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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • jim52jim52 Posts: 161
    I posted this a while back but I'm not sure if anyone replied. The salesperson at the dealership I just talked to said that I would probably have to get snow tires if I got the sports package since the tires would not be able to handle the snow that well. Does anyone know if this is true?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    jim52... Check out the info on the tires. See if they are all-season or not. Many dedicated Sport Pkgs for European or Japanese cars come with non-all-season ("summer") tires. These should not be used on snow or ice.

    All cars, but especially RWD cars, benefit from use of dedicated winter tires (e.g., Blizzaks).

    If your car's tires are NOT all season (e.g., are "summer only" high performance tires) AND you plan on driving in the winter AND it snows or gets icy where you live, then you really should get a good set of winter-oriented tires. All-seasons for sure, but probably more realistically dedicated winter tires. If you don't want to go that route, garage the car till Spring!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Basically, true. The tires that BMW uses on SP equipped cars are made for summer/warm driving conditions. If you peruse the various tire manufacturer web sites, you will come upon numerous references to "Silica" being used in All-Season and Winter tires to replace the "Ash" used in the summer tires. Apparently, rubber compounds that have a high ash content are great for summer grip, however, they turn hard as rocks when cold. On the other hand, All-Season and Winter tires using silica in the compound have better adhesion AND are more flexible when the weather turns cold. According to what I read (I think on the Michelin site) tread design and rubber compound are the two most significant factors that determine how well a tire grips in the snow.

    In short, a proper Winter tire (or All-Season for that matter) will have a more open tread pattern (for better bite in snow) and a high silica content in the rubber which keeps the rubber flexible when cold and results in a greater contact patch than a similar sized summer tire.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    One LS beating one 540i is not a whole lot to crow about for said President of the LLSOC. If you follow autocross at all, you will hear the occasional story of some poor sucker driving an M3 or Porsche (more money than driving ability) getting stomped by some dude in a buffed out Neon (more driving ability than money?).

    Let them crow, we know which is the better-designed machine. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    ya gotta wonder who was driving the 540. . .and as reiz pointed out, what year it was, etc.

    However, autocross results are interesting, and given enough real data, could be significant. Many people have the opinion that many (if not most) BMW drivers are in it for the image, not because it's the "ultimate driving machine." Present company (for the most part) excepted, but to reiz's point last week, the "yuppie scum" image that the BMW acquired in the '80's is still alive and well. If autocrosses included more BMW's (and LS's, 300M's, 2.7T's, etc.), it would help cement the concept that the BMW (as well as the others) was truly a competitive performer in the hands of typical owners (or renters), rather than a great car wasted on the people who use it. Talk is cheap, and straight-line acceleration or boulevard ride is not what most of us (on this board) acquired our cars for.

    Disclosure: I own a Lincoln LS w/ a manual, and am confident that 99.5% of LS owners/renters would be put to shame on an autocross course, regardless of the competition. However, the potential is there, and that's what sells high-performance sedans.

    The point is, the enthusiasts who enjoy their luxury (or wanna-be luxury, in my case) sports sedans should get out there and "show them what you're working with." It's good fun and tends to put real data behind the blather that we're so often blessed with on these boards. I gave up on the 300M guys months ago.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    I posted a similar post on the 3-Series board, but there may be different readers here, so I ask for your feed back also.

    I plan to lease a 530i (or 330i - not sure yet which one) in January. However, I have tentative plans to be in Germany about May 30, 2002.

    If I go for ED, I save $2,760 (plus tax) per BMW web site. However, for delivery on May 30, 2002 (I will use car 8 days), I must place the order by 4/4, purchase (or lease) car by 4/30, and then wait until 8/2 until the car arives home at my local dealer.

    Assuming the lease cost is around $750/month (options on car are PP, SP, Zenons, premium sound, fold down rear seats, plus tax, license, docs, etc.), I would be paying $2,250 in lease payments without the use of the car. Plus the car has depreciated 3 months and I finally get possession of the car near the end of the model year (and model cycle).

