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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • dan_bmwdan_bmw Posts: 29
    I understand there is a BMW website or contact number that will enable me to track the order/production status on a new BMW order. I would really appreciate someone letting me know the details on how to start this tracking process.
  • dan_bmwdan_bmw Posts: 29
    The 525i is amazingly quick with the stick. Personally, finances permitted,I would go for the additional $3600 for the 530. Especially if I was going for the Steptronic. I test drove all four combinations. Additionally, I raced a 2002 528i stick against my 94 325 stick and I got blown away in all departments.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Actually, the service computer calculates the need for oil service stricly on gas usage, correctly figuring that higher gas consumption usually requires more frequent oil changes.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33
    For 2003, the only differences between the two models are the engine size and the 530 comes with the auto dimming feature on the rear view mirror with the PP. That being said, you have to determine if the extra cost difference is worth it to you.

    I have a new 525 with a steptronic, depending on which reports you read, the 525 is 1/2 to one second slower that the 530 from 0 to 60. Both share the same top end speeds.

    I purchased my car in Europe, the salesman has been selling BMWs and Volvos for 25 years. He convinced me that based on my driving style and the fact the car is going to be used in the US and not Europe, that I could save nearly $6K by getting 525 without the sports package. I believe his motives were pure since the car was custom ordered from the factory, and based on his advice he made less commission on the deal.

    The salesman stated that 525 has enough power for most people, after driving the car, I would have to agree. He was also totally against the sports package. I was really surprised by this, but he stated that it is 90% cosmetic and 10% performance enhancement and does not improve the resale value of the vehicle. The M-tronic enhancements are designed for better handling at high-speed driving (over 100 MPH), he asked me how many times I will drive that fast in the US.

    Good Luck!
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I just looked at your profile and looks like you're in Northern VA area. There is a outfit called "Colors & Parades" located somewhere in PA. However these guys actually come to Euro Motor Cars in Bethesda once or twice a week to work on minor scratches and dents on dealer cars. They once fixed my Integra with deep gashes on my front bumper and matched the paint exactly. I am not sure if he still comes there since it has been a while, but you might be able to get info. from the dealer. The price is quite reasonable and the work is usually finished in a day or less, but you do need to make an appointment.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Regarding the 525 vs. 530 power debate, that issue comes up pretty regularly here. The general recommendation is that YOU should thoroughly test drive both cars yourself and decide what's adequate (or not) for you.

    For what it's worth, the jump from a 525i to a 530i does give you the most bang for the buck, compared to jumping from a 530i to 540i or (as I did) a 540i to M5. And the 530i actually manages nominally better gas mileage, since the larger engine is better matched to the vehicle weight. But only you can decide if any additional "bang" is worth the $3,500 +/- difference.

    On the other hand, I respectfully, but wholeheartedly, disagree with the suggestion that the "sport package" is a 90% cosmetic option. If I were on a limited budget, it is the ONLY option I would take. Handling and steering precision is improved at ALL speeds and the car even tracks better in a straight line on the highway. There is an additional cost to the sport package in terms of (slightly) more frequent tire replacement, but that is nominal on a $40k car.

    Don't get me wrong, a 5-series without a sports package is a comparable or better handling car compared with Lexus and Mercedes. But a 5-series with a sports package is the absolute class leader in steering and handling. I would take a 525i with a sport package over a 530i without, in a heartbeat.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750

    Too often, dealers are obviously trying to sell you whatever they've got on their lots, and will say everything they think you want to hear to help clear their inventory. I suppose this case is different, but I suppose it reinforces the fact that, when it comes to making judgement calls about packages and options, in general I would place greater importance in (a) auto journalists (most of whom laud the sport package), (b) discussion forums like this, and, of course, (c) the differences you feel.

    I don't want to contribute to buyer's remorse, since for many people the standard setup is indeed fine. But I agree wholeheartedly that the sport package is the most important one, and unlike some carmaker, it is certainly not 90% cosmetic, nor does it hinder resale value.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Easy: Just register at's circle with your production number or VIN (obtain from dealer). Or call BMW at 800-831-1117, select option 3, and they can run a more up-to-date query on the production status.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My previous BMW (1999 328i) did not have the SP, my current car is a 2002 530i w/SP, and there is absolutely no comparison. Handling is enhanced in virtually all phases of driving from zero to governor max (128 mph), and my car has seen considerable time north of 100 (I did ED and was able to spend enough time to enjoy my car over there after the break in period). In addition to the handling enhancements (lower/stiffer suspension and better wheels and tires), there is at least anecdotal evidence that BMW includes slightly different brakes with the SP. While I have not been able to come up with the exact numbers, when I ordered my winter wheel/tire combo from, I was told that wheels that fit the non/SP equipped 530i will not fit the SP version due to brake caliper clearance issues.

