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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    ...I guess I'd be inclined to go with 545 or E500, both of which would be plenty sporty, and alot more versatile that a (smallish) 2-door drop top. But I think that is kyfdx's point, the M3 is really an apple with oranges in your comparison, so if you want the more narrow focus of a convertible, and the even narrower focus of a hot rod like an M3, well there you go.

    Having driven an M3 with SMG, I've gone on record stating that I think you'd be better off in either BMW with the regular slushbox, since either will still be plenty fast, well-proven technology, enhanced resale, etc., but perhaps most importantly, MUCH smoother than SMG, especially during stop and go. And like Steptronic, I found the novelty of SMG wore off very quickly, so you just stick it in "auto" mode, and then the advantages of a conventional auto become apparent very quickly. If you've driven them all and still want SMG, well, different strokes, just MHO.

    And while we're opining, an E500 or 545 (with an auto) is likely to be my next ride (currently '02 530 with a stick), and that would be a horse race. The Benz has exceedingly good-looking styling, and avoids the mixed virtues of I-drive, while the BMW has a great chassis and drive train, and does have a little more "sporty" image that doesn't seem quite so "old" as the Benz. Hard to say, much as I like the 5's, you'd never be embarrassed in that Benz.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I'd go with the E500 if I needed four doors, and the M3 if I only needed two. I'd also consider a used E39 M5 or the upcoming E60 version-which sounds like it will be so good to drive that I'll not care about the styling.
  • driver5driver5 Posts: 3
    Now that is a better answer.I have 6100 miles on my new 525i and certainly don't want to lose any performance.I find myself more frequently using the S & M mode than I used to on my 528i ( I had 2 of them).I will say though that this one is "sneaky' fast even though it is a little "mushy" from a stop. And the gas mileage is exceptional. ( I still use the premium). Anyhow, I think it looks so fast sitting in my garage I will have to put up with it. I still find excuses to go someplace often because I just love the feel.I am trying a " Teflon" wax on the wheels and it seems to help a lot on the brake dust accumulation. Seems to slide off easier.
  • loulou Posts: 3
    Oh yes everybody conspire on the gas prices right?
    I bet you even believe President Bush directed the price increase to favor the rich?
    I bet Sen Kerry has all the answers to solve the problem.
    How about building a few more refineries.
    Environmentalist would not like this, I bet.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    with very sarcastic undertones. iT is quite difficult to convey that on a message board...I was joking!

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

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    The November 2004 issue of Bimmer magazine has an interesting article on BMW worldwide sales and in USA. Covers Jan-June, comparing 2003 to 2004.

    For the 5 Series:

    1. Worldwide sales UP from 75,625 to 113,900.

    2. USA sales DOWN from 23,210 to 23,075.

    Of course, the E39 had more choices than the current E60 (M and touring).

    In USA, sales of E39 525i and 530i are close to current E60 sales of 525i and 530i. Biggest jump was in 545i sales (up over 2000 from 540i).
  • ltagg1ltagg1 Posts: 7
    I would recommend that you DO NOT buy the 525. I say this because I did buy a CPO 525 Sport Premium (black/tan) at end of last year. Car was amazing AT speed on the highway...the problem was getting up TO speed (accelerating). With only 185 hp, the thing is a dog. I just sold it 2 weeks ago because a week prior to that I was in one of those emergency "punch it or you're toast" situations. I punched it and nothing happened..the hesitation the car exhibited (car downshifted abruptly, RPMs shot up--almost to redline)scared me to death and I decided (after my heart rate came back to normal) that I would sell the thing and upgrade to an '01 or '02 CPO 530i (should have bought it instead last year) which I'm in the process of looking for now. It's amazing that the 40 extra HP make that much difference but they do. The 3.0 liter engine, in mine and many other's opinion, is the perfect match for this car. In your test drives comparing the two, simulate what I described (flooring it abruptly) and you'll see what I mean. Good luck...Hope this helps from someone who's been there...
  • >>car downshifted abruptly, RPMs shot up--almost to redline

    That's every shift for me, and I am in a 325. The 5 is a big car for that engine.