    My question is whether the real cost savings is worth the added wait. All told, I would have to wait for the car an extra two months for a small cost savings. Is my analogy correct? Please advise. Thank you.
  • ls1bmw0ls1bmw0 Posts: 782
    I forgot to include that on the week before at the San Diego autocross there was another 540 that happened to lose to said LS also. FYI, the year of the 540s at both the San Diego event and the Cal. Speedway event were 2000s. And the LS is substantially stock. Drivers in both instances were people who had decent amounts of autocrossing experience.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    In today's mail I received my BMW Car Club of America membership card and package. Looks quite professional. Can't wait to start receiving their magazine, Roundel. How many of you are members? Have you had good luck with the club and the local chapters?

    I'd love to see what my completely stock 1998 540i 6-speed (or any other completely stock 1997-2002 540i 6-speed) could do in comparison to any completely stock 2000-2001-2002 LS Sport on pretty much any course. Guess I'm not sure what it means to be "substantially stock". Is that like being "a little bit pregnant"?
  • ls1bmw0ls1bmw0 Posts: 782
    I don't remember coming on this board to trade insults or pick a fight. I was simply stating facts from my personal experience. Maybe you should look in the mirror to find out why people think you're a snob.
  • Your assertion that you didn't come "on this board to trade insults or pick a fight" is belied both by your postings and your chosen moniker. Moreover, I would suggest to you that inference by anecdote is, at best, an imperfect research methodology.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ls1bmw0... Please let us know what "substantially stock" means? What modifications have you made to your Lincoln LS? Tires? Tire pressure? Wheels? Intake? Exhaust? Computer chips? Suspension? Aerodynamic? How much did it all cost?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    You bring up a good point about ED; your ownership does indeed start at delivery, and does not pause for that shipment period until you get the car stateside (although, obviously, you don't have to insure and register it until it arrives here). Therefore, you're not getting the best deal out of your lease. However, given the cost savings involved in ED, you may find it's still worthwhile. Calculating whether or not it's feasible is up to you, because it involves consideration about how long/expensive a trip you're planning to Europe, and how that's accounted for...

    As for the decision about which model, I extensively looked into both the 330 and 530, and decided on the latter. I found it much more comfortable (no, I'm not an old man), nicer ergonomics and features, and nearly as fast and nimble (it's only 180 pounds heavier). If the money was a serious issue, I'd be happy with the 330, but I was more impressed overall with the 5.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, $750 per month for a 530i, PP, SP, Xenon, Premium Sound and Fold Down Seats via ED? I priced out a similar car (no fold down seats) via ED and with zero down (price includes $1,400 dealer profit and sales tax, I pay the title and license) the monthly price I come up with is $529.12.

    On the subject of transit time, I was under the impression that it was only four weeks from drop off in Europe until delivery at the local dealership. Could this be because I am in the NYC area?

    Best Regards,
  • ls1bmw0ls1bmw0 Posts: 782
    Sorry about the moniker. Had it long before I got on any of the Edmunds boards. My posting was in response to assertions that only one race against a 540 does not make a success. There is nothing written anywhere that states that only BMW can win races. And you can only start one win at a time. Do I expect to lose to other 540's as I compete against them? Of course. That's the nature of racing.

    I was specific in my statements regarding handling and power as it relates to autocrossing, especially on the LS board. As the founder of the LLSOC it would be pretty stupid for me to not champion the car, as it would be pretty stupid for the BMWCCA president to champion a Lincoln.

    I am not criticizing the 5 series, but I would hope that there is enough open-mindedness to realize that other people may not necessarily consider that it owns the title of the Ultimate Driving Machine, outside of the M5, which truly deserves the title. I was encouraging my membership to get out and try autocrossing and letting them know that they could compete against a 540 on equal footing. Period. And that was all I was stating here. I autocross a lot. I test drove both the 540 and the LS extremely hard at the limits and decided that, for me, the 540 wasn't worth the extra money for what I wanted the car to do.

    Modifications to the car were as follows:
    1. New intake snout, cold-air intake and gutted-out airbox. Cost: $15.00
    2. Borla Exhaust: Cost $680.93
    3. No computer chip modifications or engine modifications.
    4. 18x8 Voxx MGR wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 245/45/18Z tires: $2,500
    5. Replacement Sport shocks from Lincoln: $240.00

    Grand Total: $3,435.93

    On top of the $35,500 I paid for the LS-8, that is under $40,000.
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Your monthly lease payment on a 530I is about what mine was going to be on a 325I -- a $12,000 cheaper vehicle. Sorry, if you've listed this out before, but could you run down the terms of your lease -- and is it a BMW subsidized lease?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ls1bmw0... Do the above costs include labor? Seems like the exhaust system is just cost of parts but not any labor costs. And are these special wholesale prices (e.g., the exhaust) not available to the general public? How much would your mods cost to have it done in a shop? By Lincoln? And so as to maintain any original warranty?
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    I just placed an order 530 and hopefully it will be here soon (January delivery), but the LS was one of my considerations. I have not been a fan of American made cars, but LS does look quite handsome and the v8 for the price less than the 530, even with your modification? It was hard not to be attracted. But our decision was largely based no my wife's preference and 5 series has always been her dream car, so not much say in it for me.

