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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • U.S. Models: 525i 530i 545i 545i 6-spd
    Base Price Euro Delivery Wholesale Price Munich Pick Up: $33,260 $37,490 $45,955 $45,955
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    I drive 03 530i. Wife drives 03 X5. X5 is MUCH better with children. Easier to load, more room, can hauls bikes, etc.


  • daswolf
    Thanks for the prices!

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    postoak... As I suspected, the source doesn't appear to clear up the issue. Besides the anonymous, second-hand nature of the source, I read this to indicate some confusion about the widespread practice of holdback and separate CSI-related payments. The former are clearly in the industry. The latter are murkier, mixed in with contracts, franchise law, etc. Not sure the writer adequately differentiates the two or is properly applying them.

    A BMW dealer likely wouldn't get the holdback on ED since the buyer is getting the car direct from the manufacturer. The holdback is paid by the manufacturer for cars the dealer sells. (Not sure how BMW NA might or might not get involved in this transaction.) That is logical and a likely reason why many BMW dealers won't move on ED prices or aren't keen to go ED route for their sales.

    Your public citation is:

    "It's been pretty definitively answered by Jon Shafer and others: BMWNA gets substantially cut out of the picture. When you buy in the US, BMW NA holds back some of the money, about 7%, which it then pays dealers each month based on their CSI scores. If they score well, they get most of that money. If not, they get less (or none). If you buy ED, BMW NA doesn't get that holdback money and the dealers don't get any of it at the end of the month. THat's why you don't get to rate the dealer after an ED purchase. In the end, BMW AG gets the same amount either way.
    (and it has nothing to do with duty, because duty on imported cars is only 2.5%, which is less than $1000--clearly not enough to cover the savings, even if the value of the used car were zero, which it's not)."
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    I'm not sure the source of your doubt. In another post I found, Jon Shafer directly states "They also don't have to pay their dealers the "back-end"$$" on EDs...

    A rose by any other name -- holdback or CSI-indexed payments back to the dealer. But, I only have these posts to go on so I can't say I'm at all certain about any of this.

    Still, it's the best explanation I've seen.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    postoak... Holdback is pretty traditional in USA auto industry. Roughly, dealer sells car X and therefore dealer gets Y% of X as holdback and thus ends up with $Z.

    But CSI-related payments or incentives are controversal for dealers. Mfgrs would like to base more things on CSI numbers. Dealers resist, fearful of the more nebulous numbers. But we know the CSI-related numbers get used for some things. That is why dealers work hard to manipulate them. I've had pre-filled out cards before (with all the highest numbers checked off) or the dealership asks me in advance what I'm going to say, recommends saying the highest number, and asks if there is anything they can do to ensure I say the highest number.

    I've read some press articles on CSI issues. Seen some published court cases. Most I remember was CSI-numbers attempting to be used to determine allocations of "hot" models, whether franchises are granted for new dealership, etc. Even here the dealers fight the mfgr. Then the fight is over their contract and the franchise law in the state.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    So you're saying that dealers don't get money back for high CSI numbers? Now, understand, I don't know that to be the case but that seems like a pretty bold statement since it was a BMW dealership GM who said it. Also, that board has several BMW client advisors who post and none of them stepped in and said he was not telling the truth.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    postoak... As I said, CSI-related monetary and other direct payments or incentives are controversial for dealers. They have resisted. GM, Ford, and others have lost big battles with their dealer networks over these issues. They end up being decided on highly technical grounds tied to the contracts and state franchise law. Dealers are very, very powerful at the state level.
  • I saw the picture of the backseat in the brochure (have not been in the car to see this yet). The headrest in the back center seat looks like it sticks way out. If this is true then it would be very uncomfortable for anyone over the age of say 5 years old to sit in that seat. Am I missing something here?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "The salesrep told me that the differential gearing for the E60's is different from the E39 in the 525 and 530 series. Implied that the only way to get noticable low end torque with the 525 (and the 530) is with the sport package, which has different gearing."

