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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • 5speed55speed5 Posts: 31

    Well first off, there is a GREAT difference between a Minivan and a 5 series, especially when it comes down to the kids aspect.

    Let me answer your question about the Sport package first. This consists of larger rim diameter (17" vs. the standard 16") and lower profile tires (less rubber between the wheel and the road). The purpose of this, is to give the car more 'sportier' handling and grip, especially in the turns. With that in mind, the package also has stiffer shocks, and springs that lower the car to the ground. The trade-off to this is a ride that is 'harsher' to your passengers. You will feel every road discrepancy in your driving. The taller profile tires and softer shocks of a 'non-sport' package car will be much more forgiving and absorb the bumps and jolts more. Two other aspects of the sport package are a 3 spoke 'sport' steering wheel (vs. the regular 4 spoke) and the exterior trim is 'blacked out' instead of chrome.

    The premium package really has no bearing on the sport package. It is basically a way of ordering all the 'non-standard' options together. Leather seats, wood trim on dash and doors, dual zone climate, on-board computer etc. It's pretty much a 'must' when ordering a 5 series.

    Now, as far as the kids in the rear aspect, you didn't mention the age of the kids, but let me give you my experience with 2,5,7,& 12 years olds that have been back there. MISERABLE!! For me, and them. First off, the cupholders, they are located at the back of the center console, on the floor by the driveshaft hump. As soon as a foot comes near them (mine, from getting in and out and the kids), they pop out and break. Heck, the ones in the front break, and that's without doing anything. Many trips to the dealer to fix them. Next, the seats back there sit low, and the 5 and 7 year olds complain that they can't see out the windows, period. Is it secure back there for car seats, VERY, but the rear of the 5 series is still somewhat cramped compared to other cars in it's class. On a day to day basis, bending in and out in the rear is more tedious than a vehicle that is more open in the rear.

    Don't get me wrong with this, the 5 series is a great car, and I can understand the desire for not wanting a minivan. There are other 'sportier' options to the minivan as well, Acura MDX, BMW X5 (or 5 series station wagon-more interior room). Also the Lexus RX300 (now a RX330) rides like a 'sporty' car, but has the features of a minivan. This is the reason it is Lexus' best selling vehicle.

    I hope I have given you some insight into your questions. (Based upon actual expreience with 2000 BMW 5 series w/Sport/Premium)
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    I had posted this a while ago, but there seems to be ways to go around BMW-type security system. One of the people worked at my wife's office picked up a brand new Audi A6 (which has similar anti-theft system, I think) to take back to the states. Well, within 2 weeks, the car was gone and never to be seen again. It turns out, Audi's, A6 in particular is very popular in former Eastern Bloc countries and Russia. So, the auto-theft rings there picked up matching ECU and key and whatever else they needed to start the car and simply swap it out with cars they want to steal. Then they actually pick a target on the road and follow it around until opportunity arises. I am not sure if the same is true for BMW and MB, but at least this was what German police told the poor lady.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    Specifically, are you referring to the ignition is more complex so it is difficult to hardwire? Or the stock alarm is more sophisticated than most cars?

    I am particular curious because my friend's 3 day old MB E500 was stolen. If these european makes are more secure, it would make me curious as to how other makers didn't do the same since car theft is costing some of us a bundle to insure our cars (I am sure accidents/fraud is another major contributor).
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    No word yet on a ship date from Germany for my 530i, though it's been about 3 weeks since I dropped off the car in Munich. Guess this is the downside of Euro Delivery.

    But in the meantime, has anyone installed the X-Pel (Scotchcal) bumper kit on a car with the Cold Weather Package? I don't see any cutouts in the plastic for the headlight washers, and am wondering whether there should be some.

