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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • tenet1tenet1 Posts: 354
    I guess long term sales will tell the story of the E60. I for one and really starting to like this car. I hated the rear but really love it now, especially when following an e60 on the freeway. This car has presence and a very fresh look, and from what I have read so far on various message boards, this vehicle drives better than the e39. I think that the new design will grow on people as did the e46. Though I am not sure if I will ever like the whale shaped 7 series.

    Lets hope they dont raise the prices when the new engines are out.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I think that the new design will grow on people as did the e46."

    Hmmm, I've been participating on this board since before the E46 came out, and while I heard various gripes about how the E46 was bigger and slightly heavier than the E36, I don't think I ever heard folks decry its looks. In fact, from what I remember, most folks thought that the E46 was at least as attractive as the E36.

    The E60 and E65 are another matter entirely; true, there are a number of folks that find them attractive, however, my bet is that the E60 5-Series doesn't sell anywhere near as well over its life span as the E39 did. Time will tell. In the case of the E65, it seems to be at lease selling as well as its ancestor, however, from my perspective, that car wasn't all that exciting either. To me at least, BMW attempted to do what Dodge did with the pickup truck back in 1994, which was to replace a model that was rather milquetoast in appearance with one with a more revolutionary look. It worked for Dodge; I seriously doubt that it will work for BMW.

    Best Regards,
  • Sounds like you guys are expecting "design by committee." That might make for an entertaining show on HGTV, but it would be disaster for designing a sports sedan. No ... I much prefer the singular vision of one "mad scientist" (though, in truth, not even Bangle was flying solo on the E60 design -- there was a pretty well-qualified team working around him). I can't imagine driving a car that was designed based on the collective recommendations of a bunch of wanna-be sketchers. The fact that the E60 is causing such an uproar with BMW traditionalists upon its debut will, I suspect, be what we look back upon as the first sign that this car was destined for great things. It breaks the mold and I love it.

    Couldn't help but notice that the Edmunds reviewers appear to have been pandering to the crowd (in here) with their shots at the iDrive. I still don't get the criticism. I learned how to use it in the first 15 minutes. And this naive argument -- that it's too difficult to change radio stations and operate the air conditioning with the dial -- is a straw man. I programmed the preset stations for AM & FM and the automatic settings for the climate control ... and that's it. From then on I've used the steering wheel buttons to change stations and the dash controls to adjust temperature and other climate-related features. Those "star" and "diamond" buttons that leave the Edmunds reviewers perplexed? They're programmed to do whatever the hell you want them to do. I now know why these guys have jobs reviewing cars -- they can't figure out how to do anything else. The only reason I get into iDrive now is every couple weeks when I reset the tire pressure monitor after I put air in the tires.

    And this bit about the E60 not having any power? That doesn't hold water. It's got the same engine as the E39, but it's lighter and better-balanced. I never saw Edmunds complain about the E39's pick up. I've driven both and it's not even close: the E60 blows the E39 away.

    I have no idea what they're complaining about on the interior door pulls. They must have short arms. Plus, the ergonomics are better with the front positioned pulls. They leave a nice resting place for your left forearm; something that's unavailable with conventional interior pulls centered on the door -- because it breaks up what would otherwise be a continuous, linear space.

    My one complaint about the E60 is the electronics. They seem to be a little hinky. I'm guessing it's just the typical first-year kinks.

    Ultimately, I can tell you one thing for certain: not once when I've pulled up next to an Infiniti, Lexus, MB or E39 have I yet thought to myself "gee, wish I'd gotten that one instead."
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,386
    Maybe the CPO people at BMW got together with the BMWFS people and purposefully botched the design of the E60:) Think about it.

    Many leasing companies have been taking a bath as far as residual values go in the past few years. The E60 is designed and when BMWFS calls you to see if you want to buy out your lease, they won't negotiate. You say no and BMWFS says, "fine then enjoy an E60 if you want another BMW...HA HA HA <insert evil laugh here>.

    Now let's say you decline to buy out your lease. The CPO circut is now full of E39 5ers which are now considered "hot commodities" and fetching top dollar. CPO sales rise. CPO dealers make more money off the CPO cars.

    NOw I need to get some sleep:)-

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

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, design by committee; nope, I have always preferred a single design genius executing the overall plan as opposed to a camel with three humps. ;-) Regarding iDrive, I haven't ever used it and as such, I've never bashed it, or for that matter, commented on it with anything other than a neutral "wait and see" attitude.

