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Steel is where it's at!!!
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In shopping around, I can't really find anything that compares. It just seems like such an awesome car.

I guess the main competition right now would be the E550?
The A6 doesn't really match up well, but the S6 (not available for another 9 months or so) seems to line up nicely.

I can't really see anything else that can keep up overall.
 

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The Driver
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In shopping around, I can't really find anything that compares. It just seems like such an awesome car.

I guess the main competition right now would be the E550?
The A6 doesn't really match up well, but the S6 (not available for another 9 months or so) seems to line up nicely.

I can't really see anything else that can keep up overall.
I would also include the Jaguar XFR. The XFR prices out similar to 550i but it totally eclipses the 550i in terms of performance. It is an amazing car, much faster than E60 M5 and almost as good as the F10 M5.

However it doesn't have all the gadgets - HUD, top view cameras, 10.5" nav screen, etc.
 

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Test drive an Infiniti M56 Sport. My only non BMW car since 2003 was the 2006 M45 Sport and but for its buckboard-rough ride over bumps, it was a fantastic car and provided BMW level handling responsiveness. Now, the car mags in comparos with the F10 550 generally rate the M56 Sport's handling as superior.

I still got the F10
 

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Test drive an Infiniti M56 Sport. My only non BMW car since 2003 was the 2006 M45 Sport and but for its buckboard-rough ride over bumps, it was a fantastic car and provided BMW level handling responsiveness. Now, the car mags in comparos with the F10 550 generally rate the M56 Sport's handling as superior.

I still got the F10
I almost got the Infinti M56.

It is a nice car, great list of gadgets, good amount of power, comparable handling, and the best rated interior of 2011.

But like someone said, once you go above $50k+ category, the brand really matters. Which is why I choose the 5 series. :)


 

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I also cross shopped the M56. It was a great deal that would have saved me $100+/month on my 550 lease, and it had the sport package and plenty of gadgets. Things like the nav system were superior, handled very well, and had a smooth and growly NA engine. Yet, I got the 550. The included maintenance, PCD experience, better interior material quality, more features like HUD and much better look of the F10 won me over. The Infiniti M is one generation away from greatness.
 

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I almost got the Infinti M56.

It is a nice car, great list of gadgets, good amount of power, comparable handling, and the best rated interior of 2011.

But like someone said, once you go above $50k+ category, the brand really matters. Which is why I choose the 5 series. :)


UGLY interior...the whole dash looks like a mish-mash of pieces from the parts bin, no design integration

very opposite or F10 fully integrated thoughtful design IMHO..
 

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Everything's Bigger in TX
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Not too complimentary. Personally, I don't like how it looks and the interior is very Japanese/Korean looking, not my taste.
I'll take the F10.
 

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Come on, we all know from our many discussions in this forum that the Panamera S is the only worthy competitor. ;)
 

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Come on, we all know from our many discussions in this forum that the Panamera S is the only worthy competitor. ;)
The Pamamera S drives great but isn't it a lot more $$$ than the 550. As for the M56, it can't compete with the 550 in looks, tuneability (no Dinan Stage 2 type power gains on a NA engine), refinement or prestige. But if you were in the twisties, it has higher grip (confirmed by skidpad tests) and most reviewers say that it is a superior handler to the 550. And the NA engine in the car has a sound that a TT V8 can't compete with. Oh and Infiniti did not saddle it with tires that are almost unusable in the northeast. So I think there are pluses and minuses to both cars.
 

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My requirements for a car:
1. Conventional manual transmission, including a clutch pedal.
2. A lot of other stuff.

That pretty much limits me to BMW. (And I hope my sales guy isn't reading this.)
 

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My requirements for a car:
1. Conventional manual transmission, including a clutch pedal.
2. A lot of other stuff.

That pretty much limits me to BMW. (And I hope my sales guy isn't reading this.)
I know a few people that are driving the CTS-V sedan, other than the 'a lot of other stuff' compares in price, blows away a 550 with >550hp, nice car.
 

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I know a few people that are driving the CTS-V sedan, other than the 'a lot of other stuff' compares in price, blows away a 550 with >550hp, nice car.
You can't compare the CTS-V to the 550. They are not in the same category. Same price range maybe. But one is a purpose build sport sedan while the other is a luxury sedan. I could say the 550 blows the CTS-V out of the water with luxury and comfort and gadgets.

The 550 is a luxury sedan with a little bit of power. It's not a sports car. Now the M5 that's a different story.
 

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You can't compare the CTS-V to the 550. They are not in the same category. Same price range maybe. But one is a purpose build sport sedan while the other is a luxury sedan. I could say the 550 blows the CTS-V out of the water with luxury and comfort and gadgets.

The 550 is a luxury sedan with a little bit of power. It's not a sports car. Now the M5 that's a different story.
In fairness, if we artificially limit the comparison criteria we can always get the result we want. The 550 and CTS-V should be viewed as competitors. As you say, one may have bias towards sport and performance and one may be biased towards comfort, but both are premium sedans in the 60K or so segment. Buyers may prioritize one set of attributes over the other, but these are cars that will be crossed shopped (particularly if the buyer wants a manual transmission).

To answer the question in the OP, the 550 broadly compares with:

  • MB E550 (which for 2012 has much more power and torque, and will likely be quicker)
  • A6 3.0T (something of an enigma in that it competes with both the 535 and 550, it sits between in terms of speed and power but has both beat in handling and for me interior quality)
  • M56 - great engine, both the chassis and the brand need work
  • CTS-V - great engine, great chassis, but the brand needs work

Out of that list, for me the three Germans have a clear edge and I'd likely take the MB E550 with the new twin turbo V8 but all are excellent choices. MB is winning in terms of US sales, but it will be interesting to see what Audi does with the A6. The upcoming S6 will sit above the 550 in much the same way as the A63 3.0T sits between the 535/550. If Audi get it right and price it right, it will be a compelling choice. The E63, F10 M5 and RS 6, if it ever comes to these shores, fly in the more rarified air above their siblings.
 

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I know a few people that are driving the CTS-V sedan, other than the 'a lot of other stuff' compares in price, blows away a 550 with >550hp, nice car.
You're right, and I should have remembered because I test-drove one. Actually, I test-drove two: a CTS-V sedan with automatic and CTS-V coupe with 6-speed manual. Both VERY nice cars, nice shifter on the manual, and both with "a lot of other stuff". And, in the end, a CTS-V would have been substantially less costly than my loaded 550i.

Clearly, my preference was for the 550i, but that doesn't take away from the basic goodness of the Caddy. It's quite a car.
 

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Clearly, my preference was for the 550i, but that doesn't take away from the basic goodness of the Caddy. It's quite a car.
I ended up in the 550 also, CTS-V is E60 size or smaller even, and the first seven or eight priorities for it are beating BMW's on road courses, great sports car type reviews in 5-6 magazines, .... Not what I wanted in a daily driver.
 

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The japs just don't focus a lot on interior or exterior styling. They either stay boring or go overboard.

And I am already over everyone copying the string LED lights on the front of the Audi's. We will look back and equate these cheesy lights to spinner hubcaps.
 

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I looked at the M56 also but the interior dash was not symmetrical and bothered me a lot for some reason. I agree that it has great performance but the 550 just looks so much better to me.
 
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