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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in BMW
What's new in 2004 for the long-lived 5-Series?


  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    is accurate. The front end is better looking than the 7. The 225HP six carries over, as does the 7's 325HP V8. The V10 comes for 2005 in the new M5. More rear legroom and trunk space.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    I still don't like the new look.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    The new 5 looks more aggressive. It's not a GS430, but it's better. It's more aggressive than the new E-Class. And hopefully a stick/V8 combo stay in the mix!
  • ascarissascariss Posts: 11

    Read that, and decide for yourself if the new 5 will be good or not. Has Chris Bangle and his group of designers created a bad car?? I hope when the car comes out it won't suck, if BMW screws up this car, bangle will for sure get fired. The 5 series is the money maker for BMW and one of its best cars. Maybe the E39 will be the last best 5 series, maybe. Read the article and judge it.

  • The 7 series was bad enough, but the new Z4 is really atrocious! If that is any indication of BMW's future styling direction, it probably won't be long until Bangle is fired.
  • ascarissascariss Posts: 11
    Bangle has been on with BMW for about almost 10 years now, and will be there a bit longer. Until the BMW owner's, some family, decide to fire him, he still will work there. The only reason BMW will fire him, is if next year's BMW sales begin to fall, the look of BMW cars might have something to do with it, Bangle's toast.
  • Hi,
    Was going to get a 2003 530i, now I'm wondering if it's better to just wait the 6 months or so for the new re-designed 2004, or is the pre-launch date just a guesstimate?
    I wonder if getting the 2003 will make my car "old" already. I would've gotten a 2002 but finding a 530i that is NOT black, white, or silver is difficult in SoCal. I plan on keeping my car for a long
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    If you plan on "keeping your car for a long time," resale value becomes less important as a consideration. I wouldn't expect any earth-shattering changes for the '04 5-series: new styling (which is already generating skepticism and concern based on the new 7-series), iDrive, lighter suspension components, and some new luxury features/amenities. As for the drivetrain, the 540i will probably become the 545i, adopting the new V8 from the 745i. Word has it there'll be two 6-cylinders; the base will be either the current 3.0 inline-6 or a valvetronic version thereof, perhaps raising output 10-20 horsepower. And, what is already raising eyebrows among BMW loyalists, is a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 producing an eye-watering 380 horsepower. If they can minimize the turbo lag and keep it as tractable and linear as possible, that will be one sweet (and fast) ride.

    It's expected the new 5-series will debut in Europe in late summer/early fall next year, and in the US later in the fall/early winter (hence more than the six months you indicate). That said, given all the new technology (especially with unproven things like iDrive), I'd recommend against buying the '04 5-series. 7-series boards are full of people who've had major electronics problems with the new 745i.
  • Thanks Shahak for the info!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Brake by wire and steer by wire? EVT? Cars are we know them are going fast and we won't even be able to open the hoods soon.
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Not much new here, but I'll post anyway. From the 9/02 issue of European Car.


  • Nothing new, but found the following at the site below. Can anyone confirm the June availability ?

    2004 BMW 5 series to arrive early

    Our spies tell us that the next generation 5-series (2004 Model) is coming sooner than later...we were originally told the new car would appear next September (2003) in Frankfurt and roll in to the US in January of 2004.

    We are now told to look for the car in the spring of 2003 with availablity in the US at dealers in the June timeframe...

    The current five series will only be produced for a half a year in 2003 with production of the last vehicles ending in December/January 2002/2003 timeframe...

    The 2003 540 sport will get the same front and rear bumper treatments as the M5.

  • Has anyone got a website to see the rear view of the redesigned model? I only see the front view and cannot find a photo from the rear side. I am trying to decide whether I should get 530 before redesign or not. Hopefully not the same as 7 series. Thanks
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    There haven't been any convincing spyshots yet, only heavily clad ones and "artist renditions." There'll probably be increasingly realistic and accurate prototypes spotted by Winter and Spring, which will still give you time to buy an E39 if you choose. However, based on this:


    I'm already disappointed with the E60 design. Frankly, I think i-Drive is a good intention gone awry, and I hate this "opening" of the traditional cockpit design.

  • I'm glad that we're getting a redesign for the 5 series. The current one is kind of ugly in my opinion. This is the 21st century. I want cars that have radical new designs. I'm tired of boring, staight lines, no curves, no inspiration...bring on the new stuff! :D
  • kejacokejaco Posts: 3
    I'm not at all pleased with the direction BMW is going. I don't like the E60's looks and I really hate the new dashboard flat design. As for i-drive, I don't want it. Although the E60 may be technically superior to the E39, BMW is losing it. I'll be trading my '99 528i for an '03 530i with the intention of keeping it until BMW returns to its senses.
  • rjred1rjred1 Posts: 1
    Here is a website for the rear view of the redesigned 2004 530. You have to scroll down for a while and you will see two pictures of the 530.
  • There are 10 pictures of the 2004 5 series in autoweek. Go to, click New BMW 5 Series under PHOTO.
  • Looks like the front end of a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am!!
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    Did Chris Bangle used to work for Pontiac?