    Regarding the E60 "blowing away" the E39, well, we are going to have to disagree there I'm afraid. According to BMW, the weight difference is only 33 pounds, which works out to less than one percent (0.953% to be exact). Now, if you can tell me that a couple of bags of groceries are going to make enough of a difference for one car to blow away another, then I'm afraid we have different definitions of the phrase.

    Objectively speaking, BMW has the E60 530i 6-Speed rated at 6.6 seconds to 60, which is, if I'm not mistaken, the same rating as (or even a little slower than) what they gave the E39 530i 5-Speed. Once again, ain't no way the E60 is blowing anything away there.

    Regarding pulling up next to other cars, every time I see an E60 I have to restrain myself from patting myself on the back in congratulations for getting the E39 before they were gone forever (new ones that is). ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • I have 225/55 HR 16 on my E39 with SP. Can someone tell me what the recommended tire pressure is? Based on the manual it should be 33/41 (f/r) which seem to be high to me.

    Also, what is it for the standard summer 17" rims?
    Thanks is advance
  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    In regards to your comment:
    "I think (refering to the G35)its a valid competitor of the 3 series, but the 5 series... I don't think so."

    The facts may surprise you:
    __________________________5 Series_________G35
    Horsepower_______________225 @ 4,900rpm____260 @ 6,000rpm
    Torque (lb-ft)_____________214 @ 3,500rpm____260 @ 4,800rpm
    Weight(Auto)_____________3,483lbs._________3,336 lbs.
    Front Headroom___________37.70_____________40.10
    Rear Headroom____________37.90_____________37.90
    Front Legroom____________41.5______________43.60
    Rear Legroom_____________36.00_____________34.60
    Front Shoulder___________57.30_____________56.40
    Rear Shoulder____________57.20_____________55.50
    Passenger Volume (cu ft)__99.10_____________112.80
    Cargo Volume (cu ft)_____14.00_____________14.80

    So you can see that the G35 actually compares more favorably to the 5 series than the 3 series. (Data source MSN auto)
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,085
    going to crucify (sorry, it's topical) you on that rear legroom thing . . . to say nothing of (as if) the shoulder room situation.

    The reality is that most of the people who buy cars in this class (or cars which aspire to be) drive them alone 90+% of the time. These are not family cruisers.

    However, when it's necessary to take more than one business associate (or the wife & kids) somewhere, it's a good thing (sorry for yet another topical reference) if it's easy to do.

    I prowl every board that discusses any manual-transmission-having, excellent-handling, good-audio-system-possessing transportation device that I can buy when my current ride expires.

    This one is the benchmark, but the G35 wins the "if my car were totalled tomorrow, what would you buy with the settlement cheque" award.

    It's pleasant to have such choices.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "So you can see that the G35 actually compares more favorably to the 5 series than the 3 series. (Data source MSN auto)"

    Doesn't it all depend on your criteria. When you cross-shop you can:

    1. do it by price
    2. do it by segment
    3. do it by performance objective
    4. do it by interior volume.

    A one carat ruby also compares to a one carat diamond, but I'd rather have the diamond.
  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    the "Mine is bigger than yours" game. Nobody wins. I have been posting on this board since 1998, I don't troll.

    The intent of my post was to clarify the fact that contrary to a previous post, the G35 does in fact compare better to the 5 series than any other car in the BMW line up.

    You are absolutely right. I would also add value to the criteria list. I guess it just depends on what your perception of a diamond is.

    As cdnpinhead said "It's pleasant to have such choices."
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "As cdnpinhead said "It's pleasant to have such choices."

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, if memory serves, we had a topic like that here once. Something like 10 well thought out and rational posts and 400 flames. :-/

    Interestingly enough, even though I ordered my 530i before the G35 was released, given that I did the ED thing and picked up my car here in the States some three months after I ordered it, I had a chance to check out the G35 during the wait. Also, on the day I picked up my car here, my dealership had a black G35 on their lot (I assume for evaluation purposes as they were not an Infiniti dealership), and I had a chance to have a second "Look See".

    My impression is that while on paper the G35 may well be a valid competitor to the E39 5-Series, it missed the mark more than enough of a margin to satisfy me that my money was well spent. My main complaints were:

    1) The look, which to my eyes is no where as pleasing as the E39, but far more pleasing than the new E60.
    2) The quality of the interior materials, which did not impart the warmth and richness of the materials used in my 530i, or for that matter, the materials of my then outgoing 1999 328i.
    3) Control layout. I don't remember exactly but it seems to me that the seat controls as well as the controls on the console were, at best, unfamiliar and not logically located or actuated.
    4) The (then) lack of a manual transmission.

