BMW 5-Series Sedans

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Comments

  • jjmck172jjmck172 Member Posts: 2
    I had a 2002 M3 with SMG and I thought that it was more fun to drive than a traditional steptronic (if there is such a thing). I haven't driven steptronics a whole lot, but with the SMG, if you are stopped on a hill, you will roll back like a 5 or 6-speed with the clutch in. I'm not sure if this happens with steptronics, but it is something to watch for someone who isn't used to driving sticks and having the carr roll back.
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Member Posts: 140
    I am also interested in this boards opinions on this matter. I think the handling with the 3er's will be a key advantage, but safety and reliability (if we believe Consumers Report...) should be with the 5er's. With the incentives being offered on the 5ers and not on the 3er sedans (yet anyway), this puts the cars in the price range.
    If my numbers are correct...
    '03 330i with PP, Step, CWP: MSRP $40,670, Invoice $37,285.
    '03 530i with PP, Step, CWP: MSRP $45,70, Invoice $42,105 less dealer rebate of $4,000 = $38,105 !
    I have been looking at the 3ers since March or so and have gone from originally thinking about a 325xi to a 330i, now a 525i/530i/330Ci...? This board has been helpful. Of course I'm driving everyone nuts talking about BMW's. What's wrong with that, right? They just don't get it! But now I'm "one confused puppy"!
  • ndegroatndegroat Member Posts: 8
    AKA "Mark" and "the Decision Fairy"
    I have been driving my 528i for two weeks now and I wonder why I was so scared by the jump. This is the nicest car I have owned (ok, ANYTHING is nicer than a 2000 Sunfire..its really a long story). Hopefully the two of us will have a long a memorable time together! I learned so much through this car buying experience...like there are so many great things out there..I had to remind myself to not settle!
    But, there is one thing: Who owns those bike racks that BMW sells? This car came with a roof rack and I don't need one (plus, I can't get the bike up there by myself- the trunk/hitch style are much more comfortable)..I think I hear eBay calling right now.....
    Thanks again!
    Niki
  • carshopper46carshopper46 Member Posts: 24
    If those are accurate price comparisons, the 5 wins out no contest- at least from a dollar and cents point of view. I just paid less for a new 5 than I did for my 528 seven years ago! Between the discount and the fact that you will likely have a low mileage car (since you are buying it late in the model year), you can't beat the economics of buying a 5 now. You can't go wrong buying the best car ever tested by Consumer Reports at a big discount.
  • beemer4mebeemer4me Member Posts: 42
    I was in the same boat as you- thinking about a 325/330 until I saw the incentive. I drove both the 325/330 and 525/530. The 3 series was more sport than luxery while the 5 series was the other way around.(I didn't drive a 530 w/ sport package tho, but I hear it is well worth the $$$) The 5 series was also quieter and wider inside, with a bigger trunk. Imo, of the choices, I would avoid the 525 as you would worry about it being underpowered going up long inclines- still felt peppy to me tho. You can't lose with any of the picks really. However,I opted for a stripped down 530 instead of a loaded 525. With the incentive, the value proposition of owning a 530 for the price of a 330 was too good for me to pass up-this was the deal of a lifetime!
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Would appreciate any break-in advice for a 530 automatic. Much thanks.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Break in the car according to the owners manual. That is for the first 1200 miles: keep the rpms below 4,000 and keep the speed under 80 (or is it 100?). In addition go easy on the brakes and tires for the first couple of hundred miles.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    Where did you find the info on rebates of the 3 and 5 series? I checked both Autosite and Edmunds but found nothing on the $4000 rebates. Please tell me where you got the info from, I live in the DC area and I hope this is a nationwide rebate program.
  • fielding_yostfielding_yost Member Posts: 17
    Designman, regarding break-in procedure, my owner's manual says keep it below 4500 rpm and 100 mph for the first 1200 miles. My manny is so smooth that I want to take it above 4500, but alas, I will have to wait too.

