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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • It seems that most of the 530i's are gone from California. The few that are left the dealers are trying to sell a few thousand above invoice. Is it similar elsewhere? If not, how difficult is it to try to buy out of state? It sounds like others are able found more on the east coast and below invoice.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    As the end of my CPO warranty got nearer and nearer (2/04), I kept getting more nervous about owning a '98 540i6 with 80,000 miles. The last 26,000 miles have been a blast, but my thoughts kept turning to what might go wrong. So after looking around at some alternatives, I took the plunge and sold her. I didn't want to try and trade her in during winter. She rides on summer-only tires. Midwest dealers aren't looking for these type cars in winter. (I won't miss the black exterior but I will miss what a great car she was to drive. 155 mph top speed, great mid-range acceleration, and 26 mpg doing highway cruising.)

    I really would like to have gotten another CPO 540i6, say a '00 or '01, but there just haven't been any in my geographic area for past 6 months. Closest my local BMW dealer came was a '99 540i6, but it was an early build unit that would go out of CPO coverage in 12/04 and the original 4/50 had expired due to time, not mileage. (My local BMW dealer won't provide loaner cars unless you buy from him and I live 36 miles away. I hated sitting around while having work done.)

    So today I traded her in on a brand new 2004 Lexus IS300 manual (with LSD). Built 8/04. I had been looking for an '03 but this one just came in the truck yesterday. Similar 330i would be about $6,000 more expensive. Even a similarly equipped 325i would be about $2,000 more expensive. Since I drive about 20K annually, I really liked the fact I can buy a 7yr/100K not-quite-b-to-b warranty extension thru Lexus at time of purchase and finance it with purchase (and count it toward tax depreciation).
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    I might be purchasing/leasing a 530iA PP,SP,etc... There was mention of a website where you could purchase the pricing info on the 530 that went into greater detail than the usual website.

    Also, i'm trading my Saab in. Is there any advice on making this transaction?

    Pros and cons on purchasing or leasing? Does BMW offer a 72 mo. purchase? Interest rates any good?
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,042
    fan of traditional performance sedans goes Asian.

    Good luck, Riez.

    I'd probably go with the G35 if my car were totalled tomorrow, since it's no longer made with the manual. The IS300 appeared to me to be too much of a boy-racer thing, but I'm not meaning to throw mud. Different strokes, and all that.

    I quit following the IS board a couple of years ago, but I may have to re-suscribe. Riez is as interesting as Shipo is kind & polite.

    Speaking of which, where's Shipo been?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    cdnpinhead... I wanted an affordable RWD, 3.0L or bigger, I6, IRS, 5/6M, and LSD. That really narrows the field. Optioned 530i or 330i pretty pricey. Only M3 and M5 have LSD. IS300 has a ton of standard equipment (e.g., Xenon HID). Plus cheap long-term financing on new '04s. And a dealer who wouldn't low-ball every trade. My local BMW dealer is a pain to negotiate with. Think I've seriously tried to buy a car from him at least 5 times since 1996. Always get hung up on the trade in. He is king of the low ballers. I've never been able to buy from him. Last time I even kidded the salesperson about it after we failed, yet again. (Too bad, I would've liked a 3 Series coupe.)
  • Trade in's are not worth the hassle with Dealer's. Keep the deal seperate, right? Sell the car on your own. I have sold 4 cars this way and have been successful all 4 times. No question it is a pain at times, but it enables you to brush up on your marketing, social and economic skills and what a thrill once the deal is made! (which is completed when the check clears!).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    billbrox... I do it for three reasons. Taxes--I don't pay tax on the trade-in portion. That saves me hundreds of dollars (over $1,000 a piece on each of my recent two trades). In my state, seller pays the tax on car. Time--I can get the money today, rather than later, and I don't have to invest any time with ads, prospective buyers, etc. Treasure--Banks often seem hesitant to lend in 3rd party cases. I've had 3rd party sales attempts fall thru because the person couldn't get financing to buy my car. For my '98 540i6, not sure any of my local banks would lend someone $20,000 plus on a 6-yr car with 80,000 miles.

