BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • corkdsp1corkdsp1 Member Posts: 9
    UK pricing is out and rumor is US will be about 1500 more than outgoing model or 3 to 5% increase. My dealer said prices in US will be out in July
  • prelude1997prelude1997 Member Posts: 26
    Pontiac front with Kia Rio back-end, does anyone need further proof that Bangel's working for MB? And do all the CTS interior designers work part-time for BMW? Just check out all the intersecting curves, broken lines. You've got to applaud BMW for managing to make real wood look fake. This is why my wife and I are picking up a 03 5, one of the last classic BMW's, one whose design does not have to be explained.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Hey prelude1997. Enjoyed your sardonic point of view. Although Phil Patton concurs with you in the Sunday NY Times, I think the butt looks more like the 2000(?) Chrysler Cirrus with one reservation--the Cirrus looks better. And the mug shot? Reminds me of a mascara-happy hooker. Do I recall reading somewhere in this thread that Bangle considers his new direction "ahead of it's time"? Raymond Loewy must be turning over in his grave. The Avanti was ahead of it's time. The 63 Stingray was ahead of it's time. The 2004 BMW 5 is the ugliest Beemer of all time. It even beats the Lincolnesque 7. By the way, spy shots indicate it gets worse still with the 2005 3 series.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The 6 wasn't spared from the hump-backed look, either. At least it's eye lashes aren't as bad as the 5.

    The profile of the 6 looks good, they just need to sort out the details better.

  • sonja3sonja3 Member Posts: 4
    Just a question of all you BMW lovers. I love them too. Owned a 98 740 and am considering a 530i.

    The 740 bled us dry on maintenance when 3 years was up..and even before! Is the 500 series the same? And aren't the maintenance plans just kind of smokescreens? It's always $400 here and $750 there NO MATTER WHAT! I want to love the car, but for the price, it should have better reliability built in. Your views?

    Sonja in L.A.
  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    Well, you summed up the BMW experience quite nicely. Have 2 BMWs now. Just got rid of an 86 with 197k. Great cars. Always have a satisfying driving experience. They do need maintenance. For me, I'll take the driving experience. Even a 17 year old BMW fells good on the road if properly maintained. You can't say that about many brands. The maintenance costs on my old 528e were less than a new car payment, and I think the driving experience was as good as most new (non-BMW) cars. I think you have properly framed the question. BTW, new BMWs include all maintenance for 4 years, 50k, IIRC. You decide what means most to you!

    Happy Motoring,

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, it's up to 4 years now.

    Also, you're not going in for service every 3000 miles. They are much less frequent, 10k miles or more at times.

    They do charge more at each stop, but overall it may not be as bad as it sounds.

  • kuselerkuseler Member Posts: 6
    A few new 5 series (530i and 530d) on the roads here around Munich and Regensburg. They look awful, going for a goofy ultra-modern look, like a cheap Toyota or KIA... Definitely not a classic German Sports Sedan.

    My German friends think this current designer at BMW has destroyed a classic German automobile company.

    Get the 5 while they last, and soon the mini-5 (3 series) comes next year. Pictures are posted here in Germany on under the TEST & TECHNIK section.

    It's too bad, many would have picked up current body style 5's had they not abruptly ended production in early July.

    Let's see how BMW recovers from this?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    I saw in another topic that dealer have a $4k incentive on the old models left over. People are getting deals at $2800 under invoice. I swear that is tempting.

    We already bought a car for my wife, and we're perfectly happy with it, but still, that is very tempting. If she were shopping today and she wanted it, I can't say I'd stop her.

  • karmikankarmikan Member Posts: 116
    I think that you might be right. I saw this in The Times (England) newspaper as part of a review of an M3 convertible.

    "The 3-series is still a standard setter and the normal M3 is extraordinarily good. But the best of the lot is the 5-series.

    I drove a 530i last week and, even though it's been with us for seven years, I still think it's the best executive car of them all. Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar can all offer us more modern alternatives but none can quite match the absolute rightness of the Five.

