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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • keep1keep1 Posts: 2
    In haste to order a 5 series I can "afford", I recently placed an order for a 525i w/ nothing on it but cold weather pkg, and moonroof. Thinking I could live w/o leather, but now in closer examination think the interior may be VERY stark,,,ie No Vavona redwood around the stick, dash etc. (as I did not order PP)....does anyone know if the the basis 525 has NO woodgrain,,,and basically lots of colored plastic?? Sounds a bit ugly.
    Next question,,,how flexible/ able are dealers to modify orders that are just a few days old??
  • nobeenobee Posts: 194
    thanks! that's what i thought...

  • ek5ek5 Posts: 33
    Hi - Anyone know where the best place to get all-weather(rubber)car mats/liner is? Dealer wants to charge $87 for set of 4 mats, but don't know if they make trunk liner as well. Thanks.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I don't know about the 5-Series (yet), however, on my 328i, all I have to do is flip the trunk liner over, and presto-chango, you have a rubber liner complete with little grippers in your trunk.

    As for the floor mats, $87 sounds pretty good for "Molded to Fit" floor mats for any specific car. If, however, your Dealer wants to sell you a generic set for that amount, I would look further.

    Best Regards,
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    Try this one. Front and rear for $58.91 plus shipping. I have the same and they are great. They do not have the trunk mat, but I'd try calling them. They seem to have pretty good price. Caveat, their return policy may not be so friendly.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    It's NOT a stupid question; autobox BMWs no longer have a dipstick. Fluid level is checked by removing the fill plug at a specific fluid temperature. BMW claims the tranny is filled with a "lifetime" fluid, but many owners change it at 50-80 thousand miles. The magic fluid isn't cheap; plan on spending @$500 for a dealer change.
  • john01john01 Posts: 246
    Was that true for E34 as well?
  • joseph40joseph40 Posts: 17

    I am scheduled to pick-up my 530i in May. I caught part of one of your messages and it appears that you drove to Paris during your ED. Do you have any information? We are flying into Paris, staying a few days, catching an overnight train to Munich, picking up the car and making our way back to Paris, via Lucerne. Any comments, suggestions, etc.

    Also, if anyone else has any input, it would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    Paris was our final destination when we did our ED last July. After 10 days in Munich, other Bavarian destinations, and Austria, we arrived on Bastille Day eve. Our first stop was the E.H. Harms agent to drop off the car for shipment -- I did not want to be learning how to drive in Paris in our new 530i! Will you be turning the car over there as well? They are located in a massive underground public parking garage several blocks from the Arc de Triomphe. I was apprehensive at first, since the car would be sitting over the holiday weekend in a narrow Euro-sized parking space. No damage, though.

    I recommend picking up a copy of the Dorling Kindersly (DK) Paris guide -- it was our bible. Very comprehensive and easy to use. Have you booked accommodations yet? If not, I can recommend the 2 places we stayed: The Hotel Madison on Blvd. Saint Germain (mildly pricey, prime location, very nice), and the Hotel Senateur by the Luxembourg Garden (very reasonable, less luxurious, quieter but still very nice location). Getting around involves using the Metro -- easy to learn, but the stations are a laberynthine maze of connections between lines -- and lots of walking. It was my first visit to Paris, and I was not prepared for the scale of the city. If you want to visit the museums (Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, etc.), buy the passes that are good for several days. More importantly than saving you a few Euros, they allow you to bypass the lines that form at the entrances on rainy weekend days (since you are going off-season, this may not be a big factor for you). As hokey as it sounds, visit the Eiffel Tower. The view of course is unparalleled, but it's the structure itself that's truly amazing.

    Aside from other touristy stuff like taking a bateau mouche ride down the Seine, the other thing to recommend is to do like the Parisiens -- enjoy the cafe life, and drink wine at every meal (well, afternoons and evenings, anyway). Even the most reasonably priced table wine is more than acceptable.

    After a few days in Paris, we rented a small but peppy Renault Kangoo for a side trip to the Loire Valley (very recommended -- I can provide more specifics if you're interested). It was much more suited to Parisien traffic than the BMW, and driving it there was a blast. Any time you're stopped in traffic, though, do not open a door blindly, or you will take out one of the leather-clad motorcyclists that use the spaces between cars as bike express lanes.

