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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I'm going to experiment a week with the steptronic manual. I drive a stick at higher rpm than the automatic as most do (love the revs and it's healthier for the engine) but I'm curious to see how the mileage varies from auto. The problem with the step is the instinct to throw gears and grope for the clutch... takes some getting used to. What I'm really groping for is how to get the woman to appreciate the manual... tried for years... any tips greatly appreciated. She doesn't like sitting low in beauties like the 911, but the M5 could do the trick. I guess I'm a brat... finally get a BMW and now I want more. Anyone know a good family sports-car therapist?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    fjk... You should look at Roundel's Tech Spec pages. The chart is metric. For the 530i's engine, peak torque is 300Nm (225 lb-ft) @ 3500 rpms. This holds flat till about 4900 rpms. 90 percent of this peak torque would be 270Nm. Chart shows at least 270Nm from about 1500 rpms to about 6000 rpms. Looks like at least 290Nm from about 2750 rpms to about 5250 rpms.

    That seems like a pretty flat torque curve to me and a torque curve comparable to the projected GM 3.6L V6.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I went from a 2000 540i 6-speed to a 2002 M5 and, while gas mileage wasn't much of a consideration in the trade, it didn't drop much.

    Overall, in a little over 32k miles, I have averaged 20.7 mpg with the M5. I do a fair amount of highway driving and average about 24-25 mpg with the M5 at a constant 70-80 mph (compared to 26 mpg with the 540i). Short hop, in-town driving goes as low as 14-15 mpg with the M5 (16-17 with the 540i). My assistant has a 530i 5-speed and she has averaged 25 mpg over about 12,000 miles. She boasted getting 32 mpg on one pure highway tankful.

    Can't help you with the wife - I married lucky. My wife was dissapointed our SUV doesn't have a stick and we even considered trading it for the BMW X5 3.0 5-speed. Unfortunately, that's a little too small and not much of a real SUV for our needs. I feel for you regarding the manual. I can't even accept an SMG as a reasonable compromise, let alone a steptronic. I may be keeping my M5 for a long, long time.

    P.S. For what it's worth, I paid a $2,200 gas guzzler tax on the M5 and it averages at least 5-6 mpg higher overall than our Range Rover. As a matter of fact, it get's 3+/- mpg better mileage than my nephew's new Honda Pilot, which is supposedly one of the more fuel efficient SUV's. Throw a $3,000 gas guzzler tax on SUV's and the manufacturers will respond. Soccer moms will be just as happy with a 25 mpg turbo-diesel as a 13 mpg V-8 hog.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Those M5 mileage numbers are quite impressive. Now I've got the task of turning my next fantasy into reality. I've considered the 911 Tip but it doesn't turn her on. Hmm... gotta figure something out here before the ugly 5s come out. I never even looked into M5 availabilty when buying the 530. What I have going here is that 1) She is now one of the BMW faithful 2) A second bimmer means she has the 530 to herself. BTW, I can't help but wonder how the Cayenne figured into your thinking?
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    Is Roundel's available on the web? Anyway, 90% would put the torque at 200 ft-lbs from 1500 to 6000, about 25 ft-lbs below the CTS's 3.6. But that is a flat torque curve, which should give the BMW 3 liter good low end torque.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    Just a couple of thoughts, if I might...

    My wife drives a stick nicely, but she just wasn't interested anymore when she recently bought a Lexus with a slushbox. I do think enjoying a stick may be something of a "guy thing", and presuming you want to keep the little woman happy, you might want to consider relenting (as I say, when my wife's happy, I'm estatic! I think you know that can pay dividends!)

    I've driven an M3 with the SMG (I think you called it steptronic manual), and after a few minutes, the novelty sort of wears off, and it's really just easier to stick it in "auto". Was sort of the same for me as a Steptronic auto trans., and really a very far cry from stirring the box and feeding out power with the clutch. Maybe it's the hot set-up for F-1, but I'd be inclined to just get an auto if I wasn't going to get a real stick.

    And while beauty is in the eye (and I really like my '02 530i/stick), I'd reserve judgment on the new '04 5-series, I think they'll look just great, and you certainly wouldn't have to feel embarrassed with a >6-spd.< auto, which your wife might like, too.

    ps--re a Cayenne, think 5700 lb. p-i-g. But supposedly this truck is contributing mightily to Porsche's bottom line, so I guess you can't buy good taste (or engineering discernment).
  • johnnyboy4johnnyboy4 Posts: 10
    The step. is pretty fun to use. Where I usually prefer it being is in S. Speeds it up a little and feels just right with this engine. Any suggestions for tires after these wear(Conti.). I was thinking maybe Michelin Pilot A/S or something. I love the sport package except for a slight bit of road noise. I heard maybe those Pilots should get rid of a little more noise.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    FWIW, my 530i SP came with Dunlops and I'm very happy with them. My son has driven new BMWs with the Conti, Dunlap, and Michelins. He likes the Dunlops the best.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    The Yokohama AVS Decibels that came with my 540i6 wore badly. Became very noisy after about 5,000 miles. Replaced 'em with ContiSportContact2s. After 4,000 miles I'm still pleased. Great performance dry or wet, low noise, and good ride quality.