    530bmw, regarding the nationwide rebates, they are from factory to dealer, not dealer to customer. Nonetheless, almost all of the dealerships are "sharing" the rebate with the customers in order to move product. I don't know if the rebates extended to July, but I assume they did. $3500 for 525 and $4000 for 530 (and 540 too?). Don't know about 3er rebates. I don't think the dealerships wanted anyone to know at first, but silly them, it got out pretty quickly. When I brought it up to my salesperson, I got the old deer in the headlights look.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    Thank you for the info on the rebate. According to Edmunds and Autosite there is a special financing of 1.9% on all models offered by BMWFS that expired on June 30. Is there a way to find out if the incentive from BMW to dealer is still on? I have a 530, 02 model and would be interested in getting the 03 model. My car is in pristine condition and has less than 5000 miles. If I trade in my car and pay invoice price plus $1200-$1500 mark up for the 03 and assume the dealer will pass along the $4000 to me (ahem..), and with the 1.9% financing I think the 03 model will cost me the same or a little bit more than the 02 that I have. I will also get a maintenance warranty of four-year instead of three. What do you all think?
  • drdwdrdw Member Posts: 21
    How much will be your trading-in value? Probably not as much as you think, because of the incentive. Then the deal may not sound good any more.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    My 530 has PP,SP,CW and I know that a similar car with 12k miles goes for $42k in my area. I would like to say if they offer me $40k for trade in I would be real happy but $38k is more realistic. You are probably correct that the incentive may get in the way but I may check it out anyway, If they are hungry enough they may go for it.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Thanks for the responses on break-in. Haven't had time yet to really kick back with the owner's manual. Regardless, I think I can handle keeping it under 100 for a few weeks. I guess this is the cruise limit for the 530? Man, how do you stay out of trouble with this car?

    Anyway, I would appreciate some more comments. There are two things that are bothering me with my new 530. First is the engine idle. There's a very slight bump that doesn't seem normal for any new car, particularly the ultimate driving machine. The second is you have to give the doors and trunk more slam than I believe necessary; also, the closing sounds a bit tinny. Now, a friend of mine has an '02 530 and his latches are silky smooth. What's the deal here? Maybe the car wasn't prepped properly? Is it intrinsic to the model year or production run? Or perhaps my particular vehicle fell on the wrong end of the tolerances? I'll be taking it in to the dealer when I get time but would love to hear from you guys.

    Thanks in advance.
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Member Posts: 140
    The dealer incentives last month were posted both in this forum, bimmerfest and listed on autospies.com. I also had them sent to me in the "fightingchance.com" packet I purchased. There were/are as follows:
    325Ci & Cic's = $2500 , 330 Ci & Cic = $3000 , 525i = $3500, 525iT/530i = $4000, 540i & iT =$4500. I agree with drdw about your tradde situation. I'll be surprised if you get even get $38,000 as a trade since thier invoice is around that on the new ones. You should probably consider selling it yourself and hope the buyers aren't as aware as those who visit this board. I live in the Boston area. You also may want to check out dealers a little further away from the cities. They may feel they have a sale they would not normally get. They also may have lower sales "quotas" than a bigger dealer and your sale might have a bigger impact to them and they could be more willing to deal. Even though BMW does not have hold backs any more, I understand they get reimbursed from the manufacturer with number sales and consumer satisfaction indexes. I got this info with the fighting chance stuff. It also says to buy the car via FAX at the END of the MONTH! You fax the request out the middle of the week prior to the end of the month. It gives you the format, who to fax, when to fax... Now I am concerned that if I don't get my car sold by the end of the month or they are out of 530's (it could happen...lol), then I'm back to square one again. Good luck. Let us know your progress.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    thank you for giving the run down of the incentives. I am happy with what I have but I may give it a try if they still have the 1.9% and the incentive. I did the math and all things considered there is a point where if I get the right numbers for everything which I know won't be easy I may end up paying a little bit more for the 03 model. The low interest makes up for the difference that I have to pay more for the 03. Anyway, I may check it out.
  • rdmccartrdmccart Member Posts: 2
    I want to spend around $30K for a new (or used) vehicle. I love how the 540 rides & handles and I found a used 1999 with 36,000 miles in good condition for $28,500, which I think is a pretty good deal. But, it is not at a BMW dealer so I am concerned about the lack of warranty (not BMW certified) and potential maintenance costs. Can anyone comment on 1999 BMW 5-series and/or 540 reliability and maintenance costs. I am also considering new Acura TL & Infiniti G35 with full 4 year warranties - no maintenance costs/worries! Any input on those 2 cars would be appreciated also.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    rdmccart... Are you looking for an automatic transmission? I'd strongly recommend BMW manuals with Sport Pkg. Maximum fun to drive factor.

