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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • I am planning to buy a car this week, and am considering the BMW 528i.Should I be considering the BMW 535i. The 528i fits the budget better, but I don't want to make a mistake. Any guidance would be helpful
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What would you classify as a mistake? Having very decent acceleration but losing at the stoplight drag races when up against Corvettes and stuff?

    FWIW, the power to weight ratio of the current 528i is not too much lower than my old 2002 530i, and yet that car was more than fast enough for virtually every driving regimen imaginable. FWIW, my 530i had no problem accelerating to and maintaining triple digit speeds while I had it in Germany, and still held its own in the heavy NYC metro area (where I lived when I got the car) as well as wide open roads of New Hampshire (where I lived when I turned it in).

    All this is to say that even though it is often nice to have more juice under the hood, the 528i is certainly no slouch and should prove to be more than satisfying to drive on a daily basis.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jeqqjeqq Posts: 216
    I just test drove a 528xi and felt it needed a little more umph. I also felt it was compromised when trying to pass at higher speeds. This car only had 1400 miles on it. I'm coming from an Audi 3.2 and my car feels stronger when accelerating onto a highway and just stronger in general. I have to add that for the 1st 10,000 miles my car was a dog. Weird thing is the engine kept getting progressively faster every 10,000 miles. At 30,000 miles it felt like a rocket. Is that the same for the 528 engine as well?

    BTW, I like the handling, feel and balance of the 528xi better than my car but I just don't think I'd be happy with the engine. I plan on driving the 535xi and hope to make a decision soon.
  • Be prepared to really like the 535xi. Other than the sound of that terrific BMW straight 6, it will "feel" like you are driving a V8. The 528 is still going to provide much enjoyment... like Shipo, my 2003 530SP leaves little to be desired. It took the new TT engine to make me consider replacing my current 5! Still have not done so, as I truly enjoy my car... and nothing drives as good as a "paid for" car ;)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,013
    Still have not done so, as I truly enjoy my car... and nothing drives as good as a "paid for" car

    Especially a paid for E39. I still prefer it to the E60, though I will admit that the 535d I drove was pretty nice.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • I keep my '03 e39 with Sport Pkg in great condition by staying on top of all maintenance matters. Just by-the-book service visits, a proper break-in process and miles of rewarding DRIVING! I have yet to spend a dime on anything other than tires... and periodic detailing!

    Has been a fantastic ownership experience... and anybody who rides in it asks "is this new?" Still solid as any new car after 50K miles and 5 years this Jan. It goes down the road unlike anything in its price range and comports itself quite well in the twisties.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I have a 2003 530i (still love it also with 53K on it) and it is rated at 6.9 seconds with auto for 0 - 60. When comparing to the performance of an '08 model the 528 auto is spec'd at 7.1 seconds. Not much of a difference but not parity.

    I am also in the process of choosing between a 528xi and 535xi. Well the 528xi is in fact 7.6 seconds 0 - 60. This is about the performance of my '99 528i. And I did notice a big difference when going from my '99 to '03, so .7 of second is noticable.

    I did drive the 535xi and it put a big smile on my face. Solves the self questioning about spending upper 50s for a sports sedan :-) Of course MPG suffers but it is a heck of a ride. With option parity you are talking a < $7K difference versus the 528xi. So just cut out those Starbuck mornings...

    The only cure to getting performance and MPG IMO are the diesel engines that BMW will release in 2008. I hear though that the 5-sedans may not get the engines - only the X5 - that would be a shame. Especially if they produce 400 lb ft of torque - 40 more than a 550!

    Decisions decisions...but never buy a smaller TV or slower car than what you have... ;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I have a 2003 530i and that is rated at 6.9 seconds with auto for 0 - 60. When comparing to the performance of an '08 model the 528 is spec'd at 7.1 seconds. Not much of a difference but not parity."

    Hmmm, 6.9 seconds to sixty? Ummm, that sounds awfully slow. Off the top of my head I'm kind of remembering that my 2002 530i SP was somewhere between 6.3 and 6.5 seconds, and the 2008 528i is right bang on 6.5 seconds itself. As for comparing the E39 530i to the E39 528i, yeah, I agree, my Butt-O-Meter was easily able to tell the difference between the two cars. In fact, I found that the 1999 528i that I drove as a loaner when my 1999 328i was being serviced was noticeably slower than my 3er, and my 530i was faster still.

