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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    Question is simple:
    Brand new 2001 525, or '98 540 with 35.000 miles?
  • msingerbmwmsingerbmw Member Posts: 42
    I live in Washington DC where there is a deep love with pot holes, street heat rippling, and tear ups from optical cable installation to gas line exploration. In no way should you get a sport suspension! Your kidney's will end up somewhere where your brain usually resides and you will develop a neurotic habit of touching yourself and everything in the car trying to locate the bruised and misplaced grey matter. Does pep boys still sell foam cushions?
  • msingerbmwmsingerbmw Member Posts: 42
    For the same money New is always better than used.
  • amartin6amartin6 Member Posts: 1
    I am about to close a deal with Northwest Beemers in Oregon on a 97 or 98 528i w/ 45k miles. These guys took down a wish list from me and next week they are going down to CA to pick one up at a dealer-only auction. They say they can get one for ~$24k and they add ~$1500 for shipping and profit.

    Has anyone used these guys before? And should I be worried about buying through an auction, even if they certify that the car hasn't been wrecked, the car is still under warranty and the auction will take it back if I suspect it has been wrecked?

    Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
  • napoleonvanapoleonva Member Posts: 9
    I think you'd have to compare the two as for driving, options, etc to make up your mind. If massive amounts of power and a more luxurious interior are priorities, then you'd probably be happier in the 540. The 525 isn't going to have much on it for $40K.

    Both cars would be under warranty. If the 540 is certified pre-owned even better.

    Either way you probably can't go wrong.
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I'm in south California, where the prices are even higher for a 5-er. But here you can find a 97 528, perfect cond., 15.000miles, cerif. waranty until 100.000miles, for around $29.000. But the car is clean.
    If I were you, ill take a minute and no rush. Auction...I don't know. May be spend couple more thousands macaronii, but get a clean one, with decent know. That's my opinion.
    Good look!
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    Reading what is posted here, the average "good deal" is going to be $2.000 under tag price.
    What I noticed at several dealers, the tag price is about $2.000 above MSRP price. So what I should wish is to get the car at MSRP price? Where is the deal?

    (The car I am looking for is a 2001 525 fully loaded.
    MSRP = around $41.000
    Tag price = around $43.000
    MY DEAL = ? )
  • mokcomokco Member Posts: 11
    In the purest purchase, there should be no difference between the tag price and the MSRP. That being said, if you find a "tag" price higer than MSRP - then one should presume that the dealer has installed some options (and not an extended warranty or service warranty.) Most purchases here, including my own, was about 2K (5%) below MSRP - not tag. Very few dealers install add ons, perhaps the phone package. Does the car include the phone? If so, that is about a 2K option.
  • darreng1darreng1 Member Posts: 4
    what is a more comfortable ride, the sport or standard package. I've been reading the sport is more stiff,true.
  • arcoatesarcoates Member Posts: 221
    I would definately go with the used 540 over the 525. A 2 year old BMW is going to be just as good as a brand new one. Get a BMW warranty, check it's history, and you'll have a better car in the 540 than you would in the 525~ A.R.
  • soledocsoledoc Member Posts: 52
    My wife is deciding between these two cars. I don't like the exterior of the Audi but do like the quattro driving characteristics and the interior is awesome. Haven't driven the 525i. For her I think either would be fine, but I'll be driving it as well and am also concerned about safety (I think BMW is a safer car). Has anyone compared these two cars? If so which one did you go with? She's currently in a '98 Volvo S70.
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Let's use a little deductive reasoning here...
    The Cavalier and Impala are FWD, hence they use TRANSAXLES. All BMWs are RWD, so they use-can you guess? TRANSMISSIONS!!! So... do you think they share the same components? BMW uses both GM and ZF automatic transmissions; all the data indicates that there is no significant difference in reliability. Now, go troll in another topic.
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I did my homework. I know how much the MSRP should be for the car I'm looking for. But the dealer is tag it 2K over the MSRP, and the maximum discount what he is going to make under tag price is $2.000.
    In other words, I'm going to purchase the car with $2.000 below tag price, but $0 below MSRP. Buing the car at MSRP price does not look for me like a good deal!
    What can I do to go under MSRP?

