I bought a manual 550i about three weeks ago. Previous car was an 05 Lexus and drove a 00 540i manual before that. This new 550i is awsome. I searched hard for a manual. Suddenly there were two and both were loaded with mile-high sticker prices. This is a dying breed. A compelling reason for choosing a 5 Series BMW over a similar sized Mercedes or Lexus is the availability of a V8 with a slick shifting 6 speed manual. I have only run up several hundred miles but it's obvious what a great piece of machinery it is. Oh, and all the negative iDrive hype is a total red herring. It is simple to learn and operate and very intuitive. My commute to work is suddenly a lot more interesting.
Smooth as silk V8; 6spd manual transmission; BMW's four year, 50K maintenance program; nav; heads up display; active steering; comfort access; push button start; 20 way adjustable, ventilated seats; park distance indicators; manual short shifter; exterior look of the aero package
Integrate rear view camera with nav; it is really hard to criticize anything at this stage; it's just a fantastic ride.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.