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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out pages 28-32 of the September 2003 issue of European Car. Their "First Look". Based on actually driving the car. They rave about the active anti-roll bars in the Active Roll Stabilization System, but have serious reservations about the Active Front Steering system. They also don't appear to be fans fo the run-flat tires. Their advice, avoid the Sport Pkg, since that come standard with AFS and run-flat tires. They do praise increased rear seat room and bigger trunk.

    Found some of their comments disturbing:

    "Unfortunately, BMW engineers have decided that they need to be more sophisticated, and the result is less than satisfying for those who enjoy driving."

    "The fussy details in the car's styling, the awkwardness of some of its controls and the imprecision in the driving experience seem to point to an unwelcome direction in BMW's evolution."
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out pages 56-61 of the October 2003 issue of Bimmer magazine. Author raves about new E60 530i. Some excerpts:

    "No way could I do this in an E39: The previous 5 was simply too soft, too imprecise an instrument. The E60, on the other hand, represents a leap forward akin to the one BMW made in going from the E36 to E46 3 Series. Performance has been improved in almost every respect, sharpening and invigorating the driving experience along the way."

    "Even with such a [non-Sport Pkg] setup, the E60 felt inherently sportier than the E39, thanks mainly to the lack of body roll courtesy of BMW's Active Roll Stabilization."

    "[In the Sport Pkg car] body roll is reduced even further in this version, and the car's suspension provides what our notes say is 'perfect control' over all road surfaces."

    "a car is still defined by the basics in the end: vehicle dynamics, comfort and quality. On those counts, the new 5 is every inch a classic BMW."

    She had some issues with Active Front Steering, but came to the conclusion that "the trick is to forget that [AFS] is even there and simply drive. And although I never re-create the state of bliss that marked my first half-mile in the new E60 530i, I later manage to come to terms with [AFS], and even to miss it when it isn't there."

    She appreciated larger rear seat and trunk.

    Will be interesting to see how the rest of the reviews are.
  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    What extra service items do you all recommend for the Inspection I? My reading of the manual seems to indicate they change the oil and check everything else. I read in Roundel a while back that other things s/b done such as brake fluid, atf filter and fluid, radiator flush, diff fluid. What about it? Mine is a 540iTa. Thanks for responding.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Here's my regimen:
    brake fluid-every two years unless you track the car, in which case you should flush it at least every six month. ATE Super Blue is my brake fluid of choice.

    ATF/filter- the proprietary ATF your ZF autobox uses is very expensive, so I'd change it about every 40-50 thousand miles.

    Coolant- Every three years is fine, but use BMW Coolant only.

    Final Drive- I change mine about every Inspection II, using a good synthetic gear oil such as Redline or Mobil 1.
  • tlmmhowelltlmmhowell Posts: 48
    Thanks for the response Div2.
    Will my BMW dealer have ATE Super Blue? I assume not. If not, will the stuff they use be acceptable.
    Just curious- how often do you change your oil? What oil do you use? Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    BMW calls for a DOT4 brake fluid and sells a fluid that meets those specs. It will work fine. Castrol LMA is another good DOT4 fluid. The ATE Super Blue has higher wet/dry boiling points and is a good choice for track events.
    As for oil, I change it at @8000 mile intervals. I have been using Shell Rotella T Synthetic 5W-40, but I'm going to switch to Mobil 1 0W-40 at the next change as I believe that it is a better oil. Frankly, the BMW Synthetic is also a fine product. It is NOT-as some claim-re-labeled Castrol Syntec. I bought an oil extractor from Griots- and perform the oil services myself. Let me know if I can help with any further questions.
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59
    All: Thanks for your feedback on the 530i (post #6969).

    Best regards!
  • mod62mod62 Posts: 38
    I just returned from a 1,500 mile jaunt to Maine. It was a great trip and especially enjoyable to really open up my 525iT 5 speed on the newly paved Coastal Maine Roads. The only down side is that I kept wishing BMW would bring the 530iT with 5 speed or the 540 with stick to the USA. I love Wagons and it was great to average 27 mpg over the entire trip in all kinds of driving conditions and still be able to haul a ton of stuff. It was also fun to keep increasing my average speed and not having to be told to slow down!
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Just returned from Las Vegas. The trip computer (in my 530i 5-speed) logged 32.3 MPG for the approximate 300 mile trip back to LA. I think the mileage would have been better if my average speed was about 10 MPH slower, at the posted 70 MPH speed limit. If no where else, this was where the car really excelled. It felt rock solid and planted at high speeds. It was a fun drive.

    I used my passport 8500 radar detector for protection. It probably saved me a speeding ticket. But I am curious. I noticed that the Ka band warning would go off whenever a CHP cruiser was in the area, even when they were not using radar. Why? (this is not a bad thing, but what was triggering the Ka warning) I usually had about a mile or so of notice. Also, there were long stretches in the desert where the x-band would go off for no reason. Why? In fact even the K-band went off (correctly) a mile or more before we passed a stationary unmanned radar speed detection sign.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Keep in mind, along the 15, there are several test ranges for both Navy and Air Force (Edwards, China Lake, etc). They use radar extensively.

    I've even seen operators at EAFB using radar to target cars on highway 58 to test sensitivity...