    Yes the SP does also in fact include "Cosmetic" features such as much better seats, a steering wheel that is far more pleasing to grip (the wheel in my 328i was the same as the non/SP 5er), and the leather/wood combo knob for the shifter seems less likely to slip out of your hand on a hot/humid day (assuming A/C off, and window and roof open). I would have to agree with most other folks, if one can afford only one package, get the SP. Any salesman telling customers that the SP is "90% cosmetic" is simply "Blowing Sunshine up the customers' skirt", IMHO. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I agree with Shipo's comments on the SP. That said, my wife's E39 is a great car-and it doesn't have SP. Nonetheless, I would never get a BMW without SP if I planned to be the primary driver. The SP raises the already fine handling to an entirely new level. It's evident that your salesperson simply wanted to move a non-SP 525i, so he said whatever was necessary to convince you to buy it. His comments about the SP only being needed "for better handling at high-speed driving (over 100 MPH)" reveal that he is either
    1.An outright liar
    2.Hopelessly ignorant regarding his product knowledge.
  • spyderredspyderred Posts: 137
    If you are on a limited budget and can only afford very few options, The first on my list would be the SPORTS package. The E-39 with this package really transforms the car into (in my opinion) the BEST handling midsized sedan out there. I don't think anything in this class can compare.
    Again, just my personal opinion.

    The Sports package is a must for me.

  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I have some simple question about those beautiful angeleyes on the 5 series which I have seen around.

    They seem to be add ons which cost a lot. Will they interfere with my xenons headlights or just an addition to my current ones? Do they have a separate switch to turn on or only on when parking lights are on like the fog lights? I know its more cosmetic to have one but they are very attractive on the 5ers.

    Any insights will be greatly appreciated.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    2003 BMW 530i with SPORT PACKAGE. I agree with all the previous posts regarding the SP. This is definitely a worth while option. If there is a question regarding SP/non SP, drive both and decide which ride you prefer.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    standard "park" lights on the E39 5 series beginning in MY2001. Many pre 2001 E39 owners have upgraded using BMW or aftermarket components. Since they are "factory", AEs do not interfere with the headlight systems.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Ditto... ditto... ditto. ditto
    Mmmmm... let's see my 2001 E-39 has steptronic tranny, xenons, self dimming mirror,
    leather, wood adornments, split seats, rain sensor, absolutely wonderful 3.0 in-line 6(a silky smooth power plant) and last but by no means last-- the sport suspension. If I had to make a choice for only one of the above (besides the engine, which i would have to keep) my ONLY other must have is .... the sport suspension !! Just my $2 worth( my time is valuable).
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The AE retrofit is a dead simple do-it-yourself job; it should take @1 hour, tops. The AEs won't intefere with your xenons either. Just make sure that your AE kit comes with the correct plug and play wiring harnesses. Check out the "Tips & Tricks" section of for some additional information.
  • sel3sel3 Posts: 33

    To be fair to the salesman, he deals mostly with first-time BMW buyers, you could say most are average drivers that are coming out of very average automobiles. With that in mind, his comments could be relevant.

    Based on the board's comments, there are some real BMW experts that really understand the cars and the SP.

    As for me, I had the opportunity to purchase a custom ordered 525 or 530 at $7600 to 8000 below US MRSP, plus avoid US customs and state sales tax bring the total savings close to $10,000. The PP was more important to me than the SP, but I am a first-time BMW owner that is just happy to be driving a world-class automobile.

    Thank you for your feedback, at least we can agree that BMWs are great cars that are fun to drive.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    You're correct, there's certainly nothing wrong with a non-SP car. I'm sure you'll enjoy your 5er. As for your salesperson, I still think he's incompetent and/or clueless. At best. Dealing with first time BMW buyers does not excuse a total absence of product knowledge. Don't feel bad; In the early nineties I had a debadged Cinnibar Red 535is. BMW salespeople repeatedly asked me if it was an M5 or an M6-among other SWAGs. Never mind that the M6 was a two door coupe and that all North American E28 M5s were Black. Only ONE BMW salesperson ever correctly identified the car. And then there was the time back in 1995 when a BMW sales guy checked out my brand new-and dead stock-318ti Club Sport and asked who installed the body kit...
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    Thanks all for your suggestions. Initially, I'm going to hope that the damage is superficial enough that the detailer at my dealer can handle it. When I got the DME upgrade a couple of weeks ago, I noticed some new scratches on one of the fenders, consistent with someone bending over the fender without a pad. The detailer did a creditable job of removing the scratches (and did a quick detail on the whole car) at no cost. I showed him the door scratches and he thinks he can handle the job. If I'm not satisfied with the work, I'll follow up with one of the sources/methods you suggested.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421

    Join us tonight, 6-7pm PT/9-10pm ET for another
    round of automotive trivia and member-to-member chat.
    Test your skills (or multiple choice guessing ability)
    against other Town Hall members.

