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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Being a Subaru owner, I'm glad they hired Andreas Zapatinas away from Alfa Romeo. Guess where he was before Alfa? You guessed it, BMW.

    In a way Bangle is screwing up what Zapatinas (and his successor) did at BMW.

  • I don't know if the car will be there again (of course) but it was parked in what I guess is the back of the building (opposite the side that has the columns) in a small plaza/square.
     Later on my trip, after I had seen that car, I stopped in to a BMW dealership to see if they had any on the floor but they did not. The one salesman there was busy and I didn't have time to wait to talk with him to get any further info.
  • chrisjoochrisjoo Posts: 27
    Do BMW plan to make all new 2004 5 series with AWD option like 3 series and Audi A6?
  • alphamalealphamale Posts: 15
    A more "Conservative" form of unattractiveness than the 7, but not as good as the Z4 (which I almost like).
        It's not ugly, it's just not attractive, or even "conservatively handsome".
        And it looks too similar to the current one, which is too wimpy for me.
  • affyaffy Posts: 19
    I never own a BMW before and is willing to consider the new 5-series.

    I hope BMW give have a new options of a new panaromic sunroof like the new E-Class.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW, letter writers to Autoweek were also unanimous in disliking the new 5's styling.

    The moonroof in the E is very cool by the way.

  • pecclespeccles Posts: 52
    Does anyone know if the rear seat legroom has
    increased for '04 and by how much?
  • corkdsp1corkdsp1 Posts: 9
    the backseat has more legroom in 2004, Most reviews are not disliking the styling just commenting its a departure/bold. Otherwise the 4 or 5 reveiews I have read have been outstanding. Car is going to be a winner. I cant wait
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    This happened in Germany and the car went into someone's house.
    Very bad accident. 66a4ee19bcd570f&threadid=30862
  • bmwdriver02bmwdriver02 Posts: 46
    That accident looks pretty bad. And its a 2004. The driver did survive as the article said. Wow the car actually went into a house. Considering the driver lived, maybe I should consider the 2004 530i (whenever the 2005 model comes out). Choices, choices...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    It is truly amazing that the driver was not DOA, however, apparently he did die a few days later from massive head trauma. :-(

    Best Regards,
  • bmwdriver02bmwdriver02 Posts: 46
    DOA, whats that mean?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    DOA = Dead On Arrival (usually to the Hospital)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess DSC stands for Driving Stupidly causes Collision!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not a good sign for the i-Drive:

    it still took three BMW engineers nearly 10 minutes to switch our test car's system from German to English when we asked them to help us perform this function

    And in the other article, saying the new 5 "isn't that scary" is more a back-handed complement, no?

    I agree with the author that the 92-96 models were by far the best looking.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As for "whining", take a note, I am not a whiner, never have been, never will be. Take another note, the only whining I hear on this discussion is from the folks who don't like hearing from other folks who don't like the E60.

    To me, how a car looks is a significant portion of the "Grade" that I give said car. A car could have all of the performance and other goodies that I want in a car, and be ugly (take yet another note, I deem the E60 to be ugly, just not as ugly as a CTX for example), and that would be enough to cause me to look elsewhere.

    Regarding 5-Series models gone by, I would be proud to have a 1992-1995 5-Series in my stable, and I am proud to have a 2002 5-Series as my current daily driver. I find it highly unlikely that I will have an E60, unless (or should I say, until) the inevitable ~3 year face lift proves to be more visually attractive.

    Best Regards,
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    While I agree that I want looks and performance, the latter is more important than the former. There is nothing worse than an attractive performance car that lacks performance. Anyone remember the recent Dodge Avenger? Well, I guess a garish add-on kit that ruins looks and doesn't benefit performance is worse. Anyone remember the mid-1970s Pinto-based Mustang II King Cobra? Take an awful performing Mustang and make it look like a streetwalker at the end of the night.

    If the new 5 Series performs, she'll sell. Indications are good performance wise.

    Don't judge a book by pictures of the book cover. You have to see the car in the flesh, touch her, walk around her, and drive her. Only then will you know if the car looks up to your standards.
  • toronto_guytoronto_guy Posts: 22
    I can't believe you read the lengthy articles and picked the only 2 negative things to comment on (actually 1) and ignore the 50 positive things.

    If you read the article closely on the Idrive system he also said, "And if it's all still too confusing, most of the functions can be invoked from dedicated dash-mounted controls or from the standard-fitment multi-function steering wheel."

    That's right you can have the choice of boring manual controls like every other car, or Idrive. But let me point out all medium to high end cars will have an "idrive" type system within the next 10 years allowing internet access and email retrieval. All the major car companies are working on it and are getting ready for release. So get used to it.

    As far as "isn't that scary" the author was comparing it to other vehchles..calling them scary. The quote is "Let's start with the styling. Maybe we've become inured to BMW's new design direction after the 7 and the Z4. But the new 5 just isn't that scary"

    Not really sure where the author stated that "the 92-96 models were by far the best looking.". I really think you should read the articles more thoroughly if you are going to draw from them.

    But they did say "While the 2004 BMW 5 Series is considered a complete redesign, the changes to its basic character seem more like subtle refinement. It was already a comfortable, capable and highly dynamic machine. The latest version is still all of these things, just a bit more so. You could say it's still basically the same vehicle, but now "it goes up to 11."

