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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,320
    Personall if I were in the market for one of these I would go ahead and order an E39 while I still could. The look is timeless, the road manners are impeccable (sorry to sound like a marketing dweeb), and the reliability factor of a car that's been in production since 1996 (MY '97) has got to be near flawless. You could always lease and wait for the bugs to be worked out of the new E60 or buy an unbangalized BMW (I happen to like the 7 series & Z4).

    To the guy stationed in Germany thinking of getting one of ther last E39 M5s, if you've got the cash then go for it. The E60 V10 powered M5 is still a year and a half away and you could be driving an amazing car for all that time.

    Someone made a remark about the new engines not producing enough power and that they'd sacrifice active steering for more horses, have you cheecked out Mercedes? BMWs horsepower numbers are long rumored to have been understated and they always select proper gearing for great acceleration. You can't judge these cars by numbers alone.

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

  • lazuralazura Posts: 43
    I used to own an E39 (which I loved) and was looking forward to possibly purchasing a new 5-series (E60), but I have to say that I'm disappointed with what I have seen so far. The exterior styling looks like it's not quite finished yet. Also, the exterior seems to borrow (or steal) design aspects from other vehicles. Here are my qualms...

    1) The sides of the E60 look almost exactly like the new Camry, especially the line under the doors up to the C-pillar (a 'swoosh' look).
    2) The front and rear lights look like the ones on the new Lexus ES300.
    3) The back end looks more like a prototype than a finished design. And those very low turn signal lights on the back bumper are going to be very expensive to replace when someone barely taps the back end.
    4) The old cockpit-like interior of the E39 is much more user-friendly than the new E60 interior. Plus, it looks like BMW has still not changed that cheap looking beige leather to a more pleasing hue.
    5)Despite a supposed compete re-design, BMW made a mistake by keeping their old 6 cylinder engines in the 525 and 530 models. With even Nissan offering 250 HP in their entry-level six cylinders, BMW missed the boat by not upgrading these engines to be more competitive. And even though the 8-cylinder to be offered should be outstanding, BMW will probably follow their usual steep price premium for 8 cylinders by charging another $15,000.

    In summary, unless the E60 looks drastically different in person, I'm going to hold out for a good deal on a used E39 540 or M5.
  • 2ndmb2ndmb Posts: 72
    I've had my 540i for about a month now and noticed quite a bit of dust on the console each day. Do you think the micro filter needs changing or I'm just nuts? Wait a minute, don't answer the 2nd question.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Not a BMW commercial, but I think there is a BMW part in there somewhere.
  • bpblack1bpblack1 Posts: 4
    Thought I would want loaded with both but have heard a lot about poor handling in snow and rain (hydroplaning). I live in NYC area and was looking for some assitance here. How is the handling for the 9 mos w/o snow on dry and wet. How bad on bumpy roads and finally does the sport look that much better. I don't want deep dish (punk) tires, just great handling, comfortable seats and a good look. How well does it handle w/o the sport?

    thanks in advance
  • bimmer12bimmer12 Posts: 72
    You will find many threads in the 5-series forum about the sport pkg and you can scroll back to find many of them. First, the sport pkg wheels are elegant and not 'punk'. But be prepared to purchase a set of winter tires/wheels to combat the elements in the northeast. The overall ride is stiffer but I would not characterize it as an uncomfortable stiff. Handling is noticeably improved over an already well-handling non-spt pkg car. I appreciate the sport seats and the steering wheel the most in addition to the wheels and handling
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    I live in NYC and own a 2003 530i (see link). The SP is getting a bad rap - the ride is stiffer than the non SP 530i, but not uncomfortable by any means. The non SP handles well, but since I am accustomed to "great" handling vehicles, the SP was a not brainer. If you want a great handling sedan, buy a 530i+PP, but if you want outstanding handling and the extra M Sport goodies, buy a 530i wit PP & SP.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    Beautiful car - that is exactly the color combo I want.

    Question: Your rims are not the "traditional" or usual Sport Rims I see. Did you change them or am I wrong?
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    The 2003 530i SP wheels are 17x8 BMW Style 42 Cross Spoke II wheels and I like these wheels. I also like the Style 66 M Parallel Spoke wheel which was the standard wheel on the 2002 540i SP. When I had the opportunity to acquire a set of these wheels with tires tires, I didn't pass it up. I now have two sets of BMW wheels.

  • bpblack1bpblack1 Posts: 4
    I will let you know which one I choose. Going tothe dealer today. The problem has been he does not have any 530i sport pn the lot so I am making the decision based upon a book and other input. He does have a 540i on the lot with sport. I know the engine is much different but would the 530 sport feel on the road the same or close?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    The power difference between the two is more significant than the handling difference. But, to the discerning driver, the 530's lower weight, R&P steering, and slighly better weight distribution add up to a nimbler and more precise handling experience.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Snagiel's remark " a nimbler and more precise handling experience" says it all. Add the SP and you have one of the best cars in the world, a remarkable driving experience.

     srfast, I'm curious why you didn't opt for the 18 inch wheels. I'm considering moving to 18" on
    mine. Do you see any downside to ride, or
  • I'm considering a 2001 530i w/ PP and SP. It's got 22k miles, so it's still under factory warranty. My concern is the post-warranty maintenance. How much should I expect to pay for scheduled service out of warranty? How would an oil change or a 60k mile service cost me?

