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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 08-10-2006, 11:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Automatic or Manual?

I hope you will give me a good advice!!!! I'm looking to buy a 2003 530-525 but the problem is that i like stick but all my friends and parents told me to buy automatic!!! Haw do you think wich one will be more practic!??? and fun to drive?
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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In Chicago, I would think your left foot would get wore out in traffic.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, there are only certain situations I would recommend auto, heavy traffic being one of them... But, I honestly don't feel like I am in control of the car unless I am driving manual.
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Old 08-11-2006, 07:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, I have always had manual cars and the last being an E30 320i, but I sold that to my brother and bought an E36 323i coupe auto, I love manual box's but auto's are great and all I do is instead of using the gear stick on a manual you use your foot on the pedal and the rest is done for you, I don't find the auto any slower or faster than the manual version unless you use special timing equipment and then you are talking about tenths of a second difference. At the end of the day the choice is yours and what ever you chose you will love. If you want an easy lazzy drive get the auto if you like to be more involved with your car then I supose a manual would be more for you............try both and see what you think, Good Luck.
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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if you spend a lot of time in high traffic areas, probably get an auto as your foot will die
otherwise - 100% manual
(only i can be pimpin' the auto and dreaming of 540 6 spd )
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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As the owner of a 6-speed 540, I hate to say it, but my preference for the 6-cylinder E39 is with an automatic, at least with a 2000 or newer model year (so you get the 5-speed auto). My rationale:
1) Auto smoothness complements the 6-cylinder engine's buttery smoothness
2) My impression from test-driving a 2000 528 5-speed was that manual shifting was a lot of work for not much reward, due to (a) the 6-cylinder's lesser torque requiring a lot of shifting to keep the engine in its sweet spot in rpms, and (b) the relatively long throws of the E39 shifter (a complaint of mine with my 540 as well). My arm and leg were getting tired on just an hour-long test drive!
3) For resale, especially with the 6-cylinder models, I think the market would favor an automatic over a manual.

In the end, it's your personal preference. So I'll say what I tell everyone who asks this question (and it's asked often): test drive as many examples of both types of cars as you can find and then make up your own mind, keeping in mind your projected driving routes/mileage/habits/traffic/etc.
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