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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I think the biggest BMW stylistic change took place when the E36 replaced the E30. Yes, there was some carping, but NOTHING like the resistance the E65 and E60 are encountering. Bangle simply doesn't realize that "distinctive" does not mean "gawky" or "odd". Granted, the interior doesn't bother me that much(though the flat dash devoid of instrumentation looks more Buick than BMW), but the exterior says "Pontiac", the side view screams "Camry", and the rear mutters "Kia Rio". It's sad that the only new BMWs which look attractive are the X3 and X5. And the new 6er? Roll it up next to an E24 and try to find anyone other than a BMW salesperson who thinks the new car is more attractive. And I'll bet the BMW salesperson would fail a polygraph test...
  • Is similar to that of a $20,000 Honda Accord.

    I used to remember a time when Honda ripped off BMW designs.
  • I posted on another Edmunds board that the Wall Street Journal said today that BMW is redesigning the 7-series "early". Behind all the hype, they reveal that Sept year over year sales for the 7-series are down 23%. Europe is particularly affected. So, whatever the esthetic opinions we all have, apparently buyers are backing off the 7-series. An Audi dealer I know said he's getting a lot of A8 business from former 7-series owners. Maybe they like the old shape better, but they're the ones who can afford $70-80K for a car. Most 20 or 30 somethings can't. So, the Bangle design appears to be a marketing miscue BMW is trying to correct early.

    Your point about the E39 looking like a Buick (meaning old looks for old people, etc., I think) is valid if the new generation E60 knocked your eyes out -- but as designman says, it looks oddly like a Grand Am. I think the point being made is that the design could have been much better than it is, capturing the (usually well-off, anxious-to-buy)existing 5-series buyers while interesting a new generation of younger, aspiring buyers. If the 5 leaves its established market behind, like the 7-series apparently has, BMW suffers. For buyers, a new decision comes up: do you want to pay $40-50K for an odd looking car that will get redesigned in a year or two or wait until later?

    Speaking of odd looking cars, I'm sure there's people out there who think the Pontiac Aztek is the leading edge car they'd like to be seen in. Most think it's simply an odd (very odd) looking car. Wonder if the 5-series is enough of a Aztek-like mistake to simply become an odd-looking car :)?

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    For some reason the current 7 series is outselling all previous 7 models. A lot of people who have such harsh criticism are more likely to spend honda accord type money anyway. I'll take the polygraph right now.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have no bias. I don't and have never owned a BMW, either.

    Opinions are just that and everyone is entitled to their own. That said, your description of the old 5-series looking like a Buick and the new one looking "aggressive, clean and svelte in shape" has me wondering if you need glasses.

    I can accept the new E class as a aesthetic refinement of the previous one. But I cannot accept the new 5 as a aesthetic refinement. It's a radical change and at least to my unbiased eyes, destroys or damages a lot of what made the 5-series attractive. The new one is a lot closer to GM than the old one, IMO.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    My opinion, the 745 is to the 740 as the new 5 series is to the old 5 series. The 745 has grown on me tremendously. The 740 is one of the most handsomely conservatily designed cars ever, that is now long in the tooth. The 745 picks up at the right place, interior and exterior. To me the same analogy holds for the 5 series.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I don't at all get what these GM to BMW comparisons are. What part of the car looks GM or Honda for that matter? Get a little more specific because I'm sitting here looking at the cars all the time and I'll check it out for myself. Obviously, there is a reason why people feel this way. Could you be so kind as to explain what that is? curious
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    bmwseller - I think what premed may have meant to say is the back of the Mercedes C class looks like a Honda. Actually come to think of it, without my glasses the back of a BMW does look like a Honda.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I was an expert marksman in the marine corps several years back and still have excellent vision but this observation is without glasses.

    I have the rear end of the accord in front of me on the dell monitor now and the new 5 series is just feet away in the middle of the showroom.........