    Just look up every once in a while. :)

  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Edward's is not the only EAFB in the US.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    On my 540iT (which I love) the computer's calculation of miles per gallon always is 1 mpg+ more than my own calculations using mileage travelled and the gallons showing on the pump. I assume the latter is more reliable. Anyone else notice this?
  • 67healy67healy Posts: 4
    Thanks for your input I think we are leaning towards the 2003 525. Although a used 528 seems like a good option, since they look the 2003 525. What do you think? Pap5 thanks for the compliment the big Healys are truly beautiful.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The computer does not know about the fuel that goes through the charcoal canister (fuel that evaporates out of the fuel tank pressure relief valve). This (in hot weather) seems to be on the order of around 1 gallon per tankfull (at least for me).
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    Has anyone noticed the horsepower rating at 225hp remains the same for an 04 530i but is at 4900rpm instead of 5900rpm for the 03 530i,is that a typo? Also,is it just me or does the 04 5 series look like a larger 3 series from the front and side, but like a mustang or mini 7 series from the rear!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    According to the voluminous Tech Specs printed in the current (July'03) issue of Roundel magazine (BMW CCA), which includes the graphed power curves, for the new E60 530i...

    Peak torque: occurs at 3500 rpms and the torque curve is essentially flat from 3,500 rpms all the way to 4,900 rpms.

    Peak horsepower: occurs at 5900 rpms

    These figures are identical to the '03 E39 530i. According to BMW NA's '03 5 Series brochure:

    Peak torque: 214 lb-ft at 3500 rpms
    Peak HP: 225 hp at 5900 rpms
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    So the engine is a carryover from 03? I guess it's a marketing ploy,in Motor Trend (new M5 on cover) and the 04 5 series brochure they pitch 225hp at 4900rpm.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    330iii... BMW has/is doing a lot of expensive new product development. Initial "big" engine improvement is to the 545i V8, shared with the 545i. New 745i, with its improved 4.4L only came out last year. Cost a ton to develop. The new 6 Series, which is based on the 5 Series, is going to have a 635i V8 and a 645i V8. It is costing a pretty penny. And the new 1 Series is on the near horizon. More development costs there.

    There was only so much money for 5 Series development. The current 2.5L and 3.0L I6s are both fantastic engines. And don't forget that the 525i and 530i get both new automatic and manual transmissions. Improvements to I6s will come. Who knows, maybe there will be a 535i V8? And maybe a diesel or two in next few years?
  • cbgb1975cbgb1975 Posts: 51
    Maybe six speed in '04 v 5 speed in '03 would account for rpm change???
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    My 530 with auto gets about 28 mpg cruising around 70 mph on NY suburban highways. On local roads this plummets to 18 mpg. With highway and local driving split 50/50, mileage is about 19.5-20.5 mpg. The disparity seems a little extreme, but perhaps this is the tradeoff for low-end torque. The driving habits of myself and the little woman are a little less than civilized. This means we both like to get up to speed quickly. And then, of course, there are those moments when I have to experience it's potential. In terms of BMW performance as compared to everything else I've driven, I'm perfectly happy with these numbers. However, I'd like to know how this compares.

    BTW with regard to message #7007, I've noticed the same.
  • sirtigersirtiger Posts: 38
    I have the same car (03 530ia) & live in nyc. I get the same mileage as you... just a fyi.

    I thought that was extreme as well....u r not the only one here... that 18-21 mpg stinks... its almost as bad as my old nissan pathfinder.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    67healy -- If purchase price isn't the primary consideration, I agree that a new 525 is a better bet than a 2000 (or older) 528. The 528 will cost less up front, but the 525 will come with the new car warranty and maintenance plan. One caveat: The 525 has lower hp/torque figures than the 528, and is reported by those who have driven both (I haven't) to be slower to speed. Be sure to drive both, equipped with the transmission you intend to buy, for comparison.

    designman -- Your avg. MPG for mixed driving is in line with what I get in my 530ia. I'm sure the main cause is losses through the slushbox on acceleration, which aren't a factor when it is locked up in top gear on the highway. I believe some of the 530i 5-sp. owners have reported better numbers in mixed driving.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    One important thing affecting local gas milage is that you start out with a cold engine and it burns more fuel till it warms up. Summer weather is hot enough that this is much less of a factor than it is in winter, but it still is a factor. In addition, stop and go driving is going to be worse than steady cruising.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    With peak horsepower of 225 at 5900 RPM's, the torque is 200 ft-lbs at 5900. Not quite "flat", but a loss of only 7% from the peak at 3500 RPM's.
  • mxpro738mxpro738 Posts: 59
    Hello folks!

    I am in the middle of a lease negotiation on a 330i. I am being told that as of July 7th, BMW increased it's lease acquisition fee from $500 to $1,000. Ouch! Is this valid? For what it's worth, I am in New York State.

    If anyone here knows the answer, I would greatly appreciate your help.

    Best regards!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fjk57702... I wrote, "Peak torque: occurs at 3500 rpms and the torque curve is essentially flat from 3,500 rpms all the way to 4,900 rpms."

    I didn't say anything about the torque curve before 3500 rpms or after 4900 rpms. But according to the printed output graph, torque is essentially flat from 3500-4900 rpms. So you get peak torque for a good portion of the total power curve.
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    And below 3500 it drops off? Do you still have 90% at 1500 RPM's?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fjk... It rises from idle to its peak at 3500 RPMs and then is flat from 3500 rpms to 4900 rpms, after which it starts falling.

    You should look at the chart in the latest issue of Roundel. Plethora of great tech specs on the new E60!
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    GM's new 3.6 liter DOHC VVT V6 has 90% of the peak torque between 1600 RPMs and 5800 RPMs. That is 225+ft-lbs over that speed range with the peak (250 ft-lbs) at 3200 RPMs. Peak horsepower is at 6200 RPMs.
  • 330iii330iii Posts: 71
    Is that the Caddy CTS's new V6? The CTS v will be a monster.
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