    It looks good whether it's parked on the block paving outside a Barratt executive home or on the gravel drive of a Georgian vicarage. It suits the underground car park of a Docklands development in London and blends perfectly with the rustic charm of a rural barn.

    This ability to adapt like a chameleon is seen on the road, too. Whether it's on a motorway, a sweeping Welsh A-road or on the way to the pub in Worth Matravers it doesn't just cope, it shines."

    Very true, it sure is a pity that BMW had to mess so radically with such a universally admired car. Glad I got mine.
  • skelco11skelco11 Member Posts: 6
    I am debating whether to get 03 or 04, but need more info on the price for the 04. Has anyone heard any buzz on the price for the new model, and when they'll be arriving?
  • kennynmdkennynmd Member Posts: 424
    but IMHO it's UGLY!The recent 5's were luxurious and classy. I will probably be looking for a car sometime next year and before I saw the pics of the new 5 I was considering a 530. My wife and I purchased a 2003 Lexus ES300 last December aand its ben great. No problems at all even the infamous tranny problem. I was also thinking about a new GS300 but I just saw some spy pics of the 2005 and it looks just as bad as a new 5. What are these designers seeing that I'm not?
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    What amazes me about the 04 is that it is so pathetic, I can't even find one redeeming quality to it's design. For instance, with the Z4 at least the front end looks decent as opposed to it's horrendous butt. On the new 530 there's pain in every angle and not a bit of relief on the inside either. Those double humps on the dash... what's the use, I could go one for hours with this... it should come out on the bottom line as indicated in the above post. BTW, I can't wait to see which angles they'll choose for the beauty shots.
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
  • breynolds2breynolds2 Member Posts: 4
    Thank god the BMW finally has some sport to it! the only way you could tell the old BMW was by the emblem on the wheels. It is about time someone learned how to design! The older BMW's looked like any old car.
  • zachmbenzfvrzachmbenzfvr Member Posts: 25
    I think it would be suffice to say that everyone here thinks the exterior is pretty atrocious, from pretty much every angle. The car doesn't flow. It looks like Bangle designed the car in stages. Front, middle and rear. Then he just smashed them together and you have the 5. All of the photos I have seen in the interior, look very cheap. The plastics, woods etc. It would have been nice if he had done something right. As for the rest of the line, I think the 7 looks OK. IMO the Z4 is probably the only thing from Bangle that has some beauty.
  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    In talking to people that have actually seen and driven the E60, they say the interior is "nice". Maybe, just maybe, from the cockpit it won't be too bad.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    The interior looks more like what a chauffeur would want, it's not a driver's cockpit at all.

  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    Have you been in it? I think a better question is what it feels like when you sit in it and drive it. I'm not waving the E60 banner, but comments from those I trust (current daily driver is '03 E39, 540, 6 speed) with first hand experience are of a positive nature.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    No, and I doubt I'll ever get over the exterior enough to sit inside one, anyway.

    I just think it lost its cockpit feel. Smaller Bimmers seem to capture that better.

  • zachmbenzfvrzachmbenzfvr Member Posts: 25
    Well, in comparison to the interior of the old 5, the new interior doesn't compare.

    After looking over the 5 at bmwusa, the car looked a lot better in dark colors.

    In my opinion, what made a BMW interior, a BMW interior, was that it was very driver oriented. That has been lost.
  • 82078207 Member Posts: 1
    i guess im the only guy on this page under 30. Anyhow, i like the new 530, i will be purchasing it in either silver or black..i have to see them in october. Does anyone have any pricing yet for the US?
  • joatmonjoatmon Member Posts: 315
    I understand it's not set yet. Probably 4 weeks away. Expect 1.5% more than last year. More features are standard, so it may be hard to compare. $ vs. euro may still have some say in the matter.

  • adgrantadgrant Member Posts: 13
    Guess I am an old fuddy duddy at the ripe old age of 37. However I don't like any of the new designs. Last time round when they introduced the current 5 and 3 series, I loved the new cars. I sold my E36 and ordered an early production E46. I replaced another leased E36 with a AWD E46 couple of years later. I doubt I will like the new E90 3 series.

