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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    bmwseller, if you took $2K off MSRP for a newly designed BMW which hasn't even arrived for delivery, I would think it's over even though I could be very wrong (who cares). Actually, I thought they'd go until January at sticker.

    Seems X5 and X3 are going to be bread winners. They're ugly too, but so are most SUVs, make that all SUVs. It's crystal ball time: Ford Freestyle FX and intelligently-designed "crossovers" (hate that term) will be a hit. Utility vehicles need lower weight, lower CGs and we are starting to see it. The convertible top enables them to do this without sacrificing utility. Would have expected more from the Germans in this area, but their marketing skills do not measure up to the engineering.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    E class takes the cake. Porsche-influenced front, beautiful from every angle, looks expensive.

    Next is the A6, even after this long. Inside Audi may even take 1st place.

    Then comes the Volvo S80. They have a very nice corporate look, identifiable and purposeful. Not beautiful, but definitely not ugly.

    Next I'd say Jaguar. Classical look for the conservatives.

    Then Cadillac for the opposite reason, they're bold and very radical. The CTS-V looks sharp.

    Then Saab's 9-5, a little quirky but off center and nice overall.

    Then the GS430. Guigiaro did the last GS, then CALTY face-lifted it, and didn't quite get the details right.

    The BMW 5, in my opinion, comes in last place. The eye brows up front with the fat rear end force you say "but she's got a great personality". Even inside it looks dull, the opposite of a cockpit feel you'd expect from a driver's car.

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    BMW doesn't control what the selling price is, the dealer does. We can sell any model for whatever we want to. This is Peoria, Illinois not Denver, San Diego or Brooklyn.

    DESIGNMAN :) the return of the Amigo.

    Suburu's are great in S. America. Plus, I might start taking the Pontiac a little more serious when I have a client tell me that they are considering one.

    The eyebrows are so superior in form and function guys. Someone really get in there and compare just the headlights. We've got our winner!
  • msgreenmsgreen Posts: 67
    I wish BMW no ill. I have an E39 that I planned to trade on a new E60, but was initially put off by photos so waited to see the car in person. I must admit that the exterior was not as "bad" as in the pictures; however, I still don't like it. What really did it for me was the interior. The design team must have been on a three day binge before drawing that one up. The ergonomics alone are atrocious with poor switch placement, etc. No doubt there will be an initial "rush of sales" on any new bimmer, but let's see how things go after the first six months or so. I am sure that the new E60 is a wonderful road machine, it is just too bad that so many people, myself included are so turned off by the styling.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Juice, LOL. Right on the money! Good post.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    I owned a '99 528i and now an '03 530i. From what I am seeing of the performance tests of the '04 530i it seems like the car may be slower by up to .5 seconds than an '03.

    Car mags should do a comparison between the two cars :-)
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    The November edition of Automobile mag has short reviews of the Aston Martin DB9 "The DB9's exterior is elegant but has definite DB7 overtones..." and the Ferrari 360 Modena "...four years old yet still looks fresh..."

    Got all worked up over the sheer beauty of these rolling works of art. I needed to take the equivalent of a cold shower by looking at pics of the E60. Whew!
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    Here are my impressions of the new 2004 530i. In person, the side body panels has a muscular look to it, while the "Dame Edna" eyebrow light cluster is less pronounced than the pictures, but still not as aesthetically pleasing as I think it should be. The pointed up corners of the light cluster was IMO, unnecessary.

    The back of the car design looks like an afterthought. A cross between a Honda and a Subaru. In person, the trunklid still looks bad, just the way it looked in the numerous pictures I've viewed. Not too long ago, I read an article in Automobile magazine, where Bangle was quoted as saying "The 5 series looks better in lighter colors, while the 7 series looks better in darker hues." Well, I would have to disagree with his assessment of colors with the new 5 series. I saw two new 5's. One was jet black and the other one was titanium silver. The black car looked much better in person than the lighter silver car. The black car also enhanced the front end of the vehicle, making the signature grills look less "Pontiac-like" than what I have seen in pictures. Overall, the exterior was OKAY, but nothing so wonderful and radical that I had to have this new generation 5.

    What I was really disappointed in was the interior. I have a 2003 525i with PP, SP and xenon lights, and my car's interior feels larger, and the fit and finish seems better. I love the fact that there is wood surrounding the entire interior of my car. The new 5 has a thick wood enhancement across the lower middle of the dashboard and on the console, but that's it. The doors are leather and chrome, and I thought the quality was lacking. My business partner noticed one of the chrome door handles was already badly scratched. Other impressions of the interior: (1) the headliner seemed cheap, (2) more cupholders, which is good, but the one for the driver is misplaced badly, (3) the climate control is back to turn buttons on the dash, like my old 1995 5 series. I'm sure this has to do with the new I Drive, in that I sat in the driver's seat, but did not turn the vehicle on, (4) the back seat did not feel roomier than my back seat, nor did it real feel any wider, (5) the back armrest is nice with two large cupholders built in, and finally, (6) I liked the spaceousness of the trunk, which appeared to be slightly larger inside than the E39 version.

