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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • Hello. We use to have a 528i, it was a 97. I know they have given a minimum refreshing to the 2001's, but I have herd about the brand new model for 02/03. I have never been to a web page that clearly showed a large side view picture of the car. I currently have a 740isport.fully loaded. At the end of this lease in April 2003 I will most likely not get another 7 series. Even though it is the best car I have ever owned, I no longer have the need for a very large sedan. I am way a head of my self, but hey I have nothing better to do.
    P.S. I am also considering the 2003 M5, i asume that is going to have the same basic redisign? Also please email me at [email protected] with a responce, just because I sometimes lose track of what confrence I posted in. Make the email subject :BMW 5 series, and M5. THANK YOU SO MUCH.
  • your good observation deserves a good response.

    In this high-performance sports car application (the wonderful Porsche Carerra GT supercar), the issue behind the non-use of steel cylinder liners is different: weight rather than durability. At BWM, it's operating margin.

    While there are some engineering & manufacturing cost advantages to the use of the all-alloy block without inserted steel liners, in this application the primary driver behind Porsche's decision is the slight improvement in block weight. Cylinder wall longevity (over 200k kilometers) is largely irrelevant in this application, especially since the most thermally-stressful application (trailer towing) will not be attempted by Carerra GT owners (unless they've had way to much Schnapps). As you correctly noted, a proportionally small manufacturing cost savings is also largely irrelvant at the Carerra's very high price point.

    Instead, Porsche felt that saving the weight of 10 steel cylinders, particularly weight located a bit above the vehicle's roll center and the center of gravity, will provide two key benefits:

    1) Improved accleration (better power / weight ratio). Please note that Porsche placed a very high priority on weight reduction. The use modern materials rather than traditional steel stampings for the body structure in a street car reflects a long overdue epiphany among Porsche's engineers; they would not have made this internal-culturally significant change if it were not for their aggressive focus on weight reduction for this high-performance sports car application; and

    2) Reduced longitudinal roll polar moment of inertia for improved transient behaviour during periods of yaw acceleration and damping. Having 10 heavy steel cylinders located above the center of gravity (and probably above the vehicle's longitudinal roll axis) would hinder cornering performance for vehicle having this terrific performance potential.

    In a simple, low-tech, low manufacturing cost, high center of gravity sedan (like the 5 series BMW or other similar sedan) minimizing the longitudinal roll polar moment of inertia is irrelevant; drivetrain durability, on the other hand, is somewhat noticed by sports sedan consumers (but to a far lesser degree than consumers of heavy duty sports tow vehicles like the Surburban, Navigator, Tahoe, etc.).

    Tall, tippy, high center of gravity sedans(like the 5 series and especially like the narrower-track 3 series and other cars having similar dimensions) have higher centers of mass and narrower tracks than do many higher performance sports cars (Ferrari 360 Modena, GM Corvette, Honda NSX, etc). This basic physical characteristic and configuration of sedans results in comparatively (to low sports cars) large amounts of lateral weight transfer during yaw acceleration (the initial phase of cornering), and unless band-aided by very high spring and anti-roll bar rates, comparatively large amounts of body roll. Very basic physics.

    The point remains: the use of treatment-coated aluminum cylinder liners in a sedan, particularly one as heavy and tippy as the 5 series, is due to manufacturing cost savings and operating margin enhancement, not reducing the longitudinal roll polar moment of inertia or other vehicle handling nuances. The 6 cylinder 5 series remains one of the world's best sedans; advertising slogans aside, and recognizing the dynamic limitations imposed by its tall narrow sedan configuration, it is a truly an excellent passenger car.

    However, it certainly suffers the burden of a high sales price due to efforts to repair the financial damage caused by the Rover disaster.

