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BMW 5 Series Sport Wagons



  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    Does anyone know of a good Independent mechanic in the Omaha area? My 99 540iTa just went off CPO and I need a good indie. Thanks.
    Terry Howell
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tlmmhowell... If you find one, let us know. I live in the greater Omaha area and I never found one. This was one reason I traded in my former '98 540i6 right before it went off CPO warranty. Markel BMW is pretty expensive, even with BMW CCA membership. (If you aren't a member, you should join. You'll get a 10% discount on parts.)

    There is at least one group of independent BMW mechanics that advertise in Roundel (BMW CCA) and Bimmer magazines, but I've never seen an Omaha shop listed.
  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    Yes, I am a member. I just changed the oil in my 540 and whipped out my card at the parts counter to get the discount. I will do about anything not to give John Markel extra dollars. They treat me like a leper there, because I had the audacity to buy elsewhere. I love my 540iTa, but like you, am nervous about upcoming maintenance.

    Just to pass along: While at the parts counter, I bought a tube of "rubber care" (Gummi-Pflege) #82149407015. This stuff is great for creaky doors. I'm sure it would work on Lexus autos also! I'm thinking of cooking with it. Take care.
    Terry Howell
  • calchcalch Posts: 11
    We are looking for a wagon that can accomodate three car seats. On a recent trip to Germany, I saw the new 5 series wagon and it looks great. It looked like the LATCH system is only set up for two seats, although there are seat belts for three people in the back.
    Therefore, I was wondering whether anyone has experience with fitting multiple car seats into the 5 series.
    Thanks for the help.
  • calchcalch Posts: 11
    Hi everyone,

    I went to a BMW dealer in SF/Bay area over the weekend to see when the new 5 series wagon will get to the US. The answer was, that the car will not be sold in this country. Something about import quotas. Also called another dealer and was told that there is no scheduled arrival time. Can anyone confirm that there will be no 5 series wagon in the US?

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    calch... Was the dealer trying to get you to buy something off his lot today? Sounds like he doesn't want you to wait till the new E60 wagons come out. All reports are there will be 525i and 545i wagons.

    Wondering if this dealer wants to sell you a used E39 wagon, X3/X5, or 3 Series wagon. They want to sell what they have on hand and will often say anything to generate a sale today.
  • uwahuskyuwahusky Posts: 17
    Yes, that's exactly what the dealer is trying to do, sell you something now.

    I've had the same experience. Dealer thought by telling me they wouldn't be out this fall that I'd bite on something else but he did confirm they'd be out in the USA in Spring 2005 and I've heard that same thing from multiple sales people and multiple dealerships.

    Once I told him I wouldn't mind waiting until Spring he game me the hard sell on a X3.
  • calchcalch Posts: 11

    thanks for the info. I hope you are right. When I called a dealer a few months back I got the same answer, only that they promised the cars for this fall.

    I am not sure the salesperson was trying to switch me to anything else. He said nothing was coming and he did not suggest another BMW. His answers was that for a luxury wagon I would have to go across the street to the MBZ dealer. So unless there were some major mind-games at work, there was not switching effort and I walked right of the lot without him pitching any other cars or any other comments.
    Similarly, when I called the other dealer, he did not try to suggest another car. He said he was actually trying to get some used wagons in to cover demand. I know that is another way to get you to buy a new car, but he knew that I did not have a BMW wagon. So again, don't think they are trying to get me to buy another car.
    In general, all the dealers I have dealt with in the Silicon Valley area that deal in German luxury cars (BMW or MBZ) have been quite good. Test drove at MBZ and walked right out afterwards, did not have to leave phone number, copy of license or anything else. Did not try to convince me to buy the car after driving it and there were no calls the next day. There was no "what do I need to do to get you into this car today" at any dealer. This was quite different when we were living in the LA area, but here they seem to sell enough cars without trying to force one on you.
  • cyoungcyoung Posts: 4
    Sorry to jump in so late on this, but I just bought a '99 528iT with 42k miles on it (not a CPO car) from a BMW dealer in Lafayette Indiana. I will be looking for either a dealership I can deal with or an independent BMW mechanic in the western suburbs of Chicago (West Chicago).