    I think the American cars in general are getting much better than what they used to be. It may proved to be a good competition against Japanese and European cars, given the pricing point. Long term reliability and durability may have to be proven, but otherwise I think cars like LS and Z06, 2 of the few American cars I would consider, are headed in the right direction. For some people, especially most of us on this list here (I think) would agree that the higher cost on the BMW is justified, but for some perhaps it isn't, as you've put it.

    As for the autocross comment, I personally think it is hard to compare the different cars with different drivers, etc. since so many things can effect the results. Where do you draw the line, even with the same driver, to make them truly in equal footing? Granted, they both have the similar selling points-power, luxury, and sportiness. At the end of the day, to me the driver is the most important part of racing followed very closely by the car (power, handling, braking).
  • ls1bmw0ls1bmw0 Posts: 782
    That would be because I did the work myself. The prices (as you well know from being a part of the LLSOC in your previous life, Michael) are club prices, which are also discounts that are available to BMWCCA membership through your club, if they choose to offer it. Regular pricing for the Borla would be $899.

    Since I do all my own work on my car I wouldn't know what the cost would be to have it done in the shop nor do I care about whether the warranty is affected since I'm out of warranty and racing isn't covered under warranty anyway, though I know where you're attempting to go with this as to justifying the total price compared to your 540.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    When I compared pricing to LS, it favored the 528i and 540i, but I was also including CPO and new, and taking into account long-term resale/depreciation. I got my '98 540i manual for about $36,000. For that MSRP price I could buy a new loaded LS V-6 manual or a new base, no option LS V-8. I could've gotten a used loaded LS V-8 Sport automatic in mid $20,000s. The resale value for the next four years appears to favor the 540i manual over a new or used LS. And my 540i manual is under warranty for 2 years and 50,000 miles (up to 6 years/100,000 miles from first service use).

    Keep in mind that a decently loaded LS V-8 with Sport Pkg and AdvanceTrac (their stability control system) along with some other options likely to be found on units in dealer stock, will probably push the MSRP around $40,000. And that V-8 cannot be had with a manual transmission for any price from Lincoln! The more apples-to-apples new price comparison might be 530i to LS V-8. The published stock performance figures comparing 530i manual to LS V-8 automatic favor the 530i. LS V-8 0-60 mph in mid-7 seconds.
  • Brian, I think it is pointless to argue with reiz, he is the same guy that commented how the LS was so much better in many respects to a 300M, but did note also previously how the LS stood out in many respects to the BMW in such things like interior size and size of the trunk. What matters is we picked our vehicles because we feel confident in our purchase. He is trying to nitpick down the little details to help himself compensate for moving from the LS to the BMW.

    I like BMW's, nothing against them, but for me, the LS fit the build with more room in the trunk and rear seats. And it was cheaper, so I got what I desired. And I do believe that many a BMW drivers can take me out on an autocross, but I can take many out as well in the LS. It's more than just the car and mods, it's the driver too.
  • ls1bmw0ls1bmw0 Posts: 782
    You are absolutely correct sir. Autocrossing is more dependent on driver skill than anything else. I have seen cars that are definite underdogs being able to overwhelm far superior cars due to driver skill.

    The American cars do have a long row to hoe. And all I'm attempting to do is present evidence that they are getting closer. BMW built it's reputation on excellent standard bearers for the performance sports sedan. The 5-series is a fine automobile and justifiably so. It is a dream car for a lot of people. Lincoln doesn't have a performance image that would make people dream of a LS unfortunately. It's a new vehicle and in some ways (especially in the dealership area) falls short of BMW. But that doesn't make it any less of a contender. It's a new model. Will it make it? I personally would be tickled pink to have an American car company model able to compete in all aspects with the best of the world.