    If you are looking at FWD TL and RWD G35, you should also consider a new or used 3 Series.

    I would NOT get a non-CPO 1999 540i. Check out BMW NA's CPO locator. You should be able to find a ton of CPO 3 and 5 Series cars within a couple hundred mile radius of where you live.

    Thinking Acura and Infiniti also have CPO programs. You should check them out.
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Member Posts: 140
    I thought someone had posted here last month the interest rate (1.9%) was not given if the dealer was giving the kick back. Can anyone confirm this? The more I think about it, they should be two separate deals, right? The dealers can buy down rates under normal conditions if they WANT to. This would make this even more enticing. Now, do I wait until the end of the month, or move sooner? Dealers are willing to give those great deals at the end when the one car sale can push them into other bonuses... Anyone used "fighting chance" or the "Rizzo method" this way?
  • rdmccartrdmccart Member Posts: 2
    I want to spend around $30K for a new (or used) vehicle. I love how the 540 rides & handles and I found a used 1999 with 36,000 miles in good condition for $28,500, which I think is a pretty good deal. But, it is not at a BMW dealer so I am concerned about the lack of warranty (not BMW certified) and potential maintenance costs. Can anyone comment on 1999 BMW 5-series and/or 540 reliability and maintenance costs. I am also considering new Acura TL & Infiniti G35 with full 4 year warranties - no maintenance costs/worries! Any input on those 2 cars would be appreciated also.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    In the past two weeks I have had 4 false alarms and I am not sure what happened. It always happended a few minutes after I lock my car regardless of parking position, i.e. level, incline, indoor or outdoor. Does anyone have any suggestions or solutions as to what to do before I take it to the dealer?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    rdmccart - You have 3 very disctinct vehicles for the same price. Seems to me you have to understand your needs. TL is a nice FWD, but drives with the limitations of FWD. G35 is a nice RWD car. The 540 is in another class with it's powerful V8 engine.

    I for one would always be concerned about the reliability and maintenance of any used car,which I would use as my daily driver. If you want the BMW I would investigate the CPO program. If you want more information about the CPO program go to bmwusa.com for more detail.

    However, I think the first step is to test drive them all to get some feel of the cars. If you are looking for the ultimate car for the driving enthusiast, the 540 with the sport package is the way to go. The second best car is the G35. If you are looking for the car with the least maintenance and most room, it's the TL or TLS.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    False alarms are a pain, I had that on one of my Nissans. They could never pin-point the problem. However, the dealership did theorize, it could be caused by a bad transmitter sending out the panic frequency.

    But I would take it to the dealer and leave it there until they solve the problem. Or maybe have them disconnect the alarm, so it won't wake the neighboors.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I have had several over the last year, and after thinking about them after each incident, I have been able to classify them on one of two ways:

    1) Movement, the sensors seem to be sensitive enough to detect the motion of heavy trucks rolling by, heavy wind, and of course the ubiquitous parking lot ding.

    2) Movement inside the car, I often leave the sunroof either open or vented (rear up), and (this year at least) up here in New Hampshire, we are having LOTS of swarming bugs, large and small. It seems that the interior motion sensors are sensitive enough to pick up when a large bug (or a number of large bugs) fly into the interior, thus generating a false alarm.

    In both cases, if you "Lock" your car with the remote twice (ie. press the lock button twice), the motion sensing is disabled, thus preventing this type of false alarm.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Member Posts: 5,751
    Shipo - in toying with my alarm system in my garage, I leave the windows open and set the alarm by clicking the lock button once.. I've been able to set the alarm off by moving my hand near the open window. It's that sensitive. The owners manual advises, as you suggested, to click the remote twice, or turn the key twice, to disable the motion sensor if the sunroof or windows are left open.