  • jay44jay44 Posts: 7
    Do any of you have any strong feelings between the Jet Black verses Black Metalic color options? My current vehicle is jet black and looks great (when clean, of course) I'm contemplating a new 530 with the metalic finish and would appreciate any comments.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    You should take your car seats to a dealer and try them out for yourself on a 5 series. One poster on this board just picked up a 5 series and was going to use the back seat for his newborn triplets! I can't quite picture that one, but he seemed satisfied. IMO two car seats would work with each placed by a rear door. My brother has plenty of room left when placing one car seat by a rear door in his 5. He'll need to use the other space by August for baby #2. Trying your car seats out for yourself sounds like your best bet to know if you'd be satisfied. Good luck.
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    2003 530 - Manual, Sport, CWP, PP, Xenon, Power Rear Sunshade, and Premium sound - MSRP of $49,270

    Dealer will lease to me at $45,410, 59% Residual, .0010 Money factor, 3 yrs 15K miles, 1st and last down and some doc fees totalling $1600.00 down = for a monthly payment of $687.00

    Yes - the $45,410 is the real lease price, but I am not convinced the $687 is correct?

    Any thoughts!!
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    If I remember correctly, BMW at least uses a key that has to send a proper electronic code to the car each time it starts. The code is said to change randomly each time, making it virtually impossible to duplicate. Even if a copy is made, it has to be initialized with the ECU before it will actually work. I believe MB and Audi use the similar technology.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    trip1113... I have a '98 540i6 (std. Sport Pkg) and my wife has a '00 323ia (w/Prem Pkg). We have two kids, ages 10 and 12. They fit just FINE in both cars. No problems. We've had no problems adding a 3rd kid in back. I often take my two kids and two of their friends up to the local McDonald's indoor playland. No problems.

    I haven't tried to get car seats in either car. The E39 5 Series has a lap/shoulder belt with headrest in the middle center. The E46 3 Series did not have either initially, having just a rear middle lap belt, but the newer ones do have a center rear lap/shoulder belt.

    I must prefer the Sport Pkg. It does NOT unduly compromise ride quality, but does improve handling. For me, SPORT PKG is an ABSOLUTE MUST!

    If room is important, just take the family down to the dealer and see what all fits and how well. You should also test drive cars with and without the Sport Pkg.

    Take thorough test drives!!!
  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    My BMW dealer says the Multiple Security deposits on a lease are not refundable if the car is totaled - is this true?

    If it is true - you guys out there putting $4500 down are taking a risk, right?

    With 1st and last down - 3 yrs, 15K per year I am being quoted $687 per month on a car with a MSRP of $49,270, and a leasing/selling price of $45,410!

    I have no idea if this is good or bad - but the dealer is willing to share any all info he has on the lease docs, etc..........
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My eight year old has no complaints about my 528iA. In fact, at night he prefers the 5er because the rear reading lamps allow Game Boy play and reading Harry Potter without additional lighting equipment. He does sit a bit higher due to a BMW "Carli" child seat a friend smuggled into the US for me;). That said, in daylight div Jr. prefers my 318ti Club Sport and my Jeep TJ in that order. Even if I'm taking a corner in the ti at 20+ mph over the posted advisory, he yells "Faster Dad! Faster!". Good kid.
  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    does not include protection for the top of the front bumper. That's why you don't see a listing for kits with or without CWP. The kit only asks if the bumper has PDC. I had the front paint and front bumper kit installed on my 2003 530i on 4/18/2003 and that's when I realized the piece didn't exist. I thought the installer had missed cutting it, but after checking the XPEL website, we realized it didn't exist. XPEL doesn't feel the top of the bumper is a high exposure area. If you really want it, the XPEL installer can custom cut it. I didn't do it, but will have it done if I see a need for it.

    Hope this helps...JL
  • ksqrdksqrd Posts: 21
    trip1113: It's me who just bought an '01 CPO 530iA Sport/Premium because we needed a second car (to replace a well-loved Integra GS-R) following the birth of triplets who are now 4 months old. First, it's important to know that our other car is an Acura MDX, which is the primary baby-mobile. We love the MDX, and we bought it because we were thinking about kids down the road and couldn't see ourselves in a minivan, either.

    When we bought the 530, it was for my commute, but it needed to be able to accomodate 3 car seats (to serve as a backup, and in case we both need to ferry the babies down the road). Our PegPerego carseats fit, though very snugly, in the back. The slight rise in the middle actually makes this possible, as the middle seat rides slightly over the other two. I wouldn't recommend this as the only car to transport infants or toddlers, though I imagine it will be fine once the babies are in the booster stage or beyond. We'll buy the narrowest seats for the next stage. The car is awesome in every other way, and I won't comment otherwise.