    The financial disaster at BMW during the last few years (multi-billions of dollars of losses in the Rover fiasco) has placed BMW mgmt on the defensive to improve profitablity, repair the firm's seriously eroded retained earnings, and attempt to stave off being sold by the Quandt family to GM or Toyota once the death tax laws in Germany change in a couple of years. Recent interviews in the business press with BMW senior mgmt. all circle around this issue. Every effort is being made to price BMW products at very, very high operating margin levels relative to product cost(levels that some speculate would even embarass Ford's Navigator margins or Toyotas LS430 margins) so as to rebuild the company's financial fortunes as a means to prevent or postpone being sold to a larger manufacturer. BMW's superb brand management & marketing skills have enabled them to pursue this correct course of action. Unfortunately, most auto industry securities analysts are betting against BMW remaining independent past 2005 due to the inexorable pull of economies of scale and share holder value. They expect to see only 5 auto manufacturers by 2010. As a result, some stock analysts are recommending purchases of BMW's shares at this time in anticipation of the expected value appreciation that often occurs in stocks of firms considered takeover candidates. Check out the European business press articles on this point. GM is considered the most likely candidatem, with some marketing analysts specu, lating that GM would first dissolve the Oldsmobile brand and replace it with BWM at that product point in their brand matrix if such a transaction were to occur (copying Ford's deletion of Mercury and replacement by Volvo within their brand matrix). The first will be announced very shortly, the second is very speculative, and in my view, not likely.

    BTW: have you tried an M5? extraordinary, even without cylinder liners, but who cares?
  • al42al42 Posts: 1
    Resonse to abh1 -
    Just ordered a 530iA from Concord BMW, here in the Bay Area. Got a price quoted over the phone from Laurie. Got approx. 1900 off the MSRP. Nice lady too.

    Good Luck -
    al42
  • Picked it up last week. 5 speed, con pkg, cd, cold weather pkg, premium pkg. This is my first German car, and I am extremely impressed. Looks, quality, style, engine, everything. Handful of little things that bug me.... but overall I am happy. 1. No center consol for storage ( BMW uses that for a rear heating / AC unit). 2. Poor cup holder. Not real sturdy, in the middle in the way of the shift, climate control and radio. 3. No good place for a cell phone to sit if you don't buy BMW's. Lastly, and I think this is just the dealer, but the memory key isn't working perfectly yet of moving the seats to mine and my wife preferences based on which key is used. It is easy to find faults like this, but I would still rate this car a 9.5 on a scale of 1-10. If there is any real flaw, I haven't found it yet.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I'm trying to decide if you're joking or not.

    The aluminum BMW engine is considered to be very reliable and durable. Yes, there were some issues with the nikasil liners, because the sulphur content of the U.S. gasoline is sometimes much higher than the germans realized ( due to south american/mexian gas ). But those cars has the engine warranty extended to 100K miles, and they'll be replaced if any real problems shows up.

    As for the aluminum engine being a cost-cutting effort, that is absurd. Casting, cutting, and purchasing aluminum is much more expensive than the same with iron. And the alusil treatment is a metalurgical treatment that i expect costs as least as much as it would cost to simply use larger bores and to slide iron sleeves in. And it's easy to find hard-run BMW engine over 200,000 miles still working well and holding compression. Talk to any mechanic who regulary works on BMW, and you'll hear that a properly cared for BMW motor is good got 200+ miles before serious work is needed ( aside from a bad batch, like the nikasil engines). If BMW wanted to save money on the engine, they'd move to a more common V engine, or use an iron block, and drop silly extravagances like the variable valve timing.

    As for the 3 and 5-series being tall,tippy, and poor handling, i am sure you are joking now. The m3(3-series) was named the best handling car avaialble for any price by car and driver. The 5-series routinely wins the handling component of comparisons with other cars in it's class, and every single review of the 5-series compliments the handling, extending to drooling. Doesn't sound muck like a tall top-heavy tippy car to me, frankly.

    You also say the car is cheap to manufacture? Excuse me? Every review compliments it's very high build quality, and it's long list of sophisicated luxury features. Look inside the dash or in the engine compartment and you see thick metal and long welds. Even the base 3-series has a 10 speaker sterio, full sized spare, and stronger brakes and thicker rotors than you really need.

    The prices are being jacked way up? Are you aware the the 525 is the cheapest 5-series since '92 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) and has many new features, such as heat retention, the best DSC around, side air bags, etc?

    Please, i know you are not a BMW fan, but i think we can insert a little reality into our posts?

    dave
  • Greetings

    My recent purchase ('97 528i) is a joy but I have noticed an inconsistency in the speedometer readings. Consistently the dash dial indicator reads ~4 mph higher than the digital readout from the computer.

    Any thoughts?

