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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The likelihood that anyone considering a new or used M5 would ever cross shop a Cadillac is pretty remote.

    BMW may have "Bangled-up" the new design from an aesthetic standpoint, but BMW has a long tradition and history of engineering excellence and exceptional driving dynamics. GM on the other hand, has a long tradition of essentially producing junk. I hate to sound so harsh, but to even set foot in a GM showroom, I would need to have a frontal lobotomy to remove from memory the cars that fell apart in the hands of my parants and other family members at a time when they couldn't afford it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    srfast, jb_shin, thanks for the tip. Removing that clip gains an extra 2 1/8" of seat travel. All I needed was an inch.

    The question now... why is it there to begin with? My first guess is that the extra seat travel compromises air bag efficacy. Anyone know for sure? Will be checking in with BMW on this to see what they have to say.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    More of a liability issue than anything else.

  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I don't know about airbag efficiency. The passenger airbag is mounted farther from the seat than the driver's bag and the passenger seat travel isn't restricted, so I doubt that's the reason for the clip. My guess is that Big Brother by the Potomac feared some short person would move the seat back too far to apply the brake. Is the clip present on Euro versions?
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    Thanks, jb_shin for the great tip. Like Designman I needed about another inch to be comfortable in my 530. I think the clip is there because of the possibility of crushing a rear seat passenger's legs by accident since there is so little room to begin with.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    530bmw... I wouldn't draw too many firm conclusions from such a small sample size.

    Resale values have declined for many marques and models. All the subsidies, rebates, incentives to dealers, low interest loans, etc. have taken their toll. Just look at how much BMW was recently offering on the last E39s. Was cheaper to buy a new '03 E39 than a used '02 E39. That put pressure on all used E39s.

    My '98 540i6 was 6 model years old. Almost hitting 80K miles. CPO warranty expires in February '04. New 5 Series is upon us. That impacts resales but right now no one knows for sure if the new 5 will be a sales winner or not. Winter is almost upon us and I live in the midwest. I'd hate to think what I would've gotten if I tried to sell her in winter or after CPO expired.

    habitat1... You wrote, "I almost bought a 1998 E300 Turbodiesel new in late 1997 for $42,200 (still have the purchase papers). Based upon what I see in the DC area, I could sell that car in a heartbeat today for $25k with 75,000 miles." You only know what you actually get the day you sell the car. You will always get more selling your car to a private party. Dealer buys wholesale and sells at retail. But in my state, seller pays sales tax and you don't pay sales tax on the trade in portion of the new car purchase (so I saved over a $1K just in taxes).

    Turbo-diesels sell to a unique audience. There aren't that many. Smallish group of people who want high fuel economy in a luxury car. You should do the analysis on a '98 gasoline E class.
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    Thanks, jb_shin for the great tip. Like Designman I needed about another inch to be comfortable in my 530. I think the clip is there because of the possibility of crushing a rear seat passenger's legs by accident since there is so little room to begin with.
  • does anyone happen to know? i snagged an 03 525 in the waning hours of the incentives and could not be any more excited about the purchase. first of a lifetime of bimmers for me and my family. anyway, i noticed the tag on the inside of the driver's side door that mine was made in March '03. just curious whether this was one of the last or if the car just took a while to find me...thx.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Was looking at the airbag schematics in the 03 5 sales brochure. Even with the clip intact and seat extended to the max, the driver does not seem to be in an optimal position if the side airbags deploy. By removing the clip and extending the seat further it seems the driver is completely unprotected by the airbag in the door, and virtually unprotected by the side HPS up top. I guess in this situation, BMW safety claims and ratings would be compromised with regard to side impact.

    But the difference in comfort is night and day by being able to extend that seat. I can't believe I almost didn't buy the car because I felt cramped. Now it feels like a totally different vehicle. I have to believe a certain amount of sales were lost because of this and am curious to see how the side airbags are sorted out in the new 5 which comes with ample legroom.

    Am still looking forward to contacting BMW tech and marketing.
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    Too bad BMW doesn't offer the 530d in the US,diesel has more torque albeit smelly fumes but is much more fuel efficient!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'm with you re: GM junk; I MIGHT consider a GM pickup if I needed such a sled, and the Z06 would be a fun track toy-but otherwise there is nothing in GM's lineup which interests me in the slightest. Another problem with the CTS-V will be finding a Cadillac dealership(AKA "God's Waiting Room") that doesn't slap a gold kit and a simulated cabriolet roof on every Caddy they get...
  • Cadillac is not the car it used to be in the 70's to 1999. I think when a CTS-V moons you on the track, you will appriciate that you are playing with the big boys

    Did you know that BMW’s 5-speeder is GM-sourced? GM has changed much. Especially Cadillac and soon Buick.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Yes, it is designed and made by a company in France owned by GM, but I believe the only hand GM has in the transmission is the name.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Save your breath.

    A modified Neon or Civic could probably beat any stock BMW or GM "at the track". I suspect that most BMW owners and posters here have a slightly broader perspective on what constitutes engineering excellence and performance.

    "Cadillac is not the car it used to be in the 70's to 1999." Is that so? Personally, I don't believe that. But, even if you are gullible enough to, try coming back here in 30 years when you don't have to apologize for the most recent three decades. You don't become a winner overnight with so much practice at being a loser.

    I'd like to believe the potential for a competitive or even superior American automobile company exists. But it would not involve either the management of GM or the UAW.

    Sorry to the host and rest of the board for the digression.
  • Started the bimmer this morning and she was knocking in idle. Took her on the road and with each acceleration it felt like I was going over rumble strips. This continued for 25 minutes (with each accel.) until I got to work. Any thoughts onwhat it might be? Help, she feels sick!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    billbrox, I'm just guessing and don't know where you're located but it sounds like it could be a minor choke problem... coincides with our first frost around NYC. Obviously, you should get it in to service.
  • d-man, Many thanks....the knocking did stop once I started it again this pm. (temps now around 64 degrees). Am scheduled to have it serviced this pm. Go Yanks!
    Thanks again....
  • I haven't owned a BMW since 1985 (320i). Yesterday I test drove a 98 528i sedan w/ 5sp. It drives really nice..80k miles. Two owners.17 inch wheels. He wants $14,100. This seems to be reasonable based on Edmunds or KBB. It seems that other comments indicate that I need to be able to verify service records to be comfortable. Any other feedabck would be greatly appreciated. I am anxious to get back into a BMW. 14k seems pretty reasonable...but I guess it won't seem cheap if I had a major engine problem. Any suggestions??
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yeah, I'll bet you'll see a bunch of CTS-Vs at the track... Grandpa would be scared that driving over 60 MPH might blow the cabriolet roof clean off.

    <Did you know that BMW&#146;s 5-speeder is GM-sourced?>
    Yes, and note that the transmissions are designed/built in Europe. Anyway, GM slushboxes aren't the problem; it's the rest of the car.

    <GM has changed much. Especially Cadillac and soon Buick>

    Let's see... the Allante was supposed to beat the SL 500 at it's own game. Then the Catera was going to put the A4, C Class, and 3er on the trailer. Oh yeah, and Cadillac was going to dominate LeMans-just like Audi, BMW, and M-B. Refresh my memory; just how many podium finishes did Cadillac score??? Now the CTS-V is going to put the S, M, and AMG cars in the shade? I'll bet there will be darn few CTS-V drivers willing to race an E39 M5 for pinks. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if a chipped E28 or E35 M5 ran and hid from the CTS-V either. As habitat said, come back here when Cadillac has had three decades of experience building real sports sedans.
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