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BMW 5 Series Sport Wagons

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Posts: 115
edited March 6 in BMW
to the front page of www.edmunds.com is our First
Drive of the 1999 BMW 540i Sport Wagon.

Watch for it, and then let us know what you think!

Community Manager
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Comments

  • reBMWreBMW Posts: 26
    just how will i convince my wife that we should trade the 98 volvo v70 t-5 for a 99 540i sport wagon? arg.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    Click on the picture to read Christian Wardlaw's review!

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    KarenS/SW host

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I own a 97 A6 Quattro wagon. When I purchased the V70 series had not been released in AWD and the BMW was still on the drawing board. My lease will be up soon. I like the 528i, but my guess is that it will light on leg room in the back. For the $$ I can through in a few more bucks and get a Land Cruiser. Persuade me to stay in a wagon. The land cruiser will still go 0-60 faster than the new audi wagon. The volvo, benz and bimmer are quicker, but where is the bang for the buck?
  • I too will be purchasing a new vehicle within the year.I have a 93 Ford Explorer.There are a few factors to consider when deciding which one to get..what kind of uses will you have or need,purchasing budget,and to some degree fuel consumption.Insurance and operating costs(maintainance and parts)seem to be high for all autos at this end of the scale.The big SUV's(Suburban,Expedition,Navigator and Land Cruiser)use too much gas and just seem to massive.Maybe if your towing or hauling 6 to 8 people everyday.Thats why I like the sport wagons.I need all wheel drive for skiing so I'm considering the Volvo or Audi.How has your experience been with your wagon?Also BMW is coming out with an SUV but I have no details.
  • jeffrey lowe (a6wag) how slow is the a6? i looked for one in the summer (1995) and could not find many, and the ones i saw where too expensive for my budget. i ended up with the 95 bmw wagon and have been wonderfully pleased with the car. but with winter beckoning and the thought of placing chains, i'm having second thoughts about a awd auto wagon, but i like my engines strong and fast? would you buy a new a6 quattro or perhaps the smaller a4?
  • reBMWreBMW Posts: 26
    a6wagon: have you considered the difference in driving characteristics between a land cruiser and a bmw wagon? i would be interested to hear why you would buy the truck instead of the bmw wagon. I believe that when you opt for the bmw wagon you receive an excellant driving experience with a fair dose of utility as well. would you be willing to tell the community at large (us) why you would rather drive the truck than the car?
    dogman: do you really think all wheel drive is the substitute for chains? my experience says no but i wonder why you think otherwise(if you do)
  • I have a 99 VW Passat wagon. Like the writer who couldnt understand why the couple bought a Navigator, I cant understand why someone would spend 55K on the BMW when the can get a Passat for half that (also cant understand why the writer mentioned the Audi but not VW{same platform}). They compare it to the Audi which has the same platform to include the engine. I have leather, sunroof and tiptronic transmission and paid 22,700 on the road, Sticker 25,600.
  • If the Passat does indeed have potential for under $25K out the door, the Passat appears to stand alone in the value department for sport wagons. I looked at a new BMW 528i wagon which had a sticker of $47K (on a base price of $41K. To me, this means that in 3 years from now, an off-lease 528i would cost around $32K. The price/performance of the used BMW (with 1 year left on the warranty) would be attractive to me.
  • I would get the A4 avant if space is not a premium concern. The a6 is still way to slow for a "sport" wagon. My wagon goes 0 -60 in forever(11+ secs). If you are really looking for performance and AWD safety, check out the Volvo Products. My wife really loved the Volvo but we already had the Audi. I too looked at the 94 and 95 BWM touring wagons. The v8 was wonderful but the traction for winter was suspect at best. My brother in law has the 530i sedan and says that his car sucks in the snow. The real sleeper in this category is the Subaru Sport Wagon; reasonably priced, very sporty and extremely attractive.
  • My audi is a great car. my only issue is performance. it has been trouble free since day 1. If performance is the key, then stay focused on the Volvo. the price point is better as well unless roominess is not an issue. if not, then the a4 avant series is excellent. AWD safety and good performance.
  • reBMW: I have owned several sport utility vehicles in the past. when the grand cherokee first came out, my dad and I were on that band wagon. We then went to Land Rover discos because every one and their grandma had a jeep. I then went to the new Toyota 4Runner in 96. After driving those, I wanted to be different. I got the performance(somewhat) and versatility I was looking for, but the space wasn't there. My wife refurbishes old furniture and has put that on the back burner because many of the pieces she finds can't fit in the back of the wagon. After driving the new land cruiser there is a difference in the experience. First off the cruiser would beat my 97 a6 and the new 99 a6 avant 0-60, hands down. As far as room is concerned, my wife can put her finds in the back without worrying about wagon space constraints. Yes, the gas mileage is worse on the cruiser. Yes there is a longer stopping distance from 60 and yes, it is extremely slow in the slalom; but for overall versatility and utility, not to mention my 2 year old son who likes to climb, i'm in favor of the truck. I also do not like minivans which would be my only other choice. I hope this gives you some insight into why I would pick the truck over the sport wagon. Popular Mechanics summed it up best, "The Land Cruiser is the perfect blending of the qualities of a Lexus GS 400 performance sedan and Ivan Stewart's off-road Toyota race truck. In all situations, on or off road, it is capable, comfortable and solid. We found it the best." Besides, they are not that far apart in cost. A6 avants are hot in the chicago market and no dealers are dealing. most vehicles are coming in fully loaded which puts the sticker at 44K. I can get a land cruiser for 47K on a short sell over the web. You tell me what you would do? Wouldn't you go for more bang(size and utility) for your buck?
  • reBMWreBMW Posts: 26
    how appropriate to use the phrase bang for buck these days. :(

