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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • riezriez 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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?
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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? :) ]
  • But I'll hate myself in the morning......:)

    We started with your "parochial" post which was an attempt to negate an unfavorable review of the E60. We zoomed straight to the state of the Brit auto industry. Then the CIA reared its head and now we've got the Royal Family. What's next? The EEC? Prostate exams? The meaning of life?

    I'd guess that the Royal Family wouldn't be driven anywhere in a "foreign" car for the same reason a US President wouldn't be driven to an inauguration in a Maybach. They don't want to give opponents political leverage. In any event, the Royal Family is as irrelevant in the UK as they are in this discussion.

    Apologies in advance Riez. You said "there is nothing that bugs me more than heresay, rumor, or unnamed, unquoted sources" yet you seem to have clear insight into what the average Brit subconsciously wants. I assume that your sources on this must be pretty good. Certainly better than mine because I don't have a clue what who the average Brit is, let alone what he/she subconsciously wants.

    BTW re Jags, I agree with you Designman. I wouldn't have a Jag if one was given to me (oh all right, I would but I wouldn't like it).
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    karmikian... Think you are over analyzing. My focus was and is on the hilarious, ludicrous original autospies "story". Please re-read the original post. Then re-read my original, restrained, response.

    There is nothing legitimate or serious about that autospies story. For example, do you take this seriously: "I have it on quiet authority that those in the BMW board who are not completely arrogant...."? I'm surprised the writer didn't mention the BMW Board of Directors mixing the purple Kool Aid as they contemplate the doom awaiting their horrible past decisions and choose the honorable way out?

    Not sure what the comments about poor old, broke Bristol establish. Just read how the American automotive press has savaged their pitiful offerings over the past decade. Believe Motor Trend had a review of one within past couple years. Their cars are like disco balls using 1960s technology. Even the Brits don't defend the indefensible. But there isn't anything similar between today's Bristol and the E60, E61, or E65 BMW platforms.
  • The review of the Bristol was only 1 of 7 I posted. The reviews pretty much slammed everyone, all of them Brit makes. That was my point.

    Anyway, thanks for an entertaining discussion. We can all make up our own minds when we get to test drive the E60, until then (and maybe afterwards too) the E39 still rules the roost IMO.
  • Can we move on gents? Let's not let the British press bog us down with their "Monty Python" reporting! Cheerio, mates.
  • Over the last week I've spotted a number of 5 series being tested (I'm guessing) in the Leesburg, VA area. A group of at least ten of them left Lansdowne Resort heading north on Route 7. Today I got behind a 530I (w/Georgia plates)--- A lot better in person I must say -- Of course I kinda liked it from the pictures as well -- Didn't get a look at the front end as it was turning back into Lansdowne -
  • vsaxenavsaxena Posts: 211
    BMW 2004 5 series pricing (PDF)

    The price of the sports package has been increased a lot ($3300 from $2000) but gets you the adaptive steering and active roll stabilization. The premium package goes up by $200 but includes the auto dimming mirror for the 525. So a 525 with PP, SP, Steptronic now lists at close to $47K! This is about $3K more than the 2003 E39 525 model.

    More reason to go for ED on the E60 since the initial allocation at the dealers is likely to be loaded to fatten the margins.
  • As a Brit, I have to agree with riez on how the British Auto press has attempted to support some British marques but even the British press had the BMW 5er as their top Executive Car(What Car? '02, '01', '00, etc..) BMW is going to feel this for about 6 to 7 years. I think that non-enthusiasts will buy the new 5er because of the BMW image. Sales might drop outside of the U.S. for BMW. Regardless of how the new 7er, Z4, and 5er might look, they are well performing cars. (Drove a Z4 3.0 with manual, I was impressed but the clutch was killing my leg.)

    As far as my opinions, it seems that the Brit press likes the Morgans, AC Cobra, Lotus Elise and Westfields. The TVR gets mixed reviews (I like them). I cannot stand the Bristols. The British press loves the R-type Jags.
  • You would be correct about seeing the new 5's
    coming out of the Landsdowne Resorts, I was down there last weekend and got to drive the cars on the road and then at some police driver training facility about 1/2 hour away.

    I was very impressed with how the car drives, the active steering is the coolest thing about the car, it's amazing to me at least how this system works, and a lot of people are going to like it as much as I do
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If MSRP is $3k more, cost is $7k more because the 2003s carry a $4000 incentive as well.

  • If you can get an 2003 for around $3k BELOW invoice now (which is already $7k below current MSRP), and the new ones will sell close to MSRP for while yet, than you could be looking at a $10,000 difference. Using my '03 530iA as an example. MSRP @$47,800, paid $40,575 ($3200 below invoice) and if a new model is $3k higher, it would be around $10k + higher. Probably faulty logic somewhere, but it looks good on
This discussion has been closed.