Continental vs. BMW M550i

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MarkX

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Aug 31, 2020
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...

The button to turn off the stupid start/stop feature is directly under the start button. I quickly got in the habit of first pressing the button to start the car and then the button to turn off the start/stop button.
I'd bet there is a code to default that to always-off through the service port. Your dealer may not want to do that but an independent garage with a plug-in device might be able to find it.
 

brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
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Minneapolis
I am sure the start/stop can be coded to always off. I just haven't pursued it since the off button for it is just under the start button. It is easy to turn off and I have gotten in the habit of doing so.

My BMW dealer really low-balled me on the value of my Continental. I advertised it on Autotrader and every other dealer in my area contacted me with offers. I only had one private individual look at it but he was 200 years old and concerned about having a car with turbos. I sold my Conti to the Lincoln dealer where I bought it for $6000 more than the BMW dealer offered on trade.

The dealer where I purchased mine had already ordered one for their stock but it had not been built. We were able to change the color and options on it and I agreed to a deal on September 28. It was built in mid-October and I took delivery on December 13. There was not a lot of wiggle room on pricing-around 3.7% off MSRP. Two other dealers I spoke with would not take ANY off MSRP. No one within 500 miles had a new one in stock that wasn't sold. I had to go to a dealer in a smaller town 90 miles away to get any discount at all.

One other little tip: The dealer is able to add some things that are not shown as available on the build & price site. For example, the build/price site does not show the parking assistance package. It includes the 360 degree camera and some other goodies. My dealer got it added. Also the hands free trunk is not shown on the site but I got that, too.
 

brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
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Minneapolis
On a 600 mile round trip at Christmas time, I averaged 27 MPG. That was mostly highway driving. Just driving around here, commuting, horsing around, etc, I average around 20-22 MPG. Overall, the mileage is 1-2 MPG better than I got with the Continental. The BMW has a 2.81 axle ratio and the Lincoln was 3.39. The BMW turns quite a bit lower RPM at highway speeds than the Lincoln did.
 

MarkX

Active member
Aug 31, 2020
447
171
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On a 600 mile round trip at Christmas time, I averaged 27 MPG. That was mostly highway driving. Just driving around here, commuting, horsing around, etc, I average around 20-22 MPG. Overall, the mileage is 1-2 MPG better than I got with the Continental. The BMW has a 2.81 axle ratio and the Lincoln was 3.39. The BMW turns quite a bit lower RPM at highway speeds than the Lincoln did.
Sounds good! The BMW can run at lower RPMs with lower diff gearing as the extra torque it has ( compared to the Conti) can handle driver demands adequately (or better). My dealer is hounding me to buy back my Conti, but I am not biting.
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silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
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San Jose, CA
I am still considering. I am waiting for them to get me the full lease breakdown. I think currently they are trying to screw me on the price "without me knowing" as they are only providing the monthly. I asked for the full lease breakdown as I think its higher than it should be which isn't exactly making me want to switch (also them taking this long to get back to me on it makes me think I'm right). I am averaging 23-24.6 on my current conti with my daily commute. I'm leaning towards keeping unless things improve. Hate to also downgrade in terms of sound quality too bad the upgrade isn't available. Also want to lease if I do go with it incase its a basket case. However if I do decide to order next steps is selling my current one while the new one arrives which I always hate doing.
 
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silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
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San Jose, CA
So figured it out they finally got it to me and the lease rate is terrible. Seeing what's going on there. I often got much better lease rates.
 

brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
248
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Minneapolis
So figured it out they finally got it to me and the lease rate is terrible. Seeing what's going on there. I often got much better lease rates.
I haven't leased a car for many years but I know my BMW dealers would not dicker like my Lincoln dealer always did. Maybe even the Lincoln dealers don't dicker as much now, either.
 

silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
739
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San Jose, CA
Basically looks like a combination of depreciation, no discounts, bad lease rates are making it very expensive to lease right now. Still very tempting but I'm leaning towards just keeping the conti since its more than I expected. Also have some general concerns based on reading around about the longer term reliability of the v8 as I will probably want to keep it if I like it.
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brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
248
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Minneapolis
Not to totally disrespect the Continental with its 3.0 twin turbo engine but I recently confirmed what I suspected with the BMW twin turbo V8. I drag raced my Continental when stock and ran 13.5 @ 101 mph in the quarter mile. After tuning, it ran 12.7 @ 107 mph. I just returned from the track where my stock BMW ran 11.6 at 123 mph. In addition to the vastly stronger performance, the BMW consistently gets better highway fuel mileage. It is also smoother and quieter.