    Hope to see you there!
  • jtuotijtuoti Posts: 12
    Gents, I stand corrected and REALLY appreciate the info...I don't remember where I picked up that the torque convertor and rear end was different in the 530i SP but that's academic now. I'm hoping BMW starts a lease incentive for the 530's as we get closer to the new 5's but I'm not holding my breath. None of the dealerships around here can keep them in stock...(sigh)
  • Hello all. I have loved the styling and performance of BMWs over the years and I have finally come to a point in my life where I could afford one (unfortunately not a new one). Specifically I like the 5 series the best and have found one that I am interested in. 1997 540i 6M for around $22,000. From talking with the dealer and checking it through Carfax, it has 59K miles and had one previous owner. Pictures of it look good inside and out. Carfax states that it was a lease vehicle and registered commercial (presumably for business purposes?). However, from what I have read on different web sites there might be a problem with reliability of this model, specifically the radiator, transmission and various electrical problems. My question is A) does this appear to be a resonable deal? B) am I going to have to shell out thousands more dollars repairing various systems as they fall apart in the near future (since the factory warantee is no longer in effect) and C) Would any of you current BMW owners not jump at this deal? I realize that BMWs are inherently more expensive to own, but I don't want to buy into a money pit as I have read from different BMW owners, or is this just a small minority of unlucky BMW owners compared to the vast majority that are still in love with their cars after 50-100K miles? Any help in making my decision will be appreciated.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    happyharley... I'm a big fan of BMW CPO program. Because you wrote, "since the factory warranty is no longer in effect", I'll assume this is NOT a CPO car. Have you considered a CPO car? You should check out BMW NA's CPO locator. Is this from a BMW dealer?

    You should check out the recent and past annual car issues for Consumer Reports. Some great information on reliability data. You might also check Intellichoice.

    Always a good idea to have an independent mechanic check it out. One familiar with BMWs.

    Make sure to get service records. Talk to past owner. See what maintenance was done and what you might need in near future. Keep in mind that the BMW Schedule 1 and 2 services aren't cheap. (You should hope they did one of these recently.)

    If not CPO, will the dealer provide some short-term warranty? Even if only for 30-90 days?

    On 11/30/01 bought my '98 540i6 at about 52,000 miles. CPO from a BMW dealer. She now has 73,000 miles. Troublefree from anything major. Some minor things (e.g., headlights burned out, kids broke rear cupholder, needed to get the instrument cluster computer readout screen replaced--though this likely would've cost a bit if not for the car being CPO). My tires are wearing and there is some road noise, but I'm too cheap to replace at this time.
  • the_heidithe_heidi Posts: 17
    I asked this question in the finance section and thought I should post here also. With each additional security deposit, how much does this buy down the money factor?
  • texbmwtexbmw Posts: 25
    I am a prospective BMW buyer. I'm in the market for a 5 series, probably 530. I have read all the discussion above about pros and cons on the sports package. Seems like the pros have outweighed the cons by a large majority. I am interested in getting a car that serves my practical purpose of driving my family around town. However, I want to make sure that it's an exhilarating drive as well. So what I want to know is: What are the CONS to the sports package, aside from the added cost? Any other input would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It really depends upon where you live. For those of us who live where there is frequent snow and ice, the most significant drawback (and from my perspective, the only drawback) to the SP is the need for two sets of tires.

    Best Regards,
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750

    - You'll replace tires more often, and they'll be slightly more expensive (since they're larger and are pricier performance tires). Regarding Shipo's point, he's right, but relying on the standard all-season tires has its disadvantages as well both for performance handling and for winter traction.

    - The ride is slightly more harsh. Some appreciate this firmness and direct feel, but others prefer a more Lexus-like disconnect from the road. So you should test drive both (on roads you normally travel on) to judge for yourself. It also depends on whether you live in, say, Detroit or Palm Springs: Not all roads are the same.

    - You'll probably use more gas and oil, since you'll look for every excuse you can find to drive more often. Not that this is necessarily a "con."
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    --You'll probably use more gas and oil, since you'll look for every excuse you can find to drive more often. Not that this is necessarily a "con."--

    Tehe, some would say that any extra expence is cheaper than a pshrink. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • texbmwtexbmw Posts: 25
    Points taken from both of you. Given that I live in Texas, I am not too worried about the buying two sets of tires issue. As for the ride, I'll just test drive both. I imagine even a "harsh" ride in a BMW is going to be miles above a supposedly great ride in any other car.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Having owned my 530 w/ SP for two years, I have never had one of my passengers ever use the word "harsh" when referring to the ride. All remark on the smooth performance and comfort. I live in CA and have driven roads both paved and unpaved. The SP suspension in my opinion handles the various roads beautifully. Potholes are the only things that I scan the road for as they can damage the wheels. Oh, and of course there is that one small section of the fast lane through the Mulholland Pass on the south 405 Fwy where a lane was made from half of a pitted shoulder and half concrete slab that should have gotten someone at CalTrans hung by the toes, but I digress... In my opinion, you will be pleasantly surprised with the SP so go for that test drive!
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