    Fortunately I still have time for one more round of E46s (the last of the good designs). I have an AWD sedan on order and will order another next year.
  • kennynmdkennynmd Member Posts: 424
    and I don't like it at all!
  • sunilbsunilb Member Posts: 407
    I don't care for it either.

    Two words for the rear-end of the new 5: "KIA Rio".

    Sad, that a $40K+ car has been redesigned to look like an economy car (at least from the rear angle).
  • jeffryjeffry Member Posts: 36
    Hey, check out the spy photos of the new Acura TL. Sure seems to be a family resemblance to the E60 by my eye...the G35 too. I'd have to see both cars in person but the pix seem to show similar themes. Who knows, perhaps in 12-24 mos these weird looking things will seem 'normal'!?! Are they all using the same 'on line' design firm?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Saw some spy pics for the 1 series, probably slightly photochopped, but they didn't look so good...

  • vsaxenavsaxena Member Posts: 211
    Talked to BMW USA folks on the phone about the European Delivery Program.

    525 39,300
    530 44,300
    545 54,300

    Some options are standard.
    Was thinking of going for the European Delivery program but after I saw the pictures, I am seriously thinking of going to my local dealer for the 2003 525.
  • msgreenmsgreen Member Posts: 67
    as a repeat customer. I have a wonderful 97 E39 (528) with almost 100K miles on it that has been the best car I have ever owned. I give BMW A+ marks on all aspects of that car. I had hoped to eventually trade it for a new E60 (5 series); however, I am totally turned off by the new styling which seems to follow the current Chris Bangle move to "eyebrows" and tacked on "butt". To me, the design does not flow at all. The mechanicals may still be A+, but I decided not to hand over 50K for something I just think is ugly. Others may like it, but I plan to eventually trade my E39 on something else.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    msgreen... Why not get another E39? Say a MY2003? A 540i6? Or shoot for an M5? If you love the E39, you don't have to let it go.
  • hoopsrefhoopsref Member Posts: 140
    I agree with riez. I like your thinkin' riez, you wild man...get the 540 or M5! Now you're talkin'.
    Get a new one NOW a(even a 530)while the incentives are on, and enjoy the style you have loved all along. Get crazy, life is short. I just go a 530iA SP CWP for $40,575 ($3200 below invoice).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    $4000 incentive, people are reporting paying well under invoice on the 2003s. Run, don't walk, and get one of those.

  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    Notice that the 5 Series is blowing out the door right now. Outselling last year. Notice the huge increase in July sales!

    7 Series doing OK but not improving on sales from last year.

    Units Sold in USA, ranked by July 2003 Sales Volume:
    Make Model July 2003 July 2002 2003 YTD 2002 YTD

    BMW 3 Series 5,984 5,282 42,268 39,535
    BMW 5 Series 5,022 3,195 26,192 23,664
    BMW 7 Series 1,595 2,094 11,530 12,837
    BMW M5 122 146 1,180 1,102
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Was it the incentive, disdain for the new 5, or both? I envy anyone who likes the new one... BMW will be be giving them away next summer, maybe sooner.
  • orienteoriente Member Posts: 44
    "vsaena", I emailed BMW about European Delivery on the new 5 and they just about told me it was not happening. Obviously, we are talking to different groups.
    As far as the design, I think it will succeed, just because the 5 is the "best sedan in the world"(?), and the designer will get all kind of praise as a result. I think it would be a killer and sell 4x more if they had not taken such ugly themes, in the 7 and 5; a real pitty.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    The following is from