    There are virtually no similarities but the 'bimmer sure does cost a lot more.
  • cjs2002cjs2002 Posts: 341
    Greatings again, I'm glad to say that I'm offically set on getting this car. I drove it again on my own and simply love it more than any other car that I've looked at. as for price wise, in comparing the leases of the 5 to some of the other cars I was looking at (G35, X type, CTS, C class) the lease payments work out to be only 15 - 35 dollars more. which in my opinion is just fine, considering the fact that now that I know what I do about this car, I must admit that bmw brand is extreamly good when compared to some of these cars. I've spoken to my mother, and she's reluctantly agreed (she was only against the fact that its a 40K car) which I can understand, but I sat down with here and showed the lease prices of all the vehicles (sticker price on them, but haven't argued out prices yet) so now that she sees it on paper shes ok with it. my father and I are going to go looking at some other out of state dealor ships some weekend in november to see if we can either get a better deal and also find a way to get a 525 sooner. wish us luck and thankx for all the help
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Good luck with your car.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    7 Series sales are poor. Down significantly from last year. MB S-class rose. A8 rose.

    Units Sold in USA
    Make Model September 2003 August 2003 YTD 2003 YTD 2002
    Mercedes-Benz S-Class 2,025 1,622 15,981 14,534
    BMW 7 Series 1,457 1,817 14,410 16,296
    Lexus LS 430 1,739 2,168 15,583 19,909
    Aura 3.5 RL 590 769 5,457 7,557
    Audi A8 520 93 2,311 831
    BMW 5 Series 2,911 2,061 33,129 28,932
    BMW M5 64 28 1,356 1,248
  • Recently test drove new 5 series and although not overly impress by the design, I am surely considering a purchase. I would have never even considered buying previous designs. Also previous designs did not lend itself for long distance traveling due to poor trunk space. The new 5 series does not compare to Mercedes E class in designs but still a very nice car.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Forgot about the XJ. Its sales are improving.

    Units Sold in USA
    Make Model September 2003 August 2003 YTD 2003 YTD 2002
    BMW 7 Series 1,457 1,817 14,410 16,296
    Jaguar XJ Series 1,020 582 7,160 6,521

    Will be most interesting to see what happens to 5 Series sales when comparing E39 to E60. Betting BMW is pretty nervous right now.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    You bet they're nervous. Notice how the E60 print ads show nothing but a front 3/4 view. I hope the E60 tanks-maybe then the BMW AG board will realize the emperor is wearing no clothes.
  • I had the old "check engine soon" light on my E-39, so I was forced to the dealer. I drove the new 5er. I likes the overall drive and ride. Perhaps a bit too smooth and disconnected, but real nice. The I-drive was not working, much to the salesman's embarasment, and the spedo backlight kept coming on and going off during the test drive. Electronic gremlins and Pontiac looks together in one package. Oh, but I own an E-39, so I am biased.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    LOL!!! It seems like most every dealer has several E65s in the service bays- all in the process of having one or more of their computers reprogrammed, rebooted, or upgraded. New BMWs have always been notorious for having new model teething problems(ever wonder why you can't give a 1992 E36 away?), but the additional electronics really exacerbate the problem. FWIW, my 1997 E39 was an early build car, but the first owner sorted out most all of the problems before he traded. The CPO warranty covered another couple of glitches for me. At 94K it's still tight and dead-nuts reliable, but I'm sure as heck going to buy the Bentley manual before it hits 100K.
  • sunilbsunilb Posts: 407
    The added electronics of the E60 are definitely scary. Plus, they are using Microsoft software for iDrive-- what were they thinking?!? I'd be nervous about the system crashing and having to reboot.