    You will get a little more umph from the 3.0, but probably won't have any trouble w selling the 525.
  • Can anyone offer tips for launching the E39 540i six speed to achieve anywhere near the 5.8 second 0-60 time. What RPMS? Thanks.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Do a couple of bleach burnouts first-you need to really warm up the tires. Then, hold the revs steady at @6500 rpm and sidestep the clutch. Works every time.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    Your experience in a 525iA was quite different from my recent test drives of an E39 (528iA)

    We're talking 300cc and nine more horses than a 525 which shouldn't make a huge difference. As for going up almost to redline and shifting so abruptly it scared you, I found that full throttle shifts will go right to redline but the
    the engine and trans were as smooth as any I've experienced in 40 years of driving.

    I wonder if your transmission was malfunctioning or if you inadvertently left it in the manual mode of the Steptronic (easy to do). This would cause an abrupt shift if you nailed the gas from a low speed in while in too high a gear.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I have a fair amount of seat time behind the 2.5 liter mill, the 2.8, and even the 3.0. The only catch is that all three cars were attached to the rear wheels via a 5-Speed manual gear box. According to my "Butt Dyno", there is very little comparison between the 2.8 and the 2.5, the 2.8 will simply blow the smaller motor away. Why? Torque. The 2.8 puts out 206 @ 3,500 rpms (which is only 8 lb/ft less than the 3.0 mill) while the 2.5 puts out only 175 @ 3,500, which is actually 6 lb/ft less than the older 2.5 that was in the 1999 and 2000 323i.

    If I found myself thinking, "Hmmm, I think I'd like to buy a used 2001 525i", I'd quickly correct myself and think, "No, what I really want is a 2000 528i." There really is that much of a difference in low end power and drivability between the two. Then again, maybe I'd change my thinking again and opt for the 2001 or later 530i and have a faster more driveable car than either of the two smaller engined E39 siblings. Oh, wait! I did that already, and I'm really glad that I did. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,660
    Who'da thunk. Thanks for setting me straight Shipo. I still think I might be on the right track as to the cause for the abruptness of his shift tho'.

    It's easy to inadvertently put the Steptronic into manual mode. It naturally wants to go there when you pull it back to "D" and if you're locked in, say fourth at 35 or so it'll quickly drop down to second if you call for gas in a hurry.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Regarding the abrupt shift, while I've never driven a BMW with an automatic transmission, my bet is that you are spot on in your guess. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • I, too own a 5-series BMW, 1998;I purchased it used with 30,000mi. To make a long story short; I have literally had the entire car rebuilt and the check engine light is on,runs rough, leaks water inside; replaced engine;$$$services;The ultimate driving machine is known at the dealership as the Ultimate nightmare;I and the manufacturer has spent over $20,000 in repairs and replacement parts;My advice is to dump it as soon as you can; I was so upset, because I really love the car;I purchased a 1994 Acura Legend,191,000mi no problems and it is running strong; completed major service and drove from Fl to IL, and have plenty money left over, I will never go back to BMW again;Lexus or Acura better buy and save tons of money in repairs
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I gotta tell you, your story does not line up with what I know to be true about BMWs. What that means to me is that there is a significant portion of your story missing, and that were the WHOLE story told, you probably wouldn't be finding too many sympathetic ears around here.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I agree, maybe it's probably an XJ6 with Roundel decals on it...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "1994 Acura Legend,191,000mi"

    I can sympathsize. I got rid of a Toyota at 80K miles. For the last 20K major components were failing left and right and it was starting to run into $$$. That and three other below average ownership experiences with Japanese cars has steered me away from them. My reasoning is, if I going to have problems, might as well have fun driving, eg German cars. :)

    But we all know a sample size of one means zilch. There are plenty of examples on these boards where Japanese cars get driven to the Ultimate Nightmare experience. Yet out of the thousands of stellar sales and owners, one bad experience sticks out like a sore thumb. People keep saying how they keep their BMWs for 300K+ with regular maintenance. I've never seen any car over 100K, without regular maintenance and $$$ the car is not fit to be one the road.

    Good luck with yours.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Not so fast-my 1987 535is recently made it to 300,00, but now it needs a head gasket. Another case of inadequate German engineering...;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    What a piece of junk. :) Seriously though good to hear it waited until 300K miles.
  • jlapcatjlapcat Posts: 7
    What does E39 and E60 stand for? Are these abbreviations for the 528 and 530???

