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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's not good, people tend to be polite at these gatherings. They're being pampered and still can't get excited...

    I went to the E class into in DC, even drove one before they were in dealers. You heard Oohs and Aahs when they took the sheets off the new sedan.

  • I priced a 545i 6pd man with sport package on this
    sight at $58K. Pretty much the same price as the
    outgoing 540i. Then I read about Caddy's CTS-V
    at $50K (6spd and sport package std) with a
    400HP/390ft-lbs V-8. That's a pwerful car at an
    agressive price. BMW better be concerned about
    ho-hum response to the new 5 series. I think you
    can also get a CTS that's more powerful than the
    530i at a 525i price.
  • I owned a '99 528i and recently bought an '03 530i. I think that BMW should have introduced a an '04 535i from the start - say 275HP. This would have helped to justify the $3,500 price increase and made it a better value. I was able to recently buy an '03 530i for under $40K. Same optioned '04 is nearly $51K! Short term good deal for sure - but consider that the '04 with all the options can go up to $58K. YIKES! This could cause an erosion in BMWs market share in the U.S.
  • I like the new style! The old style looked like any other car;Honda etc. The best part about the new 04's is that it is larger inside! There was little if any difference in the interior size of the 325 and 525 03's!
  • I agree with breynolds2. The '04 5 series is larger and much more stylish than previous years. I had scratched BMW off my list because I hated the look of the 5 Series in 'O3. It just didn't look like an expensive car. Many less expensive cars had better lines and styling. Now I can go back and see how it stacks up to the Lexus 330 I am considering. I have one Lexus that I love, but I'd really like to give that good old German engineering a try for my second car.
  • I drove the e60 today during lunch and think it's a good package. Pro's= "active steering", interior & trunk space. Con's= exterior wheel style ,some interior ergonomics (empty space beneath radio, backseat exposed armrest release). In the "not sure" category, body side seems a bit bulky,in Mystic Blue anyway Silver looked better, headlight wrap better than photos,and this could be signature of this car. Overall, I was pleased with this product. I have a '03 530,and if I trade in after a couple of years, this stays on the list, particularly with new engine choices. Did not drive Premium Pkg, so no comments on it.
  • First batch of E60 530's arrived in Houston today and I was the first in town to test drive! Car was Mystic Blue with beige interior. Let's just say that this car looks absolutely incredible! The front end is aggressive, back end very stylish. I currently own a 330, and it did take a few moments to figure out all the new stuff inside. Noticeably larger interior room and the new dash concept is pleasing to the eye. The car drove like a true ultimate driving machine. Quickly accelerated to 85 and felt like 40! Active Steering is truly noticeable especially in the parking lot. I have one on order due to arrive in November and can't wait. If anybody else test drives, please let me know what you think of your experience! If you don't like this sport sedan, you're in trouble - I'm not sure there's any better, except the 545. P.S. My order is for Titanium Silver and Black Leather interior with both Premium and Sport packages.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    What are the MSRPs on the new '04 E60s you are driving? Are they pretty loaded?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Riez, do a build on the BMW website. Dealer I went to quoted retail. The difference in what I paid for my E39 in June vs. same for E60 is a whopping $12K. Are they loaded? Yeah with frivolous features. Active steering and adaptive headights with the sports package turned me off and accounts for the SP price increase. They had a new silver M5 and several M3s. Thinkin' about an M3 w/SMG... have a year to mull it over before 3 series goes south. If M5 had it, that would have been my car in June. Since M5 w/SMG wont be out til 05, maybe they'll make styling revisions that are more tolerable.
  • i own a 2001 m5 and owned 2 other e39's (540 6 speeds) so am pretty familiar with the e39. most of what i'm hearing here and on the bmw boards is a pretty mixed review so far.

    1. exterior styling--some love it, some hate it, nothing new here but not a universal positive response. also not many good comments on any of the wheels available.
    2. interior styling--more negative than positive, especially about the seemingly lower quality of materials. also lots and lots of complaints about the lack of availability of certain features like nav right now which changes the way the center screen looks evidently.
    3. handling--without the sport package good but nothing special. very, very positive with sport package. evidently they've hit a home run with the new steering.
    4. performance--ok, but below par relative to the competition, especially with automatic. also relative to price.
    5. pricing--i still think this could be a problem for bmw. i know there's more technology in the car and the euro is very weak but guys are certainly questioning the value proposition on the car at the new prices. understand these are primarily people who own an e39 and to see the price of the car jump $6k or so (comparably equipped) is a tough comparison.