    (The car I am looking for is a 2001 525 fully loaded, except phone.
    MSRP = around $41.000
    Tag price = around $43.000(bit over)
    MY DEAL = ? )
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    You answered your own question. Never patronize a dealer who sticks an ADM onto the MSRP. Sure it's legal, but the guy is still a slimeball for using it, especially on a fairly common model such as a 525i.
  • brian525brian525 Member Posts: 21

    Between the A6 and the 5-series, I chose the 5-series for the following reasons:

    Low depreciation (vs Audi)

    Of course, you may have different criteria.... just drive thwm both and you'll decide. If it's for your wife, she might like the 5-series more; as I am sure you will also; simply because it is a "driver's" car... yes the choice was tough, but in the end, I am completely satisfied with my new 5-series.

    Good luck!
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    So is no way practicly to go below MSRP price on a new 2001 525i?
    Why not?
  • jgatsisjgatsis Member Posts: 11
    I don't know where you are, but in my neck of the woods (NC) the going rate, with modest effort, is 2K above invoice for a 525i or 530i optioned as desired.
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I am in LA. Dealers are saling a lot here, may be thats why.
    Also, 5 series is good priced, very close price between invoice and MSRP.
    But why alse were biger descount than here?
  • kpbaker911kpbaker911 Member Posts: 1
    Ok, here's the deal:

    Want to purchase a new 540i but would wait for 2002 if new features are available, like:

    4.6L (+ HP, torque)
    Push button start
    new trim line

    Does anyone think there's reason to wait? Will be purchasing through military sales in Germany. Bought a 2000 323Ci and got a great deal (29K loaded). 540i base price is 45,300 over here, with no tax or other fees.
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    If buyng a new 525 is worthed to buy extended warranty on it? I plan to drive 10-15k yearly.
  • spooferdogspooferdog Member Posts: 1
    We actually looked at the A-6 in all configurations, 4.2, turbo and 2.8 as well as the Mercedees C320 and Volvo S80 and C70 in all their con figs. And the winner was 525 sport, perm, convience, auto. The handling of the car sold it for both of us, although not very fast it's road manners are without peer. This too was for the wife, her first choice was actually the A-6 but only in the 4.2 configuration. Since that was financially unfeaseable it was really not an option. I did like the turbo as well but that also streached me a bit. Love the car and don't regret it one bit although I do dream of the 540 or M5, maybe some day.
  • mokcomokco Member Posts: 11
    Razeto - I think you have answered your own question when you laid out the costing. One way to look at it is that you are getting 2K below MSRP - BUT, you need to factor in the fact that the car comes with a phone (already a 2K option)

    You can potentially knock an additional few hundreds off the price. With the phone, this means that the MSRP is raised by 2K - your tag price. Getting your car for MSRP (BTW sticker) is already 2K below "MSRP," but you pay for the phone. (even if you don't want to - the car comes with it)

    Here is your equation (basic costing accounting 101)

    => MSRP = around $41.000
    => Tag price = around $43.000(bit over)
    => MY DEAL = ? )

    => "I'm going to purchase the car with $2.000 below tag price, but $0 below MSRP"

    This is one perspective (1)
    NOW=> MSRP = around $39,000 (2 K discount)
    NOW=> Tag price = around $43.000 (assumes 2K for a phone-no discount)
    NOW=> MY DEAL = around $41,000 (original MSRP)

    Why? because the car comes a phone!!!!!

    This is the second prespective (2)
    You get a free phone with your car at MSRP

    Don't forget that a phone costs the dealer (time and materials) Your dealer is not your local cell phone kiosk and will chage more than $99 for a phone. Why they charge 2K is another topic all togeather.

    Please do not expect that someone will tell you that you can get a few thousand below MSRP and go to the dealer with that info (since the car comes with a phone, you have to factor it in). In your posts you are not accounting for the phone in your pricing equation. Anyone indicating to you that you can get the car for much less (say 2-3K is probably putting you on)

    Hopefully this helps without having to write a cost accounting chapter.
  • 54me254me2 Member Posts: 6
    Okay, I drove the 530i today and now I'm sold. Too late to turn back now so now I need a reasonable deal.