    johnnyboy4... What specific Conti's did you have: Touring A/S, Extreme A/S, SportContact, or SportContact2?
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Anyone have any experience with these tires. I am thinking of buying them to replace my Dunlop SP Sport A2's which have worn to the wear bars on the rears but are about half worn on the fronts. I get a lot of road noise right now. The Dunlops were really good in the snow though, stopped on a dime and accelerated in heavy snow pretty well. I don't think we get enough snow to dictate getting snow tires. I don't have the sport pkg so I am not getting summer times either, but I do drive sporty some times. When I get a 530, I plan on trying to find one with sp pkg but still be a 5 sp.

  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    If I am on a straight away, I find I am fastest in the S mode. I don't waste time shifting. Also, my steptronic tends to "automatically" shift me out of 2nd a little quickly anyway (well before redline). But if I'm in the curves, I like steptronic. I don't have to use the breaks as much and feel I have more control.
  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    Man, people sure are picky here on spelling. At least it is a synonym.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,266


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  • msealsmseals Posts: 257
    I believe synonyms sound the same but are spelled different, i.e. red, read (The 5er is red/Yes, I read the manual). Homonyms are spelled the same but sound different ie. read, read (Can he read/I read a book today). My dad is a english professor and my mother is a speach pathologist. I sure hope I am remembering this stuff right or they won't be very happy. I haven't been in school in almost 10 yrs.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,266
    be disappointed...


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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's drop the whole thing before we get into much deeper trouble!!

    FWIW, I think typing "break" when meaning "brake" - and vice versa - is THE most common syntactical (hah!) error I see hosting these discussions.

    It's no biggie, we all know what was meant, right?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,266


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  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Yes, but is it...

    make or marque?
    hood or bonnet?
    trunk or boot?
    LHD or RHD?

    Who was it who said Americans and Britishers were common people separated by language?

    Wouldn't it be fun if English was more like German and we ran nouns together to form another noun?

    If I could just use affect and effect I'd be happy.

    From dictionary:

    Homonym--"One of two or more words that have the same sound and often the same spelling but differ in meaning."

    Synonym: "A word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word or other words in a language."

    Antonym: "A word having a meaning opposite to that of another word."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    but maybe we should agree that if anyone has to define homonyms and synonyms for an English test or something, they might want to rely on a more definitive source than what is here in this car discussion......


    Edit: Okay riez - you posted the definitions while I was typing. I guess I knew someone would do it.

    Let's move on now - really.
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    Your write, know knead two bee sew intents :-)
  • jccsscjccssc Posts: 44
    Hi there - have a 2000 528i sports premium, 42000 miles already. Factory warranty only goes to 4 yr/50M miles. So far nothing major happened except for a cracked radiator which was replaced under warranty. Is it worth it to get an extended warranty from BMW dealer to avoid possible hefty $ mishap? And how much do they usually go for? Thanks.
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    This is my first post but I have been checking in daily to this forum since I bought my CPO '01 530ia in May (SP,PP,Xenon,PS,sunshades,basically everything but CWP). Bought it at SF BMW with only 9,300 mi. for $38K--a great deal for this area where everything seems to sell at a premium. My previous car was a '96 Volvo 850 which serviced me well, I suppose. Although I agree with the passion those have for the manual tranny, I am very happy with the auto w/step since much of my driving is on congested Bay Area freeways and steep SF hills (I am in broadcast sales). I live on the side of Mount Tamalpais which offers a fantastic range of banked curves leading out to Stinson Beach and on up coastal Hwy. 1.
    I can't believe that I would ever be this passionate about a car but the 530 has provided my with an unbelievable amount of fun over the last couple of months (almost 4K mi already). For what it offers--smooth & balanced inline 6 engine, superb handling, elegant styling--I think the BMW 530i is a fantastic deal. I really didn't realize how great BMWs were until after I bought mine and really drove it for awhile.
    Thanks to all those (shipo, reiz & others)for your posts on this forum--I think that I have read them all.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    jccssc... You wrote, "have a 2000 528i, 42000 miles already. Factory warranty only goes to 4 yr/50M miles. Is it worth it to get an extended warranty from BMW dealer?"

    If you keep possession of your car past either 50K or 48 months, the original bumper-to-bumper warranty will expire. Your original 3/36 maintenance agreement also expired. You could pay to extend this maintenance agreement for 1/12 (the '03s come with 4/50 free maintenance) but there is no additional warranty you can buy from BMW on your car.