    In sum, I was not very impressed with this new iteration of the 5 and I am thrilled that I pulled the trigger on a new 2003. I will test drive the car this Friday, when I drive several of the BMW models on behalf of the Susan Komen Breast Cancer fund. I will give you my impression of the drive quality after this Friday.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    RE: Post # 494, exactly!

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    I expect those of you that just bought a 5 at the end of model cycle to love your cars and be confident that you made a great decision, and you did. After all, you just spent 40 grand or so who wants to go around thinking that you mande a 40 g mistake. It goes without saying that the car you bought is fabulous. If you were in the market today you may have a bit more of an open mind about the advancements in the new 5.....keep in mind also that this is the same company that built your car.
    Having said that as an impartial expert in the field I can assure you that the new 5 is a better car. Better comfort, better roominess, better handling, better ergonomics, better technology, better safety, better style.
    It's really the only car that's better than our old 5's.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, M.

    I would add that among the wagons, the Audi Avants take the cake. From some angles the wagons look better than the sedans.

    The Benz wagons aren't as nicely sorted as their sedan counterparts, but they're still OK.

    Saab has a nice looking wagon, too.

    Any non-camo pics of the new 5 wagon out there?

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    A high-performance wagon with rear convertible top would be the ultimate total vehicle in my book. Totally agree with your Audi take. Problem is, my distrust in Audi reliability goes back to the early 70s and I'm not hearing what I would like from current Audi buyers. At half the price, the Outback suits. Would like to see more commitment here from BMW and Porsche. Cayenne and 90s excess... what a shame.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    bmw wagon sales in the states are not good. A 'wagon' option might be X3 which should arrive at dealers the day after thanksgiving (demo models). To me it looks like a wagon anyway and no doubt will be the segment leader in performance, safety and technology. I like what I've seen so far.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Price shop an X5 and a 5er wagon, though, and the wagon is a better value. It also handles and performs better, IMO.

    Bless BMW for offering wagons here, they are all too rare.

    I drove them back-to-back at an event where they were donating money to that cancer foundation for every mile you drove. I sampled every car they had. Purely for charitable purposes, of course! ;-)

  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    remains to be seen if E60 wagon will be available in the states. Correct, juice, it's a dynamite car and looks incredible with sport pk. They are a good value upon purchase but a lot of dealers will turn and run if someone wants to trade one in. At auction they are significantly cheaper than comparable sedans.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    Re: Price shop an X5 and a 5er wagon, though, and the wagon is a better value. It also handles and performs better, IMO.

    I like the 5 wagon, and I would like it even more if they would put the 3.0 liter in it. The wagon handles better than the X5, but the X5 is superior to the E39 wagon in terms of roominess and hauling kids and all the obligatory things that go with them. Ever try to haul 2 kids across town w/o cupholders?

    Just MHO. Buy and drive what you like,

  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    I am looking forward to test driving the new 5 this Friday, but I have to respectfully disagree that the new 5's "ergonomics" are better than my 2003. In fact I found the ergonomics to be very weak in head-to-head comparison and I love my interior and the fit and finish so much better than the new 5. To say that the new interior is a bit austere is putting it mildly. I HATE the side door treatments and the chrome. IMO, it cheapens the car.

    I am willing however, to have an open mind still and look forward to driving the new car, especially testing out the new adaptive steering and the new and less complicated I-Drive system.

    BTW, where is the central locking system button on the new car? I could not for the life of me find it in the cockpit. Is it attached to the key/driver's knob or I-Drive?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cheaper than sedans used? Interesting. I'll keep that in mind...

    haul 2 kids across town w/o cupholders?

    I wouldn't dare. ;-)

  • mch2mch2 Posts: 36
    bmwseller, you may be underestimating the level of dislike for the way this car looks and the degree to which those of us who bought 2003 5's are able to look at the new 5's objectively.

    Obviously I cannot speak for other contributors to the board but I know I am being totally open minded. I bought my 530i at the end of July and my wife loved it so much she wanted one too but it just didn't make sense since her car was fairly new. Well as it turns out her car was destroyed by a large oak tree when Isabel rolled through Maryland and we are in the market today for a new car. The new 5 is NOT an option because of it's looks. We will either buy a 3 series (before those get screwed up as well) or the MB E320.

    As I said in an earlier post I do not doubt that the new 5 may be superior in many respects but for 50k a car has simply got to look good. To buy a unattractive car because it performs well would be the same as preferring a 75 year old exotic dancer over a 25 year old because she is a "superior dancer". Looks count and sometimes they are the deciding factor.