    Another, more important question: I test drove today, and am seriously considering buying a 530i sport/premium in Southern California. The car comes with Bridgestone Potenza run-flat tires. These tires seem to make the ride feel very rough---every nook and cranny in the road is transferred to the passengers, my teeth were almost chattering. I don't want to give up a smooth ride, and I really want the handling and suspension that the sport model offers.

    I currently drive a Jaguar XJR with 370 hp and very good handling, fun to drive (no fun at service center--teeth chatter from fear there). It has Potenza S-03 255/40/18 tires and has a much smoother ride.

    Will replacing the run/flat tires seriously improve the ride of the car? Or does part of the roughness of the ride also have something to do with the suspension? The dealership will only sell the car with these run/flat tires. Salesman was unhelpful/unknowledgeable.
  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    I know the feeling. My 1986 325eS with a mere 229000 miles on it just blew out the water pump. And the head gasket; leaking like a colander. And don't get me started on the clutch. Actually had to replace the original after only 140000 miles.

    Truth is, for about $3K in repairs, it could easily make it to 300K but enough is enough. Just ordered a 2005 545I six speed. Hope I get have the same good luck
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263

    New cars with run flat tires do not have a spare tire. The dealer cannot change to normal tires till you buy the car to keep from being sued.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,772
    E39.. 5-series from '97-'03
    E60.. 5-series from '03-

    E46.. Current model 3-series
    E90.. 3-series starting in '06


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  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    The run-flat tires are almost certainly the cause of the rough(er) ride that you've noticed. Run-flat tires have extremely stiff sidewalls so that the tire can still support the weight of the car when flat. Standard tires (even fairly low-profile, sport tires) have much more flex in the sidewalls which absorb shocks and contribute to a smoother ride.

    The 5 series is widely recognised as having one of the best, possibly the best, handling/ride combinations available.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    E39.. 5-series from '97-'03
    E60.. 5-series from '04- (I know that kyfdx knows that, probably just a typo) ;-)

    Rough riding 530i SP: Hmmm, having never driven with Run Flats, my suggestion is that maybe the dealership forgot to remove the extra pressure in the tires (cars are shipped with lots of extra pressure in the tires to inhibit bouncing while in transit). My first BMW was delivered to me with something like 50+ pounds in the tires. Not only was it rough riding, the handling was so squirrelly that I was barely able to control it on a bumpy road.

    FWIW, I have an E39 530i SP, and the ride is quite wonderful, so much so that even the couple of elderly folks that I've had in it have commented on how smooth it was.

    Best Regards,
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,772
    Thanks!! I always need back-up...

    Run flat tires suck.. (did I say that out loud?). Getting the pressure checked is a good idea, but really... run flat tires s...

    Unfortunately, it looks like we will have to get used to it.. it looks like all BMWs will have them soon.



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  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    jlapcat-I have an '04 545 with SP and it also has run-flats (Dunlop). The ride is tight, but no where near "teeth chattering". As others have already mentioned run-flats are always stiffer, and the sport suspension also has a rougher ride than non-sport.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    So I'm driving out of Chicago last night when these two guys in a '04 M3 pull up along side wanting to race. I could tell they thought the M3 was going to kick my 545's butt. I admit to thinking they might be right! So we starting going at it and I was really surprised that the M3 couldn't keep up. I know it's slightly faster off the line, but we were already at highway speeds and I jumped right in front of him, and he just couldn't keep up (believe me, he was trying real hard judging by the sound of his engine). I don't claim to be any expert on what makes one car faster than another, but I assume it's that my car gets to it's max HP faster (the M3 only has 8 HP more but needs to practically redline to get to it), and the good deal more torque that the 545 has (330 ft/lbs vs 262 ft/lbs. for the M3) which it also gets at faster. I thought that the weight difference (M3 is about 400 lbs lighter) and the fact that I had 3 passengers while he only had 1 would give him the edge but it didn't. I don't know what speed the M3 is limited to, but I'm sure it's more than the 125 mph we hit at some points. Note-definitely not a good idea to go that fast on 290 in Chicago! I supposed that he could have just been a bad driver, but we were really just accelerating in a straight line. I'll tell you what though, given how fast the 545 is I would love to drive the M5 when it comes out. 507 HP. That car is simply going to fly!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I should also mention that I turned off the traction control and switched to sport shifting mode.
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