    Either this rep is not up on his tech data (what else is new?) or BMW is a little haphazard in disclosing data in their websites and catalogues. In any event, you ask interesting questions.

    Differential gearing for the E60 525 with or without sport package is the same. Also, differential gearing in E39 525 and E60 525 is the same. Ditto for 530 on both counts.

    Here's the difference as far as I can see. E39 sport packages have a "performance rear axle and torque converter". Apparently this does not appear again with E60 unless it was, for some reason, not disclosed in the BMW catalogues or websites. And it is curious why data on this "performance rear axle and torque converter" was not included in the E39 catalogue... no additional final drive ratio for sport package is listed or footnoted. Could have been an oversight. However I am sure one of the tech enthusiasts around here have looked into it and can provide details.

    BTW, the sport package is just as satisfying on a 525 as it is on a 530. SP is about handling, not torque.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Keep in mind that both E39 and E60 have 525i, 530i, and 540i/545i versions.

    Leaving aside M5, E39 has three different engines. Three different transmissions. There are automatic and manual transmissions. Sometimes the final drive (differential) is different (e.g., between 525ia vs. 540i6). Sometimes individual gearing is different (e.g., between overdrive 5-speed automatics and non-overdrive 5-speed manuals).

    The E39 540ia and 540ia Sport have different final drive (differential). The 540ia Sport Pkg gets the 3.15 final drive and other goodies. (Believe this is the final drive ratio for the M5, even with its 6-speed manual.) Don't believe this is true for the 525ia and 530ia with or without Sport Pkgs.
  • Good thoughts. I've been curious why the E60 525 tiptronic has a different, less noticable 1st gear "push" than the same E39 (same engine, after all). Granted, it isn't much, but seems odd that it isn't there any longer. Seems with a six-speed auto it would be more noticeable than with the 5-speed in the E39. But, I'll stop worrying about it: it is what it is, and there's a lot of places to lose torque with a redesigned transmission and drivetrain.

    Would have thought they've give it more attention, though. Even if it's only a 525, it should deliver a better 1st gear torque than the average Honda....just kidding, purists out there...

    You'll get a kick out of this: when I mentioned the odd torque profile to the rep, he started talking about "improved gas mileage". Now *that's* something I haven't heard before in the same breath as "BMW 5-series"... :) If fuel economy is in the dialog, BMW needs to think about some of the subtleties related to the E60 that make people want to buy a Bimmer...
  • I signed tonight for a 525 with premium, tip and cold weather package for net $41.7, delivered (MSRP is $44.3). I negotiated like h-ll, and did some serious yelling and screaming, and it's my 3rd BMW from this dealer, but that's less than $1K over invoice.

    It's very unlikely others can do that well, but they should be able to get the same car for $1.2-1.5K over invoice if they work at it. That's a far cry from $50K. The 525 and stock 530 handle equally well.

    And while I respct the 530's 225 HP, I've driven both in the E39 and really couldn't tell enough difference to be worth $5-7K more. Actually, I'd spend $3K on the sport package before I'd buy the extra 50HP in the 530; but I'm sure I'm in the minority.

  • Every driver has requirements that can be prioritized against the investment in the vehicle. To some, the $3K is better spent on the SP pkg... to others, on the engine upgrade. Given a fixed budget, this is not unreasonable due to the goodness of the driving experience. I had to have both on my 2003 530 ;-)

    BTW, I drove a 2004 520i 6-SP in Germany back in Sept while in Karlsruhe. Had it for a full day in the Black Forest region of Western Germany... drove into France to visit Strasbourg and the surrounding countryside.

    Loved the drive, but did not warm up to the new car's interior design. I much prefer my 2003. Can feel the positive results of the new technologies/features, just don't like to look at the result!

    I find the rear 3/4 view the least appealing. Don't care for the "flat" dash - reminds me of a '50's GM car. Prefer the cockpit feel of the e39.