    Wonder if the average BMW dealer low balls trades more than other marques. No firm evidence but my local BMW is notorious for offering the least amount possible on trades. Too bad, or else I might have had a half a dozen BMWs over the past 8 years or so. And I might be driving at least one today.
  • Can certainly understand your frustration with BMW dealers. The IS 300 is a great car probably just what you need for the many miles you travel each year. Many happy smiles and miles with it. I understood your post but can not fathom just what is IRS? Independent rear suspension? Eh? Are you going to continue to post here from time to time or will we lose you just like we did
    Snagiel and Shipo and others? Hope not. Your contributions are well received.Thanks.
  • Getting my 525i rear passenger windows and rear winshield tinted.

    Getting it tinted froma company called based in San Jose, CA.
    Any experience wuth this guy?

    Also any downfall in getting windows tinted as far as radio reception etc?
  • >>Wonder if the average BMW dealer low balls trades more than other marques. No firm evidence but my local BMW is notorious for offering the least amount possible on trades. Too bad, or else I might have had a half a dozen BMWs over the past 8 years or so. And I might be driving at least one today.

    Not my experience. Dealer gave me a fair price right off the bat.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Congrats on your new car. Ditto dabimmer's comments about you continuing to post here. I was just curious if you had looked into the certified program that Lexus offers before you bought, since that seemed to be a big topic for you.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    I plan to keep up on the board. I'd love to get a CPO '03 M5 in 2005. Or maybe a CPO '03 540i6 in 2005. Just won't be black exterior! Or maybe even a 1 Series in 2005. I'm still a BMW CCA member and I plan on keeping my subscription to Bimmer magazine, so I plan on remaining knowledgeable about BMWs.

    cmr530i... Looked into Lexus CPO program. I was only interested in '02 or '03 IS300 (due to side curtain airbags and some other additions in '02). Couldn't find any '02 or '03 CPO IS300 manuals. If I had, I would've seriously considered. But since I was trading down (I had equity in my trade) and since I could get good financing (3.65 for 60 months on an '04) and since the MSRP for the IS300 is not too steep (mine was only $32,900 even though it is well equipped--full leather, sunroof, LSD, spoiler, & heated seats) and since Lexus dealers were willing to negotiate $2-3K off MSRP, I could get a whole lot of car for not too much money! I could afford to buy new, no problem. Heck, I even sprang for the 7/100 $0 deductible Lexus warranty extension. (Too bad Lexus has such limited free maintenance. Only 1st oil change. Can't have everything!)
  • I COMPLETELY understand your division, Riez. I live in your town and the last 3 BMW's I purchased were NOT from the local dealer. Like you, I tried and tried, but couldn't bend over quite that far.I also own a 99 540 and I am a bit nervous about the same things you spoke about. I absolutely loath the necessary trips to our BMW dealer and since I didn't buy my cars there I have to either arrange a ride home, or bring a good book. You purchase a $40-50K car and are treated like a Kia driver! (Hell, I think they even get loaners!)As I told Mr. Markel when he made the mistake of asking me how I was doing sitting around at his dealership one fine day,"I won't be buying my next car here, and unfortunately I will be forced to buy some other make where I can get appropriate treatment."
    Sorry to say so much, but you really struck a nerve with me. I believe certain BMW dealers are arrogant. They think their product is so good, they don't have to give Lexus type service. I believe they are wrong and I believe Riez is proof of that. Riez, you purchased a fine automobile that will certainly be more reliable than anything BMW manufactures. I also believe it will be a hoot to drive.I hope you enjoy your new ride; I believe in our town you made a very good decision! Like the others, I encourage you to stay in touch.(By the way, what is LSD? Not something from my college days, I assume!)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Tlmmhowell, in addition to being something from your college days LSD is Limited Slip Differential, or AWD/2.

    BMW ownership is a trade-off whether you live in LA or Anchorage. Lucky is the person who has nothing to moan about with a bimmer although not everyone is forthcoming about it.

