Poll: Chevrolet SS or BMW 5 Series?

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Poll: Chevrolet SS or BMW 5 Series?

Which large sedan would you rather own, the Chevrolet SS or BMW 550i? They both feature powerful V8 engines, spacious back seats and entertaining dynamics, but beyond all of this they’re as different as chalk and cheese.

For starters, Chevy is a blue-collar brand that’s as American as, well, apple pie and baseball. The Bimmer on the other hand is a Germanic thoroughbred with some of the richest heritage in the automotive business.

Starting with the SS, it features a rear-wheel-drive architecture and a powerful engine. Up front there’s a 6.2-liter small-block V8 that cranks out an impressive 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. You can get it with either a Tremec manual gearbox or a more conventional slushbox, though both transmissions have six forward ratios.

The 550i is also rear-wheel drive and V8 powered but BMW’s underhood strategy is a little different. It’s hauled around by a smaller 4.4-liter unit that’s augmented by twin turbochargers. These blowers bolster output to an impressive 445 horses. An eight-speed automatic is the only gearbox offered in this version of the 5 Series, which is too bad.

The Chevy’s interior is really well done but it’s not quite as luxurious as what you get in the BMW, nor does it offer quite as much technology. But the tradeoff for this is affordability. An SS can be yours for less than $49,000 but the 550i will set you back more than 67 grand. Is it worth the extra scratch? Well, that’s your job to decide.

Both of these sedans offer a lot, but which one would you rather park in your driveway? If you need more information on them, feel free to compare them right here.

  • vladimir

    calling Chevrolet luxury sedan and putting it next to BMW 5 series is a joke .

  • Jay Allanby

    These cars are not comparable and no one who would consider owning a BMW would also consider a Chevy unless it was a Corvette.

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  • Cody Beisel

    The Chevy isn’t a luxury sport sedan it’s a sport sedan and the 5 series BMW isn’t a luxury sport sedan it’s a luxury sedan. Big difference between the 2 cars. The BMW doesn’t move like the gm does and the gm doesn’t have the prestige or quality the BMW has. I’d buy the gm as I like to believe I’m an enthusiast, I’d skip the BMW till I’m an old man who doesn’t value driving dynamics!

  • Steve26

    Except going to the SSforums and their Facebook group, you can easily see that most of the people purchasing the SS are coming from BMW.

  • Steve26

    You’d be surprised if you actually sat in one, test drove one, even actually saw one in real life. They are closer to the same level when it comes to features than you’d think, and the SS could be had for much less and with a proper manual. But please, let that badge on the front tell you what your already made up mind wants to believe lol. No articles bring out more uninformed keyboard warriors than ones about the Chevy SS.

  • Jeff T

    With premium brands it’s not the features but how they are delivered. I would rather the Chevrolet but still.

  • smartacus

    can i punt and say KIA K900?

  • BUFFNITTI

    Seriously

  • BUFFNITTI

    What r u smoking?

  • Danangme

    I think I passed one yesterday and that’s the problem.Looks like a Malibu unless you look REAL close.That said I’d buy one in a second if I lost my mind and spent 50 large on a car

  • Jaezee408

    Driving dynamics?? Have you ever driven or owned a BMW? Trust me bud..big difference between a chevy and a beamer..that little 4.4 litre would either keep up or eat that chevy alive..you sound like an idiot saying the chevy is more dynamic than a BMW..yes this coming from someone who owns a BMW.

  • Croak

    He’s right Jaezee408. The BMW 550i vs the Chevy SS/Holden SSV Redline is no contest at ALL. The GM product is superior in handling (seriously, magnetic ride control for the win), it can compete in the power department, gives you the option of a proven Tremec manual transmission, and cost of ownership is much lower, beyond the almost $20k sticker price difference. And with only about 3000 cars per year brought to the US, you can expect the resale on the SS to hold up pretty well too.

    Has most of the tech you’d want (self parking, lane departure, collision, rear cross traffic, blind spot monitoring, heated and cooled leather seats, magnetic ride, functional Touring/Sport/Performance modes that change traction control, steering feel, and ride settings, torque vectoring to help the car rotate like a much lighter car, a real limited slip differential, good electric steering, bi-mode exhaust, remote start, navigation, onboard LTE and WiFi, heads-up display, high resolution information center in the dash, Bluetooth, voice commands, etc). Oh, and all of that tech? It’s standard equipment. The only options on a SS are the $1000 sunroof and the $500 full-size spare. You also get your choice of transmissions at no cost.

    Sure, the interior isn’t as nice in terms of materials (but it doesn’t suck either, it’s nothing like older GM interiors).