    "Top Cat - Jaguar rejoice as UK car magazines rate S-Type as best drivers car, whilst stating the new BMW-5 is "Average" and the E-Class 'Mediocre'.
    Insiders at BMW are initially quoting this as a disaster, indeed there are rumours that the Quandt family are singularly unimpressed with both designers and engineers for trying too hard to out-do Jaguar and Mercedes. The result? Lack of interest from customers. Where orders once went in sight-unseen, people are now waiting to see the car in person. BMW's board is stunned.
    Meanwhile, Jaguar engineers at Browns Lane, Coventry, England are rejoicing as UK car magazines rate the new BMW-5 as "Average" and "no longer the ultimate driving machine" in recent road test reviews. Pitted against the 3-litre S-Type, 3.2-litre E-Class and a 3-litre 5-Series, the big cat came out on top as the best car,and most importantly, the best overall drivers car. The Bee Emm has been champion for a long time now and already it has a bloody nose from it's first fight!
    According to reporters, BMW have made the new 5 "ponderous" and "strangely uninvolving" and some suggest that the variable rate steering is "not a success". Whilst inside the car, ergonomics are best described as "ill thought out". Those who have seen the car in British sunlight say that the BMW 7 looks better - and you know how lamented that has been!
    In the UK, buyers are being offered cars within weeks of the launch, and some importers quicker than that - suggesting an apathy to the car from an early stage. I have it on quiet authority that those in the BMW board who are not completely arrogant are aware that the 5-series is the companies most important model range and were it to fail (ala 7-series), the unthinkable could happen. After all, it is rumoured that Daimler/Chrysler are still looking for acquisitions!"
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    designman... Brits can be a bit parochial. Cheering for the home team. Their car mags historically have over-rated British marques. Used to laugh in the '70s and '80s when they'd rate RR and Jag so high against their competitors.
  • karmikankarmikan Member Posts: 116
    Way off base on this one Riez. Some of the best reviews of the E39 have come from UK mags and articles. They routinely have asked why Jags couldn't emulate or attain the same standards as the 5.

    Saying that Brits "cheer for the home team" any more than anyone else is plain silly. Every country does to some extent but I've read many articles accusing Brit mags of favoring BMW, Honda et al at the expense of Brit makes. What you've said is the equivalent to saying that R&T, MT & C&D are "homers" when they are often accused of exactly the reverse.

    Maybe, just maybe BMW have made a major faux pas with the E60 and are beginning to see the fallout.
  • karmikankarmikan Member Posts: 116
    Took me about about 10 mins to collect the following "parochial cheering for the home team" comments by Brit car reviewers:

    Bristol Blenheim 3G - This car looked like it had been made by me. And I simply cannot think of a worse thing to say. It was awful. Beyond awful.

    The Jaguar I’ve just been driving is rather ugly, has four cylinders, diesel power, front-wheel drive, uses the same platform as a Mondeo and is slower and cheaper than certain Skodas I could mention.

    In the same week that I had the XKR I had an Aston Martin DB7 Vantage. This is not a good car: it’s even more cramped that the Jaguar, it has much less equipment and you can’t reach the switches.

    So with the new model, Lotus changed the suspension and fitted narrower front tyres so that now it behaves just like a Golf. Go into a corner too fast and it understeers. Come out too fast and it understeers. It doesn’t matter what you do with the pedals, you can break-dance on them if you want, and it’ll still understeer. That’s safe. But if you want safe, buy a condom.

    I’d always thought that the Morgan Plus 8 was a fast car. A big engine in a light body and so on. But I suspect it isn’t. I can’t be absolutely sure because the speedo was completely obscured by the steering wheel, but in the time it took to overtake a lorry I had time to say 117 Hail Marys.

    TVR - it is a bit ugly. And I don't mean charismatically bent and broken like a scrum half's ears. I mean ugly like the Elephant Man.

    Let me just say that again to make sure you all understand how fair I’m being. The Vauxhall Astra GSi is good value. Well done Vauxhall, come to the front of the class and have a biscuit. Okay. Got that? Good, because the rest of the Astra GSi is awful.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    karmikan... I wrote, "Brits can be A BIT parochial... historically... Used to laugh in the '70s and '80s...." (emphasis added)

    I was reading British automotive press in 1970s and 1980s. Back when Britain still had an auto industry and they could cheer for the home team, which they did. Not sure what is left amidst the wreckage of today's British auto industry. Thinking maybe TVR, Bristol, and Morgan are about it for Brits. Is Reliant still around? Thinking they went bankrupt. Thinking MG might be British but could be international consortium. (For past 50 years Bristol has been an historically financially strapped, low volume company. Minor player. They took BMW engine, transmission, and chassis designs as WW II war reparations and built what really was a BMW for nearly 15 years before switching to USA (Chrysler?) V8 engines and ATs in 1960s.)

