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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • I live in New England (New Hampshire) and drive a 02 530iA (non sport). I mounted 4 Blizzak WS-50's to the standard rims and so far the car has been great in the snow/ice. I'm sure the dedicated winter tires help but I have found that my BMW handles better then some of my previous cars (00 Honda Accord EX-V6, 97 Ford Explorer, 96 Maxima SE). I believe the DSC and the near 50/50 balance contribute to the car's good winter handling.

    Would the Quattro system found in the Audi be an asset for winter driving? Yes. But do I find that I need the Quattro. No.

  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    Our main family vehicles are an AWD Volvo wagon on all-season tires, and an '01 530iA on new dedicated Dunlop winter tires. I drove both during or immediately after our first decent snow of the season, ~6 in. a couple of weeks ago. From a "go" standpoint, I found them to be roughly equivalent. I didn't press either car close enough to the limits imposed by conditions to be able to assess differences in cornering and stopping, but have to believe that winter tires would provide an edge in those situations. If we lived deep within the Snow Belt, with frequent, deep snows and winter temperatures rarely above freezing, I'd put winter tires on the AWD and feel very confident in almost any situation.

    All bets are off when it comes to heavy icing conditions. Last week, we had freezing rain; on my sloping and curved driveway, this was freezing rain on top of ice left over from the previous snow (okay, with my middle-aged back, I've gotten lazy about shoveling). As soon as I backed the 530 out of the garage, the going got hairy. Progress down the driveway was incremental, a series of short responses to steering input followed by all four corners surrendering traction and the car sliding straight down the slope toward the mailbox. The street, also curved and sloping downhill, was no better, at least on my side of the cul-de-sac, untreated from the previous week's storm. Moving forward was no better than moving backward, and this time the target in my path was not a mailbox, but my old Z car parked at the curb. I finally edged over to treated roadway, and the rest of the trip to work was uneventful. I suspect that the winter tires helped, but nothing short of studs would have provided a comfortable margin of control in those conditions.
  • moments. I live in Southern California now, but I used to live in Chicago for 10 years and had only rear wheel drive sports cars then. I will never forget the time I was in my '88 Toyota Supra turbo, came to this overpass going about 25mph. The streets were fairly clean from the previous snow storm but not completely. I guess there was a small layer of snow which became ice overnight that was not very visible. I had to barely touch my brakes and change lanes briskly to avoid the guy in front of me that decided that he wanted to suddenly be in my lane for no reason at all. Now the fun begins, rear ends breaks loose, goes left, right, left, right, then I am doing a donut right on the bridge. After a few fearful seconds, I end up facing in the direction I am traveling in, my car stops about 4 inches from the guardrail that prevents cars from going over the bridge unto the freeway below.
    Scary moments. I kind of miss that. Nah, not really. On my way to work this morning at 5:30am, the temp was a balmy 48 degrees. Boy it was cold. Yea, Yea, I know, I am spoiled now, but hey I paid my dues. 10 years in Chicago is plenty.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    div2... Did you happen to see recent article in AutoWeek, probably from about a month ago, discussing how McLaren dropped plans to make serious performance versions of LS? Way back at beginning of year, thinking around time of NY AutoShow, McLaren said they'd offer upgrades that would seriously boost power and there would also be a manual transmission version. If you got it all, thinking cost was supposed to be around $54,000 or thereabout. AutoWeek article mentioned McLaren scrapping these plans due to all the LSs sitting on dealers' lots and the need for huge incentives in an attempt to move them. Left McLaren to ponder offering just aero mods and other visual enhancements.
  • 2002 year-to-date as of the end of November:

    BMW 5 series sedan: 33,828

    Lincoln LS: 35,585

    Of course, if you add in the 1,779 5-series wagons sold here in 2002, BMW edges Lincoln by a whopping 22 units. Guess sales numbers are a matter of perspective...

    Gold trim, BTW, isn't exclusive to domestics or Asian imports.

  • The LS is available as a rental car through Hertz (quite a few of them here in CA). Usually this influences the sales numbers :-).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    BMW would use 0.0 percent financing for 60 months and $3,000-5,000 in rebates and incentives to move 5 Series. Bet sales would explode! But then the crushing impact on resale value is brutal when you go to sell the car a few years later. Cadillac and Lincoln just never learn.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yep, those huge rebates and financing incentives are simply destroying the resale values of domestic cars. Lincoln and others are also offering early lease termination deals to coax current owners into buying/leasing another one.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    that the E39 5 Series came out in CY 1996 as a MY 1997 car and that the next platform is coming in the not-too-distant future, its sales are outstanding. And its relative performance is almost unexplainably fantastic compared to its competitors 2002 and 2003 models that have had 6 or 7 more years of development time! Points out how truly exceptional is the E39 platform. A modern classic.
  • I was informed yesterday by my salesperson that Feb 03 would be the cutoff time for ordering the current 5-series (E39). By summer time the E60’s will be on the lot. This goes against what we have been hearing about a launch during the Frankfurt Auto Show.

    Strange but the new 7-series exterior design, except for the rear, is starting to grow on me. And I do like the Z4. Still not sold on the benefits of i-Drive but it appears that it will be standard (with 4 less menus) on the new 5-series. I prefer the cockpit design of my current 02 530iA.