    Tom Burke
  • mtl3mtl3 Posts: 22
    That was the post I was unable to compose.
    Thanks.
  • westuwestu Posts: 2
    I get terrible gasoline mileage on my '97 528i; 16 mpg with 80% town driving. My '88 528e got 20 mpg under same conditions. Is this typical?
  • westuwestu Posts: 2
    I have all kinds of inconsistencies with my computer read outs, particularly the miles left. I only get 280 miles to a tank of gas. After I fill up, it shows I start out with 380 miles available, then RISES to over 400 during the first quarter tank. Once I hit the last quarter tank, it says I have 100 miles one minute, then 15 the next. Drives me crazy. I would rather not have the feature.
  • Hi Folks,

    I'm new to this board. I'm very seriously considering purchasing a '94 BMW 530i from a private party. The car has around 67K on it and is in immaculate shape on the interior and exterior. I took it our on a pretty extensive test drive both city and highway and again, the ride is incredible. The asking price is "fair" at a bit over $18K.

    Can someone please advise me of what their experiences have been with this type of car and the 5 series in general? I'm curious as to the reliability and stability of these cars.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Soda
  • I am trying to decide between the 540iA and Lexus GS430. Can any one provide any recommendations?

    Also, I am very interested in getting the navigation system. Has anyone used the nav system on 5 series? Any idea how it compares to the Lexus's DVD based nav system? I live in Southern California and I wonder how good the maps are for this area.

    Appreciate any help you guys can provide.

    Thanks, Merry Christmas and happy holidays.
  • New or used? I definitely want a manual tranny. I usually only put down the essentials at inception (no cap cost reduction). 12,000 miles/year. I live in the Northeast (Philadelphia area), but I'm willing to travel for a deal. I've owned two other Beemers before and no other car that I've had since can compare. I just need some advice. I am hoping to stay in the $500/om area. Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated.
  • If you buy the GS430 (IMO) you'll soon realize it's a BMW wannabe. I made the mistake b4 I bought my 2000 528 of thinking a Infinity Q45 was a good car (and it was), but after one year of owning it I realized it had no soul. BMW's just get in your system. Good luck.
  • Well, I was in a similar situation 4 months ago, although I was looking at used cars. '98s to be exact.

    I always loved both cars, so I don't believe I am a bigot to one or the other. Regardless, in the end I chose the GS400. To me, it has a much nicer interior which I like a lot more then the 540. I love both exteriors, but the GS looks a little more stylish to me. I know MANY people though who hate the look of the GS, so that is very individual.

    Boths cars have very strong and smooth engines. The GS will not handle like the 540, but it handles very good with the 17"s, and I am not looking at going around bends any faster then I am now.

    Since I was buying used, I needed to make sure that the car would be extremely reliable. Without knocking the BMW, Lexus is simply one of the best cars built. Both do well regarding depreciation. Some people say the Lex will depreciate better, but I think that is a toss up.

    The final reason for me was the dealer experience, and that is where in my area, BMW could not touch the Lexus. 4 months and 6,000 miles later and I still feel that way.

    FYI, I did not get to see the BMW nav system, so I do not know anything about it. I did get the nav in my 98 GS, and I love it. Very accurate, I use it much more then I ever thought, and that is the HD based system. I'm sure the new DVD based system kicks its [non-permissible content removed].