    i can't wait to see it, will stay away from having a firm view until a call from the service manager at my dealer in the bay area that they have the blue sport sitting out front...personally i think people will be a bit more positive as more and more get to see/drive it. pricing issue will not go away in my view...
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    At Rick Hendrick BMW in Chas. SC.
    They weren't to be driven until tomorrow, but were in the prep area.
    A grey and a blue.
    The car looks pretty good. With the backend and tailights being my least favorite.
    It has a beefier, more muscular and purposeful look.
    I think the car looks more expensive too.
    I liked the interior.
    I still can't get used to the way BMW grains it's leather. It looks almost fake.
  • My dealer got a mystic blue and titanium gray 530 in on Tuesday. I like the design of both the E39 and the E60, for different reasons. It's not an either/or with me. The E39 has a classic, understated look that ages well. The E60 jumps ahead to a higher tech look that I found very appealing in person. It's a 21st century design in essence as well as just chronology, and the E39 is now firmly planted in the last century, for my money. I thought the mystic blue with beige interior was really a gorgeous car.

    The interior seems a little roomier, but not overwhelmingly so -- just enough to take away a slightly cramped feeling I always got from the E39. I noticed it especially in the back seat. I sat in an E39 just to check the difference.

    The blue one had the sport package and stickered at $52,000. The gray one did not have the sport package, but also stickered at $52,000 for other reasons.

    I'm going back for a test drive in a few days. The catalog for this car, if you don't have one yet, is quite amazing -- 90 pages!
  • I think it was slightly over $52k with sport package. Though I was curious on the active steering, am not looking to buy now or I would have paid more attention. Probably adaptive lights & I-drive with the screen has added to cost.With this car, BMW has made a dramatic change and has kept the 5 series generations distinct from one another ( I applaud this), but less so from current competition as many comments here have suggested it looks like everything from a Camry to a Pontiac. Seems like a really good car; it looks like a BMW, drives like a BMW and is pricey like a BMW. There will be first time buyers for this car and also some customers leaving the stable, or maybe just waiting a few years.
  • The MSRP on the Mystic Blue/Beige interior I test drove on the 24th was $52,770. That includes Steptronic, Premium, Sport Packages, and Xenon Adaptive lights. The blue really is gorgeous to the eye but over time I think would lose its appeal and the silver tones are still the best. As far as looks, as more of these arrive at dealerships across the country, overall perceptions will change about this vehicle. The exterior is bold, stylish, and provides a breath of fresh air to a quickly aging E39. I do think its crazy not to make available all of the options now such as NAV, but I wouldn't have purchased anyway. Pictures don't do this car have to go to the dearlership and see for yourself.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I predict it will be even more popular than the curent car and all the naysayers will finally give in.
    1 of the 2 cars i saw was also in blue and had the same MSRP as the one you saw.
    So they must be sending all the dealerships a blue one and a grey one.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If this car is deemed to be a financial success, I will admit I was wrong. However, I will never buy it.

    If down the road I decide I can't do without the BMW ride, it will be a 6 (big compromise) or M5 if it somehow comes out tweaked for the better. The 05 3 is also a heartbreak.

    The details of the 6 are horrible but the overall shape is nice. The back looks like some fat ol' rube took his sausage finger and swiped some cream from the birthday cake.

    I believe this is an interim period and BMW will be sorting out styling issues for the next era. Look for Ford, Audi and Nissan to have styling influence on the entire auto market. BMW was never an innovator in this area.
  • Well, I just received my latest report from, and the buzz is that the E60 is going to be a home run. Many people think the rear styling is weak, but otherwise, the enthusiasm for this car is big.

    designman - I think you're right that this is a transitional design phase, but the 5-series is going to save BMW and Bangle's legacy if it's as successful as it seems it will be (taking into consideration a likely weak economy for several years). After all, the 5-series is BMW's bread and butter. Basically, BMW was getting a little stodgy (I'm no fan of the 70's-era boxy styling of the E39), and they're now shaking things up to capture the attention of many former Japanese luxury car buyers, who tend to have more avant garde dispositions. Seems like a cool strategy...I hope BMW succeeds, because as we've talking about before, BMW provides the public with unparalleled driver's cars.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    1 of the things I am not wild about is that the 5 and 7 look very similiar.

    They always looked different before. especially from the side.

