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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I don't know if what you saw was a particular trim line or package, but I know that in many countries (including, of course, Germany, but excluding, of course, the US and Canada), BMW has an "Individual" program which allows you to customize your car a heck of a lot more than you can here. To give some perspective:

    The US 5-series offers 13 colors, 6 upholstery colors/fabrics, and one or two wood choices.

    With the Individual Program, there are dozens of exterior color choices, 27 different upholstery colorts/fabrics, and seven wood choices. In addition, you can outfit the car with other goodies like TV/DVD system (with screens in the back of the headrests), fax machine, more sound systems, rear trays, privacy screen and intercom, compass in rearview mirror, kleenex dispenser in door, a mini-fridge in the back, and much more. You can get a glimpse at .

    Too bad we can't get this range of options here...
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Just had my 530i in for its first service. Very pleasant experience, with the service completed in less than two hours. Although I had the option of keeping the loaner car(an auto 3 series) through tomorrow, I decided to pick up my car right before closing today.(I can't bear to be without it!) I was surprised by the amount of wind noise from the tilted sunroof at highway speeds on the 3. This does not happen in my 5. Having the auto transmission also reaffirmed my passion for manual. I did not feel in full control of the car's acceleration. Plus, my right hand felt out of place with nothing to do. Overall, I give my service dealer an A+ for appointment accommodation (got one in two days with loaner car), expediency and courtesy!
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    The Individual program "officially" does not exist in the US. However, I have seen and heard of people doing it nonetheless. It depends on how persistent you are and how willing and able your dealer is.

    The model that was mentioned in earlier post is a special edition, not Individual, so you probably won't be able to get it. Unless of course you order the parts and replace them yourself.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ever since I saw the first “Spy” photo of the new E60 5-Series, I have wondered to myself, “What were they thinking?” After all, how could a company with so much success in their execution of their previous models even remotely think that a “Bangle Butt” 5-Series would be popular with their chosen public? Add to that, all of the furor in print and on the Net regarding the E60 images that we have been allowed to see (which at least a few folks over at BMW cannot help but to have noticed), and one can only assume that somebody high up within BMW has totally “Lost It”.

    So, if all this is not enough of an indication regarding the new 5er, there must also be some folks over at BMW looking at the sales numbers of the current E39, which in the twilight of its production life is selling as well as (if not better than) it has ever sold before. Assuming that they have in fact noticed the jump in E39 sales, only an idiot would discount the possibility that many folks (myself included) deliberately ordered said E39 now instead of waiting for the E60 so as to be able to avoid a car that is likely to be “Butt Ugly” (or is it a car that is likely to have an “Ugly Butt”?).

    Then this little voice inside my head (that had been talking all along) got loud enough for me to consider another possibility. What if BMW deliberately released those horrible E60 pictures through back channels so as to keep E39 sales strong until the very end? What if BMW has never actually had any intention of releasing the E60 with such revolting clothing, and the looks of the REAL E60 are still a very well guarded secret? What if the new E60 is so stunning looking that if the REAL pictures were released, E39 sales would almost totally dry up (sort of like the current E-Class in anticipation of the W211)?

    Then I read the following this morning on


    5 series update

    As reported in the 4/10/02 issue of our newsletter, a more conservative 5 series design has been confirmed. The spy photos you’ve been seeing at the other sites show a car that is technically a smaller version of the new 7 are WRONG! The brass smacked Bangle’s design team with a few uppercuts and changed the direction of the ship, in favor of a more traditional looking BMW. The ‘Fat [Oops!]’ from the seven is gone in favor of a much more elegant/sporty rear end as well as styling cues taken from some of the current Audis.

    Hmmm, I wonder if that little voice in my head has been right all along. ;-) Any thoughts?

    Best Regards,
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    A Bangle-Butt E60 5 series Spy photo conspiracy you say? I wouldn't put it past them. Sending out rumors to keep the sales of the current E39 platform alive? If it is true, then it is brilliant!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Nice conspiracy theory, Shipo :)

    This reminds me of counter-culture theories that emerged after the "New Coke" blitz in the mid-80's, which suggested that Coca Cola really knew the new flavor would bomb, but would generate so much publicity that overall sales would eventually pay off for the stunt. As Coke insiders later admitted, they were not that smart, nor were they that stupid. The same, I think, applies to BMW here.

    Many of the "images" of the upcoming E60 have been loosely based on heavily camouflaged and "computer enhanced" (i.e. Photoshop-aided guesses) with many cues from the new 7-series, since that seemed to be reasonable. And, according to even the most recent Road and Track, BMW insiders admit there'll be "some getting used to" with the new design. So it's hard to reconcile all these different images and statements from "sources" that are sporadically trickling in.

