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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • Thanks for the good reading, everyone. I just got back from a deployment and enjoyed catching up. I also wanted to slightly brag that I just found out that I am going to Germany on my new assignment. Driving my 02 E39 for 3+ years on the autobahn should be a blast. Thanks again to Shipo on his advice on what to do with my car when I left it for several months.

    As a veteran of this board since the 1200ish message (mostly a reader, with an occasional post), a lot has changed in the discussion.

    Here are some thoughts:

    1) I thought bmwseller was bmwwife back on page 392. I think we caught him when he slipped up on his log-ins. My only thought is why doesn't he put his money where his mouth is and buy one?

    2) I also bought my 02 525 when I saw the pictures of the new one. I just saw the E60 in person and it wasn't that bad actually. Would you agree that it would look a lot better looking if they just changed the trunk and headlights only? Seems the best looking sports sedans are now the new E series MB and the Alfas.

    3) As for the I Drive. I grudgingly admit it may be the future in cars, but I agree with the guy who dislikes it on safety grounds. How many of us want to be passed by the individual who is yapping on their cell phone, eating fries, disciplining their kids in the back seat, and then wants to change the air temperature? I think the only way I Drive will work is if they put the display on the windshield like they do with HUDs in jet fighters. In addition, you have to put that joystick on the steering wheel to minimize distractions to your driving position on the road.

    4) Anyone who wants to research BMW for a possible 5 series purchase ought to sit down one afternoon with a notepad and read this forum from the start. This is an excellent information source. Many thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    DO NOT put winter tires on just one axle! You will seriously compromise the handling of your car. I suggest that you buy a set of winter wheels as well as tires as it eliminates the mounting/remounting hassle. It takes me all of 45 minutes to make the changeover on my E39, and it also gives me a good opportunity to inspect the brakes and suspension components.
  • ...And a couple of comments:

    --525, stock with a Tiptronic. Nothing fancy.
    --The handling is, as usual, outstanding. As good or better than the E39. Didn't bother with the Sport package because I don't much care about it. The handling without the Sport is plenty good.
    --I-drive is odd, but I got used to it quickly. Not bad to learn -- took about 3 minutes of fiddling around. Issue is, who needs it? Gadgets for gadgets sake, that did nothing, repeat, nothing meaningfully better than the old way. Only reason I can see it is to get a screen installed and allow for nav systems and rear cameras as standard in a few years as the costs comes down. So, it isn't a distraction, or overly complex -- just a waste of engineering. But, since its the only way to go, so be it. A waste of time to argue about it. It was acceptable, I suppose.
    --Air handling is fine, but cheap looking dash knobs that feel flimsy.
    --Poplar trim makes a big difference in the esthetics of the dash; aluminum just looks cheap, never stylish. With a good wood trim, the dash becomes balanced and I warmed to it quickly enough.
    --Seats are not as form-fitting as the E39. I think they've widened them for the heavier population. Kidney support was loose.
    --Six-speed tiptronic is very smooth, but oddly enough, even the (admittedly mild) kick on low-gear accelleration in the E39 525 doesn't seem to be there in the E60. Very smooth acceleration, to high speeds quickly, but the low-gear torque is different for some reason. Wonder if there's an attempt to widen the perceived accelleration difference between the 525 and the 530 -- after all, it's an easy $5K in the pocket for nothing more than 50 HP if the 530 seems noticiably different. Probably they were able to de-tune the 525 in the chip at no cost, or adjust the tranny shift points a bit. Never really felt the power difference between the E39s, but clearly noticed a low-end torque advantage for the 530 in the E60 s.
    --Parked my E39 next to the E60. The E60 looks oddly smaller, hunched (humpbacked?) from the side. Not nearly as imposing, if that's the right word. Stretching a visual, the E39 looked like the Sphinx sitting there, all four feet on the firmly on the ground. The E60 looks like a hunched housecat, about to jump two feet straight up.
    --The raptor lights look hokey, like BMW was trying too hard to make a statement, but not offensive. A bit silly, I suppose, like putting a spoiler on a Civic.

    So, all that said, the biggest difference between the 5 and everything else I've driven is the handling; and the handling is so much better than anything else that its almost worth it to grit my teeth and learn to tolerate the mistakes BMW made in the styling.

    Still, I want to try an E320 with the sport package and see if it is a better overall car.

