PDA

View Full Version : M3 or 550i?


RichC59
01-11-2011, 08:11 PM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision.....

vortexx
01-11-2011, 08:31 PM
Both are great cars, so it really comes down to what is more important to YOU. The M3 is a much more engaging driving experience whereas the 550i is a sporty luxury car with impressive technology integration that is still a sheer pleasure to drive. For me, I would never want to take an M3 on a family trip, even a short one. The 5 is much more practical.

Simply on the basis of the vehicle life cycles, I would be inclined to recommend the 550i since it is a first year model and the M3 is in its last year.

Mohawk
01-11-2011, 08:33 PM
I drove the M3 for a while, it has a decent ride and goes like stink! I have to say..the size of wheel is so important if you want a decent ride. I used to have a 320 MSport with 18" low profile runflats. Now I've got the new Z with 17" wheels, and I feel the ride is better that the 3 series! If I were you I'd go for the 535dMSport. Fuel prices are crazy in the UK. I'm not sure where you live (fuel may be alot cheaper for you), but we had a 2006 535d MSport. What a car. But If fuel isn't an issue, then go for the 550.

dalekressin
01-11-2011, 08:35 PM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision.....
Both cars are fantastic to drive.
The 550i has creature features not available in the M3.
Both will accept the child seat but the 550i is more roomy and comfortable than the M3.
The driving characteristics are entirely different.
It's M3 for me.

solstice
01-11-2011, 09:58 PM
I dropped off my F10 for service yesterday and got a 2010 535i Sport as a loaner. The first 10 miles or so I noticed the blocky outdated and "boring" interior. It also has way more road noise and generally feels more rough than the extraordinary refined, quite and smooth F10. Then everything changed. Instead of bland the interior felt purposeful and became part of the background since the joy of driving it overshadows any aestetic or gadget driven aspect. I again wished every road was a race track. The car speaks to me not only with grip level but it says, I want to play hard and I'm good at it. My F10 on the other hand initially seduced me with beauty and luxury but it's allure faded quickly and I found myself left with an efficient and comfortable but also imo soul less car with a handling that is rather uninspiring. I only have a very short drive in an M3 but from that I thought it is a level more fun than the 2010/E60. Now, most here adore their F10 and note that I do not mind a stiff ride or road noise so you need to be honest with yourself and assess what you really like and want since these cars are very,very different and excellent in their own way to the right owner.

rsingh111
01-11-2011, 11:04 PM
Look at a 550 GT. Fun car

vandyjmf05
01-12-2011, 07:38 AM
I'm not sure where you live (fuel may be alot cheaper for you), but we had a 2006 535d MSport. What a car. But If fuel isn't an issue, then go for the 550.

A truly international lesson: the state of South Carolina has some of the cheapest gas in the free world (low taxes, limited regulation, etc.). God bless that state!

Mohawk
01-12-2011, 07:57 AM
@vandyjmf05
Lucky you! Fuel tax is ridiculous in the UK, unleaded fuel costs about 1.30 a litre :(

ksoze
01-12-2011, 08:42 AM
The two cars are very different and have even become more so in the last incarnations. If driving the two back to back it is very obvious. After test driving an M3 and then immediately test driving a 550i, it felt like a boat. A well equipped and beautiful boat, but it its weight, size and ride were no match for the M3. Interestingly, the interior room is not as desperate on paper, but the 5 feels much larger particularly in the drivers seat looking across that now longer hood.

I think the decision on the two is one related to the driving needs (weather, distance) as well as the need for a larger back seat and trunk. I do not find the electronic gadgetry that spartan on the M3, with HUD and active cruise control obviously missing, but most other needs there. Both are great looking cars, especially the 550i in M-sport trim.

Cannot go wrong with either car and I only recently chose the M3 - my decision was also swayed by the aggressive push from BMW on very compelling lease rates on the M3 convertible making the M3 hundreds less a month for a more expensive car when loaded. The M3 is also closer to its model life cycle end which also means it has had time to wring out the bugs that can plague first model years of any car.

johnbmw6
01-12-2011, 09:34 AM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision..... I have just sold the E90 M3 2010, it's as people say a great Car BUT for everyday driving in the UK in particular it was not the greatest.
I have gone for the 550i M Sport coming on Saturday, it has miles more "Low end Grunt" and has better economy, more toys and the latest technology. The choice is yours at the end of the day. If you need comfort,technology,and space and pace it's the 550i IMO.:thumbup:

EvolutionTheory
01-12-2011, 09:45 AM
I needed to make the same decision and decided to go with the F10. I love sporty cars and the M3 has been my ideal personal car for a long time.