    I'm sure BMW doesn't mind us getting anxious about the E60--especially if it helps current E39 sales, as you say. But remember that the 5-series enthusiasts who read these boards comprise a rather small percentage of current and potential 5-series owners. If memory serves, they sell about 5,000 of these cars a month in the US, so favorable reviews in mainstream media and Consumer Reports, I think, are most responsible for driving 5-series sales to their current level.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    and if it is Butt Ugly, then can you people in California & Texas say "Availablily Markup" on E39s still laying around on the lot?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    There isn't an official photo out yet but in a German auto magazine the one thing that can be seen clearly in spy photos (not graphics) is the front does resemble the new 745. Who knows about the back. Also in the same article it is confirmed through BMW that the i-drive will be standard in the next 5. I too wonder where a manual will go. We might assume that the auto gear select will be on the steering column like the 7. More volume production cost savings is there if the systems on both the 7 and 5 are alike.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    What I've heard indicates that i-drive will be an option in the E60. It makes sense that it's standard on the top tier Bimmer, but I don't think it can be justified on the mid-level 5-er.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Sure, we're all speculating to an extent here, but I've read as well (source was either Roundel or Automobile Magazine) that, since iDrive requires a significantly different dash design (than no iDrive), it would likely be standard (or, "required," depending on your perspective) on the new 5 as well in order to save the expense of designing and carrying inventory of two different dash types.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    "Decoy" butt-ugly/ugly-butt E60 as marketing ploy is an interesting theory. For it to be true, it would have had to be put into play in relatively short order, starting from the time the initial negative E65 reviews started rolling in -- November or so? OR, the boys at BMW AG might have been guessing all along that the E65 was going to get a mixed (or worse) reception, and had the strategy ready to go when the feedback started.

    In any event, I wonder how much less our bimmers would cost if we weren't supporting the marketing department!
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    There is a stereotype that BMW parts are expensive. Are they that much more expensive than other cars in its price range?

    For example, I heard the rear view mirror costs about $265. I thought that was high until I heard that my rear view mirror cost $450.

    What are typical service costs?

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    According to Intellichoice (, the 530i's value--which takes into account not only repairs and maintenance costs but depreciation, insurance, fuel, etc--is rated "Better than average [for its class]." Its 5-year ownership costs amount to $41,188, as opposed to the class's $42,954 average.

    Its class, of course, includes some pricy competitors: Audi, Mercedes, Jaguar, Infiniti, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, and others. In a very general sense, yes, part-for-part BMW's are probably amongst the more expenensive in the group. But it's fairly reliable, and its warranty covers most things. If you're buying used, be sure to look for a CPO model or a solid extended warranty.

    General advice for maintenance and repair (out of warranty): For relatively simple things (e.g. wheel alignments, oil changes), go to a respected mechanic (preferably one that specializes in BMW's) in your area. Save the dealer visits for more proprietary stuff (electronics/drivetrain problems). And be aware some volume parts dealers (e.g. Pacific BMW out in California) can usually sell you parts for less than your dealer.
  • bluewater5bluewater5 Posts: 55
    Instead of a marketing angle, the early E60 images could have been "test": throw out some pictures and see the response. If response="butt ugly", it is time to rework. The delay of the E60 from 2003 to 2004 model year could be caused by some remodeling.
    A "standard" I-drive would turn me even more off than a 7-like exterior. With a dash with as many buttons as a cock-pit, you still know where to reach to do the one thing you want (with enough experience in the car). Even if iDrive is somewhat intuitive stand alone, there are too many other "primary" controls (steering, pedals, etc.) to have a menu-based control.
  • bmwluverbmwluver Posts: 11
    If BMW tried to provoke sales of the 530 by trickling out false information about the new
    E60 version it created success with at least one guy--me. I decided to go for a sure thing and buy a 2002 530. And besides, we all know that models at the beginning of a new run are often more troublesome.