    My two cents.....
  • Hi All. Haven't posted in a very long time.
    I passed 20,000 miles last week on my 2002 530i (Silver, Gray Leather, SP, PP, Steptronic, Xenons). The driving experience is wonderful. I look forward to my 20 mile commute to work everyday. The leather has held up great. I condition it every 3000 miles. Probably next week or so, I will condition it again. I use the Lexol products to take care of it. Have had no problems for the year and a half I have owned it. I would recommend this car to everyone.

    I have not driven the new E60 5 Series. I would purchase one when my 02 runs out of steam but I do not like the I-Drive. I will have to go to my dealer and see If I am able to test drive one and learn how to use it.

    One question though. I am about to purchase new tires. I think I will try to see how all-seasons are. If I do not like them however, I will just switch back to summer and winter tires. Any suggestions?
  • In a follow up to BMW2 mess. I too have a 530 w/all the options (PP, SP, Xen.,CW) and 18K miles on it. Am close to replacing tires and inquired about rotating them before I make the purchase. Was told I cannot rotate them since I have SP and rear wheels are wider than front. Anyone else hear this? It makes a little sense since visually, they are wider, but can I do anything to rotate them and delay this impending financial hit? Like BMW2, I cannot say enough about this car.....still gives me a rush everytime I even look at it.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    530 w/ sport pack have the same size front and rear from the factory. The 540 sport has wider rears. You can rotate tires although BMW discourages it. Guesses as to why vary. Since a 530 is not going to break the rears loose very often, wear will be fairly even, front to rear, if all is balanced and aligned properly.

    Happy Motoring,

    Jack
  • I know it's been discussed, but how do you remove the rear model emblem?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    In one word - carefully. :)

    Here is what I found:
    To remove the badges, hook one corner of it with dental floss. This will not be easy, but it’s the safest way to avoid scratching your car. Do not use a screwdriver or any other tools to remove a badge. If you slip, you will damage your car.

    Coat a section of the floss with liquid dish detergent. Slowly saw back and forth with the floss to cut the adhesive. It is recommended you saw all the way through the adhesive and do not pry whatsoever.

    Once the badges are removed, you must remove any adhesive residue before installing the new ones. Start with a mixture of hot water and liquid dish soap. Soak the adhesive spots well and use your fingernails to carefully pick off adhesive bits. Rinse and dry the area thoroughly. Once dry, prepare the surface for cleaning with some rubbing alcohol, then apply a coat of wax over the area.

    -Paul
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    Thanks for the great advice on how to remove the emblem badge.
  • kksookksoo Posts: 2
    I have just purchased a 528. I note that there are several empty slots in the tool box attached to the trunk cover. Should they all be filled?

    Thanks.

    KS
  • Body shops use heat guns to soften the adhesive and remove the emblems. A hair dryer set at its hottest setting should work just as well.
  • kksoo: The tool box has the essentials, the "blank" slots, from what I have been told and have read in this forum, are to accomodate Euro tools, etc. that were not shipped with the vehicle. You are not "missing" anything.

    Billbrox
  • kksookksoo Posts: 2
    Thanks Bill.

    kksoo
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The US cars do not come with the European warning triangle(unless it was an ED car). The triangle BMW NA sells is much larger. Steve Diamond at www.eurobuyers.com may still have a few of the euro versions in stock.
  • I am searching for a used 525/530 with the sport package. Some units are advertised as having the sport package, but investigation shows them to have the four-spoke ("H" in its side) steering wheel. I have had the impression that all units with the sport package carried the three-spoke "T" steering wheel. Am I correct in that assumption, or has BMW changed its packaging? Any confirmation / refutation will be appreciated.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,578
    I'm an admitted fan of the E39, but also really like the 745i & would take a Z4 in a heartbeat. Well my initial thoughts on the E60 were: let me wait to see it before I pass judgement. I saw one Friday night (in the dark) and noticed the headlights. Not bad. Then Saturday I rode my bike down the BMW dealership to take some measurements of an X5's cargo area to see if my Dad's Great Danes will fit. After I finished drooling & salivating over the 6 Speed M3 and measuring the aforementioned X5 cargo area, I took a good, hard look at the Shiny Silver E60 530i. I'm sure this car drives as a BMW should, but the styling just isn't my cup of tea. I wasn't impressed with the interior either.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    My 2001 530 has the sport package. It includes the shadowline trim as well as the three spoke M steering wheel and M shift knob. My brother's 2001 525 had sport suspension, not the "package", and came with chrome window trim, the four spoke steering wheel and an ordinary shift knob.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Checked out an E60 over the weekend. There was one sitting side by side with an E39. I really like the exterior and interior, especially compared with the E39. The E39 while an extrememly handsome vehicle, needed a facelift and I think the E60 is just the ticket.