    Two dealers in my area quoted me $4,000 over invoice at $48,470. I am going to order the car for delivery and therefore they will have no carrying costs. I thought $2,000 over invoice would be fair (neither cheap or generous) for a car not in on the lot. I am willing to wait the 2 or 3 months for delivery. The model I want is pretty loaded with an MSRP of $49,695 and an invoice cost of $44,470.

    If anyone could share the amount they paid over invoice for a new 2001 530i I would appreciate it. These offers smell a little and I might go out of town for better deal.
  • cmr530icmr530i Member Posts: 278
    I ordered my new 530i with manual transmission, in-dash DC player, rear sun shade, xenon lights, premium sport package for 2K over invoice. It may not be as loaded as you want yours, but the price you were quoted seems steep. I shopped on the internet first and got the lowest quote from, then called around So.Cal. to see which dealers would beat the price. It was amazing how each dealer outbid the other. My final deal is above invoice but below Edmund's TMV for my area so I feel good about the deal. Good luck shopping around!
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    moko, the car what I'm talking about has no phone! That's why I'm wondering why the tag price is around 2K over MSRP.
    I think the dealer just pump up the price, this way, after 2k rabate, he can still sale the car at MSRP price. 100% profit for dealer (if not more!).
    If you take the list vith all the options and stuff, and add what the car have (without phone-is no phone!), at MSRP price, your price will be around 41K, but the tag price around 43K.
  • mokcomokco Member Posts: 11
    I apologize, I misread your post - upon last glance, I thought it indicated that it included a phone.

    If the car is just bumped up by 2K, ask why. AN honest dealer will give you an answer, even if the answer is "profit"

    The 525 in my area, the Northeast, is a very popular car and most dealers are not giving as much of a discount on the 525 compared to the 530. Two of my friends in the west coast (SF and Seattle) paid below MSRP for a 330 and a 525 respectively. Their dealers discounted the car, eventhough it had to be ordered.

    If the guy is not willing to go below MSRP - then (as indicated in posts by others) it is wiser to find another dealer.
  • bogvlybogvly Member Posts: 13
    About a month ago, I ordered a loaded 530i for April delivery for 2k over invoice. That seems to be the going rate, based on other posts I've seen- and with everything going on in the markets these days- maybe you can do better now...
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    I will, thank you moko.
    1. What's best: big dealer (as Beverly hills BMW, Santa Monica BMW...etc), or small, as they are in small city (they are a lot)?
    2. It will be good to purchase a extended warranty, or not?
  • asianagent1asianagent1 Member Posts: 3
    A European car importer in South Florida quoted me a 540iA (Comfort Seats, Leather Seats, Automatic Transmission, Rear Seat Side Impact Airbags, Park Distance Control, Premium Hi-Fi System, and an In-Dash CD Player) for $49,350. He says the car will be required to be converted to comply with U. S. standards and laws. Does anyone know what needs to be done so the car is in compliance with the EPA and DOT?
  • asianagent1asianagent1 Member Posts: 3
    Also, does anyone know how much would it cost to have these modifications performed?
  • div2div2 Member Posts: 2,580
    Why would you want to go to all the hassle and expense(and believe me, it WILL be expensive) to bring in a car that you can order from any BMW dealer? It's simply not worth it.
  • ammecammec Member Posts: 12
    I am trying to decide between a 2001 525i or a 530i. Both cars are identical as far as options go: Prem. Pkg., 5 spd. Auto, Cold Wx Pkg., Elec. Rear Shade, CD, Xenon and Conv. Pkg.(in the 525i only). The only difference that I know of is the engines: 2.5 vs. 3.0. According to Edmunds, there is approx. a $3,000.00 (TMV) difference between the two. My questions are: Is the larger engine worth the extra $3K? Is the 525 under powered with a 2.5, or is it plenty for the car? Does anyone have any first hand experiences w/the 525 or the 530, likes and/or dislikes? Any comments would be appreciated. Also, does anyone know what the dealers are requiring these days for a deposit to order a BMW? Thanks
  • jgatsisjgatsis Member Posts: 11
    I just went through the same drill, ultimately deciding on the 530i. Initially, I was prepared to be satisfied with the 525i, but my basis for comparison was the 1986 Jetta I had been driving for 15 years, so of course the 525i seemed (and actually is) great. However, upon driving the 530i, I realized the extra pep was worth the money. Moreover, there are some standard features on the 530i that are options on the 525i like the auto dimming mirror and auto air circulation. As for liking the car, what's not to like? I took delivery three weeks ago and am still on cloud nine. To date my only complaint is I don't have a convenient place to stow my pistol for quick access like I did in the Jetta.

