Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW M5 VS 2015 Chevrolet SS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 BMW M5

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VS

2015 Chevrolet SS

Safety Comparison

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The M5 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The SS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The M5 offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The SS has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature which could reduce stopping distances.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the M5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The SS doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The M5 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The SS only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the M5 and the SS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The M5 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The SS’ 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The M5’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the SS’ (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M5 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Chevrolet pays for maintenance for the SS (4/50,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the M5 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the SS.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in reliability. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Engine Comparison

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The M5’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 145 more horsepower (560 vs. 415) and 85 lbs.-ft. more torque (500 vs. 415) than the SS’ 6.2 V8. The M5’s optional 4.4 turbo V8 produces 160 more horsepower (575 vs. 415) and 85 lbs.-ft. more torque (500 vs. 415) than the SS’ 6.2 V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M5 (base engine) is faster than the Chevrolet SS (manual transmissions tested):

M5

SS

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

4.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.5 sec

10.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

13 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

120 MPH

111 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW M5 (base engine) is faster than the Chevrolet SS (automatics tested):

M5

SS

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

13.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

120.3 MPH

107.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the M5 Manual gets better fuel mileage than the SS Manual (15 city/22 hwy vs. 15 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the M5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The SS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The SS doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The M5 has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the SS (21.1 vs. 18.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the M5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the SS:

M5

M6 Carbon Brakes

SS

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

16.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

15.6 inches

15.6 inches

14.2 inches

The M5 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The SS doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The M5 stops shorter than the SS:

M5

SS

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

159 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the M5 has larger tires than the SS (F:265/40R19 & R:295/35R19 vs. F:245/40R19 & R:275/35R19).

The M5’s optional 265/35R20 front and 295/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the SS’ 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M5 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The SS’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The M5 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The SS doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M5’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the SS (116.7 inches vs. 114.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M5 is 1.5 inches wider in the front than on the SS.

The M5 handles at .95 G’s, while the SS pulls only .92 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The M5 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the SS (24.3 seconds @ .82 average G’s vs. 25.2 seconds @ .74 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The M5 has 1.8 inches more front headroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the SS.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the M5 easier. The M5’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the SS’ liftover is 29.8 inches.

The M5’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The SS doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

A standard locking center console keeps your small valuables safer in the M5. The SS doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the M5’s trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The M5 also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The SS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the SS, the M5 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The M5’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The SS doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The M5’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The SS’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the M5 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the SS can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M5 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The SS doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the M5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The SS doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The M5 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The SS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M5 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The SS doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M5 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The SS doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M5 also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the M5 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The SS doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the M5 and the SS have standard heated front seats. The M5 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the SS.

On extremely cold Winter days, the M5’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The SS doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the M5 offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The SS doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Recommendations Comparison

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The M5 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2006. The SS has never been an “All Star.”

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