    I hear the parts and maintenance on these cars are outrageous! I've never had a German car and currently own a 1999 Acura 3.0 CL and have not had ANY problems with this car and paid about $250 for a 30k mile service.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    dabimmer: The 530i/SP's handling has been "optimized" for the 17x8 wheels. Going to an 18" wheel would change the handling characteristics of the car which I would have to offset by making a suspension change. I decided to stay with the 17" wheel and switched to the thicker M5 rear swaybar to offset the factory standard understeer. Because of my SCCA racing background & driving style, a neutral towards oversteer handling condition is preferred.

    need4speed1: Don't confuse "warranty" and "full maintenance." Warranty covers factory defects and the usual maintenance items, i. e. brakes, oil change, etc. are not covered. If the warranty runs out, you can have it extended by BMW for a fee if your car is CPO or buy an extended warranty from a third party. If your full maintenance runs out, it will be out of pocket expense. For those type of items, find a local shop and deal with them.

    Hope this helps..JL
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    A belated thank you to all who've made this board such an incredible resource. A few months back, I posted a question about buying a 530i demo/loaner CPO, and based on the responses and other information on the board, ended up buying a new MY03 E39 (Sterling Gray/black, SP, PP, CWP, DSP and fold down seats) via Euro Delivery.

    Just returned from Munich after a week driving through Germany and France, and I just can't recommend the car, or the ED experience, highly enough.

    For those agonizing about the sport package, I have to agree with previous posts that it's a must-add. The ride is still very comfortable, and unless you'd rather feel like you're riding in an airliner than over the road, you won't be disappointed -- even when you're driving on pedestrian-only cobblestone roads, not that one would. :) But the handling, and in particular the sense of assurance in the turns and at high speed with the SP is just outstanding.

    As for ED, while I did save some money, the experience was the much more valuable part. I won't soon forget sweeping down the autobahn at 130 mph (miles 1201+ only, of course) surrounded by all that picture-postcard Alpine scenery.

    So, thanks again for all the information and perspective. And for anyone who's on the fence about either the E39 or ED, I say go for it!
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I would consider looking into after-market extended warranties when the manufacturer's warranty and scheduled service plan expire to help alleviate these costs.

    A typical oil change runs anywhere from $70-130, depending on the dealer. It's a job you can do on your own, or at least have a decent mechanic (i.e. not Pep Boys) perform, for slightly less (buy the BMW-specific synthetic oil from your dealer, since it's relatively cheap). But, these non-dealers cannot usually reset the engine computer unless they have a resetting tool (which you can buy as well).

    For other maintenance items, I recommend you buy parts from discount volume dealers (e.g. Pacific BMW) and have an local mechanic experienced with BMW's perform the work. You'll save 20-30% on parts, and a similar figure on labor.

    I think the 60k mile service usually runs around $600-800, if memory serves, assuming only the common denominator components are inspected and replaced.

    Overall, I wouldn't expect Acura levels of trouble-free operation, but certainly the 5-series is above average in terms of overall reliability.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Thanks for the insight. What about upsizing tires on the rear to 255mm and sticking with the 17 in wheels? I like what you say about the neutral to oversteer characteristics.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,054
    anyone who owns or wants to own any kind of "sports sedan" would benefit from the Autobahn experience. Driving legally at 100 - 130 mph on really excellent roads is available, so far as I know, only in Germany. Do it while you can. The traffic is getting worse, plus which the move to impose the 130 kph max everywhere continues to gain momentum.

    Reiz will probably continue to maintain that the economics of ED are arguable, but the visceral experience of running the A8 between Stuttgart & Karlsruhe at 110 mph in an Audi (& I'm sure a BMW) cannot be bought for any amount of money.

    Plus which, for most people, less money is spent.

    The car I own has forsaken manual transmissions, so in a few years I will look long and hard at a 5-series ED.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    The Stuttgart to Karlruhe is a pretty swift run. Too bad I had not reached break-in at that point.
  • svrancasvranca Posts: 3
    I think the new design is absolutely fantastic. I cannot understand why people continue to criticize Bangle while the new 7 has sold 70% more models than its previous version. I guess people like to drive ugly cars! Yeah right!!! The new five take you were the 7 has left you off. It is refined, more linear, beautiful in every excpects. The I Drive is a concept foreign only to "old" people. If you own a PC you can master the I drive in 10 minutes. I did it. Oh well what is time to change come on. The old 5Series is 7 and 1/2 years old....TIME TO CHANGE. Stefano
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I respect your opinion about the aesthetics of design, but I take issue with your defense of the iDrive system. I am on the shallow end of the 5-series owners' age range (27), and I develop computer software for a living. Not to sound condescending, but if I find iDrive overly complicated, BMW hasn't done a good job with it. It may be that the E60's interface and operation has improved considerably over the E65's, but I will wage good money that NO 7-series owners "mastered" iDrive in 10 minutes.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    cdnpinhead... You are correct. The economics of ED are debatable. Depends on each person.