    Nor is there any “prestige” at all in having a bowtie instead of a roundel. You won’t win any valet points in the Chevy.

    Oh, and in case you didn’t know, LS motors are very, very reliable, light weight for their displacement, with inexpensive replacement parts that can be found everywhere, and with a lot of easy to access bolt-on performance “headroom” if 415/415 isn’t enough. Sure, it uses pushrods, but that doesn’t make it low-tech.

    Having owned new and used E30, E36, E36 M3, E34, E46, E39, E92 models, you could say I’m a BMW fanboy, but Chevy just brings more to the table besides value in this fight. You have to move up to the M5 to best it in terms of driving dynamics, in a car that costs less than a new 340i with the roughly the same options.

  • Stephen Harris Jr.

    The little 4.4 liter would NOT eat the Chevy alive. And nothing is more dynamic than a car with the Chevy’s engine, suspension, brakes, and awesome bolt-action 6 speed manual. Also, anyone who owns a BMW would know that BMW cars are called Bimmers and BMW bikes are called Beemers. Yes this is coming from someone who does not own a BMW.

  • Stephen Harris Jr.

    Yep, this is exactly why I want one. Its an excellent sleeper car. Until someone hears you crank it up after filling up at the gas pump.

  • Croak

    Should note that the 550i is almost 400 pounds heavier than the the automatic SS, and even more of a gap with the lighter manual SS, pretty much negating the horsepower advantage the 550i has stock. That’s two adult male passengers worth of extra weight.

  • Stephen Harris Jr.

    ^ …yeah, that lol

  • Croak

    People like me that bought BMWs for decades because of the driving experience rather than the badge prestige do appreciate what the Chevy SS offers.

    It’s the closest thing a man can get to a new E39 M5, which is saying a lot. Oh, and it’s faster and handles better than the E39 M5, which is saying a lot.

  • Danangme

    Do BMW drivers wear gold chains and hairpieces?

  • Jaezee408

    Well if that’s the case I guess I’m the idiot LoL have to go test drive the chevys then…

  • ex_ranger

    The SS is a little known drivers car. A lot of us are ex or current BMW, Audi, and Mercedes owners. You can actually even afford to service it after the warranty expires!

  • ex_ranger

    Surprisingly, you’re very incorrect. I’m guessing that 50% of us that are SS owners are ex-European car owners. The SS is an enthusiast car that only enthusiasts are going to know about – that’s what we like about it. The E39 M5 was the best sports sedan ever made IMHO and the SS is a similar, modern version of that car. I love me some M cars but BMW now markets cars primarily for image and prestige. I don’t need to own a “name car” to impress people.

  • Cody Beisel

    There’s a huge difference between BMW of today and of yesterday. They are not the fun performance cars they use to be and all of them lack passion when being driven. I was in the market once upon a time for a sports car/weekend car and had the chance to drive 2 bmws a 850i and z3 coupe (shoe). Auto guide can be my verification on how BMW drive now. They always fail when compared to previous generations in the department of driving dynamics and the most important trait (driver confidence). Il quote Auto guide in saying they lack any soul or passion, they make quick lap times but that as we know to any true enthusiast is only half the equation. This gm is considered one of the best sport sedans for the money and it out classes anything double it’s money regarding its driving dynamics. It’s got a nice interior for a gm to boot so let’s call it a win!

  • Chevy all the way BMA boy.

  • Cody Beisel

    I’m smoking tires 😉

  • Or a 2016 Camaro ss.

  • mFINE123

    chevy produces trash quality, I’ll pass and never buying another one.

  • BUFFNITTI

    I smoked a Camaro SS in my 11 535i

  • nopeyup

    The SS is a Holden with a Chevy badge.

  • nopeyup

    So you want people to know you spent $50k+ on your car because their opinion of your ride matters most to you. I understand and disagree.

  • nopeyup

    The SS out handles the BMW in every way. Its truly a sports sedan while the BMW is an autobahn cruiser. If you want handling you’d have to move up to an M5.

  • nopeyup

    Either you’re modded or lying with your 300hp 535i.

  • nopeyup

    The only joke would be the look on your face if you saw an SS on a road course.

  • Danangme

    A mind is a terrible thing to waste.learn to read,life is a bitch if you cant

  • Jeffery Surratt

    I agree my son owns a BMW M3 and cries every time it needs service. He will need a wheel barrel full of money if anything major goes wrong.

  • Robert Dwyer

    I am on my second SS. I traded in my 14 for the 16 to gain the manual trans and Magnetic ride suspension. I could afford a BM but prefer the SS. It’s more rare. It will be imported for only 4 years with about 3000 a year. I don’t want a car that I see 100 times a day.