    Ya gotta keep in mind Jaguar is owned by Ford. RR by BMW. Bentley by VW. Rover by Ford. Ford (Ford) and Vauxhall (GM). Japanese plants building cars there.

    But no major British auto company is left. Sad.

    (If I could read Swedish, would be interesting to see what that nation's press is writing now that USA has swallowed up Volvo (Ford) and Saab (GM).)
  • karmikankarmikan Member Posts: 116
    No argument that the Brit auto industry resembles cottage weaving in the 19th century. But you've moved off topic. Your original comment centered around "homer" car reviews, not the sad state of the UK auto industry.

    I think that you were saying that the E60 review was slanted by a parochial homer viewpoint by Brit car reviewers. I've said (and hopefully shown) that there is no validity to that suggestion. The E60 review was written recently, how are the 70's/80's remotely relevant?
  • sdautoreviewsdautoreview Member Posts: 4
    I love two brand cars more than any others. First Mercedes-Benz and back in 2000 BMW. I loved all BMW models in 2001..Now it seems that in 2003 I am quickly losing interest in all new BMW models thanks to Bangle's design of the Z4, the disgusting 7-series, and now the car I think would sell better if left alone for the next 4 years, the 5-series. I must agree with what I have been reading about the new 5-series. It is a really...really...and I can't say it enough...really ugly car. What has Bangle completely lost it? Thanks to his new designs on now 3 BMW cars, soon the 3-series, I actually have to admit, I think BMW will be financially murdered. Mercedes-Benz (Daimler/Chrysler) might actually buy out BMW and all of the car brands it owns. That would mean that Daimler/Chrysler would now own Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, Jeep, Plymouth, Chrysler, BMW, VW, Audi, Mini, Rolls Royce, and Talk about owning the market!
  • vsaxenavsaxena Member Posts: 211
    I talked to BMW USA on the phone. They said that the prices are not out, yet. The base prices are available but the options are not. They expect them to be out in a few weeks and orders accepted sometime after that. I was told that I should be able to pick up one in late November but not to count on that.

    BTW my original message was confusing. The base prices I mentioned are US MSRPs. The European Delivery program will continue to provide the discounts.

    I think BMW will still sell a lot of cars. A majority of folks who buy BMWs in the US, especially the 5&7 series, buy it for the image; the typical lease crowd. Those sales are going to be high since the looks are changing after 7 years. The purists and the enthusiasts might be put off but they do not matter that much in the big picture. The rising stock market and the improving economy too may have something to do with the increased 5 series sales numbers.

    BMW is a tightly controlled company and unlikely to sell out because of one bad year.
  • bcanarisbcanaris Member Posts: 1
    I personally hated the old BMW designs. When I saw the 2002 7-Series, I was hooked. Unfortunately, it was beyond my budget. But I'll definitely be getting the new 5-series. It seems like BMW has finally arrived. Their old designs looked like a throwback from the 1970s.
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Riez, I don’t claim to be well-read on automotive topics. However, I have always admired British candor, and in the autospies citation I believe the writer(s) nailed some descriptions of the new 5. Calling it ponderous is not far from what I consider to be porcine. Also, I’d wouldn’t mind it if the chicken-[non-permissible content removed] sycophants in the American auto press learned to express themselves a little more like the Brits. Finally, and I hope you don’t take it personally as I have always enjoyed your posts, but Karmikan did make a convincing point in my opinion.
  • sdautoreviewsdautoreview Member Posts: 4
    I know that "BMW is a tightly controlled company", but it's not just one bad year. This could effect the next 5 years of sales, likely not, but it would put a dent in their pocket books. I think BMW is just going through a phase of not necessarily bad designs, but DIFFERENT designs which I think is too new for most people, including myself, to accept. When the new 7-series first came out I didn't like it and still don't. Now that's my opinion, but some people like it. Maybe the 5-series can pull that same move too. Lets see if their reputation keeps them on top with the rest of the Germans.