    I cannot believe it would be possible to ruin my favorite car. Good thing I picked up a 2002 540i.
  • lms007lms007 Posts: 1
    "The new 5 looks more aggressive. It's not a GS430, but it's better. It's more aggressive than the new E-Class. And hopefully a stick/V8 combo stay in the mix!"

    Please tell me you did not say that. I honestly think Lexus makes the ugliest looking cars. The gs300 and 430 are repulsive! They have more lights then a semi truck and the angles are obscure and wrong. The car does not look good from any angle and I don't even think it comes in a manual transmission (the one i drove was automatic). If you have ever driven a 540i 6-speed or m5, you will see there is no contest againts the lexus. The bmw is more fun to drive then any Lexus I've ever driven. I'm not sure if I like the 2004 style of the BMW, but it's not bad. Its still a whole better then that gs300.
  • Check out this site for some good photos and commentary.

    I was about to take delivery of a new 2003 540iA Sport but the more I read about the new one, the more I think I may want to wait for that and from the photos in this site, they didn't make the same mistake on the rear end like on the 745(cut off the classic BMW tail lights and added that ugly reflector strip in the trunk lid - they should spend whatever it takes to redo that 745 trunk now - I hate it and all these other critics can't be wrong).

  • as for the styling direction BMW is taking, auto art like other art takes some time to accept. each time BMW and MEBE changes a model i wince a little but after a while the previous version looks dated in comparison. my subjective opinion is the front ends are progressive but the rear ends are ornate
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    I agree, but only to an extent. Indeed, the new 7-series has visually antiquated the old 7-series, which suddenly appear boxy and dated. But, I believe good design shouldn't require time to wear people down and breed acceptance through familiarity. Granted, it may be criticized as "evolutionary" or "careful," but the current 5-series were labeled as such, and yet have aged incredibly well and still exude a timeless design. Other recent examples of good design which, while admittedly unagressive, do not polarize the way BMW has lately (the new E-class and A8):



  • I have owned 2 BMWs, a 1973 2002 and a 1976 530i. I have always admired them and always will. I have to say though when it comes to design and styling....Audi seems to have overtaken. The cabins are near flawless. As drivers cars BMW still soars, but man are they building some ugly ducklings. The Compact with the Lexus IS tailights is one of the biggest styling disappointments I've yet experienced. How could they do that ?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    spoilsport... Your primary focus seems to be on styling. Fair enough. That is in the eye of the beholder. To each his own. Personally, I think most Audi look somewhat generically styled on the exterior. Almost as if by a Japanese styling studio. Compare Infiniti G35 to Audi A8 and A6. At least BMWs are unique and readily identifiable.

    But I buy BMWs for what I believe really counts: acceleration, braking, handling, ride, balance, etc. Audi is a great marque. But their design philosophies leave me cold. I'd rather have RWD (BMW) than FWD or AWD (Audi). I'd rather have smoother I6 engine (BMW) than inherently less smooth I4 or V6 (Audi). I want lots of choices. Does Audi have an X5? Z4? Z8? Look at all the permutations of the 3 Series. M, coupe, convertible, wagon, roadster (former Z3), AWD, auto/manual, two engines, sport/nonsport, etc.

    I want my cars to have good manual transmissions. I prefer normally aspirated engines over turbo-charged or supercharged engines. I want a marque with great general history, great racing history, and a great club system.

    When I add it all up, Audi is a fine marque with some great cars, but Audi just can't compare to BMW.
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    Does anyone know if AWD will be available on the new 5-series?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Rumors are it will be offered, but rumors have been wrong before. Even if it is offered, I'd expect it would be a year or more after the initial models come out (next fall/winter).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    January 2003 issue of Automobile magazine has a one-page update on upcoming 5 and 6 Series, with four pictures. Page 20. They report the new E60 5 Series will come to USA in "early 2004". Will have 6-speed automatic and manual transmissions, with optional SMG. Struts up front and multi-link in rear.

    New M5 out in 2005 with 500 hp 5.5L V-10.

    There is an interesting size comparison chart. Shows the new E60 will have a 113.7 inch wheelbase (vs 111.4 for E39), be 190.6 inches long overall (vs 188.0), be 57.8 inches tall (vs 56.5), be 72.7 inches wide (vs 70.9), have a 61.3 inch front track (vs 59.5) and a 62.1 inch rear track (vs 60.2).

    Thought it most interesting that weight was not mentioned. Since it is getting bigger in all dimensions and filled with more stuff (e.g., ARS, EDC, variable-ratio active steering), weight likely to rise. Even with the use of aluminum suspension components and thinner glass.

    They report that "mid-term, the 5-series also will be available with four-wheel drive and electrohydraulic brakes".

    To use a simplified and improved iDrive.
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Should be interesting to see if the 2004 is sufficiently improved to get me not to buy my 2002 530i after the lease expires in December 2004.

    Will the assumed increase in weight adversely affect handling and acceleration even with the improved suspension and higher horsepower ratings (compared to the current 530i). Also will they improve the base radio, the center arm rest and the cup holders? Will there be increased back seat room (our infant car seat barely fits - fits only when wedged in against back of front seat). Hopefully the i-drive will be an option (which I will not take). Will manual transmissions be available with all engines? And what about the price points. How much more upscale on the price will they go? And finally, will the new design grow on me?
This discussion has been closed.