    I'm sure that the world travelers on this board can provide many additional suggestions. You will love Paris.
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    I spotted a 7 series car again today, and I thought to myself...that is one ugly car. I think the car maker blew the design on this one big time. It resembles Altima in my opinion, I am sure it is a good car but the styling sucks.
  • 9186089991860899 Posts: 3
    I flew into Paris back in 9/2000 and took the DB overnight train to Munich. Arrived 7:30 Appx. to Munchen. After a couple days in Austria, Fussen and we drove up to up via Stuttgart to Karlsrhue to Heidelburg. The point is, I want to stay in German autobahn as long as can for 2 reasons:
    1) Obviosuly, speed limit. German doesn't have one, but the French does.
    2) German autobahn are wider and best of all. Free!! (you pay in French autobahn for miles traveled, bring a credit card!! :-))

    Before anyone ask, I didn't really care about the break in period, as I don't keep my BMW's long enough to change the first round of oil. Besides, The BMW reps in Munich told me to relax and enjoy the car, BMW are much better build car then anyone here on this board knows.

    Yeah, FYI Reiz, I bought 5 bimmers in the last 30 months (6 if you count my M5, but that's a keeper). And I've been able to sell each and everyone of my Bimmers for more than I paid for the car. That essentially allows me to recover the money I spend in traveling for a week w/ the wife. So please don't give me your BS about not being able to save money w/ Euro delivery. I have NO interest trying to convert you to a ED beliver. After all, If everyone is a believer, then I won't be able to turn my cars over as esaily. Then I will actually have to PAY for my semi-annual vacation out of my pocket. So believe what you will.

    Back to Paris, for those of you who are planning for ED, do your self a big favor, select the Navigation option. Yes, I know you are probably not a believer in Nav system, all I can tell you is that it is WELL worth it!! Take it from the one who has done it many times.

    Driving in Paris in your new car can be nerve wrecking. You have to be aggresive and not being affariad of step on the gas. Keep in mind that if you leave a gap, then someone will squeeze in there. BMW offers a comprehensive insurance w/ zero deductble, no question ask type of insurance. All at no cost to you, so do drive w/ a piece of mind.

    btw, I also stayed at Hotel Jedermann, Nice place, with very reasonable rate (inclds an authetic Bavaria Breakfast). I highly recommended.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    Actually, I am leaving for Munich with my wife the day after tax day, we are scheduled to pick my 530i up on 17-Apr, and then take a leisurely drive on the two lane back roads to Paris for a long weekend with friends and family. Needless to say, I intend to have a route already mapped out directly to a parking garage, where the 530i will spend its tenure in Paris. ;-)


    Sounds like you had a wonderful trip, I like the idea of the Museum passes, the last time I was there (1985) they either did not have them, or I did not hear of them, either way, I stood in the rain. ;-)


    Last night, while I was waiting for my car in a garage at 56th and 7th, I noticed a new S500 sitting next to a 745i, so I just walked around both cars, and made some mental comparisons. All in all, IF I was in the market for such a car (trust me, even if I could afford one of them (I can't), I would still rather have my 530i), I have to admit it, the Mercedes-Benz would easily win out over the BMW. While the BMW may be the most technically advanced of the two, the MB wins hands down as far as looks goes, both inside and out.