    your situation has me intrigued, but i wouldn't choose the truck as my new vehicle. instead i would ask if you have considered getting a used panel van ($$$ can be very reasonable) to support your wife's fledgling antiques business. with that particular need satisfied, you would be free to choose a vehicle with utility yet still very fun to drive. to further my rationalization, you would then not have to worry about large oopsies in your new fancy vehicle when hustling the furniture around. 'course my suspicion is that you enjoy your trucks and really just want a new one :)
  • Why not buy a Winnebago,gut it and drop a semi tractor trailor engine in it? Where will this need for huge SUV's end? I drive by the BMW dealer almost everyday and that wagon sure looks sweet.The price has me hoping I'll win the lottery and it does not have awd but I'm going to include it also when I check out the Volvo and Audi.....I've taken an ice driving course in Colorado and have determined that awd and smart driving(slow down)can be relied on in bad weather.Chains should be used on 2wd vehicles in snow and all vehicles in severe conditions(hills or unplowed roads etc.)Since I only use the 4wd 4-6 times a year on ski trips the BMW will get serious consideration and have the guys chain up for the $20 they charge.
  • reBMW: you assessment is right on. A cheap van would be good for wife, who swears it does not matter what she drives. . . .But if I were to offer her a 85 Chevy Astro, I don't think she'd like it. And yes, I do want a new truck, Plain and simple. It is time. The wagon experiment was fun, but now it's back to the fad of the day, big ol' gas guzzlin', road hoggin' sport brutes!!!
  • a6wag, how bad does the 5 series suck in the snow, and is that with or without chains on the back wheels? having just purchased the car i'm keeping it for now. i'm also still quite fond of it.

    jtrent i agree with you, driving a truck (had a 92 4runner) was cool for about 6 months and soon thereafter became a laborious process.
  • dogman, good point. i have the 95 525t and love the darn thing. i've lookded at the 99 and bmw has done a swell job with the new wag. and indeed with only the use of 4wd 4 to 6 times a year, you should considered the 5 wag vs a truck.
  • danielm: my wife drove it and was someone freaked out and thanked the good Lord up above for AWD. this was of course without chains. they are illegal in Illinois. my brother loves the car, but hates it in winter. i thought that the ASC option was supposed to help with those weather issues, but it doesn't. please don't feel bad about your purchase. i would get a 94 or 95 wagon in a heartbeat, especially the V8. its an awesome wagon!!!!
  • i want a bmw wagon, but they cost so darn much. please...someone...are they not really so expensive!!! =-) i love them beamers. thanks
  • a6wag, point well taken. i live in northern california, so not much worry about snow being an issue as far as day to day driving is concerned. a bit of rain and that's pretty much it. but i do go to the sierras during ski season and that is of course my primary worry. otherwise the car is a gem, truly so, never for a second would you think that you're driving a staywag :-)
  • outback4, yes indeed they do cost a pretty penny and are not so cheap on the maintenance side either, but to drive one chap, is to dream. you paid for what you're getting. i looked at the outback as well, great car, practical and reliable, but its not a true driver's car, basically not as fun to drive, or as fast, or as corner friendly at 60 mph, but if you're heading for the mountains, you can drive. you get the point. but heck go test drive one just to get the feel. best of luck....
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