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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • selooseloo Posts: 606
    Run the numbers on the Edmunds site. 525 owners will be very happy with the results.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    Post your comment as a question on the real world trade in values board here in TH. See what Bill and Terry have to say.

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

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    My 2001 530i had its power steering hoses replaced (under warranty) on Thursday due to leaks. I had noticed an oily substance on the power steering reservoir.
    After reviewing the service dealer invoice at home, I noticed the word "recall" after the word "clamp." I never received a recall notice on this item. Has anyone else received a recall notice or had this same problem?

    My 5 also has the sun shades. The manual side shades have one small tear each (about 1/4 inch) in the corners. They are not abused, just normal usage. I was very pleased to learn that BMW will replace them under warranty.

    Re What's next?: As a first time BMW owner with my lease up in June, my plan is to buy my car. I need the larger size of the 5 for my family, and can't seem to "fall in love" with the E60 like I did with my E39. I am thinking I'll eventually down size to the 3 series, with the M3 being a real temptation.
  • george94george94 Posts: 75
    As the spring finally arrived to Boston and my summer tires are back on I am planning a little day trip to NH coastline. Do you know any nice roads where you can put in good usage 5sp and SP? I will be with my kids (ages 8 and 10) who absolutely love g-forces. Looking for some quite roads and good lunch stop. Thanks
  • muddogmuddog Posts: 26
    Picked up my new jet black on tan 545i, with Sports Package, on Tuesday. Very nice car. Been 15 years since I've owned a Bimmer. Came out of a 2001 Mercedes E430,which was a very good car for me.

    Early assessment -- BMW more of a "driver's car" (as all of you savants well know). One difference, which I'm hoping will go away (but that may be a function of having 325 horses) -- the E430 has a noticeably smoother gear shift at sub 30 mph speeds. I'm going to try the manual shift feature to see how that feels.

    Maybe this is the difference, too, between getting the 530 and the 545 -- the 530 is "better" at low speeds, and the 545 more powerful and "better" past 30 mph?

    Any experiences anyone can share?


  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm a fairly recent transplant to NH, so I don't really know my way around all that well yet. That said, one of my favorite roads starts in Nashua, NH, and heads west by northwest out past the Nashua airport. That road is called 101A until about East Milford, where it turns into 101. From there, heading northwest toward Peterborough provides nice smooth (at least they were last summer) roads with lots of curves that transition to places where you can open it up a little, and then back into the curves. There are also places where you can take some of the lesser highways that lead to towns that provide nice lunch spots. We took US-202 north out of Peterborough to Route 123 and then into Hancock. There were a couple of charming places in town for the lunch stop.

    Have a good trip. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Catching up on some topics touched on by some earlier posts this past week....

    8 months left on my 36-month lease. I chose the 530i (PP, SP, 5-speed) because of its handling and the driving experience it offers. It is the confidence you get in driving mountain roads or freeways at high speed. No other car that I tested in late 2001 could match the 530i. And I tested a lot of cars. Yet, I would not have chosen the 5-series if only the 528 or 525 were available. The acceleration on these cars was just too sluggish in every day driving. Especially for the price point these cars commanded. And the 540i was not in my budget.

    As I look to the end of the lease, I have a very difficult decision to make. Should I buy the car or return the car. If I return the car what then should I get? The 5-series competition is the best yet. Especially now where a new 530i costs over 50K and I am no fan of its new look (gone is that understated refined good looks), or all the gimmicks (i-drive).

    I would like to stay with BMW. I had a great ownership experience (other than a premature clutch failure that BMW would not pay for). The car is a dream to drive, gets great gas mileage (25+ city/highway) and looks great. I only wish the new 5 would have been more appealing.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    The jerkiness you're feeling is probably today's wonderful slushbox "learning" how you drive. The process may take some time. If it doesn't, then bring the car into your dealer.