    I understand you're view on this matter. Good point! Time will show what will ultimately happen though.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    designman... Not sure how anyone can take that story seriously.

    You wrote, "The following is from

    "Top Cat - Jaguar rejoice as UK car magazines rate S-Type as best drivers car, whilst stating the new BMW-5 is "Average" and the E-Class 'Mediocre'...Insiders at BMW are initially quoting this as a disaster, indeed there are rumours that the Quandt family are singularly unimpressed with both designers and engineers for trying too hard to out-do Jaguar and Mercedes ... BMW's board is stunned. Jaguar engineers...are rejoicing as UK car magazines rate the new BMW-5 as "Average" and "no longer the ultimate driving machine"...I have it on quiet authority that those in the BMW board who are not completely arrogant ... the unthinkable could happen. After all, it is rumoured that Daimler/Chrysler are still looking for acquisitions!"

    This article is hilarious overstatement. Almost parody. Tried to use editing to point out all the hype, speculation, rumour, unnamed sources, and assumption. The out-of-control, over-the-top language is funny. Loved the bogus, farsical implication that MB might somehow buy BMW!

    I then merely wrote, "Brits can be A BIT parochial... historically... Used to laugh in the '70s and '80s...." (emphasis added)

    If you had been reading British automotive press back in the 1970s and 1980s (as I was), you would've recognized this sort of article every time a truly Brit company came out with its next supposedly world-beater car, whether it was Rover, Triumph, or Jaguar. For example, read the ancient unfulfilled hype of the old TR-7 and TR-8.

    Think karmikian read bit too much into my minor response. (British press has long been aghast at what Bristol is forced to do. TVR also lacks funds necessary to be truly world-class competitive. Being (easily) honest about those points is like saying AMC was at a disadvantage against GM and Ford in early 1970s.)
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Riez, that story (really a news summary) is merely a bunch of tidbits culled from various sources by autospies. I could care less about the Jaguar S... don’t care how good it may or may not ride because I hate the look. And yes, I do indeed take it with salt because I question whether it measures up to the new 5, old 5, or even a Hyundai Sonata (that’s stretching it). I wouldn’t form an opinion unless I drove it myself anyway. So, just because I posted it doesn’t mean I agree with all of it. Perhaps the title of my post “WAS the best in the world...” misrepresented my intentions. In hindsight I should have said “WAS the best in the world?” with the question mark.

    Anyway, why did I post it? Because it blasts the look of E60 in the manner in which I and many others have been doing. Sorry but I don’t see any parody in this (and if there is, I believe it went over the heads of the editors at autospies also). It validates the opinions of me and the naysayers. Let me remind you I’m talking strictly about styling, not technical aspects.

    With regard to Karmikan, I’m not going to speak for him, but I would think the word “parochial” pushed his buttons no matter how mild you tried to make it, or how innocent your intentions might have been. That’s just about synonymous with “narrow-minded”, and sorry again, but it’s off the mark IMO. No matter how accurate you may be about the British press of yesteryear, the quotes he gathered, if correct, were good retort and apply to the subject at hand.

    I hope we’re not making too much out of this.

    BTW, I still haven’t gotten over the Jag problems of yesteryear to make me consider buying one, and now that’s it’s owned by Ford... well... you know where this is going.
  • riezriez Member Posts: 2,361
    designman... Whatever else the autospies article might be, it isn't journalism. (Having been a USAF military intelligence analyst in a past life, there is nothing that bugs me more than heresay, rumor, or unnamed, unquoted sources. We had a running joke about CIA sources. "According to high placed source--the president's nephew's dogroomer's second cousin twice removed...." Whoever could keep the thread going the longest in a meaningful, nonsensical way won.)

    [And there isn't anyone who can convince me that deep down the average Brit, auto journalist or just average John Bull on the street, doesn't subconsciously want HM Jag to be better than the Chancellor's BMW or MB. I'll believe differently once the British Royal Family, esp. the Queen, drives either a brand new RR (BMW) or Bentley (VW). Anyone know what the Queen and Crown Prince are driving these days? :) ]
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