Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Welcome to the Edmunds forums! We are changing the way you sign into our forums. Click here to learn more.

BMW 5 Series Sport Wagons



  • Yes, it is because they are redesigning it, supply/demand, recent stock-market woes, etc. Check the MBZ wagon board for testimony by "thegeneraltso".
  • simplesimple Posts: 7
    We have a 540 Wagon in silver that has about 30K on it now and I love it more every day. The car drives and handles flawlessly, as a $60,000 car should (paid $47,000 for it new...the third BMW I've purchased from my dealer...loyalty pays off).

    That car doesn't do anything wrong...I can't get enough of it. My partner drives a 98 528 sedan with about 97K on it...he likes the ride of his car better than the stiffer ride of the sport suspension on the 540. I think he's nuts.

    My only complaint about my 540 wagon is cargo space. It is one of the smallest wagons in its class for cargo space...and the load floor is useless. We're about ready to trade the 528 and will likely get an MB E320 wagon for the extra room and the relaxed ride that my partner prefers. I'll drive my 540 into the ground.
  • boobboobboobboob Posts: 4
    I have a 99 528iT. It's 2 years old with 16,000 miles. About a year ago, my radio display started blinking in a random but annoying pattern.
    The dealer didn't believe me, until I drove it in for him to see. They first tried something that didn't work. Then, they ordered a new display panel. It would then blink only intermittently and I was told to bring it back again, but have lived with it. Now all of a sudden, it's blinking constantly like it's sending secret messages to the Chinese gov't.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
  • boobboobboobboob Posts: 4
    I forgot to mention that it stops when the parking or headlights are on??
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ....but I'm here to announce the new BMW 5-Series Owner's Club now available on Owner's Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Sedans.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Owner's Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • boobboobboobboob Posts: 4
    Has anyone heard whether the 5 series Wagon will get all wheel drive as that in the 3 Xi wagon?
    I've sent that question to BMW and BMW Germany.
    They don't answer the question but submit a commercial.
  • stodd52stodd52 Posts: 3
    1998 MB 320E with 40,000 miles. MB certified thru dealer who is asking $38,900.

    2000 BMW 528 Wagon with 17,500. New never titled, loaner/demo... dealer asking $39,900.

    Which wagon is the better value in long haul?
    Have been leasing and account tells us that due to tax law revisions it would now be more beneficial to buy rather than we'd build up some equity.

    Comments and suggestions welcome.
  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    We are interested buying a new wagon and would like one which has reasonable room behind the rear seats for a 70lbs Lab. How would you rank topr 3 wagons and why?
  • jeffsaxejeffsaxe Posts: 4
    Hey, I'm no electrical wiring expert, but I've noticed that most recent-model cars have a nice auto-dimming feature on their radios that's connected to the headlights switch. So during the day, the radio display is bright, but when you turn on your headlights, there's some extra wire that sends a signal to the radio that they are on, and therefore it's probably nighttime, and the radio dims its display so it doesn't stand out visually in the dash. Perhaps the connection on that signal wire from the headlights to the radio is faulty somewhere, and the display panel thinks you're rapidly turning the headlights on and off.

    Just a guess. (If I were a service technician, I'd have tried to find this loose wire or faulty control signal before replacing an expensive panel. But don't get me started on the diagnosis expertise in the auto repair industry...)
  • petegorpetegor Posts: 1
    I'm trying to decided between the 525 and 9-5 wagons. I've had a Volvo 850 GLT for 5 years and like the front wheel drive, but wouldn't get another. Any thoughts? Especially on the BMW in the snow? I need the size of either of these and want a manual shift.
  • GLeenGLeen Posts: 46
    I am also comparing the 525it and the saab 9-5 wagon. I currently own a 1998 528i sedan and love the crap out of it. My lease is up and I want another 5 but this time I think I want the wagon. I would like the extra space.

    have you test driven either one yet? I am worried that the 183 HP in the 528it is not adequate enough.
  • njpaguynjpaguy Posts: 55
    There is no comparison between the two. The BMW is by far superior. Your concerns about the 2.5L engine valid. However, I think you will find that it will be more than adequate. At some extremes (heavy passenger/cargo load and/or steep inclines) you'll wish for more torque, but if you keep the revs up (think like a 4-cylinder!) you should have no problem. Don't need to step up to the 540 V8. Of course, if BMW would wake up and import the 530 wagon, choosing a BMW wagon over the competition wouldn't be such a big deal. (BTW - we have a '01 BMW 525i Sport Wagon with Steptronic transmission)
  • woodywwwoodyww Posts: 1,803
    Has anyone here gone thru the dilemma of choosing either a 528iT (or 540), or an X-5? Several times I have almost put down a deposit on an X-5, only to read of more problems with them. I think the 5 Series is probably more reliable (than the X-5) because of A. being mfg. in Germany, & B. being now in it's 4th year of production.

    I've also noticed more used '99 & '00 wagons for sale in this area (Mass.) lately, altho they seem to sell quickly. The used 540iT's seem to be priced about $10K higher than the 528's.......altho I'm now thinking about springing for the 540.