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

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    For me, I'd add a few more cars that I would consider (my first choice is always manual):

    BMW 3-series E90 (hopefully larger and more powerful than before)
    Cadillac CTS-V (yes, a Caddy, but at $50K its looking pretty good)
    Audi A6 (new body style)
    Infiniti M45 (new body style, even with auto)
    Lexus GS (new body style, even with auto)
    Lexus IS (new body style, hopefully larger and more powerful)
  • diver110diver110 Posts: 67
    I have a 2000 540iT (regular tires and wheels). Anyone care to venture a guess of how much it would cost to upgrade to the sports package?
  • muddogmuddog Posts: 26
    Thanks for the heads up. Will see how things go over the next 2-300 miles.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I agree on the addition of the E90 to the list. I have heard through the grapevine that the interior space will be nearly that of the E39 5-Series, and with optional V8 engines, it sounds like a serious contender to replace my 530i, assuming that I don't buy it at lease end.

    Regarding CTS-V, I'm not sure I can get past the looks of the CTS as I find it as revolting as the E60. Regarding the rest of your list, it is my understanding that the A6 and the IS are both going Automatic only for the next generation, GRRRR. In my book, the only two Automatics that I would consider these days are the Mopar Hemi siblings (300C and Magnum) and the E320CDI MB.

    At this point, I am seriously leaning toward keeping the 530i as it only has 21K miles on it.

    Best Regards,
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Like you, I prefer stick. I did not realize that the A6 and the IS will only come as auto's. Do not like that. Unfortunately, the M45 and GS will also be auto only. Too bad. I also do not like the looks of the CTS-V. However, I do like its spec's, especially for its price point.

    The E90 sounds like a good replacement for my E39. I am really hoping that it will be similar in interior size, features, and price to my E39, and yet with a more powerful engine and even better handling. To me, that is a step up.

    On a different note, just received the latest edition of Roundel. On page 27, they provide a web site that shows pictures of "bizarre car crashes." They also have pictures of wrecked E60's and other BMWs.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Be willing to be that both the next IS and A6 will have at least one version with a manual transmission.

    The June 2004 issue of EuropeanCar has a short article on the 2005 A6:

    "Europe gets a choice of tive engines, ranging from a 140-bhp 2.0 TDI to a 255-bhp 3.2 V6 FSI to a 335-bhp 4.2 V8. Gearboxes include a six-speed manual, a six-speed Tiptronic and the continuously variable multronic."

    Can't believe Audi won't have their magnificent Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) manual transmission in some version of the A6. Might be the high(er)(est) performing version(s), but bet it will have one.

    Lexus wants to expand sales of the IS. They know presence of a manual is one big reason for 3 Series sales. Can't imagine they'd give up all the bad publicity if it is auto-only. Just read all the bad press the '01 IS300 had in its first year when Lexus screwed up big time and failed to initially offer a manual transmission.

    Bigger fear is that 3 and 5 Series will see vast majority of sales in SMG over pure manual transmission.

    As Automobile magazine points out in their May 2004 issue review of the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti:

    "90 percent of orders to date specify the F1A [Ferrari's hydraulically actuated gearbox]."

    You know the era of the true manual is dying when Ferrari's all come with SMG-like transmissions.
  • hman709hman709 Posts: 11
    I am in the market for a car. I was very much considering '04 325xi with auto, premium and cold packages.

    Then, i came across a '03 525i with premium and cold with 10K miles. They are about 1-1.5K apart in price. In the $35-36K range.

    I liked the 525 interior size and trunk a lot however, it felt a bit slower than the 325 (for obvious reasons). But, my biggest concern is the RWD driving in the snow; i live in New York.
    Of course, my finance on a new car will
    probably have a much better rate than a preowned one even if going through BMW.

    At least that is some of the comparison thoughts i had.

    Any ideas or thoughts ? Much appreciated.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    Get yourself a good set of snow tires and steel wheels for winter duty and the RWD 5er will do just fine. Where in NY do you live?

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

  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238 gives link to BMW sales spreadsheet. In sum, it shows year-to-date (Jan-Mar) sales compared to last year, of Z4 down, 3-series down, X5 down, 5-series (E60) up slightly and 7-series down. Overall, BMW 1st quarter sales were down, but March sales was near record high levels. See article for details.
  • hman709hman709 Posts: 11
    I live in Long Island. I guess from what i gather from you is that i should be careful of buying a 5-series. It may be unusable in the winter.