    Additionally, contrary to the owners manual, if you lock the car with the remote, you are able to open the doors by pressing the interior unlock button. Granted you will set off the alarm. But when I first got the car I used the remote to lock the car while I was still in it. At that time I do not think the interior unlock button worked. They must have changed the programming when I brought the car in for my first service. Maybe for liability reasons?
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    shipo, kdshapiro, thanks for your input. After trying to reconstruct what happened I am now convince that I may be the culprit who set off the alarm unintentionally. By keeping the key in my pants pocket and the pants being not too loose I must have accidently pressed the panic button against my leg. While the car in my garage, I locked the car this morning and left the key on a table to see if the alarm would go off, it didn't so I hope there is nothing wrong with the remote. I will be more gentle with the remote since it is so sensitive and see if it is the cause of the problem.
  • mike525mike525 Member Posts: 2
    530bmw - I would agree that you may be setting off the alarm yourself. After owning my 530i for 6 months with no alarm incidents, last night after arming the car, as I walked away, the car disarmed and unlocked itself. Since this happened concurrent with my stuffing the key in my pocket while walking quickly, I assume that somehow the unlock button got pushed by brushing up against a coin in my pocket. Many,many complexities on these cars, stuff like this happens.
  • 530bmw530bmw Member Posts: 130
    It had happended to me one time just the way you described it. You are correct that there are too many complexities with the BMW cars.
  • grios1grios1 Member Posts: 22
    Can someone explain the difference in the 530i and 530iA?
    thanks
  • warthogwarthog Member Posts: 216
    Grios1: the "A" signifies automatic transmission.
  • mod62mod62 Member Posts: 38
    I just went to the car wash and was ready to wax my car when I noticed I had a lot of stuff that did not come off during the car wash.

    If I wash the car myself, I am sure I will get more off than the car wash, but product suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Thanks
  • ndegroatndegroat Member Posts: 8
    Which type/ brand of oil should be used when having the oil changed in my 528i at the mechanic(nondealer)? They say I have a choice, which is great. Synthetic? Brand?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I use Mobil 1 0W-40 with SuperSyn, which is available at many Porsche and Mercedes-Benz dealerships, at AutoZone (I have not yet confirmed this), or over the internet at Park-Place Motors: http://mb.parkplacestores.com/mob1trismoto.html which is where I buy mine.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    My recommendation is to hand wash the car with soap and water - I use Palmolive, although I am sure others will cringe that "dish" soap is too harsh. I don't think so, and given the acid content of rain in the eastern half of the country, it's mild by comparison. I'll also date myself by stating that if Palmolive is good enough for "Madge's" hands, it's good enough for my M5. If you don't get that one, ask someone over 50 to explain.

    For those stubborn bug and tar spots, I then rub in a small amount of wax (Maguires Professional) to loosen and remove the residual spot before waxing the entire car. I have my car detailed about once every six months and the "professionals" do pretty much the same thing.

    I would stay away from bug and tar remover, as some brands contain petroleum distillates that can break down or fog the clear cost finish. My rule is that if it is flammable, it doesn't go on my car.
  • housebuilderhousebuilder Member Posts: 3
    As current owners of a 03 Lexus LS430, GX470 and 03 Honda Accord EXV-6, me and my "partner" are thinking of upgrading the Accord to a 03 525. The current rebates, ($4000), make this a sweet deal. Here is the question...as traditional asian owners, can we expect the same type of reliability from an 03 5-series?, we will most likely keep the car to about 40k? We are ready for a different car and think the 5 is it. any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTMember Posts: 15,351
    As many here on the board have stated before, the '03 5 series has been around in the US since late 1996 (as a 1997 model). You should get japanese type reliability from an '03 5er. If you only plan to keep the car for 40K miles, any small hiccups that may come up along the way will be covered by BMWs 4 year/50K mile bumper to bumper warranty as well as all scheduled maintenace (something you won't get from Lexus) for the same time period.

    Another suggestion, since you 2 already have 2 fairly large vehicles (the GX470 & LS430), might I suggest a 3 series coupe, convertible, or Z4 roadster?

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2022 Highlander XLE AWD, 2022 Wrangler Unlimited 4Xe

  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I also have only owned Japanese cars but am considering upgrading our Maxima to a 2003 530i. My research indicates that up to about 100k miles, the 5-series is about as reliable and low maintenance as any car out there, Accord included. It seems that it's only after 100k miles that "routine" maintenance and replacement items become more expensive than Japanese counterparts.

    Also, since you are only planning on keeping the car for 40,000 miles, resale value is a consideration. In my area, it appears that the low added cost of going from a 525i to a 530i would be nearly fully made up in added resale value in 40,000 miles. That's not the case when you jump from the 530i to the 540i. The 525i is a fine vehicle, but the added power of the 530i is more comparable to the Maxima SE I would be upgrading from.