    Any thoughts?
  • GLeenGLeen Posts: 46
    The only thing you get with an X-5 is WAD. I think. I personally feel it is ugly and would go with the wagon since it is established.

    Good luck.
  • ivanapeeivanapee Posts: 4

    I have a 160 mile round trip commute. Which is better for the task 95 or BMW wagon. Looking for reliability, economy, durability. I was thinking about the Echo or the Jetta diesel but I could not bear to be in those for 3 crs per day.
  • fastbuckfastbuck Posts: 11
    We've got a 2001 525 wagon with Steptronic, and if you asked me why we chose it, I'd say none of the above. The car's had no problems thus far, but it's only 5 months and a few thousand miles old. If the several BMW's I've owned in the past are any guide, I'd expect to invest some serious money in repairs once the warranty expires. As to durability, the principal mechanicals are sound, but I've noticed lots of inexpensive plastic bits in the cabin that don't seem to want to stay put. Perhaps BMW has worked a volume discount with GM? Economy? Well, the car may not be entirely broken in, and true, we've not done much freeway driving , but the trip computer says we're averaging just over 17 miles per gallon of premium.
    So would I recommend the car? Oh yeah. But not if reliability, durability and economy are your priorities-there's a little outfit out of Japan by the name Toyota that pretty much hits those three right on the nose every time.
    And if practicality is a consideration, forget about it. The 5 wagon has barely more room for passengers or their stuff than small cars like the
    Ford Focus.
    Where the 525 wagon excels is in driving pleasure. Just walking up to it is a joy-is there any other wagon in creation as good looking? The inside's as lovely as the out, and the fun hasn't
    really begun until you fire it up. Others have criticised the steering on recent BMW's, but I find the weighting and feel of the wheel of our 5 to be just about perfect. The suspension is absolutely incredible: how can a ride this supple co-exist with this level of roadholding? One of the reasons we've put in so few freeway miles is that the 5 alwys makes the scenic route seem like the better choice.
    Britain's incomparable Car magazine asks rhetorically if there's a better car on the planet than the 5 series. I think not, and the (slightly) better looking and (slightly) more accomodating wagon is the best of all.
  • njpaguynjpaguy Posts: 55
    We too have a 2001 525iAT (Sport Wagon with Steptronic transmission). On the road since Mar 1st. About 5000 miles of 50/50 city/highway driving. Averaging around 22mpg with 93 octane gasoline. ALL cars today employ a great deal of plastic components throughout (in the interest of weight saving to help realize better fuel efficiency). What distances BMW from others is their choice of plastics, coupled with fit and finish. Have you looked inside a Ford lately? Absolute junk. As for space, the 5-series wagon does not have the largest passenger space in its class, but it is by no means on par with a Ford Focus for space. In fact, the rear cargo area has MORE room than a VW Passat, arguably the best value for a wagon in any class. The design quality and efficiency backed up with sound engineering make the 5-series wagon a truly wonderful car to drive. In a same-day drive comparison with the MB E320 wagon and the Audi A6 Quattro, the BMW won me over - after one block! And I drive over 50,000 miles a year. That says something for the BMW. BMW did, however, miss the boat by not offering their superb 3.0L engine in the Sport Wagon in the US (available elsewhere in the world). The 525 is just a tad bit underpowered (lacking in the torque department). The 540 may just be a bit of overkill (in power and price). But if you can afford it, and don't feel the need to maximize fuel efficiency, get the 540. BMW's V8 is a truly magnificent engine!
  • ivanapeeivanapee Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input. I know it will be expensive to commute 160 mile a day in the 5. May look at Audi and Saab too. European cars seem to still look good after many years. And the % wagon looks alot better than my mini van : )
  • fastbuckfastbuck Posts: 11
    with me about the internal volume of the 5 series wagon, but the EPA says the Focus wagon has 96 cubic feet of passenger space and 36 cubes for the luggage, versus 97 and 33 respectively for the BMW. That's why they classify the 5 as a "small" station wagon, and the Focus as a "midsize." The point isn't to quibble about minutiae, it's just that the 5 isn't any kind of mondo family hauler. Or so says my 13 year old, who's loathe to position his 5'8" frame in the seat directly behind the driver, who is all of 6'.
    Likewise, we may disagree about the quality of the plasic and other materials used in the interior. Yes I've seen the interiors of new Fords;I've got a 2002 Explorer, and am hard pressed to see the superiority of some of the BMW
    components. What I do know is that so far all of the pieces inside the Ford have stayed put, whereas so far we've had three different plastic parts of the 5 decide to go their own way, the power point slide out of its housing twice, and the luggage cover rattle so incessantly that we decided to just toss it in the garage. And while we're on the subject, the floor mats not only don't stay put on their cheap velcro-like connectors (which themselves constantly work their way out of the floor), they're of such low quality that Wal-Mart would be hard pressed to accept them. The ones in the Ford are MUCH better.
    Finally, on gas mileage, I can only hope we break 20 mpg someday. So far every fillup has calculated out to a very consistent 17+.
    Where I disagree with njpaguy is on the engine: while more power would always be welcome, I think the smaller powerplant gives the 525 more than adequate zest, while imparting a welcome lightness to the chassis.
    But what we agree on is what counts. The 5 wagon is leagues better than (admittedly more practical)
    cars like the Audi A6 or allroad, or Saab 9-5, all of which we considered,and basically forgot about within moments of driving the BMW. These guys just seem to have broken the code when it comes to maximizing the driving experience in a way that no other manufacturer of semi-practical cars has been able to accomplish.
    If you can find a way to pay for it, the 5 will make your long commute more bearable than just about anything else on the road.
  • Stephen did you ever decide on a choice b/w the MB/BWM? I am in the same boat today with almost the same prices/issues.

