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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Oh boomsama, she's a beauty. It's an olivene green six-speed with CWP, SP, Nav, Sat Radio and HUD; and it drives like silk. I picked it up in Munich and was soon flowing through those Bavarian curves, S-bends and autobahns like electricity through a circuit. It is so smooth that, at one point, I wondered to myself if I really had a 545 and not a 530 till I glanced at the speedometer and found I was doing 75 MPH on a Munich city street!

    Unfortunately I had to give it back to BMW, well, actually to the shipper and it is now on the high seas due to make landfall in the US sometime next week.

    European delivery went off flawlessly and we had a ball in Munich which was packed with good-natured drunks in town for Octoberfest. I recommend getting a new BMW this way to anyone and you do save substatially. Plus Lufthansa gave us a two-for-one deal on the flight over and back.
  • ericeerice Posts: 15
    Your comments are duely noted and logged for future reference, pinhead.

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    I checked my 2003 Consumer Reports magazine in the reliability history section of their auto issue. (My brother took my 2004 issue and hasn't returned it yet!) For the '95 and '97 5 series it lists cooling as a key trouble spot reported by 14.8% of those surveyed with problems occuring in the 12 months from April 1, 2001 through March 31, 2002. Also listed were electrical and power equipment coming in at 9.3% to 14.8% of those reporting. The '98 5 series is listed with power equipment and body hardware issues with 9.3% to 14.8% of those reporting. That said, the '95 and '98 models were given an "average overall reliability" rating. The '97 was not rated (for whatever reason) in this issue. The '99 model was given a "better then average" reliability rating. Hope this helps. It would be better to have the 2004 issue to look at more recent data. Perhaps you can get a copy. Hope this has helped.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The 1997 E39s suffered from the teething problems most new BMW platforms experience(by comparison, the 1992 E36s were a real nightmare). My 528iA has a 5/96 build date and had a few problems(water pump, thermostat, and the emissions air pump) all of which were covered by the BMW CPO warranty. In each case the part that failed was replaced with an improved part and the problem has not recurred. I later replaced the $44 trunk lock actuator myself(an easy 10 minute job) and the replacement functions in a quieter and smoother fashion. Since the CPO warranty expired at around 80K the only non-scheduled repairs have been a P/S hose, the fuel filler door hinge, and the windshield washer motor-less than $140 altogether. At 109K miles the old sled is as tight and rattle free as new, uses no oil, and averages 21 mpg in suburban driving. My point in relating all this is that you shouldn't dismiss a well maintained 1997 E39, since in most every case the first year problems will have been corrected.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,055
    Excellent information.

  • I own a 1 year old 530i 5spd, with sports, prem pacakges and xenon head lights with 13000 miles. What can I expect to get for this car? Thanks.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    Post a complete description here: jbollt "Real-World Trade-In Values" Oct 18, 2004 1:42pm

    and an expert will answer your question..

    My question? Why do you want to sell it?


    Be sure to put in the model year.. you left that out.


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Your point is well taken. A well maintained vehicle would be a gem to get. It would be vital to obtain the records on the vehicle to insure a good purchase.
    In my response to erice, I was trying to offer a place to start looking for data since he had asked for any possible trouble areas on certain model years.
  • What can you tell me about high oil consumption in BMW aluminum block straight-six engines? Have you had any success getting your dealer to do something to reduce consumption?

    I've got a 2001 BMW 530i with the aluminum straight six which consumed about 2,500 miles per quart until this spring; when consumption increased to below 980 miles per quart. The dealer finds no leaks and no smoke and has declared the car in BMW specification. I'm uncomfortable that something in the engine has changed to account for the consumption increase, and wonder if expensive off-warranty repairs are down the road. If the oil isn't leaking and isn't burning (smoke), where in the hell is it going?