    Riez, no one can argue a practical Toyota/Honda purchase. The reliability and economics of these cars speak for itself. Good luck with your new ride. However, I'm wondering if you will admit to synergy withdrawal when it happens... whoa, my apologies... you already did in the first paragraph of your last post. Says here you'll have that M5 sooner than you think. There's no turnin' back and I think you know it. ;-)
  • So I became intoxicated with the '03 530i and loaded it up with; PP, SP, CWP, Xenon, Sound, BUT.....I am a bit remorseful about deciding on tan interior with Toledo Blue Metallic exterior (it's a more "classic" look as my friends say), I kind of prefer the gray interior over the tan interior (I just saw one in the parking lot). Your thoughts....PLEASE.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    tlmmhowell... Sorry I struck so close to home. I concur with everything you said. Not all BMW dealerships are as "bad" as ours. The one in Des Moines, Iowa, was pleasant to deal with when I bought my wife's CPO 323ia, so was the one in Appleton, Wisconsin, where I bought my CPO 540i6. Guess there are alwasy some less than best apples in every bunch?

    I've never met the higher ups at our local BMW dealership. When I have to wait, I walk over to the co-joined Ford dealership and wait there. They have a bigger, dedicated waiting room. I try to blend in over there. Head down, be quiet, read a magazine (I bring a stack with me to keep busy). I don't feel so out of place hanging around with them as opposed to being forced to hang out in the BMW side because I can't get a loaner. (You should see the Omaha & Des Moines Lexus dealerships. They are palatial. Wonderful waiting areas. I can't wait to wait there for my free loaner.)

    designman... There is only one E39 M5. The best 4-door sedan ever built. Too bad I can't afford one new! Not sure I'll like the E60 M5 when it finally arrives. Too gadgety.
  • I have 2 E-39's, one gray and one tan. The gray is fantastic and far superior in my opinion.
  • Thanks for the response TIm........"I was afraid you were going to say that"......I think you are right though.... the gray is the way.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "There is only one E39 M5. The best 4-door sedan ever built."

  • Color can be so personal,so it is understandable if you convince yourself the grass is greener with a different combo. Don't beat youself up over this. Toledo/Tan,Ox Green/Tan are nice and yes.,"classic" at least as much as one could call color combos classic.... My 2 Cents = You have a nice car,nicely equipped. Enjoy it or ,if you can't get past the tan, plan to trade it. Only you can decide.
  • Congratulations on your new car Riez, nice choice. Many happy miles in it until the M5 rolls into your driveway!

    I can relate to your dealership experiences but from a different perspective. I was shopping for a car Feb/Mar of this year and narrowed my choice to an MB 320 and a 530. The MB dealership was arrogance personified, not just one salesperson but everyone I had contact with. The test drive was a ho-hum affair and when it came to price they tried to severely low-ball me on the trade. When I tried to discuss discounts the sales manager looked at me as if I was a chimp reciting Shakespeare.

    I made an appointment for a test drive at my local (to where I work) BMW dealership and was honestly expecting a similar experience. My salesperson was Mitzi Brown and she said that she'd drive first to demonstrate the car. She drove to an empty parking lot and went through a series of very high speed slaloms and emergency stops "see, no brake fade". Probably a combination of a really good driver and a great car but I was amazed and in love with the car already. We switched seats and I drove around while Mitzi answered some pretty technical questions - she really knew her stuff. We set up another appointment for a drive with my wife.

    When the time came to discuss price it turned out to be absolutely painless. Immediate factory discount plus a very nice dealer discount (total well below invoice) - all without any prompting from me. I thought "Ok, so they're going to take it out of the trade". Mitzi said that her service manager once worked for Audi (I was dealing a Passat) and "he should be able to get you a good price". The price came back at the high end of my anticipated trade range but Mitzi checked a couple of sites on the Web "just to make sure". I was introduced to at least 6 key people at the dealership who each gave me their card in the event I needed help.

    Icing on the cake - last week I went to the unveiling of the E60 at the dealership and ran across Mitzi. "Hi Mike, how are you enjoying your 530?" Just astonishing!

    Treat the customer like a Customer and they'll probably drop a pile of cash on your lap, then keep on coming back when the new car itch needs to be scratched. The concept seems so simple yet so few dealerships seem able to grasp it.

    To renew some faith in BMW Reiz, this is the best dealership of any brand that I'd dealt with. I'll be back for an E60 once they've re-designed it.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    "Treat the customer like a Customer and they'll probably drop a pile of cash on your lap, then keep on coming back when the new car itch needs to be scratched. The concept seems so simple yet so few dealerships seem able to grasp it."

    Especially with the popularity of leasing luxury marquees now-a-days.