    Hope I will warm to the new design and that BMW catches on to the perceived quality lapses in the interior. MB fought this battle with the 1st-edition of the latest S-Class and others - was a letdown for them. My CLK saw steady improvements from the 1998 introduction.

    Will say that BMW certainly understands how to engineer a vehicle to drive like no other and is probably the most successful at distributing this trait across their car lines.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    While I opted for the 530 when I bought my '02, I can completely understand the saleablity of the 525. As you note Snaigel, it DOES provide the minimum power required, which I think can be read as "adequate". And by careful shopping, bentley has got himself nearly the exact same chassis (and driving dynamics) as a 545 which can cost nearly $20k more--not to mention they look identical. And while there's nothing like h.p., the driving dynamics and refinement of a 5-series obviously hold great appeal to all of us, and bentley gets that in full measure with his 525, with a big chunk of dough still in the bank.

    Hey, something about different strokes...
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    Did you get an '04 or '03? If it's the E39, then you got an '03. BTW, I too bought a brand new '03 E39 525i and COULD NOT justify the extra thousands for 41 h.p., and as you suggested, I DID get the sports package along with the premium package. I also made the dealer include the 6 CD changer at cost. But what I paid was made even better, because of the national BMW incentive at the time.

    I ended up paying $3,000 below invoice because of it. I purchased mine in August. This is my second 5 series and I love the car!
  • sdg380 -- well said.

    bmwmrc -- I got an E60. My E39 was a 2001. Wonderful car, but coming off lease and frankly, owning a 5 is enough of a toy for me to want a new one every three years, rather than buy out the lease. I shop agressively because that's the way I always shop, but at the end of the day its not only about good economics, it's about what you like.

    However, if you got $3K below invoice for the last production year of one of the best cars ever built, then you got an outstanding deal. I'll miss my E39, but time rolls on.

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Could you answer some of my BMW lease questions? This is the first time I have leased a BMW and currently have 1 year left on my lease.

    1. Does BMW do anything special for you if you again lease a BMW after the first lease (better price, terms, etc.)?
    2. I am currently about 1000 miles over the allowed mileage. How strict are they on the mileage requirement when you again lease a BMW?
    3. Do you have any suggestions regarding how to better negotiate a new lease.
    4. In your situation, if I may ask, what was the lease buy-out price on the e39? Was it below current market price?
    5. On your e60, if I may ask, how long and how many miles is your lease and what is residual and money factor?
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    After reading the other threads, I realized you were in the market for an E60. I test drove the E60 and loved the ride, but I'm not a big fan of Bangle's design. Unlike you, I buy my cars and I usually hold onto them for approximately five years. My last BMW, was a 5 series as well, but a 1995. I purchased it as a certified pre-own in 1998. The car was fantastic! Bought it with only 32K miles from the same dealer, where I bought my new 2003. The reason why I purchsed a CPO and not a new 1997 or 1998, was I loved that older body style, and the dealer offered me a great price on the car, which was really like buying a 1996 (I realize BMW didn't make a '96 5 series), because whoever owned the car before, purchased it brand new December 27, 1995.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    1. Does BMW do anything special for you if you again lease a BMW after the first lease (better price, terms, etc.)?

    BMWFS doesn't, except they'll usually waive the security deposit. Now, the dealer may not "bump" the rate or "bump" it as much for a returning customer. BTW, BMWFS isn't as competitive at the moment as they usually are.

    2. I am currently about 1000 miles over the allowed mileage. How strict are they on the mileage requirement when you again lease a BMW?

    Between BMWFS and the dealer, they can make the miles "go away" if you buy or lease with them. As a hint to others, you pay $.20 for over miles, but you can purchase extra miles at $.16 up to 9 months before contract end. You can do it on-line and have it included in your next statement.

    3. Do you have any suggestions regarding how to better negotiate a new lease.

    Arm yourself with the rates that are currently available from BMWFS and some of the bigger leasing companies so you know if the dealer is giving you the rate without "bumping" it.