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!
  • maccarmaccar Posts: 10
    My 2003 530 met a wooden bench on the highway, resulting in a gash is the left front lower bumper and a deep scratch to the driver door and a puncture to the rear door. I have had multiple estimates with all of them suggesting a different approach. One has recommended fixing the doors, one has suggested replacing the rear door with the puncture and fixing the front door and the other says replace both doors. I am apprehensive about replacing the doors for many reasons, but don't want problems in the future related to corrosion from essentially a patch job. Thanks for any input.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,724
    Replacing the doors sounds better than fixing them.. either way, they get complete re-paints.. My car had both passenger doors replaced before I bought it, and they are indistinguishable from original.

    Worry more about the paint job..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Just read a really interesting article in Fortune about BMW. It talks a lot about them entering the "lower" market and building a...gulp...minivan! It also talks about the new designs, and the public's reaction to them. After reading it I really wonder what impact the 1 series will have on 3 series sales. Sounds like BMW really wants to grow quickly. The other interesting thing is that they talk about the hydrogen car BMW just demo-ed at the Paris Car Show.
  • kyfdx, its a 2003 model. The reason is I am relocating to a different country where I can't take the car. Thanks for the link.
  • I recently received a letter to extend the LoJack warranty on my 2003 E39 to as long as I own the vehicle. The cost is $99. Any thoughts?
  • Does anybody feel the active steering on 2004 545i is terrible and dangerous. I fell like I am fighting the car when i try to turn. Further, it seems like it cant handle ruts in the road. It does not know what to do and wants to pull the car off the road.

    Please respond

  • Does anybody feel the active steering on 2004 545i is terrible and dangerous. I fell like I am fighting the car when i try to turn. Further, it seems like it cant handle ruts in the road. It does not know what to do and wants to pull the car off the road.

    Please respond

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I test drove the 5 with active steering and didn’t like it. "Dangerous" does not seem outside the realm of what I would describe it. I can’t believe engineering would overlook the safety implications of such a critical component but errors are errors nonetheless. What doesn’t sit well with me is that there is significant computer dependency and it is also digitally linked to the stability control system. I would guess that there is a “fail-safe” default that reverts to pure mechanical control in the event of computer failure but this is only speculation. In any event I’d be very concerned with this—get it into service quickly—it doesn’t sound right.

    Also, if you don’t mind, please describe the symptoms you are experiencing in more detail. I can’t help but wonder if there is a defect or if you just don’t like the characteristics of the steering. But again, I wouldn’t mess with this and would get it straight into service and insist on testing another car to compare.
  • it feels like I struggle w/the car every time I turn. It almost feels like manual steering. Like i previously stated it also feels like it tries to run off the road if the roadway is not level. It seems to me the computer does not know how to handle defects in the road. On the highway it seems Ok, but it still fights w/me on turns. will bring car in.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I just want to say I have had a '91 & '95 Legend as well as a '99 528 and currently a '03 530 for background. So I went to test drive a new RL to see how close they have come to a 5-series. Here are my observations:

    1) Interior is very nice with superb seating. Materials quality is inching ever so close to BMW.
    2) Ride was firmer than previous Acuras I have owned and quite similar to my 530 with normal suspension.
    3) Power was more than a 530 for sure but felt a little longer to respond probably because of heavier weight in spite of more torque.
    4) I could feel the power in the front wheels through the steering wheel. Not torque steer at all but it gave the steering a little lighter weight than the 530. The 4-wheel drive was unobtrusive in normal driving but I did not push it in my test drive.
    5) The takeup on abrupt bumps seemed to be less forgiving than on the BMW.
    6) On very rough surfaces I feel the BMW wins.
    7) Throttle off response is not as smooth as the BMW. Now this might go away as the car breaks in.
    8) Brakes feel on par.
    9) Seating position is excellent with nice cockpit feel as the BMW.
    10)Engine sounds are a bit louder and more guttural than a BMW. I still think a BMW six is a winner.
    11)If you have to have all the toys - an Acura might be $3-5K less than a 530, so there is a BMW premium.