    All but item #3 were "Show Stoppers" in my book, and would have prevented me from buying the car, even if the 5-Series was not an option.

    So, do I think that the G35 is a valid competitor to the 5-Series? Well, it depends on what is important to you. For me, at the time, it wasn't.

    Best Regards,
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,085
    have it both ways, much like the current political weenies.

    I posted earlier that the 5-series is the benchmark, but that I'd buy a G35 with my settlement cheque. Both true. The settlement that I'd get from my four-year-old manual-transmission-equipped Lincoln LS would probably buy a cup of coffee with something left over to go toward. . .one or the other.

    The additional $$ that the currently-avialable BMW 5 (that'd be the ugly one with the unproven electronic "stuff") would cost over and above the G35 isn't coming out of my investment funds anytime soon.

    Maybe eventually. Time will tell.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    What the cognoscenti in these forums think is one thing. G35 will be getting a big piece of the pie. It has more power, it's better looking, it's a luxury marque, it's 20 grand cheaper and Infiniti has good advertising. BMW ads are almost nonexistent.

    On-paper means a lot in the public's perception, and the money saved will go a long way in the reality category.

    400 to 10. Flames vs rational thinking. E39 is gone and we're left with the costly E60 fruit crate. Yeah, it's still the ultimate driving machine, but there is good reason expect some equanimity.
  • ryokenryoken Posts: 291
    The only thing a G35 has on the 5 is size and price. It's got the performance to hang with BMW just fine, but it falls short of the 3 in creature comforts. The driver memory seats don't include the mirrors, the passenger mirror doesn't do that tilt-down thing, the manual-mode auto tranny doesn't let you pick a gear like a steptronic -- it's more of a top-gear limiter, no rain-sensing wipers, and even though it has nifty reclining rear seats, people complain that they don't fold down for a pass-through. Not to mention the things you can get in a 5 that the 3 doesn't offer. But, if you want the performance, need the extra space, and don't have quite the cash.. it's definately going to steal sales from BMW.
  • Atomicpunk -- my opinion is in line with yours on IDrive, after 2 months use.

    I've noticed that the owners who use Idrive become used to it quickly and, once up the learning curve, actually find very useful capabilities in the system. Also, the two programmable buttons *do* solve a lot of the minor hassles.

    There are other things you get used to very quickly: the different feel of the turn signals (annoying at first, then it becomes very intuitive), and the odd cruise control (again, once used to it the function works well). There are other items that annoyed me at first until I figured out the new approach that was being taken.

    This is a key difference between owners and more casual users (car reviewers and those who only test drive it). It's not intuitive, but a new approach to things. You definitly don't just switch it on and run it; you have to approach the idea from a different angle than the industry-standard controls all cars currently share. But once learned, it does most of its functions well, and a few quite well. That is not an apology for the "hard to learn" issue: they could have done it better. But "better", in my mind, would be user selectable/customizable menus, more than anything else. I think the Edmunds reviewers, and many others, have missed the fundamental fact that I-drive (and all screeen-based controls) are a very new way of doing things. Seeing the new from the eyes of the old (and old is not age, but technology) makes it difficult to adapt to the new.

    As to the "power" dialog: I only have a 525. I've found that now it's broken in, operating the auto in standard mode lets me play around in the 3-5K RPM range, and I can do a heckuva lot with the torque up there. That said, I'm sure the 530 and certainly the 545 have to be a lot more interesting. Just that a 525 does well when manually shifted, so I think that the lower gears of the steptronic may be configured differently in some way than the E39 version. Perhaps shift points? Don't know.

    Loved my E39, but am finding the E60 has grown on me quite a bit in a short time.

    One more minor comment on the G35: it'll take share, because it's a nice car at a great price. But it really isn't a 5-series by almost any get-in-the-car-and-go driveability measure. When you get in it and drive, it just isn't in the same league, whatever the specs. Again, great car, great price...but it doesn't feel the same, or even close, to the five. To be honest, it's more like a 325 with a bigger engine. So, irrespective of the dimension/power specs, I'd call it 3XX comptetition, not 5XX competition.

    Best to all--
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "I think the Edmunds reviewers, and many others, have missed the fundamental fact that I-drive (and all screeen-based controls) are a very new way of doing things."

    1984 brought the new way of doing things. 20 years later we all play computers like a piano. I find iDrive to be just another low-tech app at the ripoff cost of about 2 grand. What's more, you have to bring it to BMW if you need service and upgrades, that is, if it is upgradeable.