    4. In your situation, if I may ask, what was the lease buy-out price on the e39? Was it below current market price?

    BMWFS changes their residuals often to reflect the changing market. Some lease companies will negotiate the residual at lease end. The optimun time to do this seems to be in the last 45 days of the lease. You can find the wholesale, auction, trade-in price to get a realistic idea of what the leassor will get for your vehicle. If that number is more than a $1000 less than your residual and you want the car, add, say, $500 to it and make a firm offer to a manager of the leasing company.

    5. On your e60, if I may ask, how long and how many miles is your lease and what is residual and money factor?


    Happy Motoring,

  • ..let me add a couple of observations to your comprehensive answer to pen101. The numbers correspond to pen's original questions.

    2. Since I'm coming off my first lease and am below mileage, the only negotiating point was the marginal condition of my rear tires. Since I'll have bought or leased 3 BMW's at that point, I'll negotiate to get out of the cost of the tires, but have no experience to offer on how flexible BMWFS is.

    3. Since a surprising number of people walk in with no knowledge, being able to speak comfortably about residuals (should be .62 of MSRP right now for the 5) and money factors (.00235), and particularly the imputed interest rate of the money factor, makes you 1000% better off than most. If you look around, there are calculators and board postings available to let you understand every one of the moving parts of a lease. There are a lot of moving parts. Sometimes you can negotiate them, often you cannot; but knowing what they do gives you a very strong negotiating position. If you can speak knowledgeably, you will make enormous progress very fast; the rep will cut through the usual BS rap and talk to you with respect. Also, there are a few services out on the Web that will offer competitive quotes to give you a few alternatives besides BMWFS. It hasn't been my experience that the rates for BMWFS can be moved, but others here have been somewhat successful. Since I couldn't move the lease terms, I decided to beat down the price of the car.

    4. My experience was that BMWFS was not willing to grant a higher residual at end of lease, since the E39 was being replaced and it's current market residuals were unclear. That said, I'm going to take joatmon's advice and see what I can do with them. Never hurts to take a shot at it. BTW, I think pen101 and joatmon were adressing different questions. Joatmon was implying you could buy the car for a lower price from BMWFS, which is likely true. Pen was implying that you might get BMWFS to be forgiving on mileage, etc or to take it back at a higher price. IMHO: they might forgive some wear and tear, are less likely to forgive mileage and are very unlikely to take it back at a higher price than residual.

    5. My residual was .62 and MF was .00235. I did 36mo/36K because it works for my use of the car. As I said above, the rep wasn't willing to move the BMWFS numbers, and by the time we were finished he was giving me a polite but less-than-sincere smile -- I doubt he wanted to do me any favors at that point.

    Since you asked, pen101, let me offer a few thoughts, for what they're worth, on the experience. One thing about buying a car: since you do it many times in your life, investing the time now pays off down the road. And, frankly, its a lot of fun to match wits with an experienced rep. Be polite (unless someone misleads you or tries to bait and switch at the last minute, then start screaming). Use the phone to talk to several of the guys who handle the internet leads. They're used to the phone and know how to dicker with courtesy and respect. Ask a lot of knowledgeable questions. Keep a spreadsheet with the key points of your deal with each dealer. Don't commit to a deal until you're sure that you've got the best price, and rotate through your four dealers to do it. Allow a month, since time is on your side. Gently and courteously push on all the issues until you've got a deal that you believe is fair, then keep your word as you expect them to keep theirs. When you're ready to visit them, go over each of your points with them on the phone and make sure the deal terms are clear.

    To all, if you've had experience with getting BMWFS to move lease terms on the '04 5 series, let the board know what and how. Could be interesting.

    Pen101, hope the above helps. Right now, you should be able to get a 525 for around $1 -- 1.2K over invoice without too much trouble, maybe less if you're persistent. Good luck.
  • then I'll shut up. For all you folks wondering why you negotiate so hard to lower the base price on a lease, here's a few numbers: mine is $577 times 36 or $20.7. An MSRP lease is around $650 times 36, or $23.4. That's $2,700 in your pocket for your efforts. In effect, on a lease, you usually get more than a dollar saved for each dollar you dicker for.