    I did enjoy getting back in the 530 though...
    A lot to say for a design that is 8 years before the RL.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I think that something must be wrong. I have an 04 545 with active steering and I certainly don't feel like it is dangerous to drive. It also doesn't try to run off the road on rough surfaces or fight me on turns. In fact, the only thing I really found I had to get used to was turning at very slow speeds (like into a parking spot). Then it turned more quickly than I expected (felt like a 90 degree turn). Now I'm used to that too. I don't have any of the same problems with mine as you seem to be having so I would think something is wrong and it's sound advice to bring it in to get looked at.
  • Rich, ddes car feel extremely bumpy on rough roads?
  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    While I haven't tried active steering, I've read up on it quite a bit, but "can't handle ruts" and "pulling car off the road" have not been noted.

    However, it occurs to me that perhaps you are experiencing the effects of the Sport Package suspension and tires (I'm assuming you tested an '04, rather than an '05 that may of had Active Steering apart from the Sport Package). Certain tires, frequently performance tires, may exhibit the phenomenom known as "tram-lining", i.e., a tendency for the tires to follow certain imperfections in the road (such as ruts), and transmit this back to the driver. I've experienced this myself in the 3-series we used to own, and it can sort of feel like the car is "pulling you off the road".

    As far as "extremely bumpy on rough roads", the sport suspension will inevitably result in a somewhat harsher ride on rough roads (after all, the suspension is stiffer, by design). So depending on what else you may have tried, as SP-equipped 5 might feel like you've described.

    While I've been shouted down on this before, try a non-SP 5-series, which I think is still plenty sporty, but has less performance-oriented, all-season tires, and more compliant suspension.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    For an upcoming article, one of our editors is looking to correspond with women executives about what they drive – or wish they did – and why. If you’ve got an opinion, please email Joanne Helperin, using “execs” in the subject line, at


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    It feels like it has tight suspension because it has the sport package, but I wouldn't say it's "extremely" bumpy on rough roads. I had a 330xi with sport package before it and it was just bumpy. Is there any way you could go to the dealer and test drive another car? Then you could compare the ride your's offers to another car.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    I come in here periodically to thank you all for your participation and information. This is one of the best forums in Edmunds. My 5er is a seriously great car, have just gone over 23600 miles and it continues to shine, it is a wonderful car. I still have the Michelin Pilot Primacy tires that came with the car. They have been very outstanding tires, even though they get some low marks in Tire Rack from owners. I have been very satisfied with them but when it comes time to replace them will try another tire.
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Didn't get a chance to remark about the engine and suspension. This car is so stable at high speeds you could drive at sustained high speeds all day if you didn't have to look in the rear view mirror for the local gendarmes. My acceleration away from stop lights is so great that I don't miss not having the V-8 from the 540, but most likely if I had it I would enjoy that car,also. BMW cannot be beat !
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,322
    Interesting article in Roundel on the V10 Powered E60 M5 (ARGH, ARGH, ARGH). BMW opted not to put active steering on the new M5. Hmm.

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

  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I know this is the 5 series board, but I figured people would have interest in this. On BMW's Owner's Circle website they now have official pictures and video of the 06 3 series. I think it looks great, but the anti-Bangles out there might not (especially the dash).
  • mtv65mtv65 Posts: 45
    01 530i with Sport 235/45R17's......

    Fuzion ZRi or Pirelli Pzero Nero M+S.

    I'd like to take a quick poll for those who have experience on either of these tires. First of all, it's my wife's so comfort(quiet) is on the top of her list. I do drive it occasionally, so performance would be second and finally longevity. Price range less than $150.

    If there are other tires that I should consider, do let me know.

  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Somebody once published pictures of the Head Up Display in operation and I seem to recall it was on this forum. If so, could you re-post them? Based on those pictures, I got HUD on the 2005 545 I just picked up and I want to show them to someone else who is interested.

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