    It might hurt 7 series sales because now they won't look special enough to justify the price difference.
  • I test drove a 530 yesterday. My impression is basically OK. Acceleration on the 530 seems a bit flat. Overall shape is fine but not heart pumping. Darker colors make the car look bulky but lighter colors work better. Headlight treatment looks nice. Inside is not as elegant as a Mercedes or Jag. Not impressed with active steering as it feels caddy like because there seems to be periods of over assist. Stupid placement of driver side cup holders in that it is over the passengers left leg area. Need big discount before I would buy one.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Ever test driven a '04 Cadillac CTS with Sport Package?
    Feels like a BMW without active steering.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The following is a quote from

    “High rollers are using their corporate BMW contacts to get them cars as we speak...the bad news is BMWUSA is so backed up with orders, even the rollers aren’t getting cars...Even when they’re going right to Purves! And, if you think you’re going to get a good discount on this car for the first six months or so, you’re dreaming...there is a huge waiting list for the car.”

    Now, the following is part of dialogue I had with a salesman at a BMW dealer in the metro NY area this past week when I called to check on the arrival of E60:

    ME: When are you expecting the first shipment after testers?
    SALESMAN: mid-October

    ME: How many will be coming in the first shipment?
    SALESMAN: 20

    ME: Have they all been pre-sold?
    SALESMAN: No, there are four available.

    ME: You mean to tell me I can have the 2004 530 in about three weeks?
    SALESMAN: That’s right.


    Read into it as you’d like, but I can’t help but wonder. Was the availability of the four new 530s an anomaly? Are they not really available... perhaps the salesman is just trying to get a deposit unscrupulously? Or is autospies FOS?

    Finally, if the new 5 is so hot as autospies claim, why is there a dearth of buyer experiences in these BMW threads? Haven’t heard many claiming their intentions to buy one. Has anyone around here ordered one in advance? The buyers around here are probably, for the most part, a segmented group who are pretty savvy and wisely cautious in their spending... not the types to squander money in a must-have frenzy. However, these forums are accessible to the world and this subject is not exactly esoteric.

    I’m scratching my head a bit here.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    but to a new customer base. They're going more to luxury and less to sport. Yeah, they still offer a sport package to hold on to those who value "handling" as the top atribute of a car. Lokk what's happened to Jag. BMW's going to school here. You thing most new Jag owner's have a clue about what an XK-E is? Some E39 owners know what a 2002tii is, but not many E60 owners will.

    I predict that E60 sales will be strong and that "sport pack" sales will go down as a percentage. For me? I really don't know. Where do I turn? Lexus? Pleeeeeze. Jag? I don't think so. Audi? Well, I don't really need 4WD and I'm NOT getting a FWD. Merc? The manual transmission train doesn't stop here very often. Suby or Mitsu rally cars with boy racer treatment? I do like some things here, but I'm 55 and that's just not going to happen.

    OK. Back to reality. Maybe the refresh will happen in '07 instread of '08. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    Re: Basically, BMW was getting a little stodgy (I'm no fan of the 70's-era boxy styling of the E39) Did you mean the E28? I wouldn't call the E39 "boxy"!

    Happy Motoring,

  • I think people are blowing out of proportion the lack of availability of the 5 series. You can also get a new one in a few weeks here in the south from the 1st allocation. Furthermore the fives are bread and butter car for BMW and it is expected supply might be tight for a couple of months as people who have been waiting for year or so get their order filled. Anyways I dont know if I would take the first allocations given the electrical problems that these cars are having. Additionally people will be backing out as the navigation, SMG, and headsup display are all delayed but people expected when they first ordered the car. I just wish BMW would give us the cars we used to love. Otherwise there are a lot of awesome cars coming out in the next couple of years from other makes..
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    joatmon... "Where do I turn? Lexus? Pleeeeeze. Jag? I don't think so. Audi? Well, I don't really need 4WD and I'm NOT getting a FWD. Merc? The manual transmission train doesn't stop here very often. Suby or Mitsu rally cars with boy racer treatment?"

    I look at the cars, not the marques. Since I drive cars, not marques. Guess what you get depends on what you want and why you want it. Some people have to have a BMW or MB. Some won't consider a particular marque. I've never understood that thinking. If a particular car meets your needs and price range, does the marque matter?

    I don't normally look for a car by exterior size, either. Many large cars are inefficient with interior and trunk space while many smaller cars are very efficient inside.

    And if you want manual transmission (which I wholly concur with), choices are limited. Take Jaguar. MY04 S-type has limited availability, by special order only. That really leaves only X-type. I'm surprised you aren't more favorable to Audi's high performance line (e.g., S4). Pricey, but they do perform.