    2 grand will get you the Microsoft Office suite and maybe 20 years worth of upgrades that you can install yourself.

    In my opinion BMW is trying to sell ice to Eskimos.

    Banglenot, your user name is interesting, especially since there seems to be a dichotomy in the fact that you have an E60 525. Care to explain?

    In any event, welcome to this place!

  • Thanks for the welcome--

    Point taken on the 1984 analogy, but let me offer a spin on it.

    Real driver-interfacing computer solutions in cars need (1) low-cost LCD display screens; (2) low cost and very integrated motor/relay/control systems with computers; (3) a relatively cheap and acceptably robust OS; (4)a requirement for low costs, both initial and warranty related and (5) very conservative engineering needs of the car manufacturers (costs a heckova lot for recalls).

    After all, for $2K selling, it probably needs to have a fully loaded cost of about $500-700 to be profitable in a two-step 30% hardware margin distribution chain; and more important, it needs to survive a vibrating platform and temperatures between -30 and +140F. Only a statistically very small population of units can fail for the next ten years or the economics fail drastically -- a geologic age in computer terms.

    I think what all that adds up to is that we're seeing high-end first/second generation stuff, with costs and design flaws to match. In the 1984 analogy, we're somewhere around the X386 level, with some brilliant ideas and some real bogus ones. Just the way a tech market evolves.

    As this stuff moves downmarket over the next few years, I think it'll become (a) understood by the mass of drivers, (b) expected as a typical part of design and daily operations (so will not be a surprise) and (c) multiple refinements of interface and controls will define the market-driven solution with more or less button added to the screen interface.

    BMW is at the "no buttons with the screen" end, while Audi and MB are at the "some" or "lots" of buttons integrated with the screen.

    I'm at the stage of add a few more buttons to IDrive for quick access, and make the menus more customizable, and we're close to being in the right place. I personally don't like (for example) MB's 60+ buttons on its E series, and was turned off Audi by the darn red buttons everywhere as well as the marginal handling -- but that's my preference and I'm sure others will have theirs.

    BTW: Banglenot was a whim -- at the time I was agonizing about replacing my E39 with an E60, and expressing my frustrations. My feelings right now are Banglenot 7 series; BangleOK 5 series; Banglegood 6 series; and Bangledon'tmesswithit toomuch 3 series :>.

    Seriously, I like my 5 quite a bit at this point, and when I flip my lease in 3 years, I'll agonize but expect the 2007 5-series will be a pretty nice car as it evolves. Of course, maybe by then it'll be BangleIwishyouwereback.....

    Best to all--
  • stl540stl540 Posts: 67
    I ride in a co-worker's G35 once a week. It is a very nice car. Smooth, quiet, and quick. The G35 owner also rides in my 540iA once a week. IMO, the 5-series has a better overall feeling than the G. My co-worker agrees (he REALLY likes the 5 more than his G).

    Comparison of the torque and HP between the 540iA and G is unfair. The G just cannot compete with the 540i in the 'wow' factor of pressing on the gas pedal. I cannot do a good comparison of the 530iA since I do not drive one on a regular basis.

    Both my 540 and the G have an automatic tranny, but tranny in the 5 series in sport mode is more responsive than the G when it comes to everyday driving. The auto of the 5-Series always has you in the right gear no matter the speed to offer immediate response without having to mash the pedal to the floor. The G does not seem to offer the same experience.

    I know my car was $20K more than his G, which is a big chunk of change. I can tell you I do not have any buyer's remorse. IMO the G and 5 are two different classes of cars. The cars may look like similar on paper, but I believe the true test comes to sitting in both cars, taking them for a drive, and then making a decision. You can only do so much comparing based on raw numbers.

    The quality of materials in the BMW is first rate. I do not get the same feeling in the G.

    Edmunds did a full review of the 2003 G35. Edmunds praises the larger rear legroom in the G vs the 3-Series or IS300, but criticizes the interior materials. Here is a comment from the article.. "Inside, verification abounds that most of the budget for engineering this car went to the chassis rather than to sybaritic pursuits. Penny-pinching is evident in the hard plastics around the dash area and in the flimsy headliner. Faux-titanium trim is fine for sporty hatchbacks, but those who expect high-end materials from a luxury car may come away disappointed."

    Take both for a drive then determine what car meets your needs.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out the May 2004 issue of Bimmer magazine. A lengthy review of the E60 530i 6-speed manual with Sport Pkg. Their tested car has a $53,070 MSRP. In many ways, reads similar to Edmunds. There is also a lengthy "Second Opinion", by Alexander Palevsky, that is much more negative.