    Finally, if the car was a knockout I don't think anyone on this board would have any trouble acknowledging that, indeed I think we would all be looking forward to our next 5 series. As it is unless some drastic design changes are made to this car for many of us this will be our last new 5 series.
  • muddogmuddog Posts: 26
    It's on the center dash, as it is with the MB E Series.

    My wife likes the new 5, much better than the old one. It DOES have quite a bit more room (closer to my 2001 E 430).

    But, my sister-in-law's 1998 BMW 540i Sport wagon is my all-time favorite rocket ship, uh, car.

    It's in the eye of the beholder. I agree that if you don't like it, buy something else. (My $.02 psychology comment -- BMW lovers wanted so badly to love the new 5, aesthetically and technically, that the ones who don't like the looks are so disappointed that they are lashing out at Bangle and whoever else gets in their face here. They are just P-O'ed, and can't do anything about it . . . except complain here.)

  • kejacokejaco Posts: 3
    After seeing pics of the '04 5 Series, I traded my '99 528i for an '03 530i with SP, PP, manual trans. I am sooo happy with my decision.

    I saw the new 5 Series in-person at the local auto dealers show last weekend. It looks a little better in person, but not much. Too many lines, angles, etc. I really hate the new interior. I will never own i-drive (I hope). The BMW rep said that I was the only person that criticized the new design. That's hard to believe.

    I plan to keep my E39 until Bangle wakes up or moves on.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I agree, I find the Passat wagon to be the best looking one on the market. So crisp and clean, yet functional.

    Mercedes' wagons haven't looked good since the old W124 E-Class model back in the eighties to mid nineties. The new one looks a little better than the just discontinued one, but it's no Audi/VW.

  • i always like angel eyes on the 5 series and am wondering when did this feature first came on the 5 series? i am looking for a used 540i and would like to get zenon and angel eyes. thanks
  • merc and ateixeira -- i don't know if you've seen the w210 e55 wagons ('00-'03). they look beautiful with the amg bodykit and superfast too.

    i do like the audi wagon but only with the rs6 designation. the regular a6 looks too bubbly.

    the passat does look good especially the most recent model ('03-'04).
  • spfoteyspfotey Posts: 131
    are they still selling them? the new one doesn't work for me.
  • bmwmrcbmwmrc Posts: 66
    Based on your post, I guess you responded to me regarding the central locking system and the rest of your post was directed toward me and everyone else?

    Anyway, I could NOT find the central locking system! On my 2003 5, it's laid out plain and simple on the center console. I am due to test drive the car on Friday, so I'll notice it then. So thanks for the info.

    Now, as far as one's comments regarding the new 5, (whether one likes it or doesn't like it), that's what a forum like this is for. Only speaking for myself, if I truly "loved" the new design inside and out I would be singing the new car's praises. I don't. I think the new iteration of this vehicle is disappointing. For me, it's not even the so-called "radical/controversial looks." I find the looks and the interior to be boring, and a follower in the market rather than a trend setter. I don't think BMW has ever been a trend setter with its designs. IMO, they're a trend setter in their engineering. I am however, willing to have an open mind and I am looking forward to test driving the vehicle this Friday.
  • nkwazi2nkwazi2 Posts: 17
    Hate the new 5 series. It looks muscular. but that it.
    I picked up a 2003 525 3 months back and love it. the interior of the 03 is far better than 04. Moreover, i think the rear of the 04 5 series resembles a Subaru model . I believe it is the WRX. Just my $.02.
    I am glad I picked up a 2003 5 series.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    The sport wheels have been the main attraction on the 5's (E39 '01 530 is the best)until now. Now it's the technology and I'm disappointed by the looks of the sport wheels on the new 5. I think the wheels are crucial component of eye appeal and I don't necessarily prefer the sport wheel to the standard wheel now. But, sport packages are hot right now and the immediate availability is extremely low. If you're stuck in the past with a recently purchased E39 than don't try look at the cutting edge 5 just yet, it might be too far ahead to see clearly.
  • I'm gonna chime in as yet another one of those who bought the E39 after looking at pictures of the new 5. If the new 5 had kept any of the understated elegance that drew me to the E39, I would have waited and bought the newer model. The new 5 looks almost gaudy to me- I guess, as Bmwseller suggests, other cars will have to assume more of a Liberace-inspired look in the future before the new 5 can look understated to me again. So much for cutting edge....
  • There is something very elegant about wagons. And they are very versatile. If BMW brings the 5er wagon here, I believe it will look better than sedan because the wagon deletes the ho hum trunk. Plus, Mercedes needs some real competition for the 04 E wagon.
This discussion has been closed.