    For me, the "smart" money is on CPO. Let the first guy eat the depreciation. I paid about $36,000 for a 540i6 that had an MSRP around $59,000. My wife saved about $8,000 off MSRP for a 1-year old 323ia with 18,000 miles. She gets rest of free maintenance and warranty. We love 'em both. And we didn't have to spend a penny going to Europe nor any time planning the trip. Plus no gas guzzler tax for my 540i6. And TTL less.

    ED can't save you as much as CPO.

    I leave ED issues in the hands of professionals like Bob Dole. :)
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    induce more understeer because of the additional grip in the rear. This would negate the effect of the M5 rear swaybar I just installed.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    The problem, riez, with your analysis is that you fail to account for intangibles. The thrill of driving your new BMW through the Austrian Alps, for example. Or the intense aroma of that new car smell. Or the joy and pride in knowing you're the first and only driver of your vehicle.

    I'm not questioning your math, but rather the shortcomings it represents. If we were just looking for a good deal on transportation, we'd all be driving Tauruses. Why do we justify the added expense of the 5-series? Sure, performance and luxury--measured in numbers and amenities--have something to do with it. But so do hard-to-measure things like quality, presence, balanced handling, divine steering, etc.

    So, when considering ED, the fact that BMW actually knocks any money off the MSRP (unlike Porsche or most other manufacturers) is merely icing on the cake.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,320
    Snaigel, I didn't know we were the same age.

    Reiz: You have incredible faith in the BMW product. You have to to be able to plunk down $36K on a used car. Your rationale makes sense about letting someone else take the depreciation. If you want to buy new, then ED is a great way to go. Even if the time and expenses don't warrant it (and they might), the pleasre seems well worth it.

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

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    snagiel... Me wonders if need to get out on more American roads. America has no lack of great roads that are truly fun to drive. Places like upstate NY, Tennessee, California, etc. I remember rocketing up and down mountain after mountain in Colorado a few years ago. Never forgot the one mountain where I was with a MB E-class and a Nissan Maxima. Triple digit speeds. A blast. Colorado is for drivers! (Not to mention getting out at 12,000 feet to play in the snow in July and watch elk not too far away.)

    As for European roads, seems like too many of the articles I've read over the past years talk about all the traffic, inclement weather rain/snow, and a ton of cops! Recent issue of one of the major monthly auto mags talked about how bad Austria is as one gigantic speed trap!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nyccarguy... I use my car for business and religiously track every expense. In the first 16 months I've owned my CPO '98 540i6 I've spent a grand total of $548.18 on maintenance and repairs. Nealy all of it was maintenance (e.g., an oil change and alignment). (Thank the IRS Form 2106 for the data.) And that is for almost 20,000 miles. Not to mention that she gets me 26 mpg in highway driving. I'd say that ain't too bad. Wouldn't you?
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Hey guys, I have been testing out different octanes on my car. Mind you I don't think I will ever use 87 but I have am teetering between midgrade (89) and premium (93). I filled up last time with midgrade and got 23.1 mpg. This is an exact calculation, not the OBC reading. My last tank I got 25.9 mpg on premium. My driving was pretty much identical since I pretty much have a routine drving pattern every week. My shifing hasn't changed any either. I guess my question is, could this increase in gas mileage be primarily due to the premium fuel?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "My shifting hasn't changed any either. I guess my question is, could this increase in gas mileage be primarily due to the premium fuel?"

    Absolutely, the electronics in our engines is such that it keeps the ignition and cam timing at that perfect "Ragged Edge" between peak efficiency and detonation. With lower octane fuels, the engine management is obliged to back off the engine settings in an effort to keep the engine in one piece (or as many pieces as BMW intended).

    A few years back I read a post by a guy who did the same thing as you did, except that he had a 328i. He executed a considerable number mileage runs with the cruise control set on the highway, and many other tanks of gas for "Mixed" driving. What he found was that not only did the higher octane fuels deliver higher mileage, he also found out that the higher mileage delivered by Premium fuels was more than enough to offset the extra cost of the fuel.

    Best Regards,
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I beg to differ in reference about the "I Drive is a concept foreign only to "old" people. I have driven my friend's 7er which I find the idrive too complicated. I hope the E60 will be much better than the idrive in the E65.

    Like snagiel I am in my late 20s and am very proficient with technology. I love gadgets but the idrive is a bit too much. I give the opportunity that the idrive is so far advance that people aren't accustomed to it yet or just needs more tweaking. I do know that I don't want to spend all the time refreshing how to use overly complicated technology every weekend. I also find the on board computer confusing and hasn't been too useful.

    I also own a Lexus LS with many gadgets which I find all the gadgets easy to use including the NAV. After toying with the BMW NAV in the showroom I decided against buying the BMW with NAV as I find it a generation or two behind its top competitors. As with many other BMW buyers, I bought my 5er for its great looks, power, handling, and connection to the road.
    So far, it has been a perfect car except for three things. BMW lacks top notch technology in terms those luxury gadgets (unless you count the idrive which is too complicated), efficient storage space, and those infamous cupholders.
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