    Thought the end to Palevsky's piece interesting:

    "We just can't help but long for the purity and sense of purpose that made the E39 such a great automobile. Make no mistake: The [new E60] 5 Series is still the sedan of choice for a spirited run on a twisty backroad and still the car to beat for overall chassis dynamics...but it's also the first 5 Series in a long time that does not move the game forward in every respect."

    Bimmer raves about the adaptive headlights and one-touch trunk, rant against iDrive, the sparse gauges (talk about a huge step backwards!), and dislike the bumper inserts and stingy interior storage space. They also praise ARS and more rear seat room.

    Bimmer does clearly state: "Whatever you think about the appearance of the new 5, it's harder to contest its intrinsic virtue as a sports sedan."

    Thought it interesting that they have some reservation about active steering: "It also makes you a terror on the autocross course once you've acclimated yourself to the 5's unnaturally quick Formula For turn-in characteristics. On moderately fast twisty road, AS has no peer.... Its only downside is a slight tendency to hunt at freeway speeds. AS requires close supervision over 60 mph. Bumps tend to deflect the steering wheel more than with conventional steering."
  • A 20 oz coke bottle, when placed in the E60 driver cupholder, jams. Seems the automatically adjusting holders tip too far inward on the lower bulge of the bottle and lock it in. Takes two hands to remove it.

    My problem, or have others experienced it?

    Pretty funny, how the brilliant engineering in a BMW never seems to connect to the cupholders.

    Though I've got yo admid the location works OK in practice....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Don't even THINK of discussing cupholders with German designers. Zay are superior unt zay vil VIN ven debating zis subject!!!!

    Americans are lazy know-nothings!!!!!!!!!!!
  • loulou Posts: 3
    I have a set of Bridgestones WS50 225/55R16 snow tires on my 2002 530i with Premium Package. I am thinking of buying a 2004 or 2005 530i with premium package. They come with 225/50R17 tires. The 2004 525s are coming with 225/55R16 tires.
    My question is will I be able to mount the 225/55R16 snow tires on 16X7.0 wheels on the new BMW, or will I have to buy 17 inch snow tires and 17x7.5 wheels.

    Could some one enlighten me.

    Thank you
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I would call TireRack and ask one of their specialists. My guess is that your old wheels will probably not fit on the E60. Let us know what you find out.

    Best Regards,
  • cbs03cbs03 Posts: 9
    I was planning on changing my synthetic oil every 7,000 miles instead of the 15,000 miles recommended by BMW. Can I just take my 2001 525i to Jiffy Lube or Mobil Express and have them install Castrol 530 or is there a reason why the BMW dealer needs to do it instead?

    Thanks in advance - this site has been very helpful!
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I wouldn't trust Jiffy Lube. Get a fluid extractor like a MityVac (you can get em from places like JCWhitney or Quadratec) and do it yourself. The oil change process is VERY easy and doing it yourself will save you $$ and give you the peace of mind that it was done right.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes and no. As I understand it, the Castrol (semi) synthetic available here in USA is not the same as the fully synthetic Castrol available in Europe or for that matter from your local BMW service department.

    In my case, due to the fact that I am not convinced that the BMW/Castrol oil is as capable as Mobil-1, I change at the 7500 mark and I use Mobil-1 0w-40. Once mhy 530i makes it past the "Free Maintenance" schedule, I will simply stick to Mobil-1.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards,
  • I have a 2003 540i with premium sound. A friend just bought a 2004 530i. While I do not like the look of the new 5 series, there is no doubt that the base sound system blows away the premium on the E39 platform.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yes, the BMW 5W-30 Synthetic is not hydrocracked. However, now it seems that Castrol offers a 5W-30 Syntec made in Germany-for the same price as normal Syntec. The Oil Geeks call it GC-German Castrol. It clearly states on the label that it meets BMW Longlife requirements-as does BMW's 5W-30 and Mobil 1 0W-40. IMO, all three are excellent choices. And cbs03, DON'T GO TO JIFFY BOOB!!!!!!. The barely sentient employees have trouble changing the oil on an Accord or Camry. DIY or find a good indie BMW tech. DIY is VERY simple. Inexpensive as well.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The BMW inlines are very easy to change the oil on if you have the fluid extractor. The filter is up at the top too, so you don't have to get under the car. Just need a 36mm socket to remove the filter cap.

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