    Best Regards,
  • bmw323isbmw323is Posts: 410
    I believe the web site of (WeatherTech) has very good rubber mats and trunk liners. I have not bought them, but I know others that have. They advertise in most of the car mags. Their phone number is 800 441-6287.
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    I am with you on that, even if I could afford one I would not get 745i. If someone gives me the car for free (dream on...) I would sell it and get another 530i or 540(fully loaded) and invest the extra cash. I think you will do the same too, right?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    On the other hand, I would probably just keep the 530i and find a nice Ferrari Dino 246 GTS to tool around in for weekend play-time. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    91860899... Regarding #2950, the minute I can actually pore over all the paperwork, bills, receipts, etc., not to mention the time it takes and how a real dealer acts toward negotiating prices, all associated with ED, then, and only then, will I be convinced. Unsubstantiated unverified anectodal evidence doesn't prove anything. I chuckle at all the claims about huge ED savings. It seems to be a group of people trying to convince the rest of us that it is the only rational way to go. I'm still waiting for proof. You also make some interesting claims about the number of BMWs you've bought in the last five years and how much you "made" on them. It's a free world. But no one here has any ability to know if what you purport is accurate. So not sure what you mean about "BS".
  • 530bmw530bmw Posts: 130
    Please do not chastise me for posting this question about Maxima here. I tried the Maxima board but could not find anything relate to my problem. I know members on this board own a number of Maximas and have plenty of knowlege about cars in general that's why I am giving it a try. Here is my problem: my 95 Maxima's rear left door is hard to open/close, it is dragging when I try to open all the way out. Mechanically speaking, there are three parts that control openning/closing of the door: two hinges and a control arm (not sure what it call but it control how wide the door can swing open).I suspect that one of the two hinges is bad because it is causing the arm to rub against it track which make the door hard to open/close. Is there a way for me to tell which part is bad? As for the hinges how can I tell if the top or the bottom one is bad. Each one costs about $40, I do not want to waste money to replace both. Any advice will be appreciated.

    brave1heart/habitat, I know one of you own a 95 Maxima can you shed some light?
  • zubazuba Posts: 58
    I have owned a 98 Maxima GLE for 2 years - and the front passenger door has been a [non-permissible content removed] to open and close since day one!!! Never bothered to fix it cause I drive the car. Well yesterday I found some old WD-40 in the garage - sprayed it a lot, and it is 75% better today!!!

    A friend who also had a Max told me she had the same problem!!

    Try it before replacing hinges!
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    Just got back from ED a week ago - had a blast of course, and saved about $1000/- *including* the cost of the trip.

    I think Beewang's right - if what he says is true, then he has a gift of unloading nearly-new bimmers for a profit. (Bee - followed your M5 trip across the country with great fascination on the bimmer board)

    Shipo went into extraordinary details some posts ago to details costs. Rather than repeating him with my version, here's some more information for you: Can't say you'd be convinced reading that either.

    IMHO, at the end of the day, you can't be too anal about every single penny. The objective here is to get a good car, have a good time and not get cleaned out of your wallet doing so; this is not an excercise in creating a balance sheet. And if you are as smart as beewang, you can also make money having fun. Then there is a value placed on human emotion - the joy of experiencing new places and other cultures, the thrill of 100mph+ driving, the memories you have with loved ones - these just don't translate into money.

    If you are worried about every single penny, may I respectfully suggest that you shouldn't be considering a bimmer. I'll paraphrase one of my good friends: If you want to save money, stay at home - you'll save a lot! If you want to save more money - don't buy a bimmer - you'll save even more! In any case, for most people, a car never a smart investment. It is a depreciating asset, and expensive cars depreciate more in absolute $$ terms.

    'Nuff said.


    PS: For all you ED travelers, Lufthansa economy was sorely lacking in food and comfort. Try some other airline or try business.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    vishnu... Notice it isn't me that is always claiming that ED is essentially guaranteed to save every potential buyer thousands of dollars and provide what then turns out to be a "free" vacation.

    ALL I say is the only true comparison is between:

    a. A buyer in USA negotiating really hard with available dealers to get the absolute best price s/he can. And the absolute best leasing or financing deal.

    b. The total cost of ED, including time, effort, paperwork, etc. Not sure I've seen anyone who has actually done an ED deal account for all the money costs, time costs, hassle costs, waiting costs, etc. The true cost of ED is more than just mere dollars!

    And the person in (b) can only claim a comparison if they also first seriously tried to do (a). Because without trying (a) first, how do they know how much the same or similar car would cost non-ED?

    That leads me to opine that a good negotiator in (a) might not be paying that much more (or possibly even less) than the person in (b) once you factor in all relevant actual and opportunity costs.

    Thus it might be perfectly logical and economically rational to NOT go ED.

    I'd love to know whether or not you get a better trade deal if you ED or not? Or will dealers doing ED not take trades? (I'd be fearful to do an ED with trade and then wreck my trade while I wait for the ED.)