    Happy holidays--
  • IF buying a 2004 E60 545, Can the.62 residual and Money factor of .00235 be obtained on European delivery? Especially for $1500 over ED wholesale???
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    To clarify some points.

    1. A financial institution (like BMWFS or Chase, etc.) offers a lease with a fixed residual and money factor and they are then "sold" to you by a dealer. The dealer may offer it to you marked up (called a "bump") or may offer it at the `offering rate. So, the negotiation is technically with the dealer.

    2. At lease end, some leassors will negotiate, some won't. BMWFS has not usually negotiated much if at all on buyouts for less than residual. However, I understand that they may relax that policy a bit. It never hurst to ask. Another consideration is that the dealer may want your car, esp. if it can be CPOed. If the dealer sees a nice profit on reselling your rig, you may have certain things "forgiven"

    3. Some people are better off buying, some better with leasing. Others could do either. Take my case for eample. I bought an X5 on Feb. 28th. I leased a 530i on April 22nd because the money factor was .0010 for a 36 month, 45k mile lease. I put down 9 extra security deposits making my effective money factor .0001. So putting $4050 in security deposits and paying about $8 a month in lease charges makes sense even if I plan on keeping it long term. Why would I buy with these conditions?

    I recommend that anyone that doesn't have a clear need to either lease or buy that they analyze leasing vs. buying to see what's best for your situation at that time.

    4. Probably the best advice I can give is to never "need" to buy a given car right now. A pro can smell it before you enter the lot. In buying new, there's always another exactly like it. Money factors change and things could get better. No need to rush. BTW, if you send an application to BMWFS, you're locked into a rate for 60 days I believe it is. If the rate gets better, you get the better rate. If the rate goes the other way, you keep the original rate when you applied. If you do it right, you get to pick the best of 3 months offerings.

    Happy Motoring,

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Wow! Thank you jack and bentleyfam25 for your comments. I learned something.
  • I would appreciate if someone can give me some advice on my interest in buying a 5 Series BMW. I have a 96 Saab 900 SE turbo convertible (94K) that just got hit by a deer and is in need of repair. Ideally, I would like to take the insurance repair money and apply it along with the remaining trade-in value and buy a USED 5 Series BMW that has the new handling features.

    Can someone tell me how best to accomplish this with my insurance company as well as what year (e.g., 2001) the 5 Series upgraded to its current handling package.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Regarding your Saab, did the car hit a deer or the deer hit the car? ;-)

    Regardless, your two easiest options regarding the liquidation of your Saab are to have it repaired with the insurance money and then peddle it, or to sell it as is to a third party that is willing to pay you its damaged value (typically a small independent body shop that also has a small used car lot).

    Regarding a used 5-Series, unless I'm mistaken, all E39s equipped with the Sport Package have very similar handling characteristics, assuming that is cars with similar engines (ie. 525i, 528i and 530i should be similar to each other and all of the V8 offerings should also be similar to each other). Div2?

    Good luck, let us know what you do.

    Best Regards,
  • I have ordered my 545-6 speed and it is coming with the Nav Retrofit. I planned to have the Nav installed by the dealer. Does anyone know if the dealer installed Nav is exactly the same as the factory installed system?
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    My 2001 530 with 29K miles on it had to have its camshaft sensor replaced today. Did anyone else have to do the same? The symptoms were: hard to start, stalling, and yellow check engine light on.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    For those considering 3rd Party Service Contracts, check out the "Crime & Courts" section of today's Des Moines Register newspaper. Story titled, "Firms sued over auto contracts. Ponzi scheme defrauded a million, lawsuit alleges."

    The original issuer and marketing company goes bankrupt and the reinsurance was limited. Reinsurer's liquidation proceeding are in the Cayman Islands.
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