    My dealer required a $500 dollar deposit.

    BTW, I posted the same questions as you on this board. Check the posts numbered around 177-180 (I think). Good Luck.
  • qarqar Member Posts: 3
    Has anyone ordered comfort seats? Are they really considerably better than the stock seat to justify their premium?
  • razteorazteo Member Posts: 38
    The torque(much important than HP) is the same, on both engines. If you dive both for 10 in., you probably not going to feel any difference.
    To be onset, look at the price. See the difference between 525 and 540, then between 525 and 530. You can bet on BTW manufacter, he knows how to price these values! Better than me and you!
    I think is a bit difference about some options, but is pretty much the same car.
  • dhanleydhanley Member Posts: 1,531
    Where did you get the info that the 525 and 530 have the same torque? The 2.5L has 175 ft-lbs and the 3.0L has 214. I think torque and HP are both important, and a nice close balance is great.

    As for which i'd get, i'd go for the 530 for 3K extra. It's better than saying "what if" for the next few years. And if it makes you keep the car longer, you've saved money.

  • fneemafneema Member Posts: 2
    I am considering the purchase of a 530i. I know the current 5 series body has been around for about 5 years now, and I haven't been keeping up on car magazines. Does anyone know if there are any major changes planned to the 5 series for 2002?


  • fneemafneema Member Posts: 2
    I've heard that the manual transmission on the 530i can be "a lot of work", and difficult to operate smoothly. I haven't had a chance to test-drive one, is it true? I drove a manual 328i recently and thought it was the smoothest gearshift/clutch I had ever experienced.

  • mokcomokco Member Posts: 11
    I placed an order for a silver 530i with premium, xenon, convenience, and CD about 2 months ago and I think it is at the dealer. However, due to issues I had with my dealer throughout the process, I opted to buy from another dealer. However, if you're know exactly what you want - the dealer makes no difference.

    Knowing that the 530 is hard to get (always on order) I thought someone here may be interested.

    The dealer is in New York - I'll post the name of the dealer and contact if someone shows interest.
  • cmr530icmr530i Member Posts: 278
    I have only driven sticks for the last 20+ years and I found the manual transmission to be incredibly smooth. "Just like butter, baby!" Can't wait to take delivery.
  • cmr530icmr530i Member Posts: 278
    All the dealers I contacted wanted a $1000 refundable deposit to order a 530i.
  • anfanf Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2000 540i. It seems to be pre-wired for a hands free phone. Do any 3rd party phones work with this car? I understand the BMW phone is pretty expensive.
  • giantswin1giantswin1 Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at getting a 2000 528. 5000 miles on it. loaded except 2 options no heated seats and no premium stereo. The stereo in the car stinks and i do want to upgrade it. What are my options for upgrading the stereo in this car being that the one there is not that good? I was told by someone that I should just live with it and shouldn't upgrade. Any ideas? I love the car and want to buy it but the stereo is beat.
  • taylorttaylort Member Posts: 31
    How long is it actually to receive your car after you order it? I stop by a dealer in the Washington DC area today to test drive a 530 and 525. They didn't have either on the lot. They require $1000 deposit (refundable) and it will take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery. I image that I should count on the 8 week side.

    They will have a 525 service loaner back in this week that I can test. I plan to check with other dealers to see if I can find a 530 to test drive.