  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I have to say that after the initial shock of seeing the new 7-series, it does not look as bad as I had thought (still bad, IMHO). However, it was actually quite funny to read Andrew Frankl's write up in the Bimmer magazine (Feb, 2002 issue). He was talking about how long it would take a valet to get the car out, given how "sophisticated" the car is to operate. He had actually asked a BMW exec in Europe about similar scenario that goes like this:
    Say a traveler arrives at an airport after 10-hour flight and somehow gets upgraded car from the rental counter, which turns out to be one of the new 7. How long would he be sitting in the garage before he can get it moving? The exec said, "Until morning".

    I wish the new 5 will not have the same "user friendly" interface, but I fear that is not the case. Time to take a look at the E-class.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Seems like more and more automotive writers are turning out to like both the new 7 Series and Z4. Whether it is Roundel, European Car, C&D, etc. Both cars look much better in flesh than in pictures. (The 745i was a blast to drive at the Drive for the Cure event. Too bad they only had a couple of Z3s.)

    But BMW had better address the near universal scathing comments about the 7 Series iDrive. Don't replicate that mess in the next 5 Series.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Can anyone please tell me the difference between the two. I know what is in the PP from Edmunds, but what is in the Convenience Package?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    There's no such thing as a convenience package, at least not currently (perhaps it was an earlier name for the premium package?). See the configurator on for all the package details.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Used to give you a couple of items. One was BMW's universal remote (e.g., operates garage door opener, security system, etc.). Know this was the case for the '01 models. Not sure if there have been any changes. Forget what the other item is in CP.
  • This option was available, at minimum, in MY 01 525 & 530's cars. Not sure about earlier versions. In 02 the package had become part of the premium pkg. I believe some of the items included were the power passenger seat, rain sensor, dual climate control plus others.

  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    In '01, rain sensing wipers were in PP, power passenger seat in CP. I believe that dual climate control was stnd. in 530, part of PP in 525.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Oh that you guys mention it, my memory has been rekindled. Next time I'll shut up if I don't know.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    According to the 2001 BMW Fast Facts, CP was "new for 2001". Available for 525i (incl sport wagon) and 530i.

    For 525i ($1,300 MSRP):

    Automatic Climate Control
    10-way Power Front Passenger Seat
    BMW Universal Transceiver (3 function programmable)

    For 530i ($600 MSRP):

    10-way Power Front Passenger Seat
    BMW Universal Transceiver

    For 530i there was also a "Comfort Seats and Convenience Package" ($1,800 MSRP):

    16-way Power Comfort Seats
    BMW Universal Transceiver

    Essentially all of the CP was standard on the various 540i.
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    I just put my snows on. How do you store I store my summers. That is, do you stand them as if they were on the car or lay them on their sides. If on their sides, can you stack all four on top of each other?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    The concern with tires is usually with getting flat spots as a result of putting disproportionate weight on only one "side" of them. But, that's a problem when there's the mass of a car bearing down on them. On their own, they're experiencing very little pressure, so I can't imagine storing them upright would cause much of a problem (especially if they're inflated). Either way should be fine, but if you're paranoid setting them on their side would be "ideal."
  • I would like to put a cd changer in my new 530i with prem. sound/dsp. My question is, is there a changer that will hook to the stereo system without using an adapter/modulator... I want to be able to change cd's and view information throught the stereo not some external item.

    Since I live in Colorado I need a good set of snow tires. What brand is the best that offer good handling with little or no road noise.


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Get the BMW Changer from - $420.00 inc installation kit and shipping. I have Michelin Artic Alpins on my wife's 528i and I have been quite pleased with them. They only have a "Q" speed rating however.
  • I'm looking to lease a 530ia by the end of the year. The deals are too good to miss. Anyway is the Sport pkg worth the $2300 extra? I will order steptronic, premium, xenon and cold pkg.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    Firstly, you will not be paying the full $2,300, but IMHO, the SP is worth the extra $$. It improves on an already great handling car, includes nice wheels, M three spoke steering wheel, etc.

    Hope this helps....JL
  • Good luck.

  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    m1fuller -- After 3 weeks of use, including a 6" snow storm and its aftermath, I can recommend the H-rated Dunlop Winter Sport M2. It is not silent - no winter tire will be - but it's not unduly loud. A number of users on the 3 series board seem pleased with it too. Is it the best? I don't know. When I researched user ratings and reviews at last year, the M2 was in the top tier of available models. The clincher for me was its highly rated dry road performance, which will be the predominant operating condition here in D.C. If your car will see a lot of severe winter duty in CO, maybe something else would work better. BTW, my experience with storing them almost a year bears out snagiel's contention that upright storage (actually tilted a little to one side) should not lead to flat-spotting.

    awd2003 -- If you order your 530i with the SP, it will be equipped identically to my '01. The SP helps sharpen the whole package, keeping it from being too biased toward the posh end of the scale.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I never thought I would say this, but the sports package on the 5-series is not necessarily for everybody.

    I've owned a 2000 540i 6-speed and currently a 2002 M5, so I'm naturally biased to a sports suspension and manual transmission. But I know of many people who aren't as enthusiastic as me and would do very well in a 530ia non-sport. Especially if they are even remotely considering an E-class, Audi A6 or other similar alternative. The standard non-sport 530i, IMO, handles and steers better than all of them. Adding the sport package will result in even better handling, but at some expense relative to ride smoothness and noise. That expense is, IMO, minor and acceptable. But if you are never going to "push" the car or drive with enthusiasm on winding roads, a standard 530ia will still give you a great handling ride and cost a bit less in tire replacement.

    I used to think the sports package on a 530iA or 540iA was a waste. I've mellowed a bit on that opinion. But ask yourself the question as to why you are getting an automatic. If it's because you really don't get into the "driving" experience, then the sports package may not be for you.
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