    Best of luck with your decision as both cars are excellent.
  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    Am interested in ED : either 525 i or the 525 station wagon. Has anyone been able to get more than $1,900 off form the stated ED price????
    also, were you able to ship the car to any dealer ( other than where you purchased ) upon return to US at no cost to you???
    [email protected]
  • kmn1kmn1 Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 1995 525i I/70k miles, and a 1997 318ti I/33k miles. Both are BMW certified. Both priced the same at 21,700. What is a better value - I would like to put at least 175-200k on this car before moving on to another... thanks.
  • Considering the winter we are having in the midwest and the fact that BMW does not make a front wheel or AWD car, how does the All Season Traction Control system work in the snow?
  • I am in Dayton OH with my 01'530. We have had a significant amount of snow lately, 2-3 inches here and there expecting more tomorrow, and some SERIOUS sleet and freezing rain. I am very impressed with the stability control and traction control. It is strange to have a vehicle that will not let you accelerate in such conditions when the wheels begin to slip on ice etc... The throttle just cuts out and automatically corrects for the conditions. Having rolled two cars on ice many years ago, I can certainly appreciate this feature. I have Michilin all season Pilots on it w/o sport package. Seems to do fine so far. Certainly not to be compared to a SUV of course. It did handle outstanding on the 1-1.5 inches of ice and sleet I had to drive to the hospital in several weeks ago. Performed great!
  • Well, that is a tough decision for you. I personally would never want the 318, it is just too damn slow! Those cars are so totally different in size and features, you are going to have to see what is more important to you. You might incur some steep repair bills if you plan on getting 200K more miles though...
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    The 5 spd. ti is just as fast(or faster) 0-60 as the 525iA; call it 8.3 seconds. The ti is much lighter and more "tossable". The ti's gas mileage will be better-@27mpg. The ti has fewer electronic geegaws so the maintenance and insurance costs should also be lower. The ti's hatch will hold a surprising amount of gear. The 525i is more of a tourer and has a much more accommodating rear seat. Drive them both and pick the one that fits YOUR needs. And on the track, you won't see a well driven ti Sport giving the pass signal to any 5er short of a 540 or M5...
  • According to BMW of North America's website,European Delivery entitles you to 7% off of MSRP. On a 525 sedan, that works out to approximately $2500, depending on options. I've been thinking about doing a Euro delivery because the local dealers aren't coming off sticker on 5 series cars.
  • cuquicuqui Posts: 1
    We just ordered a 525ia with convenience pkg, cold weather pkg, navigation system, premium pkg. and xenon lights for $41,500 without taxes. We would be very interested to learn if that was a "good price". I believe we paid a little over 3% over invoice price. Also, on the navigation system, I read on posted message that it is not that reliable. Any comments? Anxious to know. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.
  • The choice of seats is particularly important for my wife who has a disability and needs isolation from a harsh ride over a long period of driving or as a passenger.
    BMW are offering for the 530i a choice of standard seat, sports seat, comfort seat and active seat.
    I would like to have opinions as to the benefits of each.
  • I drove a 525iA without sport suspension that still seemed to offer a very firm ride bordering on harsh/jolting going over bumps. Is this normal? Should I just look to another type of car if I want a soft ride?

    Does option 467 "Comfort Seats and Convenience Package (530i/530iA)" make the ride soft or does it just provide lumbar support?

    Is there a way to accurately describe the difference between the normal suspension and the sport suspension other than to just say the sport suspension is "firmer"? Thanks for any help you can offer.
  • I just purchased a 2001 540i. I was surprised to find the lights seem to be only manual...in this age of all automatic I was surprised. Am I missing something?
  • Information from BMW.
    "Standard" seat provides for adjustments forward/back, height, and seat

    back angle. the drivers seat is adjustable in angle.
    "Sports" seat is more contoured and tightly upholstered. It provides

    greater ride restraint and thigh support, which can be adjusted in

    length. Angle of seat is adjustable for both driver and passenger.
    "Comfort" seat offers an adjustment facility for the upper seatback

    section for the shoulders and adjustable lumbar support. Seat angle

    adjustment for both driver and passenger.
    "Active" seat adds a fluid to the seats which can have a pulsating

    massaging action to minimise the numb bum effect on long journeys.
    So much for the theory.
    Can anybody comment on their experience with these seats?
  • Does anyone know whether and when the AWD feature will be available in the 5-series?

    Thanks.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    According to my dealer, it will be available in the new redesign on the 5-series, 2003 or so. I hope it's not quite as rounded as the current model, i personally liked the looks of the older 5-series much more.. In fact i though that was a gorgeous car.

    dave
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,078
    Can someone in the know tell me if the '98 528i has a solid panel sunroof or a glass moonroof? I know it changed around that time, but can't recall if it was '98 or '99.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • kelfkelf Posts: 83
    If you paid $3,400 under the Euro Delivery price that sounds great.( not the US msrp). Could you verify? and please let me know your dealer?
    [email protected]
  • I'm considering buying a 1997 528i fully loaded with 50,000 miles for $32,000. Can someone help,
    is this a good deal or should I consider a much newer car since it is already 5 years old.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 34,078
    Without knowing all the details, 32K sounds high. I saw a '98 with 22K miles yesterday (certified car at a dealer), pretty well loaded with an automatic. I think they wanted 33K for it. You might want to stick with a '98, because BMW has a bunch of them (off lease) in the certified program,. They will have about 1 year of bumper to bumper warranty left, plus the extended service contract. Also discount financing.

