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A 5 Series more rare than an M5

A BMW F10 550i can be had with a stick, making it more rare than an M5 - would you pick either over a modern Acura TLX?


Aww, look at you guys, makin’ dad proud. The Mustang just doesn’t stand a chance – 79% want the M4, despite Mr. Cammisa’s insistence. Now, I know I show a lot of F10 5 Series on here, but something just came up that I just can’t resist. Picture this – a 550i, but manual!

This week, we’ll go big and present three options, just to show what a good value the F10 remains.

The 2013 BMW 550i 6MT vs the 2014 BMW M5 vs the 2021 Acura TLX


View the 2013 550i listing here

See the 2014 M5 listing

See the 2021 TLX listing here

Actually, I’m lying about the headline. BMW produced 584 550i manuals for the US. Of those, inexplicably only 269 came equipped with the M Sport Package (do you really want one without?).

BMW made just 577 M5s with a manual – okay, you caught me, the M5 manual is more rare by seven cars. But hey, you only want 269 of those 550s, and I happened to find one with the coveted M Package. Don’t think you’re going to get unicorn pricing though – more than a few have come through auction sites, and none have even gotten to second base with $20,000.


The F10 M5 needs no intro on this site – this one has a DCT, and they commonly go for less than $40k. 500 horses here folks – still the real deal.

Against them, I pick the Acura TLX. It’s a really pretty car that insists on sending some of its power to the wrong wheels. New ones are out of control – over $60k with a markup. But it is a Honda, so you won’t need to fix it like you might an F10. You probably won’t need to fix it in a decade either.

The 2013 BMW 550i 6MT

I’m not afraid of the N63…Photo: Cars & Bids

It’s hard to imagine life without auction sites. Where else would you find a car like this – a forum? Searching dealer websites only to find out they think paddle shifters are a manual trans?

Alas, we’re in 2024, and we no longer need to worry. This 550i has:

  • 51,500 miles
  • Bid to $7,100 so far
  • Yummy Carbon Black over Cinnamon
  • A clean CarFax, no accidents
  • Tires from 2016. Yet the owner (s) saw fit to add…
  • A tune
  • Carbon fiber body bits
  • A KW suspension
  • Catless downpipes (but they will include the stock units)
  • The joyous N63 V-8 with 400 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque
  • Th accompanying problems with said motor

Talk Me Out Of It is all about imperfect cars, and uh, this qualifies. Any N63 is a gamble – a tuned one is throwing 2:1 odds for problems. But a cheap price means you could always take it to your shop for a good work over.

You know, #savethemanuals and all.

The 2014 BMW F10 M5

Still one of the best-looking BMW’s made. Photo: Cars & Bids

I can’t believe this car is 10 years old. Still looks great, still fast even by modern car standards – why don’t I have one again?

  • 67,600 miles
  • Bid to $14,500
  • Again yummy – Black Sapphire Metallic over Sakhir Orange
  • DCT
  • Clean CarFax
  • Sigh – RK tuned, no cats
  • KW suspension, with spacers
  • AWE exhaust – I’d love to hear that!
  • Some damage on the front end
  • Some questionable mods, like the deletion of the M5 badge. How will they tell it apart from the 550?!

I prefer a cleaner-modded car, but nothing here is irreversible, and that bite out of the front should help keep the price down. You already know how I feel about this thing – it’s wonderful.

But I can admit – I suspect both will make flirty eyes with your wallet within a year of ownership. If you budget for that beforehand, then I think it’s an acceptable risk.

Can we go just a fast without the worry?

The 2021 Acura TLX

Gosh, you’re pretty. Photo: Cars & Bids

Every time I drive an Acura, I end up disappointed. I thought the last generation looked good in A-Spec trim, but when I received one as a loaner while my wife’s old ISX was in the shop, woof.

They say this new one is much different. A turbo V-6 with 355 horsepower, ten-speed auto, and rear-biased all-wheel drive seems to prove the point. I’ll reserve judgement day until I can snag one to review. In the meantime:

  • 12,700 miles
  • Bid to $20,000 so far – seems like these go for about 40–50k used
  • Clean CarFax
  • No mods
  • Fully-loaded
  • Nice Majestic Black Pearl over red, but really, I couldn’t be in this car unless it’s stunning Apex Blue Pearl

That’s all – unassuming, right? One issue is that I’m still willing to bet an M340i is far superior. But I digress – this would make a great daily, and give you the peace of mind those F10s won’t.

So, a problem child with a manual, one with an M badge, and an Acura. Who’s your money on?

Want your car reviewed?

If you live in the tri-state area and want me to check it out, send me an email! 

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