    This car is my first BMW purchase, and hopefully not the last, but we will see how reliable and expensive or inexpensive to own this car it. I love driving it, though! It is Titanium Silver with grey leather, and has the premium and cold weather packages. I am going out right now to install the 6CD changer I just got from eurobuyers, thanks to info I received from this board!

    One last question - this car has Conti TouringContact CH95 tires on it that appear to be almost new. I have read very mixed reviews as to how these handle winter driving. Is there any consensus on this tire, and what alternatives to it do I have for all-weather driving? This car is more for family use and less for high-speed or performance driving, but driving enjoyment is desirable!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    cyoung... Your family is worth it (not to mention your driving pleasure):

    - Use summer tires in spring, summer, and fall.
    - Use winter (snow) tires in winter.

    All-season tires are a mediocre compromise. They don't do anything really, really well.

    This is esp. true for RWD cars. Using the right tires will bring out the best in the car.
  • cyoungcyoung Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply. Now, conventional wisdom seems to indicate that if I were to get steel rims and snows for this BMW, the tires should be taller and narrower. Can you suggest what sort of rims and tires I would want to look at?I assume you are thinking of Bizzaks or similar? I am interested in this also from the standpoint that winters can be tough on alloy rims. Thanks.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    cyoung... There are a ton of very good winter tires on the market. Depends on how much you want to spend. Check out the Tire Rack or other web sites to learn more.

    Yes, using a taller, narrower tire in winter is recommended, as are a set of cheap steel rims.
  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    I hate to disagree with Riez, but I have a 99 540iTa with the Contis and I have no problem in the winter in Iowa. I tried different tires when the first pair of Contis wore out (Falkens) to gain more handling. I hated them so much I sent them back and put new Contis OEM tires on mine. The hassle of changing/storing wheels is just a bit much for me and the DSC program does such a damn good job that while I know all seasons are a compromise, it works well for me.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Guess it can depend upon where you live.

    Just came back from Pittsburg, PA. Tons of hills. Steep hills. Bet tires there can make all the difference. Compare that to much of NE, IA, IL, etc. We can be very flat. Winter is different for those in hills versus those on flat or flatter ground. (I live in the Loess Hills. So we are a lot more hilly than the surrounding area.)
  • cyoungcyoung Posts: 4
    Thanks for the reply. I grew up in northern Iowa (Cedar Falls), and have driven in snow all my life. It is also, as Riez points out, pretty flat here in Illinois as it is in much of Iowa. Also, the street departments do an excellent job of keeping up with snow plowing here (as opposed to Iowa, where the streets get pretty icy due to lack of salt use).

    So, I will mull this all over, and will likely try it out this winter to see how it goes. I have a good friend in the Rockford area with a 528 that loves it in the winter with stock tires, and he is used to driving a 4WD Cherokee!
  • loug35loug35 Posts: 15
    Can anyone tell me of any issues or concerns I should be made aware of with the 01' year?
  • sweepsweep Posts: 1
    i am about to pick up a 540i, 2001. the car was leased and has 35,000 miles on it. looks barand new inside and out. the engine looks as if it just came from the factory. the car comes with a sports package: extended front seats, folded rear seat and a cold weather package. here's my question: is there anyone out there who is familiar with this car, any problems i should anticipate and lastly, what are the best tires? can i use all year tires or do i need winter tires? i live in connecticut. thanks. sweep
  • If the car has the sport pkg, then it has low profile "summer" tires and you will definitely need seperate wheels and winter tires. Does it have xenon lights? They are really nice. Problems are dependent on lots of factors, mainly due to service or lack thereof. How you handle service from this point on will determine how the car holds up. Biggest problem area probably the a/t. I assume this one a 6-speed. Stick with good synth oil and service things before BMW calls for, e.g., brake fluid, tranny, radiator, rear diff, etc..Good driving to you.
  • Hi

    Just drove the X3 (with a stick, which was wonderful), and a x5, but I'd like to try the new wagon.