Many Continental buyers will not care about engine performance, behavior or efficiency. Definitely, the Conti has some positive attributes in other areas. However, from a mechanical perspective, it is not in the same league as the BMW.
 

silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
739
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San Jose, CA
I think we all know the v8 in the bmw along with the transmission is better than the one in the conti. The bmw compared to a similar equipped conti at the time is also costs more so I would expect as much. Id say if you have to get a new car the bmw m550 is a great replacement if you can purchase it in cash considering interest rates are terrible atm but I would say the seats are better in the conti, same with the fully upgraded sound system compared to what bmw offers now, and the lack of soft close doors annoyed me on the bmw. Otherwise great car probably would have gotten it if interest rates weren't terrible on a lease.
 

brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
248
106
43
Minneapolis
I think we all know the v8 in the bmw along with the transmission is better than the one in the conti. The bmw compared to a similar equipped conti at the time is also costs more so I would expect as much. Id say if you have to get a new car the bmw m550 is a great replacement if you can purchase it in cash considering interest rates are terrible atm but I would say the seats are better in the conti, same with the fully upgraded sound system compared to what bmw offers now, and the lack of soft close doors annoyed me on the bmw. Otherwise great car probably would have gotten it if interest rates weren't terrible on a lease.
I also miss the soft close doors. For me, the seats are about equal. Not being an audiophile, I find the H/K system much better than the base Revel that I had.

A BMW 540 would be a closer match to the Continental price-wise and from a performance perspective but would still be missing the soft close doors and the high end audio system.

I am probably more into performance than most. My 550 replaced my Continental AND my Mustang GT. The BMW is faster than the Mustang even when it was tuned but also has comfort and luxury more in line with the Lincoln.
 

Action

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Aug 12, 2005
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Many Continental buyers will not care about engine performance, behavior or efficiency. Definitely, the Conti has some positive attributes in other areas. However, from a mechanical perspective, it is not in the same league as the BMW.
From a market standpoint (IMO) the two cars are not in the same market segment either.
The competition for the BMW would be Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, Genesis G80, Jaguar XF

For 2020 the last year of Continental, the MSRP (base) was $46,300 for Continental and $53,900 for BMW 5 Series.

And I know little about the BMW which may mean my numbers above are off. But I would guess few shoppers of a BMW in that segment would have considered a Continental. And since Continental is no longer made it may not make much difference anyway.

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silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
739
302
63
San Jose, CA
I also miss the soft close doors. For me, the seats are about equal. Not being an audiophile, I find the H/K system much better than the base Revel that I had.

A BMW 540 would be a closer match to the Continental price-wise and from a performance perspective but would still be missing the soft close doors and the high end audio system.

I am probably more into performance than most. My 550 replaced my Continental AND my Mustang GT. The BMW is faster than the Mustang even when it was tuned but also has comfort and luxury more in line with the Lincoln.
For me the 30 way seats on the conti are more comfortable. If you had the base version of the sound system that would be the difference. Mine was the ultima which is the 3rd level in the conti which is probably on par to the upgraded sound system in the bmw which they no longer offer. For me I mostly use mine for commuting and I can't even open the taps on the conti much there so not a major reason to upgrade except for the fact that I do love the v8, transmission, infotainment system on the bmw, and the exhaust note.
 

MarkX

Active member
Aug 31, 2020
447
171
43
I also miss the soft close doors. For me, the seats are about equal. Not being an audiophile, I find the H/K system much better than the base Revel that I had.

A BMW 540 would be a closer match to the Continental price-wise and from a performance perspective but would still be missing the soft close doors and the high end audio system.

I am probably more into performance than most. My 550 replaced my Continental AND my Mustang GT. The BMW is faster than the Mustang even when it was tuned but also has comfort and luxury more in line with the Lincoln.
Thanks for the update. I am glad to see you have residual affinity for the Lincoln family. The car seems to be working well for you and I am also glad that you are enjoying your new car. Keep on smokin' those Vettes.

I don't think anyone doubts that the M550 is at least a step ahead of the Conti. But it seems to me you really have to hit the BMW option list to get many of the features that were standard on the Conti. And that's when the price ramps up which it should when you're getting more car.

I remain glad, on the other hand, that I have no reason trade out of our Conti. I certainly don't see anything out there that meets our needs as well as this car. As for providing a car-ownership experience, I find it hard to imagine anything beating it. Other than gas, I have not put a nickel beyond the original service contract I took into the car. Contrasting that to the decades of my Mercedes ownership with the constant bills has been refreshing.

I look forward to further updates, Bruce, as you get deeper into BMW ownership.
 

silverydragon72

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2021
739
302
63
San Jose, CA
One thing I would say is if I was in the market for a new vehicle and either didn't already have my conti or God forbid something happened to it I would be picking up a M550.
 

brucelinc

Member
Jan 11, 2018
248
106
43
Minneapolis
I agree that not many would have cross shopped BMWs and Continentals. I wouldn't have considered a BMW if Lincoln had created a new Continental instead of abandoning the upscale sedan market, altogether.
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