    Of course, you should be able to get a lower price if you don't buy at a BMW dealer. They really want a premium price for the used ones, not all that much less then new.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • bat26bat26 Posts: 1
    We owned since new a 92- 525 now with 178400 miles and love it.. The only cost so far is the normal ware and tear (couch/exhaust/breaks/coils) nickel and dime stuff considering the mileage. The 318 is a small/slow car not shure if hats what you want. The 525 has a lot of power and room. A good car choice. Good luck
  • I have a 2000 528 which I bought last winter and never had a problem with snow mainly because the Chicago area hasn't had much the last few winters. This winter is a very different story. I could barely make it up my driveway after the first heavy snow. I did some research and found tirerack.com and they were very helpful I bought a set of Michelin Pilots (the winter version which is also I rated and means I can safely go 80 or 90 on the toll way). Nevertheless, I was quite skeptical about how much help a set of snow tires would really be. I am happy to report that the car almost feels like my wife's SUV in 4-wheel drive. I highly recommend good snow tires if you have any concerns. Michael
  • I have a decisional conflict: a BMW (530A) as, Mercedes Benz(320, four-matic)?

    Any advice, along any dimmensions (service, safety, quality of ride,etc.) will be much appreciated.

    Leothelion
  • Hello......

    Any ideas or thoughts on synthetic oils for the 5 Series??? I have read that Castrol makes BMW's oils, but that may or may not be true.

    I have used Mobil 1 for many years on my current and two previous Hondas, and racked up hundreds of thousands of miles..never a problem, and the engines remained in excellent shape.

    I would hope that a BMW service person would not say NO to Mobil 1 just to sell the BMW brand oil..

    Thanks,

    Mark
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    With my BMW CCA discount I get BMW Synthetic 5W30 from the dealer for $2.80 a quart. I see no reason to use a more expensive product. My track car does get 15W50 Mobil 1 for the summer months to provide a little added protection at sustained high engine speeds. For street driving the BMW oil should perform just as well.
  • STAY WITH MOBIL1!!!! Castrol is no longer a true synthetic. See CAR & DRIVER a couple of months ago. Castrol has changed their formula.Besides BMW should ok any oil with the approved SAE rating.
  • Please help me The dealer in orland Park is telling me there is not much room to deal on the 530 maybe 5% off sticker if that. Does anyone have any experiances with a good deal? how much can I expect to pay for a 2001 530? Any problems with the car
    Riley 13
  • We have both a 2000 528iA and a 2000 E320-4Matic. The following would be my comments:

    1) Ride & Handling - BMW most definitely has the more sporty feel while the Mercedes is softer - I think most people would concur with this. Depending on the weather of your area, the 4Matic system might be useful. However, I think the road condition would have to be pretty bad or hilly to make much difference. Both cars have traction & stability control.

    2) Safety - I would rate them approximately equal. Mercedes has rear door airbags standard and their head airbag is a curtain rather than BMW's tube.

    3) Service costs - Should be about the same but BMW's "free maintenance" period is only 3 yrs/36,000 mi vs Mercedes' 4 yrs/50,000 mi. Once out of warranty the Mercedes 4Matic may be more costly for repairs. We had 91/92 Mercedes 4Matics and they were very expensive to repair. New system is less complicated however.

    4) Pricing - Comparably equipped E320-4Matic is probably $7-8,000 higher than a 530i. Also, most Mercedes dealers have gone to charging the list price while BMW's can usually be had at a discount. We bought our MB at model year end and received $2,500 discount. Even so, the MB was $6,000 more than the 528i.

    5) Dealer Service - Depends on the dealership. Where I used to live, the MB dealer was vastly superior. Where we are now, the BMW dealer is much better to deal with.

    Any further specific questions, please feel free to post.

    Good luck with your decision!!!
  • I am looking to purchase a new 530 in the SF Bay area. Has anyone received good pricing recently and what was it? thanks
  • What part of the country are you located in, re getting good pricing?
  • jvalnyjvalny Posts: 2
    I just ordered a 530 with sport seats and sport package. Are the seats comfortable enough for a long ride and can anyone give me any feedback on the sport suspension ride.
  • eragererager Posts: 3
    I'm considering purchase of a used car, and I'm interested in input from BMW owners. I'm considering 1998 cars because I don't like buying new cars considering dealer hassles and depreciation. There are lots of 98s coming off lease now.