    Anyone know when this will be available stateside,
    particularly with AWD & a stick?
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Unless they are doing something different with the station wagon from the sedan 5 series then it isn't going to have AWD anytime soon. I asked BMW directly when/if the 545 was going to be available in AWD and they said there were no immediate plans for it. I had heard a while ago that they were going to have it available this year, but that's not the case. I'm planning on getting winter tires for my 545 and I know there are many here that don't think AWD is any better in the snow that RWD with snow tires. This is my first RWD drive car (I had the 330xi before it) so I can't tell you from experience if it is going to be as good in the snow with snow tires as AWD. From what I've seen there are arguments on both sides of that fence.
  • calchcalch Posts: 11
    Hi robm1,

    Does not look like the wagon (in any version) will be coming our way any time soon. Talked to several dealers and contacted BMW USA and always go the same answer. "We don't know when it will be here". BMW USA just gave me a generic "stay tuned" answer, so I guess I could wait for email updates on this.
    Saw this car on trips to Europe and Japan. Looks great. I just cannot believe that they export cars to Japan before the US. Seems odd that one of their biggest markets comes last.

    We actually started looking at Volvos, since we want to buy before the end of the year and I don't think the sports wagon will be here by then.
  • I have owned a Volvo wagon, before my E39 wagon. The BMW rides way better than the Volvo. Way better. I have a good friend who still owns a V70 and he complains about the ride everytime he rides with me. So, make sure you can be happy with the ride and the driving dynamics. Take your time.
  • acubeacube Posts: 2
    Would appreciate if someone could let me know if the 2002 540iT has the LATCH system (could not find it in a 2001).

    Thanks Alec, Toronto Canada
  • I'm looking for a 99-01 model import wagon and the 99 528iT is one model I am considering. One requirement is the ability to tow a small boat (about 2,500 lbs total). Has anyone pulled a boat with this car?
  • 2,500 lbs shouldn't be a problem. BMW makes a custom hitch for the iT, but it may only be rated to 2,000 lbs. Does the 2,500lbs inlcude everything (trailer, equipment, etc.)? How far will you be towing it?

  • blue911blue911 Posts: 1
    Just started looking for a 5-series wagon. A 1999 through 2002 would be in my price range. I am curious about the DECREASE in power going from the 1999-2000 528iT to the 2001 525iT. The 528 has 193 hp/206 ft-lb (7.9 sec 0-60) vs the 525 which has only 184 hp/175 ft-lb (8.8 sec 0-60). These figures are from Edmunds. I would not have guessed that 9 hp could shave almost a second off the 0-60 time, but the 528 does have disproportionately higher torque which would explain the better acceleration. Curb weight is the same.

    What improvements in the newer 525iT would offset this significant decrease in power?

  • njpaguynjpaguy Posts: 55
    Improvements? Not worth going with the less powerfull engine. After much debate, we leased an 01 525iT. After two years we sold it and leased a 03 540iT. (Now BMW gets it right - they're offering the big 3.0L 6 in the wagon for 05/06).

    Not so much the HP, the 2.5 in the 01 is lacking torque. The engine makes the car barely adequate in the driving experience. We have a family of four and sometimes fill the cargo space. The engine struggles during rapid acceleration and climbing any sort of hills. While the big V8 is really unnecessary (but a hell of a lot of fun!) the small 6 was a major disappointment.

    If you can find a 99 or 00 528iT with low miles, get that over a 01-05 525iT.
  • e39_touringe39_touring Posts: 13
    The 2000 is the best year because it's the only year you can get the 2.8L with the 5 spd steptronic automatic transmission.

  • lenunbiasedlenunbiased Posts: 13
    I just pulled the trigger on a low miles 2000 528iT. Drives great. Actually preferred the feel vs. the two 540iT's I test drove, and obviously the mileage is better. Very psyched!
This discussion has been closed.