    As far as "shippo"'s comment, "how a car looks is a significant portion of the "Grade" that I give said car". I really don't have much comment for that as you obviously should be at the Home and Garden site critiquing bedrooms. And leave this place for actual drivers.
  • sassasassa Posts: 2
    BMW has developed one of the best diesel engines, but refuses to bring it to the U.S. I have driven MBZ diesels for over 20 years, but they do not live up the the performance of BMW. The new 5 series is the perfect opportunity for them to show their leadership in their diesel technology in the U.S. Please BMW show how you can grab MBZ owners away to your garage. The 5 series design is way superior to how the E-Series limps along with only evolutionary changes and only adds more technology that they can not maintain their quality providing owners with above average visits to the service bay. Again, BMW please show your leadership and bring us your diesel!!!!
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    I think you'll see BMW bring diesels over in 2007 whan low-sulfer diesel fuels are required. Diesel fuel in the U.S. has high sulfer content compared to European fuels. When they can have one emmission standard they will bring diesels here. It would be expensive to try to convert to U.S. standards for a car that right now has limited appeal to the U.S. customer.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Back in 1998 when I first started contemplating BMW ownership, I was really turned off by the generally prevailing stereotype regarding the arrogant folks who drove BMWs, and I did not want to become associated with folks of that ilk in any way shape or form. Fortunately after a single test drive (yes I drove it, not my gardener or my chauffeur for that matter); I was convinced that I would deal with the negative stigma and move on. At the same time as I was shopping, I was also starting to contribute here in the town hall, and was impressed with the general decorum of the folks in the BMW discussions, not at all what the stereotype might suggest. There are however, exceptions, and as a rule, the folks who stand out as being more closely aligned with the “Stereotypical BMW owner” are folks who seem to be intolerant of the opinions of others.

    For the record, I do not like the E60, and if that offends anybody, that is not my problem. For those who like the E60, I can only say that I am glad they have found a car that they like.

    Best Regards,
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    I really doubt that all high-end cars will have versions of idrive (with internet bells and whistles) in 10 yrs. This isn't some abstract guess, I work in a field closely associated with the telematics industry.

    I was at the Telematics conference in Detroit in 2000 when Ford and Qualcomm announced Wingcast, an all singing and dancing 'mobile office' initiative. There were presentations on getting stock quotes, booking hotels, making dinner reservations, having your car transmit error codes directly to your dealership then check your calendar and book an appointment and on and on .....

    Meanwhile, OnStar gave one clear message - "you're driving on a deserted road at 3 am, hit a tree and are injured, how do you get help?" That simplicity really resonated and the "safety and security" aspect of telematics became the predominant theme. At a time when cell phone use is being legislated away, the trend is for less distractions while driving, not more. Wingcast folded in 2002 and OnStar turned a profit in Q1 2003.

    The problem with idrive is that it requires concentration and eyes off the road to operate (unless you want to pull over and stop to change a few settings). Ok, so many idrive controls are replicated elsewhere, then why have idrive? BMW could replace the manual/visual components of idrive with voice commands, but again, why have idrive in the first place?

    It seems that BMW have taken a "because we can" attitude in developing idrive. The best guess is that it will either disappear or evolve to be an entirely different system more in line with safety considerations and consumer demand.
  • zhangqjzhangqj Posts: 15
    I have been following the development of E60 with keen interest, paying especially close attention to 545i. All indication seems that the Active Front Steering will be standard on 545i6. I am real worried about this AFS. In addition to the high rate of failures (as seen by many testers in Sardinia), what worries me even more is when it actually does work. Quoting Richard Bremner of (I can't find the link any more) "the problem was all in our heads - literally. ... Your brain was geared itself to the steering's rate of response around town. Back on the open road, you're dealing with a different steering calibration. ... My colleague underestimated the amount he needed to turn the wheel to take right turn, which certainly startled the driver in the Punto coming the other way."

    I understand the brain will adjust and remember after certain practice. However the thought of my better half who, most likely an occassion driver of the bimmer because of MT, may not fully master this AFS and find herself staring at an oncoming truck, is really troubling.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    zhangqi... The reviews I've read in the dedicated automotive press from knowledgeable experts, including those who test drove cars with and without AFS, have been positive. I have yet to find a negative discussion about AFS from various sources.

    Have you checked out Edmunds first thoughts on the new 5 Series?
  • snagielsnagiel Posts: 750
    Mike, please e-mail me when you have a minute: Thanks.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Recent "First Drive" review at Edmunds can be found here.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bjoyebjoye Posts: 35
    As for the look of the new 5, I really like it a lot. I own an '01 525, and my wife has an '02 X5 and we both really love the new body styles. I think the new 7 is one of the hottest cars around. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't like it, that's a shame since the 5 is probably the best car in its class.

    As for the i-drive, I was hoping they would have simplified it a lot from the 7, but it doesn't really sound like they have. I would actually prefer some other standard luxury features like a great in-dash 6-disc changer, auto-headlights and such that other cars in this class already offer. However, I do give BMW a lot of credit for pushing the technology envelope. You have to take some chances and go out on a limb in order to revolutionize things instead of just incremental upgrades. Just my opinion.
  • 6_speed6_speed Posts: 37
    Like I said in an earlier post, it took me a while to adjust to the 1997 5 when it debuted. I was in my 1990 5 and have grown to love its look. But the reason I bought the 1990 5 was performance(esp handling). There were other cars(e.g. Mercedes) that look better but since I was the one doing the driving, performance was more important.

    In my opinion, my 1990 5 looks as good as my 1997 5. But in the performance department, we are talking about 7 years of engineering refinement in the works. That is a hard fact to ignore especially from a company like BMW. So when I test drove the 1997 5, it was its performance that won me over, not the looks.

    The 2004 5 would have to work the same magic in the performance department (its look is fine) for me to sign those papers.

    I somewhat agree that some people buy BMW for the badge - the “Stereotypical BMW owner" but for me that was the furthest from my mind.

    FWIW, I think the M coupe would have been perfect if I don't already have my 2-seater sports car which has comparable performance.
This discussion has been closed.