    I'd also love ED people to report on their financing. Can you finance thru your bank or credit union? Or are you trapped with BMW FS?

    Can you lease thru ED? I don't know. If not, then ED wouldn't be the way to go if leasing is in your interest. If yes, is the lease deal less than what you could get leasing directly from dealer stock?

    Conclusion: If anyone says ED is better always or in most cases, then they bear the burden of proving it. And if they can't prove it, then just say ED works for you but might not for others (and might not actually save you money).

    Fair 'nuff?
  • zubazuba Posts: 58
    Great question - I would like to know the answer as well!!

    I just struck a great deal on ED - and am sleeping on a few options over the weekend before pulling the trigger - so I would like to know about Ed financing as well!!

    I know you have to pay for the car ahead of time!

    When do you pay State taxes on the car? When you register it upon arrival?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    In 1998, I negotiated a non-ED deal for my current 1999 328i, the MSRP was $38,720 and the negotiated price was $36,777.66. I leased the car with a "Zero Down" lease (meaning paying security, first month and origination fee, totaling about $1,400), which worked out to $510 per month for 39 months. During the process, I visited the dealership three times, the first was to test drive and start negotiations, the second was to order the car and pay the initial deposit money, and the third was to pay the final monies due, sign the final paperwork, and take delivery of the car. Said three visits took place over a three and a half month period, and no one visit took more than an hour (including the test drive). Given that I was active on the TownHall 3-Series board of the time, I knew what type of deal I should have been able to negotiate, and told the salesman that fact when I first met him. He countered with his “No BS best price” which was less than $200 higher than the number that I was looking for (which I had not told him yet), and I decided to look no further, done deal.

    Total savings (interpolated from the old lease agreement):
    CAP: ~$1,942.34
    Monthly: ~$57.20

    Now, in 2002, once again, being active on the BMW boards, I had a fair idea of the type of deal that I was looking for, namely, about $1,500 over ED invoice. A 20-minute discussion with a salesman at the dealership where I leased the 328i provided no joy, so I decided to call around. On my first call, I made my offer; the salesman said “I will call you back in five minutes.” He called back in eight minutes, and asked me if I was willing to order the car right then, and I told him the equipment that I wanted and that I would be right over with a deposit check. I drove right over, signed the order, gave him a deposit, and walked out with a 36 month lease on a $47,395 MSRP car for $558 per month (CAP cost of $42,180), once again with “Zero Down” (meaning paying security, first month AND second month (required by BMWFS for ED), GAP insurance (also required by BMWFS, and not a bad idea anyway), and origination fee, totaling about $2,500). I have since had to make two other trips to the dealership to sign an ED related document, and deliver a notarized photocopy of my Passport, and to drop off the final monies due 30 days prior to delivery in Munich.

    Total savings (less the cost of the trip):
    CAP: $5,684.35 (Including extra sales and luxury taxes)
    Monthly: $170.00

    Given that I travel a fair amount, and have the associated costs calculated fairly accurately (and I am sure that I have), the cost (as previously posted) for a minimal “Lone Wolf” trip would be $1,243.19, generating a savings of $4,441.16. To match that deal, you would have to negotiate a 530i, 5-Speed, PP, SP, PA, Xenon down to about $1,000 BELOW the dealerships’ invoice cost, which, in my opinion, is not very likely.

    Do I think that ED is a better deal if you are already planning a trip to Europe? Without question, and to the best of my knowledge, nobody here has contested that point.

    Do I think that ED is a better deal if an individual does a 2-day “Quickie”? Absolutely.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yes, you can lease a car obtained via ED, in fact, see my last post, I am doing it.

    Best Regards,
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    You are not confined to BMW FS to finance an ED deal. I got financing thru my credit union, same terms as any other deal. Needing payment in hand 30 days before delivery was not a problem.
  • pap5pap5 Posts: 144
    You say that you don't care about break-in because you flip your Bimmers quickly. What does that do for the poor sap who becomes the second or third owner? BMW engines may be built to robust standards, but does anyone really know the effect of redline gear changes on a green engine 75,000-150,000 miles down the line? Buyer beware, certainly, but how is a buyer going to tell without tearing down the engine and inspecting key components for abnormal wear? What buyer would do it? What seller would allow it?
  • vishnu11vishnu11 Posts: 59
    Riez, good point re: comparison, so here's some guidance (David Zuba I guess you wanted the answers too):

    (a) I did do the eval between non-ED and ED and ED won.