    I'm not attempting to change anyone's mindset or convince any of you that a LS is the equal of a BMW. It won't happen. All I ask is that you keep an open mind.

    Sorry for taking this much room on your board. I will cease and let riez enjoy himself without any additional responses.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,056
    Thanks for your kind words regarding the LS and other North American efforts.

    Competition, both on the corporate and individual levels, improves the product/driver. I think it's called the market-driven system in the first case and learning in the second.

    As for me, I'd take a 540 in a heartbeat if the prices were similar, but unlike Brian I have the V6 (since you can't get a manual any other way), which is many thousands of dollars less than even a used 540 (new enough to get a warranty long enough to soothe my concerns about reliability and "breathtakingly expensive" repairs).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    ls1bmw0 & alphanstein... Aren't we talking about serious all around high performance sport sedans? And as relates to what they can do while seriously driven on road and track? Things like interior room and trunk space are important, but not critical, in this comparison.

    Nice FWDer like 300M isn't bad for price and offers great interior room and trunk space. But its platform has some inherent limitations. The 5 Series and LS are RWD with near 50/50 weight distribution. 540i and 530i allow manual transmission; LS V-6 does, too, but not LS V-8. Useable interior and trunk space is quite similar between 5 Series and LS. The 5 Series has the wonderful space-saving multi-link trunk hinges, which really increase daily trunk useability.

    No one is trying to nitpick anything. My 540i manual is an amazing car. The 4.4L V-8 is unbelievable. 5 Series is consistently given the highest kudos by C&D, Automobile Magazine, etc. How many times has LS made C&D's 10 Best List? Or Automobile's All Stars List? Both the '97 5 Series and '00 LS were Motor Trend Car of the Year winners (with LS-derived T-bird now winning for MY '02).
  • jim52jim52 Posts: 161
    Shipo, I'd like to see the terms of your lease quote too. The $750 per month figure that was posted above seems pretty high. I just started shopping and the first quote I got from a dealer was around $625 per month (including 9% tax) for 530 auto, PP, SP, and zenon. This same dealership originally quoted me around the same price for a 328 when I started shopping for one 3 yrs ago. I ended up paying $515 per month. $529 seems like a great deal. I guess the only additional costs are those associated with the trip to Germany but you can consider that a vacation.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Maybe I missed something, however, here are the numbers that I have calculated for a 530i:

    $33,020.00 – 530i via ED (ED Invoice)
    $00,645.00 – Destination Charge
    $00,000.00 – Black Sapphire Paint
    $00,000.00 – Black Leather Seats (Included in the Premium Package)
    $02,805.00 – Premium Package (Invoice)
    $01,955.00 – Sport Package (Invoice)
    $00,425.00 – Xenon Headlights (Invoice)
    $01,020.00 – Premium Sound (Invoice)

    $39,870.00 – Sub-Total
    $01,400.00 – Dealer Profit (Passport BMW)
    $41,270.00 – Vehicle Price

    $00,098.10 – Luxury Tax (calculated for 2002)
    $00,769.98 – Sales Tax ((41,270 – 28,437) * .06) (See Note 1 below)

    $42,138.08 – Financed Amount (See Note 2 below)

    According to a lease calculation program, the monthly payment should work out to $529.12 for a 36-month 15K per year lease, assuming that I have not missed anything.

    Note 1: I calculated the residual as 60% of the MSRP from a dealership, which is $47,395.00 for the above car. In New Jersey, sales tax is paid on the difference between Vehicle price, which is $41,270.00, and the residual, which is $28,437.00. I used a residual of 60%, which according to my understanding is conservative for a 36-month lease with 15K miles per year.

    Note 2: I will pay for the Title and License separately.

    Best Regards,
  • When will the next generation 5 series debut? Will it come out in fall of 2002 as 2003 model? An article in Smart Money magazine says that the redesigned car won't come out untill 2003 as 2004 model.
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    I think this one keeps coming up regularly. Everyone agrees that this will be around 2003, looking a lot like the new 7.
  • jim52jim52 Posts: 161
    Makes sense to me. The 3,300 difference in invoice saves you about 100 per month.
  • I want to buy a BMW in the next 30 days. I am torn between the 530 and the 525. Is the 40hp increase in the 530 worth the 4K?

    Thanks in advance.
  • You mean to come out in 2003 as a 2004 model?
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