    As for my previous post, what I was trying to convey was that the new E60 528i is a very competent car, clearly not as fast and entertaining as the 535i, but clearly not as expensive either. It's funny, the E39 525i was so anemic in its power delivery that it was a car that I would never even remotely consider, while the 530i was quite wonderful, and the 540i of the era was an absolute blast. That said, I chose to get the 530i and save the $8,500 that was the cost of a like-for-like 540i. Here we are again just a few years later and the new 535i should easily be able to give the E39 540i a run for its money and the new 528i can give the E39 530i a run for its money. I'm thinking that I might well make the same decision as I made last time and opt for the 528i, were it that I was shopping today and not in a position to be using rolled up C-Notes as tooth picks. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I have an auto - 6.9 is the number in the BMW brochure I have from 2003.

    You had a manual - don't you remember? :P

    All numbers I quoted were for auto trannys.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, silly me, I never even think in the terms of an automatic transmission on any 3-Series or 5-Series. :blush:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Another consideration: twin turbos are a maintenace nightmare waiting to happen.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,893
    bah. there is no proof of that.
    there are plenty of turbos that have been on the road for decades with no extra maintenance problems.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • Thanks for the comments. I gave BMW a rest yesterday and test drove a Mercedes E320 Bluetec diesel. It was really super, more impressive than the 528i.
    I was almost sold and then re-read the Mercedes reliability ratings in CR. They terrified me.
    Today I'll go back to a BMW dealer and take another look. I see a low mileage 2007 530i that I should perhaps consider, but it is in an inconvenient location.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "bah. there is no proof of that.
    there are plenty of turbos that have been on the road for decades with no extra maintenance problems."


    Agreed, I've got nearly 200,000 miles of turbo driving under my belt and never had any kind of a problem with them. Simple rule: Use the best (in spec) oil available and change it frequently.

    FWIW, there have been some interesting UOAs published over on BITOG for 335i engines that have shown that the factory oil as well as Mobil 1 0W-40 get used up pretty quickly. Were it that I had a 335i or a 535i (with three pedals under the dash of course), I'd be changing the oil at 5,000 miles and then sending the oil off for analysis, just to be on the safe side.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    My 2 cents (and my obvious bias shows in my tag) would be go for the 535.... I have always found that "going backwards" in HP usually feels wrong....

    On another note, my E39 540 is still rolling right along, with 136000 or so on the odo - The hiccups are rare, and I plan keeping it until at least 250K. If I do anything more to it it will be cosmetic - the front end of this car gets sandblasted over time. I'm pretty happy with the Dinan mods, including clutch, cold air intake, exhaust etc... and not sure if I want to make any suspension changes... I'm happy with the ride/handling balance, really love the look of the 18" M sport parallel spoke wheels, etc etc. Ironically, I find myself looking backward with BMW for my next car... either add another E39, or find an older E34...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    With the launch (2005) and subsequent failure (2007) of our new business, my financial situation isn't what it was a few years ago. That said, I'm anticipating "rounding the bend" so to speak from a financial perspective in the next year or so, and will be hopefully able to get back into a BMW, albeit a slightly used one.

    With the above in mind, I occasionally browse through the used car ads to see what's currently available, and I've been noticing that finding a 2001-2003 530i 5-Speed with the options that I want is difficult at best. On the other hand, since the 2001-2002 540i 6-Speed has all of the goodies I want and is only fetching a couple of thousand more than the tarted up 530i SP 5-Speeds, I may join you in E39 540i-dom. ;-)

    I know what you're going to say, "Hey, what about the 2003 540i?" I'm actually not a fan of that garish (IMHO) nose treatment that BMW put on the 2003 540i 6-Speed models, so they're not under consideration. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    I know what you're going to say, "Hey, what about the 2003 540i?" I'm actually not a fan of that garish (IMHO) nose treatment that BMW put on the 2003 540i 6-Speed models, so they're not under consideration.

    WRONG!!! LOLOL

    You ALMOST knew what I was about to say.... actually my comment was going to be that I bet the rather overdone nose of the '03 would be an issue... I know it is the least favorite view of my car for me. It is also a bit of a pain - fortunately for my wallet my corporate driver training (from years ago) mandated backing in to parking spaces, so I have done that for years, otherwise that low front clip would be toast 10 times over!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Great minds, it seems, think along similar patterns. :D

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,382
    Shipo if you are looking for some good E39s, go see my friends in Chichester.

    Concord Motorsport
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, I browse their site on a fairly regular basis as they always seem to have a number of 540i 6-Speeds in stock. When the time comes, if they've got what I want, I'll be giving them a visit as they aren't even an hour away. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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