    Then, maybe the 3-series awd is better for now until they get around to making an awd 5-series in the next few years.
  • ny540i6ny540i6 Posts: 518
    I own a 5, and as carguy says, with four snow tires on dedicated wheels, I had absolutely no problems this last winter, and I manage to cover turf from Boston to Maryland. I was out on LI the night the Southern State was closed due to ice, and I had no issues. All things considered, if the trunk space, rear seat room are important, then go with the 5.
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    The Heads Up Display option is now in production and I found one at my local dealer. The salesman couldn't figure out how to work it but let me have a go at it. Armed with an owners manual, I soon got it going. And, as with most things, it's a good news/bad news story. First the good news:
    - The projected images are easy to read and do seem to float right above the hood.
    - It's all in a single color (a sort of yellowish tan)and you can move the display around if you don't care for the chunk of windshield it's currently taking up.
    - There is a night setting which the system apparently defaults to when it gets dark
    - The images are relatively transparent so you can sort of see through them; all in all the HUD shouldn't prove much of a distraction while you are driving
    - You can choose what data is displayed on the windshield

    Now for the bad news:
    - Your only choices are speed, navigation and adaptive cruise control
    - For navigation, the system only displays the images and text that appear to the right of the navigation screen. These are diagrams of turns or arrows pointing you in the desired direction and street names plus miles to go. The color map does not project
    - In order to choose or alter what you want projected you have to use the hated i-Drive system. You open the I menu and fumble around the the Display Settings section in what amounts to a totally unintuitive process till you get what you want.

    Verdict: neat gadget but too few choices of data to be projected to justify the heady cost of this option.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    go with the RWD 5er. Long Island gets pretty mild winters due to the fact that it is after all an island that is relatively flat. People on Long Island need an AWD or 4WD vehicle to get themselves to the train in the 2 or maybe 3 snowstroms they have a year (or to keep up with the jones' next door). In all honesty you'll do fine on LI with the RWD 5er. I live in Westchester (where people seem to have the same keep up mentality) where we have more hills and colder in-land temperatures, but AWD or 4WD still isn't necessary here. Tires are key. They're your only contact with the ground. AWD will help you get moving, but it will slow down your braking distance and add more weight when you're trying to swerve to avoid an accident. That extra 200+ pounds will make a difference.

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

  • vicmacvicmac Posts: 9
    I am shopping for a car now and planning on a Acura TL, I had visited the local BMW dealer for a certified 5 series. I happened to look at a 2004 525i. I liked the car very much and test drove it. Now the hard part is it will cost around 45k on road with just PP,Xenon, Auto. But I do not like the 184hp. Although I did not see any difference while driving. Pl convince me if I can spend that much on a 525i. I cannot afford 530 but want to buy a Bimmer.

    Thanks guys
  • I had a 01 530i in good to excellent condition. wanted to trade it in on a new 4.4 x5 suv. my dealer said he could give me only 21,000 on a trade in and nothing off of the 4.4 x5. I was in shock. started to look around and found the cayenne s. Porsche dealer gave me 25,800 for my car plus nearly 11% off of msrp on a brand new (not a demo) cayenne s. the car is fantastic, now everytime I drive by my old BMW dealer I holler out thank you's for sending me away.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    There are some 525 owners who will tell you how happy they are with their 525's, and while I've got an '02 530, I think there are very good reasons to consider the 525.

    I believe that a great argument can always be made to buy the least expensive version of a particular car, principally because you're getting vitually the identical chassis, and the EXACT same look, in this case for $5000-$15000 less than other (530, 545) models. So you get the new styling, the new driving dynamics (apart from raw acceleration), low speed performance that is probably similar to a 530, and I think you'll end up losing less, in actual dollars, on depreciation. I'm certain most people (not on this board) don't know the difference between a 525 and a 545, but they do know that you're driving a brand new BMW, the "ultimate driving machine". I think you get a lot of the cache of this great car without going so deep financially.

    There will be naysayers who respond, no doubt those who have liked having a V8 under the hood (riez?) But sometimes you just have to draw the line, as far as cost is concerned, and I think buying the 525 is great way to get into this car. I would definitely buy this car rather than an older, but more powerful, used 5-series V8.