    My first question was exactly the same - is it worth it economically to do ED? From the point of view of the price of the car, ED won handsomely. I negotiated with the dealer first a flat $1200 profit over invoice (at the time I was undecided re ED/non-ED). Therefore, if the cost of the car was $35K ED invoice, I agreed to pay $36200 and if it cost $40K non-ED invoice, I agreed to pay $41200. As you probably already know, ED invoice is significantly less than non-ED invoice. In addition to that, ED implied that I did not have to pay for MACO fees which dealers will pass on if the car will be delivered non-ED. In the Boston area, that's around $200+. Finally, its easier for a reasonable dealer to negotiate a tighter profit margin because ED does not feature into the dealership's car allotment.

    My next question was: is the savings worth the extra hassle and paperwork, if any? I kept travel arrangements out of this because travel is something I can control. When I investigated it, ED paperwork is not significantly different than regular non-ED delivery. Perhaps the only difference is that you have to sign a piece of paper committing to ED delivery when the production number is available. I also was keen on getting the factory tour, so I pestered the dealer and BMWNA for this until I was satisfied I was on the list (note that this is an optional step). I did get an International Driver's License, but this is a 10 min thing at a AAA office. You need a passport obviously, and if you don't have this, its a bit of a hassle getting it done in time for the trip.

    My final question was: Is financing going to be a [non-permissible content removed]? I did investigate this, and it turns out that I will be out of about $100 because I have to finance with BMWFS rather than with my favorite bank. The reason is that the favorite bank requires the title and insurance (which requires a title), and the title cannot be had until the car is Stateside and has a Certificate of Origin. BMWFS overlooks this because of obvious reasons. As soon as the title and/or car is Stateside, I am going to refinance with my favorite bank at no additional cost of pre-payment to BMWFS. BMWFS's rate was not bad - 6.99% as opposed to the industry standard around 5.5%+, so there's not much difference (I did put down a cash downpayment). I would have blown the extra $100 in a dinner or a speeding ticket anyway.

    Corollary question was: should I should lease or finance? Since the lease is a definite 3 years and I would not have the car for over 2 months, I would not be driving it for the full period. With financing, this meant that I am merely accelerating my car payments but not been denied driving privileges in the long term. Plus I have heard too many horror stories about leasing and I did not want to get ulcers watching the odometer all the time. So financing it was. Yup, this means that as a buyer, I may be in for a significant crash when the new E60 comes out, but bimmers are great cars anyway and this did not mean much of a downside to me. Hopefully, Bangle will keep his ideas alive and my value afloat..:-) As Shipo pointed out, however, you can either lease or finance ED.

    After all of this, my other goal was to make sure that the savings actually materialized after the Munich vacation. So I did not stay at the Kempinski or the Bayerischer Hof but stayed at a Colony Inn right opposite the Niederlassung dealer, took the sardine-class in Lufthansa for $320 rt and utilized the excellent Munich subway system. All off-season of course. A couple of hours on the Internet, and I had everything lined up. Munich has some incredible international food, btw.

    (b) My opinion about trading a vehicle is the same broken record that Edmund's preaches: Never discuss a trade until the deal on your new car is done. Both deals should be financially separate. I should not be one to preach, however, since I have got shafted before. Maybe next time I'll be sharper.

    Hope this helps!

    Fair 'nuff?
  • boxsterboxster Posts: 28
    some dealers are selling some 2001 model cars, stated they are factory executive cars, what are they exactly? are they good? most of them are with around 10k miles and they are not CPOed, why? does it mean they might have been abused and disqualified?
  • theomdtheomd Posts: 11
    Have been shopping in MA for a 530ia,CW,PP. Found best deal on 3yr/15k; 0 down to be $660 with walkout total upfronts $1500. Note monthly lease payment includes MA 5% sales tax. (Found wide variety of offers $558-707; upfrnts $1500-2200). Any feed back on the best deal noted above will be signing this weekend. Thanks
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