    P.S. nyccarguy has a point if you are looking for a "different car". Obviously I don't know your transportation needs, but there appears to be a lot of redundancy in an LS430, GX470 and BMW 5-series.
  • housebuilderhousebuilder Member Posts: 3
    You both made great points. We originally started looking at the 3series but felt it was a little too tight on the interior, even compared to the Accord. I would love a convertible, but our lifestyle (hate that word!) /transportation needs, we feel the convertible is the wrong way to go. We live in upstate NY so winter is also a factor to rule out a convertible. We both commute daily in the sedans and use the SUV on the weekend to transport our Goldens to our home on the lake.

      I will look into a 530 vs. 525 though.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    DW, Germany's public news service, posted a story yesterday (7/7/03) on BMW's progress during first 6 months of year. BMW marque sales down but Mini marque sales making up the difference. 5 sales still slow. Excerpt:

    "BMW on Monday posted an 0.2 percent increase in unit sales for the first six months of the year compared to last year... combined sales for the month of June of both BMWs and Minis were up 2.7 percent... The company also said it sold 454,970 of its luxury cars in the first half of the year, 5.5 percent fewer than by the same time a year ago... attributed the drop to decreased demand for its 5-series... company is hoping its new 5-series, which will be available in markets by autumn, will boost sales in the second half of the year... sales of the new Mini increased by 44 percent, with the movement of 89,880 units during the same period."
  • bmwgurubmwguru Member Posts: 51
    BMW uses a 15w40 mineral based oil and a 5w30 synthetic, both produced by Castrol for BMW. If your car is a 1999 or later I strongly suggest synthetic, because engine tolerances changed in that model year. Castrol Syn-Tech 5w30 is the same as the BMW synthetic, so it is a good choice.
  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    It is not. BMW syn is ACEA A3/B3 certified, the European standards as is the US's API certification. Castrol SynTech is NOT ACEA A3/B3 certified.

    I would use a synthetic that is ACEA A3/B3 certified. BTW, many BMW owners use Mobil 1 0/5/10W30. Those oils are not ACEA A3/B3 either.

    I'd give the dealer $3.80 for a qt. of BMW Syn 5W30, or use an ACEA A3/B3 oil.

    Happy motoring,

    Jack
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Hmmm, I just checked the ACEA web site, and discovered the following:

    ACEA A3: Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance gasoline engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low-viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.

    ACEA B3: Stable, stay-in-grade oil intended for use in high performance car and light van diesel engines and/or for extended drain intervals where specified by the engine manufacturer, and/or for year-round use of low-viscosity oils, and/or for severe operating conditions as defined by the engine manufacturer.

    Given the very general nature of the above specifications, I do not find them in the least bit compelling when it comes to what oil I select for my car. That said, my owners’ manual states "Only use oils with the API SH specification or higher." The oil that I use in my 2002 530i is Mobil 1 0W-40, which carries the API SL specification (which is in fact higher than API SH).

    Another thing to consider is that the Castrol “Synthetic” oils sold under the BMW name as well as their own are NOT true synthetic oils, they are in fact "Hydro-Cracked" crude based oils. Mobil 1 is a true synthetic. Does this matter? In my case is does.

    Prior to buying my 1999 328i, I had used Mobil 1 for many years, with great results. Among other things, a by-product of using Mobil 1 is that the inside of my engines always looked perfectly clean, regardless of miles driven. When I opened the oil cap on my 328i at 30,000 miles, I was stunned by 1) the smell, which was a crude oil based smell (I used to turn a wrench for a living, and know that smell very well), and 2) the crud on my valve train. I knew instantly that the BMW/Castrol oil was not a true synthetic, and upon further research, this was of course confirmed.

    With my 530i, I have gone to a mid cycle change at about 6,000 miles, and am using Mobil 1 0W-40 for that change (which leaves it in for about 8,500 miles before the "Oil Service" indicator lights).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • msealsmseals Member Posts: 257
    It is true that there are some differences between BMW and Castrol Syn Tec. There are more additives I believe in the BMW Syn that BMW has requested be put in. That I believe is the difference in the rating.