    I'm not adverse to technology, just MSFT platforms. It would have been such a great idea if they had worked with Apple for the OS (the only times I've had to reboot my Apple machine is when I moved!).
  • wth3wth3 Posts: 2
    I am currently looking to purchase a new 2004 530i or a used 2003 745i with 9000 miles. The reviews of the 2002 745i's scare me, seems like nothing but problems. Are the 2003 any better? I drove both cars and really liked them. My wife actually fell asleep on the test drive of the 2003 745i. You can't put a price on that option! I am looking for comments on the 2003 745i for reliability and anything on the 530i. I know the 530i has just come out but if anyone has any information I would appreciate it. My wife will be driving the car most of the time and I do not want her to be driving to the repair shop the majority of the time. I enjoy warm dinners and I do not want to get the cold shoulder from her repair shop experience. Thanks for your help!
  • I'd buy neither. The i-drive alone is reason to avoid the 7. It is terrible. If you forge ahead with the 7, MAKE SURE both you and your wife are completely comfortable with the i-drive, although I don't see how you could be. The new 5 just has too many issues, and it is very price y. How about an 02-03 530 or even 540? How about an 02 740? (Notice I said NOTHING about looks.)
  • cjs2002cjs2002 Posts: 341
    lol... please befor I sign the final papers... what issues are you talking about with the new 5? I thought it was a good car, are there problems I should know and consider? thankx
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    wth3... I concur with tlmmhowell.

    Read the latest (12/03) issue of Car & Driver. Six (6) car comparison test with 745i. 745i comes out in 3rd place. They love the way it performs but not the way you have to drive and live with it. Some excerpts:

    "We've given iDrive 18 months to persuade us. It failed. Now the F is in ink. Fearless prediction: The 745i will take a beating on resale ... The 745i is also less appealing than all the others in its interior design. Do you get the idea this is the car we love to disparage? ... The Verdict: So relentlessly high-tech even the dashboard wood looks virtual."

    If you just want your wife to go to sleep, save some serious money and buy a Lexus LS430!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    BMW used to be at the top of nearly every C&D test. In the past year the M3 and M5 lost out to Audi S4 and S6 while the X5 got popped by the Cadillac SRX. Now granted, a lot of the test criteria are subjective and I don't doubt C&D is rating the BMWs lower in order to avoid the frequent accusations that they are in Munich's pocket-as happened in the mid-90's when the ti Sport got bumped into second place so that BMW wouldn't sweep the "Best Handling Car in America" test series. The E60's third place is more ominous; it's clear to one and all that the wonderful drivetrain and suspension cannot overcome the awkward styling and overly complex control interface. To quote on of the cruising teens in American Graffiti:"What a waste of fine machinery".
  • I own a 97 540. I wanted to get a new car. I looked at the new BMW 545 and with all the add ons it will cost 65k. I know its a great car but why when i am spending 55k on a car I have too pay more to get better seats, and radio etc. I looked at the new Acura TL and it is not as good as the BMW, but I don't see the 30k difference between the 2 cars. What is BMW doing are they crazy?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The way I look at it BMW has choices and prices for choices. I'm not quite sure if the Lexus SC430 coupe for example, is twice the car as the TL for twice the money. Yes it's a coupe vs a sedan, but that is the mindset you have to get into when you buy more expensive automobiles. My bet if you drove the 545i and the TL back to back you would understand the differences in these vehicles. Look at the SL600, is it worth 4 TLs with much less room?
  • That's not my point. Why should I have too pay 1800 extra for a decent radio on a 55k car. I just resent it.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I agree completely. The new 5-series is a serious step backwards for BMW in design, excessive gadgetry and declining price/value.

    I am very glad to have traded up to the M5 last year. It didn't cost me much more than the new 545i and I didn't suffer the insult of being nickle and dimed.

    This is a dark time for BMW. I thought for sure that the negative publicity and consumer reaction to the 745i would have taught them something. As someone who has rarely not had a BMW of some sort in his garage since buying an M1 in 1979, the ONLY BMW left for me to consider if my M5 gets stolen would be a 3-series / M3. This is truly sad.
  • k5rk5r Posts: 2
    I wonder if this vent is supposed to be blowing cold air while the heat settings are on full blast. I have owned this car for one and a half years now and only yesterday i just reached my hand back in front of the vent to see if it was nice and warm and was shocked to feel ice cold air. The air conditioner button is not on at all either. The rear vent only has an open-close switch. I sat in the car(engine running of course) for twenty minutes trying all the buttons but no warm air came. So I went to bed depressed.
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