In Reply to: 540i auto vs. manual -long- posted by Norm on January 28, 2000 at 23:26:28:
I read the exact same reviews that you did.. On Edmunds, and others. I had a '98 Lexus GS400 (obvisouly an auto), but decided I wanted the control of a manual and the sportiness of a BMW. I purchased a '98 540i/6 at the time (the same one as the edmunds review I believe).. I didn't have any trouble driving the car even from the first test drive.. However, I can attest to the fact that the car IS difficult to modulate smoothly.. Especially at first.. Most of my friends who drive the car do have trouble -- especially with 2nd gear.. Not in going, but in making a smooth engagement.
However, it doesnt' take long until you get used to it.. And I can honestly say at this point, I am very glad I purchased the manaul. Though I haven't driven the 540i manual, I have driven a 2000 740iSport, and I didn't care for the way the transmission shifts.
If you really like to drive, and are used to shifting your own gears.. Get the manual! It's worth the time it takes to get used to it.