    BTW, I test drove a Lexus GS300 today. Nice car. If I compare how I was treated at the 2 dealers, Lexus and BMW, I would buy a Lexus hands down. lexus went out of there way to be helpful and they have excellent service procedures after the sell. BMW folks didn't want to acknowledge that I was there.
  • michaelg5michaelg5 Member Posts: 13
    I've been to several BMW dealers in the Chicago area and previosly owned a Lexus. My experience with BMW dealerships varied. At some dealerships I felt invisible, while others , that was not the case. I wonder why the bad attitude. Do they think they will sell more cars by being indifferent? Am I supposed to like the dealer more, if I'm tofeel ignored? I suppose that may have worked if I were a teen-ager when we salivated over the pretty girl who wouldn't give us the time of day. My experience with Lexus was that they couldn't do enough to make me happy. Come to think of it, I wonder why I have a BMW. MG
  • jasonsdadjasonsdad Member Posts: 5
    I've read parts of the new laws regarding grey market vehicles, and the 540i does NOT qualify. It cannot be imported as a European vehicle and covnerted legally. To be imported legally as a grey market vehicle it needs to be unique and significant before it will be allowed to be imported from Europe and converted to US Spec. Eurpoean delivery is a US spec car, so that's not what is in consideration here. The car you described sells in US spec for around $58-59K by my reckoning. Whoever quoted you a conversion job is certainly trying to do some sort of 'job' on you. I would run, not walk, in the direction of another dealer, for this deal really stinks!
  • wannabeemerguywannabeemerguy Member Posts: 1
    I'm thinking of buying a1995 BMW 525i with 75xxx miles. I've never owned a
    BMW before and am a little fearful of the "what if something goes wrong"
    syndrome. Does anyone know if this was a good car, or if there were problems
    particular to this year/model? What to look for?, or did you just love
    yours? I'll have to admit to loving the feel while test driving this one.
  • larrythecarlarrythecar Member Posts: 2
    Seattle area: I am looking at a used 540 6 speed sport with 30,000 miles, in exc. condition inside & out, w/certified BMW warranty to 100,000 miles. New brakes and tires. No options except alloy wheels, CD changer. Dealer's price idea is $42,000, original sticker was $57K. What is a fair price for this car and why do you think so?

    Thanks for your help, I learn a lot from this site.
  • larrythecarlarrythecar Member Posts: 2
    I owned a '92 BMW 525 which I bought used at 75K miles or so and owned for a little less than a year. I have never loved a car so much, though it is underpowered and I a stick, not an automatic. But I had significant mechanical problems which cost me several thousand dollars. At the end, when the car was still frequently overheating and threatening to blow the head, I dumped it at a used car lot for a $7000 cost of ownership/loss on sale in eleven months. I had the car checked out by a mechanic before buying it, supposedly the best independant mechanic in the area. The mechanic, who had been regularly maintaining it for the previous owner, told me that it was in fine shape. But within months the transmission oil leaked out, requiring removal of the transmision, milling of the housing and a new gasket. Supposedly this is an uncommon problem. Then the engine overheated, I don't think I ever knew why. The water pump is plastic and warps when it overheats, and the new replacement part was hugely expensive. It never ran properly afterwards, and the mechanic said probably the head was blown?? He couldn't be sure without more tests... The car was in the shop for something at least once every 6 weeks, and everything cost several times what you would expect on, say, a Chevy. That's OK, you get what you pay for, except the car was always back in the shop before I finished paying for the last repairs. I swore never again to buy BMW and now here I am looking at a 540 because nothing else drives as well...
  • cmr530icmr530i Member Posts: 278
    According to the April 2001 Consumer Reports magazine, the 5 series from 1995 has these percentages of trouble spots in these areas: engine 5% to 9.3% of 5 series cars, cooling 9.3% to 14.8% of cars, fuel 2% to 5% of cars, ignition 2% to 5%, transmission 2% to 5%, electrical 9.3% to 14.8%, A/C 2% to 5%, suspension 5% to 9.3%, brakes 5% to 9.3%, exhaust 2% or less, body rust 2% or less, paint/trim 2% to 5%, integrity 2% to 5%, hardware 5% to 9.3%. The 5 series from this year received an "average overall reliability verdict" from Consumer Reports. Hope this helps.
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