    You mention a TL, a very fine car to be sure, but I just don't think anybody has quite emulated the driving experience of a BMW, certainly not in a front-driver. You will experience torque-steer. You wouldn't go wrong with the Acura, but I guess in my mind, the BMW has always been the "real McCoy", not a wannabe.

    By the way, a colleague bought a 525 just before I bought my 530, and he's never complained about lack of guts.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,263
    Suprising the dealer wasn't budging off MSRP on a 4.4 X5, my Dad just bought one in FEb for $1K over Invoice (it was a 3.0). Congrats on the Cayenne S though.

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

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    sdg380... The 525i is a fine sedan amongst heavy competition. There certainly is nothing wrong with a low option 525i manual with Sport Pkg. Helps maximize its limited performance while keeping its price reasonable.

    But when you compare price, performance, and value against cars like the G35 and others, I just don't think a heavily optioned 525i automatic is that much of a car or value.
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    Automotive "value" can be pretty hard to put your finger on, and whether a G35 (another fine car, but not a BMW) offers more value than a 525 (the real McCoy, as I say) could be debated. Cars that cost half of this (an Accord, for example) could be reasonably argued to provide some of the best value for your money, but again, they're not built in Bavaria.

    And I guess that's a decision we all face, many fine cars to choose from, but some cars certainly have more cache than others, and is that worth extra $$$, and how much? Obviously, those posting here are partial to BMW's, but is a 525 worth twice the price of Accord?

    Vicmac, you test drove a 525 while considering a TL. As I said, you wouldn't go wrong with the Acura, but when I bought my first 5-er, I also was considering an Acura. For me, I was able to rationalize the extra $$$ (about 15% more) to have what I considered to be the benchmark, but if finances do not permit that, a very rational decision can be made to go with the TL (or a G35 as riez suggests.) But I can just about guarantee that if you go with the TL or G35, there will always just a little bit of "car envy" every time you see a 5, even if it's a "decontented" 525.

    You could visit a TL or G35 board where the 5-series gets severely bashed for lack of "value". And if horsepower-per-dollar is a top factor, the TL or G35 may be better selections.

    Of course, the marketplace is the great equalizer, and somehow BMW has managed to sell a bunch of cars that some would argue are less car for more money. Clearly, some people think they're worth it.

    Let us know what you decide, but these are all fine cars, so there's not too much downside.
  • banglenotbanglenot Posts: 31
    Over here in Jersey. I've got an E60 525 (replaced my '01 E39 525), and my wife has a 325xi.

    Both fine cars, and I'll be the first to say that the xi is a lot better in the snow than either 525. You just get in and go, with stock tires, all winter.

    That said, I've never put snows on either 5-series, and I don't have trouble. Some of it is that I grew up in snow, and am very comfortable with it. I drive by those who think that applying as much torque as possible is the way to drive in snow (as they try to climb out of a ditch by wearing the snow down to the bare earth...).

    If you want no problems at all, get the xi. If you're good in snow, the 5 is OK with stock tires. If you're less comfortable, get snows.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    sdg380... Think the issue isn't where BMW was in comparison to others but where it is today. Review after review of the E60 5 Series points out the ambivilence (sp?) of so many reviewers. The new 5 Series just doesn't stand out like the E39. It always has one or more issues with each reviewer: in areas like styling, price, electronic gadgety, iDrive, value, etc. That wasn't the case in 1997 or 2000.

    Not to mention that the competition today is immensely better than it was in 1996 when the E39 came out (as a MY1997). Just think how few cars seriously competed with it in 1997.

    But the picture has changed today. The E60 faces RWD cars like Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G35, Lincoln LS, Jaguar S-type, Lexus GS300/430, MB E-class, etc. and seriously improved FWD cars like TL. Not to mention AWD cars (e.g., A6).

    In today's market, the 525i stands out for its high price (lowest base MSRP is now over $40,000) in light of its performance and utility.

    I don't buy a car because of the marque. I buy a car because of the car. I've always felt sorry for those buyers who are more interested in being seen riding in the "right" car rather than looking out while driving a great car.
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