    I'm sure under the hood it's all Bimmer.
  • My '03 530i came with Sport Pckg. : Shadow trim, 3 Spoke M Steering wheel, superb steering and suspension. Make sure it is the Sport Package....(and go for the 530).
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    BMW changed the 4-spoker to the 3-spoke wheel in the '02 model year for the sport package, so '01 and earlier models with the package all have the 4-spoker.

    (I know this applies to the 530i, and probably to the 525i and 540i as well.)
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I have loved every iteration of the 5 Series since the E12 in 1972 or 73. The E28 and E34
    were equally great but I finally saw what I wanted in the E39 in 2001 and bought the 530i with premium,sport, xenon and steptronic. I have been ecstatic about this car. Did I say I love it ? Fast forward to the present, earlier I posted that I had seen the E 60 and did test drive it in San Francisco for nearly an hour and just loved the car. But, it just wasn't for me. Maybe in a year or so. Also, to get the same "stuff " I have in mine the total would be about $57 K( including Tax and license), quite a considerable outlay of cash. I will keep mine for a few more years, I just hit 16,000 miles and had Service 1 done. For $57 K I might just find that previously owned 911 Carrera I have been lusting for . BTW, my 530i has the 3 spoker M wheel, shadowline trim, 17 inch wheels and it is a blast to drive. My wife and I are cruising down Highway 1 south to Big Sur this week end and looking forward to driving , will post later on that experience.
  • I am looking at a 2002 530, 9400 miles and a 2003, 7400 miles....both are fully loaded with just about all options except nav...the 2002 even has the automated rear window shade...i am told that the 2002 sold for over $48,000 new and the 2003 was over $50,000.....2002 is a private deal for $37,500....2003 is dealer asking $48,000 which i have no intention of paying...2003 certified up to 100,000....2002 4/50,000...any major differences between 2002 and 2003??? price for 2003??? any input /suggestions would be appreciated...thanks
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,578
    $55k, if the used 911 route fails, I saw an '01 M5 selling for that price in the back of autoweek.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    I am now almost 2 years into the lease on my 2002 530i. 24K miles on the clock. I have noticed during the last few fill-ups that my gas mileage has increased from about 23 to about 25 mpg over my same route to work and back (some city, mostly heavy stop and go highway traffic). The only difference I can think of is that the weather has been cooler and I am not turning on the a/c compressor. I am so impressed with the gas mileage, especially considering the size and weight of this car and its acceleration numbers.

    I was stopped at a red light when I was rear-ended by a Volvo C70 that was rear-ended by a Mits. Eclipse. It was a hard hit. However, except for two puncture marks in the bumper from the Volvo's license frame, no visible damage (air bag did not go off). Most important though, was that I suffered no whip lash or other injury. I may not have been so lucky if I were in a lesser car. The other cars suffered far worse damage.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,578
    How's the new clutch working out for you? Glad to hear you survived the accident unscathed.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    My 2001 530 has the three spoke steering wheel. It has the sport package as well. Just wanted to clarify as you said the 2001 and earlier models all had 4 spokers. :-)
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Only 16K miles?! Your baby is pampered! I'm up to 28K and thought that was low. Have an enjoyable trip through Big Sur. Looking forward to hearing about your journey. Happy Thanksgiving in advance!
  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    I also see an increase of ~2 MPG during the cooler autumn and spring months on my 2002 540iA SP. I currently get 19-20MPG during rush hour and around town driving. I recently took a 250 mile trip with the cruise set in the mid-80s MPH and got 24MPG. The 540iA SP is rated at 15 MPG city and 21 MPG highway. I also noticed a slight uptick (1-1.5) in my MPG as the car gets more miles on it. I currently have 26.5K miles.

    I am also impressed with the MPG of my 540. I love the power of the 540 and often will hit the gas a little further than necessary. I still get decent MPG with my more agressive driving style. If I drive conservatively, I can consistently get over 20MPG when driving around town driving.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours !
    Thank you. My Bimmer is very pampered, I wash it regularly and pretty much detail it inside and out. It is always garaged when I'm not driving it. I have a feeling that the mileage will increase sharply this year with the number of road trips we have planned. 28 K is very low mileage - you must not drive it every day or your commute is very short.
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