Granted, I'm not getting the 550i but here was my reasoning:
I have a son and currently own a 3 series. The back seats are simply too small for a 5yo and others in the back to really be comfortable for long drives. My back seats are covered in scuff marks even after trying my best at training my son to not kick the seat. So, I want a bigger car because of family/friends.

The F10 also has technology/gadgets the 3 series simply doesn't have. I love the heads up display, cameras, and creature comforts of the F10 (Even though I don't yet own one!)

I chose the 535i because of gas mileage and range, and the xDrive so I'd feel safer and more versatile in varying conditions.

Stanesq
01-12-2011, 10:35 AM
550i hands down is the better choice.

Sox Fan
01-12-2011, 10:46 AM
Completely depends on what is more important to you - performance or luxury/comfort. For most real world conditions, I would say the 550 would be a better choice as a daily driver. Still faster than 95% of cars on the road and much, much more comfortable than the M3. The roads and weather where you live do make the M3 more practical than up here though. I can't imagine driving an M3 year round in Michigan with all the snow, ice and pot holes we have. If I lived in the south, I would consider an M3 or M5 as a daily driver.

Both are magnificent cars.

Needsdecaf
01-12-2011, 10:47 AM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision.....

If for no other reason then your statement of "room for a carseat" I would go with the F10. Maybe you could get away with an M3 sedan, but never a coupe. As others have said, there simply insn't the room.

Having said that, what do you value more..an intense driving experience or all around comfort with very, very good power. Straight line performance isn't all that different, but once the twisties come, the M3 just walks away.

You couldn't ask for more opposite cars from BMW's lineup. High revving, clenched fist, small shell, not many creature comforts but ultimate control vs. low RPM turbo torque, open plam, large body, lots of goodies yet still very competent.

fuddman
01-12-2011, 10:48 AM
1)528 for the wifee and the kiddees
2)M3 for you and the wifee
3)New garage for the M3

bobr2001
01-12-2011, 11:23 AM
M3! May be the one & only M3 with a V8.

melor
01-12-2011, 12:08 PM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision.....

I love to drive and enjoy the curves as much as anyone else on this board. I, however, would pick the 550. Acceleration is great, handling not bad, but creature comforts on top of very decent performance would sway my choice. That and the fact that the M3 is approaching the end of it's life cycle. Yes, it may be the only V8 M3 ever, but unless you are going to shrink wrap it and put it on blocks, who cares... What works best for YOU is what you need to factor, however I am excited about the prospect of a larger car with creature comforts and performance.

Paul

fkim011
01-12-2011, 07:25 PM
I currently have both. I have a 2011 BMW M3 and a 2011 550i. Both are 4 doors, both are loaded up with everything. The MSRP to my M3 was close to 71,XXX. If I had to live with one car everyday, it would be the 5. The interior is roomier with MORE creature comforts that stand out on a day to day basis as I get acquainted with my car more. On a typical day, I drive about 120 miles round trip so I have a lot of seat time in my cars.

The 5 is roomier, almost as fast, a lot less tiresome on long hauls, not every kid wants to race me...

EvolutionTheory
01-12-2011, 07:58 PM
You could always get Dinan Stage 1 too for the 550 and blow any stock M3 out of the water, I think :angel:

bmwarchitect
01-12-2011, 08:25 PM
I currently have both. I have a 2011 BMW M3 and a 2011 550i. Both are 4 doors, both are loaded up with everything. The MSRP to my M3 was close to 71,XXX. If I had to live with one car everyday, it would be the 5. The interior is roomier with MORE creature comforts that stand out on a day to day basis as I get acquainted with my car more. On a typical day, I drive about 120 miles round trip so I have a lot of seat time in my cars.

The 5 is roomier, almost as fast, a lot less tiresome on long hauls, not every kid wants to race me...

Someone that owns both models of the current year. I'd go with this opinion.

Sherman B
01-12-2011, 11:05 PM
Why not get the 5 and pick yourself up a nice used sports car that is more SPORT orientated. My second car is a Lotus and I'm very happy with this type of arrangement.

johnbmw6
01-13-2011, 02:23 AM
I currently have both. I have a 2011 BMW M3 and a 2011 550i. Both are 4 doors, both are loaded up with everything. The MSRP to my M3 was close to 71,XXX. If I had to live with one car everyday, it would be the 5. The interior is roomier with MORE creature comforts that stand out on a day to day basis as I get acquainted with my car more. On a typical day, I drive about 120 miles round trip so I have a lot of seat time in my cars.

The 5 is roomier, almost as fast, a lot less tiresome on long hauls, not every kid wants to race me...I think these comments sum up nicely what the two cars are all about from a daily driver point of view.

Rafa
01-13-2011, 02:33 AM
The 5 is roomier, almost as fast, a lot less tiresome on long hauls, not every kid wants to race me...