    Snaigel: The saga of your car theft gets more fascinating at every turn. You did make out well, and I wish you luck with the G35. If we didn't have triplets, I would seriously have considered the coupe. One of my best friends also has an MDX, and traded an E320 for a G35 coupe, and loves it.
  • weberamgweberamg Posts: 43
    I'm considering a 540I with a six speed. I've heard that the clutch is heavy on these cars and provides the left leg with a work out. Is that true? Is it hydraulic or cable actuated?

    Any help in this area would be appreciated.

  • srfastsrfast Posts: 138
    hydraulic and are not heavy. I suggest you drive a BMW 5/6 speed to confirm. "Heavy" is relative.

    Hope this helps....JL
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    weberamg... 1) Take a thorough test drive in one. 2) Do you mostly drive in congested city traffic or lighter interstate/rural traffic?

    I've put over 20,000 miles on my 540i6. Probably 90 percent interstate or rural 2-lane county roads. I also live in a small city with only 3 stoplights. No problem with clutch.

    I also spend some time in congested city traffic (e.g., Omaha and Des Moines). She isn't too bad. But she is "heavier" than in a 4-cyl Honda/Nissan/Toyota.

    You really should test drive it in the type traffic and at the time of day you normally drive. Many automotive reviewers (e.g., see the old Edmunds Comparison test, C&D, etc.) commented that it took a while before you got the engagement right. Till then, some drivers were "lurchy", esp. in 1st/2nd gears.
  • jbf5jbf5 Posts: 32
    Srfast, thanks. That explains it.

    Interesting that X-Pel's installation video shows a bumper-top piece being installed on an M3. I checked the website, and sure enough, that piece is optional on the M3 kit, but not available on the 530i kit.

    Maybe X-Pel figures 530i drivers don't do whatever it is that M3 drivers do to damage the top of their bumpers?
  • rweiss2rweiss2 Posts: 6
    Can someone advise me. Want to get a 5251 or 530 but have had all wheel Audi, Saab and Acura in past. I could opt for the 325ix all wheel but I really would like the larger sedan. How DOES this car perform in the winter in snow or in rain?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  • 5speed55speed5 Posts: 31
    rweiss2, you will probably get many differing opinions in answer to your question. The first aspect to look at it is Sport package vs. non Sport package. The sport package vehicles come with larger rims & 'summer' high performance tires. The non Sport vehicles come with smaller rims and all season tires.

    My 'opinion' comes from 3 years of all season driving with a 5 series. In the rain, I never experienced a problem. The computer (DSC) always kicked in when it had to and prevented any slipping. I always had great confidence when driving in the rain with the car.

    Snow driving was a different story. Having a 'Sport' setup, in winter meant switching to 16" wheels with Blizzak winter tires. For 2 years the snow level was mild, and the car handled it very well. The only problem times the RWD had was with ice, and it lost that battle.

    This past winter was a totally different story. The snow levels were much higher, and the RWD with the snow tires were no match at times. I got stuck once in a parking lot after it had snowed 6.5" of wet snow during the day. It took me over 2 hours to get out with another person helping me shovel & push.

    What you need to evaluate also, is where you live/drive. How often does it snow there, and how much snow does each storm average.

    As far as the 325ix, I had the opportunity to spend some time with one as a loaner car. In daily driving (no snow) the car felt 'underpowered' due to the AWD setup. If I were to go the ix route, I would definitely opt for the larger engined 330ix.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38

    There are cupholder at the rear passenger? Where? I better look again.....