    You could sell your car and buy another BMW from the BMW dealer. If you bought a CPO unit, that would come with a 2/50 CPO warranty that starts once the original b-to-b warranty expires. I've seen CPO units with as few as 3-9K miles. But you CANNOT automatically CPO the car you bought new (unless you sell it to dealer and buy it back from him as a CPO car).
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    Belated congratulations mtjohn, I know exactly what you mean. I bought my 03 530i in March and loved it from the first day but I'm really beginning to understand just how brilliant this car is. Rock solid on the highway, beautifully balanced in the twisties, classic styling and nicely screwed together - the perfect sedan.

    I posted this extract from The Times newspaper on the "re-design" thread but it discusses the 530i far more eloquently than I can (excuse the English phraseology):

    "The 3-series is still a standard setter and the normal M3 is extraordinarily good. But the best of the lot is the 5-series.

    I drove a 530i last week and, even though it's been with us for seven years, I still think it's the best executive car of them all. Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar can all offer us more modern alternatives but none can quite match the absolute rightness of the Five.

    It looks good whether it's parked on the block paving outside a Barratt executive home or on the gravel drive of a Georgian vicarage. It suits the underground car park of a Docklands development in London and blends perfectly with the rustic charm of a rural barn.

    This ability to adapt like a chameleon is seen on the road, too. Whether it's on a motorway, a sweeping Welsh A-road or on the way to the pub in Worth Matravers it doesn't just cope, it shines."
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Had Schedule II plus some more maintenance work done today on my CPO '98 540i6. She has 77,400 miles. I've put on the last 25,000 miles. Cost me $1,050.53 (of which $426.53 in parts). [Saved $110.43 due to BMW CCA membership. Thankfully I use the car for business and can deduct this on my income taxes.] But the price didn't seem too bad for all the work done: oil/filter change, coolant change, brake fluid change, transmission fluid change, differential fluid change, lubricate locks/latches, grease wheel centering hubs, replace a/c belt, replace air filter, replace micro-airfilter, replace fuel filter, replace spark plugs, clean fuel injectors, plus diagnostic readout and all the purported inspecting.

    So in first 25K miles I've spent the above plus $160.40 for a maintenance total of only $1,210.93. Plus another $900.58 for new set of ContiSportContract 2 tires (incl. 4-wheel align, mount & balance). And CPO co-pays/non-warranty repairs for another $151.17. Grand total only $2,262.68. Tires account for nearly 40 percent. And this total should last me for another 10K+ miles. That seems reasonable for about 35,000 miles of extremely pleasureable driving!
  • mtjohnmtjohn Posts: 34
    Thanks, Karmikan.
    I actually saw your post from the "Times" in the "re-design" forum. Really struck a chord. Thank you for sharing it. I feel a bit strange writing about an "inanimate" object such as a "car" but so few things these days seem to even approach "absoulute rightness". I am one who believes that BMW reached a truly classic design with the E39 (nothing good to say regarding E60) No worries on the English phraseology--my wife's a Brit from Marlborough (near Swindon)walking distance to Avebury. That part of the UK is wonderful.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Riez is correct, BMW itself does not sell the extended warranty. However, apparently many BMW dealers sell an extended warranty overed by a private company, Car Care Connection. It ain't cheap, I think adding 4 years on to the existing warranty or 100,000 is over $2,000. On the other hand, if something exotic happens you don't have to sweat it and something covered by the warranty is likely to break in that time. The warranty is also transferable. The only major components not covered by the better packages seem to be the water pump and the computer elements. I am thinking about getting the warranty myself. I am similarly situated to jccssc and am thinking about getting the warranty. My four years are up in October. Just bought my 2000 540iT and it has around 28,000 miles.
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    Mtjohn, I too went from a Volvo 850 (1995) to a BMW (540iT in my case). I actually kept my Volvo for Baltimore winters. It feels like a truck in comparison to the Beemer. I used to be in to higher performance cars, ratcheted up to a Porsche that ended up being a major headache, and got out of them for many years. I had stayed away from BMWs because I found them underpowered and heard they were terrible in snow. I never drove a 540 though until the one I bought. It flies. I wish I had learned about them earlier. I love the car.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    diver110... Do a lot of research on both the company issuing the policy and the policy details. The policy isn't worth much unless the company is reputable and has the financial resources to meet its liabilities. And often with these policies, the devil is in the details. Is there a deductible? Exactly what is covered? Exactly what is not covered? Where can you take the car for service? Do you get BMW replacement parts? How is the bill paid? Do you pay in full or do they pay the repair shop directly? What happens if you have a claim while travelling?

    I haven't seen many 3rd party warranties from reputable companies that have been around a long time that are worth the price. Lots of companies have folded. Lots of policyholders have been burned.
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