    My wants:
    *"Near Luxury" (i.e. nice car for driving with friends and business clients)
    *Reliability
    *Decent fuel efficiency
    *Safety
    *Roomy enough back seat to seat two comfortably

    Since my query on "which would YOU buy" is about YOU, feel free to substitute your own criteria. But note that auto handling, power, cornering
    are not my primary considerations --- assuming the car performs and handles decently.

    Here are the cards I'm considering:

    1998 Audi A6
    Prices realized @ dealers' auction: $20k-25k, depending on odometer, condition, and options. Less for non-Quattro if you can find one.

    1998 Lexus ES300
    Prices realized @ dealers' auction: $16k-21k, depending on odometer, condition, and options.

    1998 or 1997 BMW 528 (with more miles on it than either the A6 or ES300 to keep the price down) Prices realized @ dealers' auction: $24k-28k, depending on odometer, condition, and options. There are many between $28k and $32k, but as I wish to stay under $30k, I would have to buy one with 40,000 miles plus (maybe even 50k plus) on the odometer (feel free to factor that in to your decision).

    I plan to test drive each of these in the coming weeks., but based on the reviews and research on the Internet, I've narrowed the field to these three (but if you have a strong recommend on another I'm willing to listen.) I'm big on reliability and I'm a real debt-hater, so that favors the Lexus it seems. I like the uniqueness of the A6, and without the Quattro it's a lot
    of luxury for the price. I like the prestige and looks of the BMW.

    So, if you were buying, which would you get?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I love my bmw, but since you didn't list "performance" and "handling" on your list, maybe a 528 not for you. Lexus, IMO, is deadly reliable, if boring.

    dave
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I am considering purchasing 530i or 540i w/manual transmission. Last time I test drove a 2000 model 528 5-speed, it was somewhat underpowered (i.e. slower than my current Maxima). I'm waiting for my dealer to call me when a 530 5-speed is available to test drive, but would appreciate feedback from any readers. Does the new 530 really feel like its got 30+ more horespower than the old 528 or is the less than 10% increase in displacement only marginally noticeable? Thanks.
  • Just bought a new 530iA with sport suspension off the dealer lot. I am located in So. Cal. (Orange County). I tried to haggle, but all they would give me is the extended service package (a $700-800 value). They did offer $2K off a new '00 528i, but I had been waiting for the 530 due to the 528's insufficient power (for the money).

    To #240: If you can get 5% off the sticker, go for it! I am not sure where Orland Park is, but in So. Cal. people are still lining up to get new BMW's. The dealer only had one on the lot and another prospective buyer was lingering while I was "negotiating."

    To #244: The sport suspension is not overly harsh. Well worth the improved handling and looks.

    To #247: I test drove the 528iA and 540i before settling on the 530iA. The 530 is much quicker than the 528 and almost as quick as the 540.

    A question for you synthetic oil & maintenance buffs: I called the dealer to find out when the first service is due (it does not say in the owners manual and I am not yet comfortable letting the on-board computer decide). They said 15K miles. I know synthetic oil is good, but that good?
  • Some last minute questions before ordering a 530:

    1. The specs for the standard 5-speed manual transmission mentions a 2.93 axle ratio, while the optional multi-mode has a 4:1 axle ratio--can anyone explain what the difference is? When the multi-mode is shifted to manual, is it identical in operation to the standard manual?

    2. Anyone have experiences with the seat options--specifically, is the sports seating worth the extra money?

    3. Re. EUROPEAN DELIVERY--Can one also expect to get a discount in the price of the options?

    Thanks--

    Leothelion
  • Just purchased a 530i, which I will pick up next week. The dealer is offering to extend the free maintenance from 3 yrs/36,000 miles to 4 years/50,000 miles for $500. Any opinions on whether this is a good idea? I drive about 15,000 miles per year.

    Thanks.
  • I'm debating between 1999 Audi A6 Avant wagon with Quattro or a 1999 BMW 528 wagon . I loved test-driving the BMW, but my only concern is about rear wheel drive's limitations since I live in Minnesota . Has any one owned or driven both cars that can comment ? Audi enthusiasts claim that " traction control " and "stability control " are insignificant compared to the traction of AWD Quattro when driving on snow/ice/slush and even just wet roads.Does the 528, especially with snow tires, do OK in winter ? Final question : Dealer is asking $35,900 for the 1999 528i wagon with 41,000 miles. It has leather ,power seats , winter package , but no CD or upgraded stereo . Is this priced high for 41k miles ? Thanks in advance for any advice or comments . Richard
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