    As a new 530i owner, I learned something new. The automatic headlights only work when the foglights are in the off position. I wonder what is the logic behind that....
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257

    I live in the Detroit area and we get snow over the winter months. It varies from year to year, but this past year we really got dumped on even into April. I have to say, that my car was very poised and predictable in even 6-10" of snow. I have to note that I have the non-sport package and 15" all season tires. If I had winter tires I would have been able to track through the snow with the confidence of a snowmobile, but even with all seasons I did quite well. Much better than my FWD Honda I replaced. And the Traction is great in all but completely no traction from a standstill. I just turned if off for a second to get moving an then kicked it back on.
  • I would appreciate any input on replacing the OEM Contis. I can't decide between summer/winter or all seasons. I have a 540iTa, no sport. Thanks
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    "With 1st and last down - 3 yrs, 15K per year I am being quoted $687 per month on a car with a MSRP of $49,270, and a leasing/selling price of $45,410!"

    Find another dealer. This one is lying to you.

    MSRP $49,270.00
    Negotiated Price $45,410.00
    Down Payment $-
    Residual % 0.59
    Money Factor 0.001000
    Term (mos) 36

    Deduced Factors
    Capitalized Cost $45,410.00
    Residual value $29,069.30
    Depreciation $16,340.70

    Monthly totals:
    Depreciation $453.91
    Interest $74.48
    tax $43.59

    Monthly total $571.98

    And that is based on CA tax of 8.25%.

    If you want, I'll e-mail you a lease calculator.

  • dzubadzuba Posts: 159
    I agree - the numbers are not making sense. Problem is some of the leasing calculators come up with different numbers as well.

    If you can - send me yours! (E-mail in my profile)

    They quoted me a hell of a price to buy the car - at $500.00 over invoice, and I may go that route.

    Their lease quotes are 15K 3yr at $687, and 25k 3yr $807!

    Lease vs. Buy - what a headache!!
  • hicairahicaira Posts: 276
    I've sent it. I made mine from the State of CA Dept. Consumer Affairs version. All lease calcs should be within a few $$ of each other. It's basic math, really.

    Curious as to what the dealer's lease worksheet looks like. I found another dealer when the first one I was working with tried to double dip the aquisition fees: He was not only collecting up front but also trying to finance them into the lease! I was only able to discover why our numbers were not matching when I demanded to see his worksheet.

    BTW: load a lease calculator into a laptop and take it to the dealer with you. If you don't have one, print out your worksheets & the formulas and take a small calculator with you. That ought to cut through the confusion.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tlmmhowell... What year is your 540iTa? What Continentals do you have? I'm assuming TouringContact. But there are SportContact and SportContact2s.

    What do you want out of your tires? Long life? Cushy ride? Great handling? Low noise? How important is wet (rain) vs dry performance? What tradeoffs will you accept? Some noise to get great grip?

    I have a '98 540i6. I just replaced my former Yokohama AVS Decibels with SportContact 2s. I wanted a maximum performance summer (3-season) tyre. So far, in first 750 miles, I love the grip, ride, noise, and wet (rain) performance. They live up to their advertised billing. Won't know about wear and noise for a long time, though.

    I recently put sets of ContiTouringContacts on my wife's '00 323ia and my work car (a Hyundai Sonata). Like them as an all-around all-season tyre.

    Do some research. Continental and other tyre makers have nice web sites. European Car had three great articles last year on maximum performance tyres, high performance tyres, and winter tyres. Consumer Reports had a nice test comparison article on winter and all-season tyres late last year.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tlmmhowell... Forgot that Continental also has a more aggressive all-season tyre. Believe it is called the ContiExtremeContact. More aggressive and more expensive than the less expensive ContiTouringContact.
  • My 540 is a 99. Yes, it has TouringContacts. I have read all the sources you cite and been to I am MORE confused than before. I want low noise and grip, not worried about life.I am leaning towards summer tires, with the intention of biting the bullet and buying winter wheels. Yet, most of the summer tires come in a bigger, and lower profile than my OEM wheels/tires. Is it OK to jump up 1 inch? Is it OK to go wider? Then, I start to lean towards buying summer wheels/tires and using my fact. wheels for the snows. Or, maybe I should just sell out and get all seasons. I am looking for recommendations.
  • weberamgweberamg Posts: 43
    srfast and riez--Thanks for the info on clutches. I'll certainly try before I buy.

    Also, I was wondering what the "I" stands for in 540I or 530I, etc. I've been told it stands for injection as in fuel injection, but I'm not sure that's correct.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I think the i means inline, as in inline 6.

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