In Reply to: 540i auto vs. manual -long- posted by Norm on January 28, 2000 at 23:26:28:
Well, this one is a vote for Automatic...reasons being
1. BMW makes an incredible automatic transmission - (OK, make that GM makes an incredible automatic transmission - but the software is of course tweaked by BMW).
2. The 5-series, although still a compact car by EPA standards, is getting to the size of car where an automatic is just suited to the car better than stick.
3. The BMW 5-series is just too luxurious for a stick (IMHO). If you are planning on doing the Dinan upgrades, then maybe, but stock wise, it is a very smooth riding luxury car (OK, I'm coming from my 3-series here not a Caddy - but still). I think sticks should stay in sports cars not luxury cars.
HOWEVER, I do miss having a stick (both my wife and I went from stick cars to automatics in the last three months - mine was a 325i). But if I am going to buy a stick, it will be a smaller car - Z3 or M3 maybe. Just seems better in a smaller car (not that I would refuse an M5 however :^)
Just my 2cents!