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Old 01-04-2013, 05:21 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
Older than old school
Location: Oaksterdam, Yay Area
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4,414
Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6, '90 k75s
Originally Posted by Shin1ichi View Post
thanks for all the chiming in.....

i need to drive more of them, that's for sure. stick shift 530's and even stick 540's, if i can find any around here..........
?...for 2003's, were both 530 and 540 5 speed sticks?

i know i would be 'hoping' not to need a new steptranny any time soon, but i've never dropped a tranny for a clutch either,...outside my current realm of skills...

When I bought my 540, I was originally looking for a 530. I had driven a couple of the 6's, but they had history issues, and I passed on them. I decided to try the 540 because it had the 6-speed, and I was instantly seduced. Your city fuel mileage will be a disaster, but highway mileage can be pretty decent, in the high 20's. I'm guessing the 6 is marginally less expensive to maintain, but I have no definitive data to support that thesis.

As for handling, the 540 is agile and responsive enough for me, but I don't go autocrossing it, nor have I driven it on the track. From time to time, given the right road and proper conditions, I enjoy some spirited cornering, and for me the throttle response more than compensates for any perceived handling deficiencies. It feels extremely stable and well planted on the pavement, even in quick switchbacks.

Apart from the immediacy of the manual's response, I favored it over the automatic because I didn't want the anxiety of wondering if the transmission would fail during a long trip. I've seen reports of automatic transmission failures between 80,000 and 225,000 miles, which makes it kind of a crap shoot in my book. I can't recall reading or hearing of any manual transmission failures.

Drive one yourself. The combinations of sensations and how you weight them makes it too hard to quantify objectively. I've had mine for two years, and no regrets so far.
BMW--giving new meaning to the phrase "disposable income."
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