR View Post
The M5 has classic understated looks and the V8 power.. but, the M3 is cheaper to own and maintain then the M5.

I personally would go for the M5 though.
How did you come up with the conclusion that an M3 is cheaper to own/maintain then the M5?

Both cars habve their pros and cons, the things that are known to go and the things are known to last.

M3's need valve adjustments where as the M5 doesnt.a The M5 does have 2 of some sensors (afm's, etc), the M3 has SMG (problems!!!) etc.

Parm is right that both M cars aren't cheap by any means and if you drive the M5 like it is meant to, you will probably be hovering around the 15L/100km fuel consumption.

There are more factors to consideor, so the OP needs to be more specific of their needs/wants in a car.

I wanted brute power, all around performance and manual with 4 doors, well the M5 was a clear choice for me. Should I have wanted to hit the circuit every weekend and carve the forks every weekend, I would have probably have preferred the more nimble M3.
I like big and powerful cars. If the e38 M7 existed, I probably would drive that.

Having said that, i think the new 4 door M3 is the perfect car for the enthusiast who wants 4 doors.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:36 AM   #6
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just to clarify...I will not be tracking but that shoudn't disqualify the M3 given that performance is the number one qualifier for an M seeking individual. This is the problem. I want the performance of an M3 arround the corners and newer look but I can't seem to get my mind off the torque of the M5 and the conviniance it provides.....
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bmwm5lover View Post
How did you come up with the conclusion that an M3 is cheaper to own/maintain then the M5?

Everything on M5 is x2 vs M3. Vanos x2, mufflers x2, MAF x2 plugs x8 vs 6 on M3.

Yes it's more expensive.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:59 AM   #8
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I would look around first, it might help your decision. M5's are pretty rare, and its difficult to find one in good condition. It might simply be easier to find an M3 in good condition.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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I dunno man, you already have pretty much the most desirable non-m E39 right now, moving to an M5 isn't THAT big of a step once the "go-fast-for-two-months-phase" wears off, and you basically end up with the same car + 100 hp. I'd go with the m3 just to drive something different, and if you decide it's not for you, you can snag an M5.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:37 AM   #10
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I would look around first, it might help your decision. M5's are pretty rare, and its difficult to find one in good condition. It might simply be easier to find an M3 in good condition.
I have been looking for a clean M5 for a while now...I don't think I'll find one in Canada. The US is my only option BUT a primium and a lot of headache. In fact, it is due to the lack of clean M5 in Canada that led me to look into the M3s...
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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I dunno man, you already have pretty much the most desirable non-m E39 right now, moving to an M5 isn't THAT big of a step once the "go-fast-for-two-months-phase" wears off, and you basically end up with the same car + 100 hp. I'd go with the m3 just to drive something different, and if you decide it's not for you, you can snag an M5.
+1, maybe consider saving up the bones for the V10 version
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
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I dunno man, you already have pretty much the most desirable non-m E39 right now, moving to an M5 isn't THAT big of a step once the "go-fast-for-two-months-phase" wears off, and you basically end up with the same car + 100 hp. I'd go with the m3 just to drive something different, and if you decide it's not for you, you can snag an M5.
Yes you are right. However, I always wanted to get my self into an M when time allows. It's the execluisvity and the performance of the M that I'm seeking.

By the way folks...acoording to a lot of hours spent reading, the M5 is more expensive to maintain, however, I don't see this as a disqualifier for the M5.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #13
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+1, maybe consider saving up the bones for the V10 version
The E39 is the ultimate M5! I love the look and I bet anyone that it will be a well sought after collecters' car. I have driven an 08 M5 for two weeks while I was on a business trip. It's quite a beast but I couldn't connect with it as a driver due to many refinments....and the styling, that's another story
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #14
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Everything on M5 is x2 vs M3. Vanos x2, mufflers x2, MAF x2 plugs x8 vs 6 on M3.

Yes it's more expensive.
If you are nickle and diming some of the maintenance components that you need to change once in a couple of years, then yes, but really, 2 extra spark plugs, an extra air filter, muffler (which you will never need to replace), etc hardly make such a huge difference. The MAF's (which I mentioned) and the VANOS are part of the very few items that make a larger difference.

I am not saying it isn't true, but for a well taken care of example, it won't be a HUGE bank breaker. I mean if finances were your number 1 priority, you wouldn't be looking at these cars in any case.

There ARE clean M5's around, you just have to be patient and NOT picky with colour. I know some people prefer the 01+ Models (nothing wrong with that, it is what I was going to get from the states too), but once in a while VERY clean 00 examples come up locally (there is currently a LMB low mileage example on kijiji) so maybe don't completely discount them. When I was looking there was a well priced 01 not too far away from the GTA, but it was sold by the time I called.
Be patient, you CAN find something local.

Also, condition/maintenance > mileage.

e60 M5 is a totally different car, one I have no real desire for so I can't comment much.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:09 PM   #15
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IMHO, the E39 M5 is a legend and if you are not tracking, the more interesting and practical automobile. + You already own an E39 so you you have some familiarity with the car.
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