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Discussion Starter #1
You probably won't find any SMG-based 5-series on dealers' lots in the US yet, but I expect they're available in Europe. If you have any direct or indirect experience, please post your opinions. I have ordered a new 545i with SMG which should go into production in early February, but an article in this month's "Bimmer" magazine (describing the new 6-series) had little good stuff to say about it. They recommend either the Steptronic or Manual. The SMG in the 5/6-series, they say, is not as refined as in the M3, and not as fast to shift either. In fact, referring to the SMG option on the Z4, they mock it as "Slower than Manual Gearbox".

Moreover there is a $1300 gas guzzler tax on the SMG and no such tax on the other 2 transmissions. I have a 530 today with Steptronic which shifts beautifully, but I rarely use the steptronic mode. After 8 years of driving stick shifts, the steptronic is simply not as engaging. I was intrigued by SMG for that reason: will it be more fun to drive (just pushing the accelerator pedal is not my idea of fun-to-drive) and yet convenient when you're parked in the California freeway.

I still have a couple of weeks to change the car's configuration.
 

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6 speed!
 

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personally i'd avoid smg.

My esperience is based on a 330ci smg and m3 smg - like chalk and cheese. The 330 smg was slow to change both up and down the gearbox and very difficult to drive smoothly when pressing on. To achieve a near smooth shift I needed to:-
- nudge the paddle
- then lift off throttle
- then resume throttle

A three step pattern just like a manual, only not so satisfying.

The m3 is much more instantaneous so there is no need to lift off - just rifle bolt changes, very exciting.

I'm considering switching to an e60 as I fancy something less in your face and would recommend the auto box.

Hope this is of use

:beer
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, yes that helps.

I've settled on the 6-speed manual. For a person who loves to drive -- especially such a fine piece of machinery as the 545i -- the manual is what my heart desires!
 

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Originally posted by ksz@Jan 12 2004, 01:18 AM
Thanks, yes that helps.

I've settled on the 6-speed manual. For a person who loves to drive -- especially such a fine piece of machinery as the 545i -- the manual is what my heart desires!
Good choice. If it had the same SMG as the M3, I would say give it a try. But until then , stick with the manual.
 

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I picked up an E60 SMG version a week ago. I'm still breaking it in and enjoying it. I can't really push it around in NYC so I have to wait to get outside outside the city and see how the SMG works in sport mode. The power range on the highway is great and shifts very smoothly above 2nd.
 

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The diff b/w driving an SMG and an auto is that the SMG is really a manual. Thus, it must be driven like one to obtain smooth shifts. All the stupid North American car magazines drive it like a typical auto, with the foot on the floor, this provokes ungainly upshifts. C'mon don't they realize how to drive it????? :banghead
 

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I have been using my steptronic a bit more lately. It shifts okay. You're posts have giving my the idea to try it kinda like a manual shift. Let up on the gas a little just a little before shifting. mmmm.....I'll try it when I get my ride out of the shop....Dynamic Drive System Failure message...doesn't sound good.
 

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Based on my experiance with a z4 SMG I'd say you're going to be very satisfied. I saw one in an E60 at a dealer a couple weeks ago and it looked amazing. The SMG is very much a third type of tranny that you have to learn just like you learned a stick. It takes some getting used to but it's very much worth the advantages. It has really smooth downshifts in manual mode, but the shifts in automatic/reglar suck. The engine drops its revs for an extended time period then shifts and by then there is no power. Always drive it in automatic/sport if you want it to be on auto. Also you can impress everyone by saying "i shift with my steering wheel", and then everyone thinks you're really cool.
 

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Originally posted by Silver4evr@Jun 26 2004, 05:26 AM
I have been using my steptronic a bit more lately. It shifts okay. You're posts have giving my the idea to try it kinda like a manual shift. Let up on the gas a little just a little before shifting. mmmm.....I'll try it when I get my ride out of the shop....Dynamic Drive System Failure message...doesn't sound good.
I don't think you need to lift off the gas when shifting in steptronic.
But in SMG, yes you do! I drove a SMG and it shifted superbly.
 
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