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

  • Did you ever get the resolution to your headlight problem? I am picking up a new vehicle tomorrow and, like Guaping, am wondering how you could tell for sure - especially in the daylight.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    karmikan... Concur. I've only had problems trying to buy a car with my local BMW dealer. I've had positive experiences with their service dept., though the loaner policy is the pits (you have to buy from him). The other two I've dealt with were both outstanding. (It isn't just BMW that has differences amongst its dealer base. My local Lexus dealer is fantastic. The one in Des Moines was horrible: lowball on trade and a salesperson who tried every hokey trick in the book.)

    Having a knowledgeable salesperson who knows and loves the cars is an asset. But I also don't mind a newish salesperson who likes cars but quickly admits they don't know too much about a specific car. Credibility is key. Just be honest and upright. No tricks and no pretending.

    Not sure redesign does it for me with E60. BMW and MB are just making their cars to gadgety. Pricey. There are so many things on them that I don't need, want, or would even use. For example, even with my "low" tech E39, I never did use the DSP function of the stereo. Just seems to make the music sound artificial. Nor did I ever use any features of the onboard computer other than clock and miles to go before fuel runs out. Heck, I never even tried to learn to use its myriad features. I just didn't need any of that other data.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    So the E60 is on the showroom floors in Canada? My dealer claims end of this month so that all the local dealers have cars at the same time.

    Your impressions of the E60?
  • I'll throw a plug in for V O B of Rockville, MD. While my initial impression was not the warm and fuzzy type and there was enough testosterone in that showroom to fill an oil drum, I did find refuge in one sales persons office and Ilhan Birgin guided me through the maze of BMWism's......young, smart and genuine, Ilhan came through, followed up and taught me a whole lot more than just BMW's. As a famous actor/politician once said "I'll be bock"...
  • I don't think that the E60 is generally on showroom floors yet. The event I went to seemed to have been a travelling road show to unveil the new model. I'd guess that they whisked the cars away to another dealership after the show.

    I posted some thoughts on the "Re-design" thread on Tues of last week, you can take a look if you're interested. Overall, not impressed.

    BTW I should plug the dealership - Town & Country BMW, Hwy 407 & Kennedy in Markham.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Well, lucky me, I guess. I have been spotting the new 5 since early this year in Berlin and they are now officially introduced in Germany and other parts of Europe. The cars have been delivered way before the launch date.

    I have only spent a few minutes in a showroom, but the overall build quality (those that you can see anyway) seems quite good. The material used in the interior "looked" better than those found in E39 to me, at least. Leather feels softer, and the color of the wood was darker on this particular example, I liked it as well. The seat was the "comfort seat" in the front and felt better than most I have tried up to this point. The only time I sat in an automobile seat and felt that good right away was in a Volvo V70, strangely enough. I still like the dash layout in E39, but the new one will look better if you like simple style. It looks much "cleaner". The rear seats, to me, did not look any more comfortable than those in E39. I am only 5'11' and do not have long legs.

    Trunk with the wide opening will be handy, and it did have a space for a spare tire. However, as far as I know, most with 17+ inch rims will have run flats. The stereo will play mp3 according to the one of the reviews I read.

    I, like many of you, do not like the exterior much. The rear seems ok after a while not that it looks great, but in a non-offending way. The front, well, where do I start. I did see a spy pic of M5 and the M5 looks slightly better with the additional body work. I also saw AC-Schnitzer (>Models->E60) version of E60, and the front looks better, but the rear is too busy for my taste.
  • Just dropped my 540 off for service and there were two new E60 models. They were being prepped in the service area. I thought they looked a lot better in person than I've seen in photograghs. I didn't look too close, but they were 530 models, with a $52,000 sticker price.
  • Well, we picked up the 530 today and decided to go with "option B", the one w/xenons, DSP, and th split seats. We didn't get a very detailed walk-through on the vehicle but that is ok, we had a lunch date. As the missus drove home behind me I noticed the daytime lights weren't on so we turned around and they reset the computer. He also said he was programming the key but it didn't seem to take. It doesn't reset the seats, etc. So, I will bring it back. Overall, we got a great deal and it was pleasant, but they didn't roll out the red carpet. That's fine by me. But I do have a few anal questions I will adress in separate posts.
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