    MB and BMW seem to be emphasizing gadgets and/or styling. I wish they would worry more about driving pleasure and reliability.

    Friend of mine swears by his Subaru WRX. For the money, it is an awful lot of fun car. Don't sell it or the Mitsu short. They are sophisticated driving machines that can outperform cars at nearly twice their price.
  • "They're going more to luxury and less to sport. Yeah, they still offer a sport package to hold on to those who value "handling" as the top atribute of a car."

    Actually, BMW has had this marketing tendency for some time. The current 3-series comes available with sport suspension packages, with the exception of the 330ci and M3. A few years ago, BMW lightened up the 3-series steering and later restored most of the original weighting, as I'm sure a BMW fan such as you is well aware.

    There is no doubt that the E60 in non-sport mode is a true sports sedan, and maintains its lead over Lexus, Acura, etc. I don't know how you can equate Bangle's edgy styling with luxury. I don't follow you there. If anything, his styling is a little punk rocker, which I would agree is not where BMW should be aiming. BMW should have evolved instead of mocked its former designs. But styling aside, BMW is only creating more distance from the competition in the mid-sized driver's sedan category.

    "Re: Basically, BMW was getting a little stodgy (I'm no fan of the 70's-era boxy styling of the E39) Did you mean the E28? I wouldn't call the E39 "boxy"!"
    Yes, the E39. It's too big and boxy for my tastes. That's my opinion.

    designman - I don't know whether autospies is FOS. Could be. It's an odd site, but they seem to dish it out to all carmakers, including BMW. Could be that the Bimmer is selling well in more avante garde markets, like Florida and California, and getting snubbed in its traditional northeast base. I have no idea. I suspect that's what will happen, though. It'll keep most of its enthusiast drivers, add some Japanese luxury import drivers, and lose its bastion of people who buy it for prestige and conservative styling (people who would choose between the 5-series against a Mercedes or maybe a Jaguar).
  • As an E39 owner looking to replace that ride, I have eagerly awaited the new E60. Saw some pictures early on, and was not impressed, but decided that I wanted to see it in person before making any decisions. Did that today, and amazingly, the exterior - while still a styling disaster - was not "that bad". It was the interior that REALLY turned me off. For a car that will go out the door for 50K+, the materials were so-so, and there were some incredibly "cheap bits", as well as poorly positioned switches, etc. Driving was very good. Power (530 auto) was ok, but far behind much less expensive cars(e.g. G35, TL, etc). I drove a sport optioned model and the steering is fantastic! BMW trumps everybody in terms of engineering, handling, etc, but their interior/exterior stylists absolutely blew it on the E60. I love BMWs, but doubt that I will buy this one.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see someone has questioned whether or not is to be trusted. Well let me answer that question for any and everyone. They are just that, FOS. If you look back through some of their past stories you'll see a pattern of innacurate information and just plain lying. Please don't read to much into that site, as it is mainly a rubbish thrower.

    I too got a look at the new five today. The BMW dealer here (Bill Jacobs Napeville, IL) has but one on the lot. Kinda loud blue color with beige interior. It's not nearly as bad as the 7-Series, as that kicker of a trunklid is more intergrated on the 5. The interior is very different and forever erases the cockpit look (and probably feel) of previous 5-Series BMWs. Styling is clearly more substantial than before, especially in the rear which is kinda hefty in the hip area. For some reason though I think the car will be a runaway hit.

  • buster6buster6 Posts: 132
    I was able to see (but not drive) the new 5 today. I will say it will take some getting used to. I am a huge fan of the looks on the 02+ 7 series, so I thought the 5 would be a great alternative in the 50k range. All I could think of when I saw the car was Honda Accord. I really hope it drives better than it looks, or there may be a huge rush on MB's E series.

    Just my .02
  • I saw my first 2004 Royal Blue 530i. And though I do like Chris Bangle's work on the Z4 and 7 series, I have to say...I couldn't find an angle from which this car made sense or looked attractive. I think it looks much better in two dimensions and maybe that's where it should have stayed. I'm still holding out hope for the X3
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    There was a long interview with Chris Bangle on CBS Sunday morning.
    One thing I noticed that I don't like on the new is the crease that runs from the top of the door and fender.
    It looks like a gunwale on a boat.
    Interestingly, Bangle spent a lot of time talking about how cars used to look like boats and it wasn't until the 60's that it changed.
    Looks like it is back again.
This discussion has been closed.