The kids that want to race against your 550i are in for a surprise!

car-fan
01-14-2011, 09:16 AM
I have wanted a new BMW for as long as I can remember. Now that I have the funds to do so, I am at a point where I need to consider more than just speed and handling. I have wanted the new M3 coupe design since it came out but now that it is at the end of its cycle and the new 3 series is coming out in a year I can't decide if I should go with the new 550i, knowing that I'll have a new design for around 6 years, power, and room for a carseat, or if I should go for the award winning M3. Looking for some advice to sway me in one direction or the other. I have read on this forum about alot of people having trouble with their new F10 but I wonder if the M3 is safe enough and comfortable enough for daily driving. Tough decision.....

I guess in the perfect world you would want both. Ideally if you are looking at an F10 it should suit your needs with expanding family just fine. However, I know you probably will circle back around in a few years and find a "lightly" used last year e93 M3 to make it "all good" ;) I personally am looking forward to adding one as a stable mate to my GT some time in the future :)

moonsault270
01-14-2011, 10:41 AM
Normally a tough choice ,but for me the fact that the F30 is coming out soon would make it an easy decision for me. Either wait for the M f30 or go with the 550.

ksoze
01-14-2011, 11:49 AM
Normally a tough choice ,but for me the fact that the F30 is coming out soon would make it an easy decision for me. Either wait for the M f30 or go with the 550.

Will probably be two years or more for a new M3 (2014). If leasing now, leaves a chance to get rid of the first year bugs or re-evaluate if the F30 fails to impress with its new engine.

Sox Fan
01-15-2011, 08:55 AM
Why not get the 5 and pick yourself up a nice used sports car that is more SPORT orientated. My second car is a Lotus and I'm very happy with this type of arrangement.


I like this idea too. I was thinking my next car in 2-3 years would be an F10 550xi. Now I am wondering if i would be happier keeping my 530 longer and buying a true sports car to drive half the time. My neighbor does this - drives a luxury sedan (XJ8) over the winter and a sports car in the summer. He rents a storage unit and whatever car he isn't driving stays in the storage unit. Like him I have a two car garage so would need a three car garage if i added another vehicle (already tight over the winter with two cars and two motorcycles). Cheaper to rent a storage space versus buying a bigger house.

Guessing it would be much more fun to have a 530 and maybe a used Corvette, Boxster or Exige or whannot instead of driving a 550 all year.

Mohawk
01-15-2011, 04:40 PM
I like the F10 550i. But what is the 550xi? I've had a look at used cars here but I don't think they do it in the UK? Maybe I'm wrong!

Sox Fan
01-15-2011, 07:10 PM
I like the F10 550i. But what is the 550xi? I've had a look at used cars here but I don't think they do it in the UK? Maybe I'm wrong!


I believe the F10 is the first 550 where you can get all wheel drive (xi). The E60 550 was not available with all wheel drive. I think the 550xi would kinda be the ultimate daily driver in a northern climate.

quackbury
01-15-2011, 10:36 PM
Drive the M3 before you decide. It is your very last chance to get a BMW NA V8, and it is a truly extraordinary motor. You will always be able to get a 550. IMHO if you are an enthusiast, the M3 should be on your automotive bucket list.

johnbmw6
01-16-2011, 03:13 AM
:) Well I have had the 550i M Sport (uk) for one day so far it's fantastic, good economy @ 80MPH and so quiet inside. Pictures to follow.
NO it's nothing like the M3 I sold, but much more drivable here in the UK, and loads of space.

For me it' seems ideal. No faults at all!!, the more I read in forums leads me to believe "Build quality " MUST be different across the pond!!!

Mohawk
01-16-2011, 03:07 PM
@sox fan
Cheers...that'd be the ideal car for the UK. I know they offer all wheel drive for the 5 series GT, I didn't know they offered it for the saloon

enigma
01-17-2011, 02:47 AM
:) Well I have had the 550i M Sport (uk) for one day so far it's fantastic, good economy @ 80MPH and so quiet inside. Pictures to follow.
NO it's nothing like the M3 I sold, but much more drivable here in the UK, and loads of space.

For me it' seems ideal. No faults at all!!, the more I read in forums leads me to believe "Build quality " MUST be different across the pond!!!

I agree that if you are looking for sensory isolation, technology and space, the f10 is very close to an ideal choice.

johnbmw6
01-17-2011, 03:42 AM
@sox fan
Cheers...that'd be the ideal car for the UK. I know they offer all wheel drive for the 5 series GT, I didn't know they offered it for the saloon:dunno: all wheel drive in the UK!! not to my knowledge.
The 550i M Sport here is rear wheel drive.:thumbup:

Mohawk
01-17-2011, 10:33 AM
It might be coming here soon. I guess it depends on how early they develop the X versions to be produced on RHD and LHD