    Since you have nearly on month since your original post what conclusions have you come to?

  • boobboobboobboob Posts: 4
    Thanks for your message. About two weeks ago, I took it in and since it wasn't blinking, they put their computer on it. It showed no fault.
    Even though they replaced the display panel twice, the said I would have to come in when it's doing it to prove it to them.
    I think it's a loose wire, also.
  • glxwagon4moglxwagon4mo Posts: 121
    Randy (njpaguy),

    "In fact, the rear cargo area has MORE room than a VW Passat" Interesting statement considering the rear EPA cargo volume of the Passat is listed as 39 and the BMW checks in at 33. (this is also shown in Edmunds'numbers as well). We had looked at the BMW, Saab, Audi, Volvo, and Subaru prior to settling on the Passat. Cargo space was a priority, and unfortunately the Bimmer has the smallest of the group. The BMW certainly has MANY positive attributes, but those needing rear cargo space should look at the other brands.

  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Edmund's review of the BMW 535i Sport Wagon is now available. Here's a direct link to Spin Around Town: 2001 BMW 525i Sport Wagon, by Brent Romans. Let us know what you think.

    Thanks for your comments! ;-)



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • I am the owner of a 2000 528it. I have owned many cars in my driving history and this is my second BMW. I say this only to establish credibility with this board. My earlier Beamer was a three series and problematic. Anyway, I decided to buy the wagon because I truly believed BMW got rid of some of the kinks normally found in the earlier models. Boy was I wrong! My wiper motor had problems and was replaced, and my air conditioning system has been a nightmare. The plastic piece right underneath the hood which is easy so see right under the front bumper, broke in June and wreaked havoc on the radiator. Then, most recently, I learned that there is a thermostat recall, so the car went in again. I am on my 5th cup holder and was repeatedly told that this is a consistent problem because it is so flimsy. I don't care about the cupholder, but I just realized that one of my seats won't go back all of the way. I would like to know if anyone out there is having these problems too. I know that the thermostat problem is being addressed by the manufacturer and the dealers are busy doing all of the replacement work. How can I recommend this car to anyone when I am in the shop almost every three months?
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    And sorry to hear about your BMW problems. While you're waiting here for feedback..., you may also want to check out our BMW 5-Series Owners: Problems & Solutions discussion. Use your copy/paste so you don't have to re-write your message. Good luck.



    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards

  • I am experiencing many small problems on 2 5-series vehicles. 1999 540 and 2000 528. Both are having computer problems, e.g., seats moving around for no reason, steering wheel tilts up not all the way whin shutting off, various rattles and squeaks, and general nuisance problems. I am very disappointed with the BMW experience, but can't afford to trade. I should have stuck with Volvo!
  • Can anyone advise the best place to locate good winter mats for my 2001 525iT? Before paying for the OEM mats offered by BMW, I am wondering if they can be ordered elsewhere cheaper and as good.

    Also, I want to be sure to get a cargo mat for the rear -- I know that not all aftermarket vendors sell this part along with the winter mats.

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    While you're waiting here for a response, you may also want to try asking (copy/paste) your question in our BMW 5-Series Owners: Accessories discussion. Good luck. ;-)

    (formerly "pocahontas")
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • Anyone out there have an opinion regarding this vehicle.

    I have not yet had a look at it yet, has about 60k miles and asking price is 15k. I am replacing a van that has served us well for 10 years as we tend to keep what we buy for a long time. So with that in mind were looking to find something in this price range with a little sportiness and room for the two kids and dog.

    We have a 87 325ic, a classic looker, if you ask me and we just luv the way it handles. So am interested in hearing from anyone who knows how this particular 5 series performs either good or bad.
  • Dennis,

    Even though our winters here in Florida are not 'noticeable' I believe in mats.
    Have the same car, and simply got some at Walmart. VERY deep grooves, and
    so far seem to be just what I need.

    Lots of rear cargo mats on the internet. I believe the drawback to these, is they do
    not seem to be available for the section left open when the rear seats are down.
    I'm using 1/4" plywood with attached rails all the way around for this purpose. It is
    in two pieces - rear lid to back of rear seat, and from this point to just behind fully
    extended front seats. The 'railing' has notches on both sides (white plastic edging
    for outdoor whiite lattice 4 X 8 sheets at Home Depot), so the two pieces mesh for one
    long surface. Of course, we use this vehicle as an up-scale truck, which is probably
    not the common usage.

This discussion has been closed.