    Also, thanks for the continuing information about
    the "Edition Exclusive" available in Germany.
    Indeed, it is a distinct model, rather than an individualized package. I have seen several in the dealer showrooms here in Germany and it is a classy looking boat. My conventional 530, even in the new blue water metallic, looks a bit dowdy
    by comparison.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    You can save money on parts by joining the BMW Car Club of America. Many (most?) BMW dealers give discounts to members. The two BMW dealers nearest me both give BMW CCA members discounts on parts. One in Omaha gives 20 percent discount. This and Roundel magazine are worth the annual dues (not to mention the rebate program and lots more!)!!!
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    snagiel's post right below yours is exactly right. There was a quote in CAR mag from a BMW rep visiting the US plant in SC that said having two versions of the next 5-series, one with and one without the i-drive system would be incredibly expensive. You would need two seperatly tooled assembly lines. So yes BMW's i-drive will be in the new car. The dash needs to have the computer screen hood and electronics so it will probably look nothing like the current interior.
  • derprofiderprofi Posts: 250
    Only time will tell, fellas. I talked to my dealer the other day regarding my planned July pickup of a 530i in Munich, and he said that based on his information the E60 would get i-drive as an option.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I will be in shortly for first service, any out of pocket expenses or any
    surprises? It sounds like you had outstanding service and that's the way
    it should be. Any input is appreciated.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    June 14th, BMW headquarters in NJ is hosting a reception for CCA members. Product managers will give presentations and "previews". I'll be there, digital camera at the ready, with questions.

    Finally saw that new Titanium Gray color in person on a 530 today. Interesting, but I like Toledo Blue better. Watch, with my luck, they will drop Toldeo Blue for the 2003 model year E39.
  • zhangqjzhangqj Posts: 15
    Went to the dealer today. The salesman told me, unlike what some indicated here, that there will only be three models, 525i, 535i, 545i (except M5 and wagons) in the US.

    Check this one out

    click "future BMWs"

  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    That page is riddled with predictions that run contrary to most published automotive media (not to mention misspellings and errors like "lame men terms").

    And, sorry to generalize, but dealers are usually amongst the least reliable people as far as future model information. That said, he's probably right, to an extent: US models always constitute a susbset of those that are available in Europe, and usually comprise the bigger-engined variants.
  • joseph40joseph40 Posts: 17
    Any word on your car? Will it be ready for May 20th? Based on your drop-off (4/24 in your write-up), that seems to be less than 4 weeks. I hope that I am that lucky. Enjoy.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    That site simply must be a parody, no one could be that moronic. Example: The "M7" picture is a Photoshopped April Fools joke that made the rounds on several BMW boards and sites. This guy treats it as a serious story.
  • bluewater5bluewater5 Posts: 55
    - saw it on a web site
    - heard it from a salesman
    - read it on Edmunds forums
    - saw it on TV
    - read it in a magazine

    If the E60 does appear in Fall 2003 as a 2004 model year, the "real" answer could be that BMW has just not decided yet. I am still glad I'll be getting my E39 next month.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    On closer inspection, I don't think it's a parody at all. Zhangqj, how did you hear about this site? I've emailed the contact about the dozen or so errors I spotted on the E60 page alone, I'm curious to see his responses. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the working of a 14-year-old with way too much on his hands.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, while I am sure that my 530i is “Feet Dry”, beyond that, I have sort of lost track of it for the moment. This has been a really full week, and on top of it all, my salesman is on vacation for the week as well. Based upon a few things I have read in the last couple of days about cars being held in the NJ VPC for a week or three, I am suddenly not too optimistic about getting my car next week.

    To the folks that have called BMW and asked about the status of their cars, do you have their phone number handy? If you do, could you please post it, I may succumb to the temptation, and give them a call.

    Best Regards,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    800-831-1117 (option #3). Succumb away!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I just called BMWNA (thanks Snagiel), and they told me that my car was "On its way to the VPC for its inspection and customs clearance". I just checked the Owners Circle, and the "Estimated Delivery Date" is 21-May-2002 (next Tuesday), so, I guess my initial guess of next Monday was not too far off. I will keep y’all posted. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • taylorttaylort Posts: 31
    I took my car to the dealer this week to have the Aux fan replaced, Oil change, and checkout a noise that sounded like it was coming for the tires. (road noise like I was riding on a gravel road)
    They found that the tires were wearing improperly. The word they used was they felt choppy. If you rub your hand across the tire it felt choppy/bumpy.

    The dealer said they wouldn't replace the tires because it is just how the tires are wearing. They suggested I call Michelin to see if they would replace them under warranty. (I only have 12K miles on the car - 2001 530 with Sports Package)
    Michelin referred me to one of their service centers here in Maryland. They recognize that there is a problem but said the problem is because the tires were not rotated. With most of the car's weight on the front tires, plus Y-rated tires are soft, the tires should be rotate at least every 6k miles.

    They said if I can show that the tires were rotated they will replace the tires otherwise not.

    Have anyone every heard of this before? Since BMW really tell you that the car doesn't have to be serviced until 12K to 16K miles how would I have caught this? ( I have had the dealer change the oil every 6k)
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