    Mark
  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    Requirement 1.3 of the A3/B3 spec is:
    Viscosity at high temp. & high shear rate using test CEC-L-36-A-97 with a result of > 3.5. Many, myself included, believe this is a very important property of an oil to be used in a high performance engine. BMW syn passes, Mobil 1 x/30s doesn't. IIRC, Mobil 1 0/40 meets this spec.

    I'm not bashing Mobil 1. I think it's a good oil. My point remains that I believe BMW syn to be better than x/30 Mobil 1. You have the added advantage of compatability if your dealer ever changes the oil.

    Why use an oil other than dealer recommended without a compelling reason?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    For me, it's very simple, for my airplane engine, I want genuine Dino Juice, for my car, I want a genuine Synthetic, BMW/Castrol is neither.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • karmikankarmikan Member Posts: 116
    Shipo is on the money with his post. Castrol is not a true synthetic, they have replaced synthetic polyaphaolefins with hydroisomerized petroleum base stock. As this comprises 70% of the content it means that Castrol is dino oil at its base (highly refined but still dino oil). As the BMW oil is based on Castrol, it doesn't matter how many additives BMW puts in, it's still dino oil.

    There are very few true synthetics available - Mobil 1, Amsoil and Red Line (I think) are the ones that come to mind.
  • shinbone001shinbone001 Member Posts: 12
    Mr Shipo, I always enjoy your postings. and since you own (or have owned) 3-series and 5-series, i would like your input on a purchase i am contemplating. i was pretty set on getting a 325Coupe with manual and SP until i test drove 2003 525sedan with manual tranny last week. it had a SP few other things.. anyways, i was very surprised at how well it handled corners and surprising amount of power(we had 4 adults in the car). what made it more pleasant was the fact that interior was very quiet. so in your opinion, how does 325C fare vs. 525i ? (of course, both will have manual, SP) in terms of handling, power, interior noise level, cost of maintenance, etc?

    Waiting for your thoughtful input.

    sleepdoc
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Thanks for the kind words. ;-)

    Regarding the difference between a 325Ci and a 525i, I guess the most relevant question you need to answer for yourself is, "How often will you Auto-X your car vs. carrying 4 adults in your car?"

    If you intend to autocross frequently, and carry more than two adults very rarely, clearly the 325Ci is the car for you. That said, from my point of view, the 5-Series is the better daily driver. I have found that the extra 209 (330Ci vs. 530i) to 253 (325Ci vs. 525i) pounds the 5-Series carries around has little effect on handling and acceleration. The flip side is that the 5-Series is considerably quieter, and even though the specifications don't reflect it, it is noticeably larger inside when compared to a 3-Series.

    Other differences to consider:
    - The 5-Series has dual zone climate control, whereas the 3-Series has a single zone (my wife and I NEVER agree on where to set the temperature)
    - The 5-Series Premium Audio is much nicer (sounds better and has more options) than the Harman-Kardon system
    - The message center on the 3-Series insists that you clear a message (such as the below 37 degree message every time you start the car), while the 5-Series simply displays it for a few moments and then returns the display to its previous state.
    - The power window controls for the 5-Series are on the arm-rests where GOD himself/herself intended them to be, on the 3-Series, they are located around the shifter.

    Regarding maintenance, given that both designs are fairly mature (to say the least), I doubt that there will be any appreciable difference between the two.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ndegroatndegroat Member Posts: 8
    Wow! I thought my question might have slipped through the cracks, but apparently not. I am very new to this BMW world, my last two cars were pre 1998 Americans for which I relied on Havoline, for what that's worth. I'd like to keep my 5er for a while and want to sound reasonbly intelligent when I take it in for service...
    So, I will be asking questions and listening for resposes for a while.....this lesson was very intersting!
  • corkdsp1corkdsp1 Member Posts: 9
    put in order on E60 last week 530 w/ manual trans, orient blue, premium, sport, logic 7, adaptive headlights and dealer called me today to advise they want a $2,500 deposit that is non-refundable. Reason they stated is if I were to back out at delivery they would have trouble moving a Manual.

    I replied with it does not make sense for me to put down a non-refundable deposit on a car when they can not even tell me what the car will cost.

    Anyone else been required to put down non-refundable deposit down on ordered car due to being manual rather than automatic?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    I would be inclined to find a different dealer. The norm is more like $500, and it is refundable.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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