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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • 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)
    *Decent fuel efficiency
    *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.

  • 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?


  • 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.

  • 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
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    I don't think $500 to extend is a good deal. That equates to $500 for 14,000 miles worth of routine "service", but, as I understand it, not tires or brakes. The warranty already covers any major mechanical repairs. Unless the 45,000 mile BMW service happens to cost about $600, I'd personally put the $500 in the bank and use it and the interest earnings when the time comes in three years.


    I think $35.9k sounds rather high for a 1999 with 41k miles. I was just at my Washington DC area BMW dealer, and they had an untitled 2000 model with 11,000 miles for $37,900. It included the sport-premium package. As much as I like BMW's, I think if I were going for a wagon, I'd also consider the Mercedes with 4-Matic. It's more expensive, but considerably bigger inside (two additional kids seats in back) and my neighbor's does very well in the snow (they have ski cabin in Pennsylvania). I've seen 1999's with 20,000 to 40,000 miles here for about $38-42k. They also seem to maintain long term value extremely well compared to BMW or Audi wagons.
  • I have a 530i with about 600 miles on it, my previous car being a '93 325i. I test drove a 528i several years ago and decided that the car needed more power, and decided to wait for the 3.5 liter V-8 that is sold in Europe to arrive in the U.S. Got tired of waiting and finally ordered the 530i, reasoning that it should perform about the same as my 325i, taking the ratio of 2.5 liter displacement to 3100 pounds for the 325; vs 3.0 liter displacement for 3500 pounds. I am pleased to report that the 530i is surprisingly strong! Furthermore, German cars are known to get stronger as they wear in. Quite pleased.
  • I have a 1994 530i with an unusual problem. About every 10 months it floods when I attempt to start it. It happens immediately, not after repeated cranking in an attempt to start the car. The starter will spin like a top, but the engine absolutely will not fire. The last two times this happened were only 30 days apart. Each time the car flooded I had to get it towed to the dealer (~$90) and the repairs to get it started ran about $250 on the average. The sad thing is I have taken the car to two different dealerships in my immediate area and while each shop has gotten the car running, neither has a clue to the cause of the problem. What I want is to fix the problem, not continue to pay tow and shop charges. Any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • kparkkpark Posts: 1
    I'm considering to buy a new 5-series with very tight budget.
    Is 525 some kind of under powered bottom-of-the-line car?
    Should I spend extra 4k for extra 40 hp?
  • Opps. Hit some keys by accident in previous post!

    I heard different advises on break in period for 5 series (just pick up 540i this weekend - Love it). Please advise on things that I ABSOLUTELY should not for the first 1200 miles (e.g. do not rev the engine beyond 5000 RPM, do not drive over 100 MPH, etc..)

    Thanks. Hnn
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,292
    I have driven a new 525i, and don't consider it to be underpowered, but it depends on what you consider enough power (or what you are used to). It is a little slower off the line (less torque), but moves along nicely when under way. Tremendous pick-up on the highway or for passing.

    Actually, the 5 series is only a couple of hundred pounds more than the 3 series with the same engine (actually may weigh less than a 3 series wagon).

    INHO, the 525i is a very good value if you want a 5-er, not an under-engined stripper, but I imagine the 530i is very sweet.

    The better comparison might be to the 2000 528i. Much less difference in power and torque, big difference in price for essentially the same car (few less gadgets).

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • hoos1hoos1 Posts: 13
    Anyone have any experience or comments about the Atlanta dealers? We live close to Global but don't know anything about them or any of the others. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • boiadeboiade Posts: 15
    I've owned 3 BMWs for the past 12 years and recently traded in a 97 540I(Auto)with 70,000 miles. Firstly, the 540I is, in my opinion, the finest sedan made.I bought it in July of 1997 using the European Delivery program and used it for 2 months there. For people considering the 5 Series, I have these comments:

    1. The 540 was great on the autobahns and autostradas, but if most of your driving is commuting in the US, I would recommend a 525 with all the amenities of the 540. It will save you 10+ grand, and the 525 is more than sufficient motorwise for US driving.

    2. At about 40,000 miles the catalytic converters clogged up and they were replaced under warranty.

    3. It blew about 4 headlight bulbs which I had to pay for because the dealerships (all that I contacted) wanted me to schedule service to replace them under warranty, so I bought the bulbs at about 12 bucks apiece and put them in myself. Bad form, I thought.

    4. The trunk power lock broke out of warranty. I purchased a new servo motor (50 bucks) and replaced it myself.

    5. Three of my rims were bent (on the inside) so I ended up with only two wheels that would fit on the front (bigger brakes)the bent rims would rub against the calipers on the front. No more tire rotation was possible. The bent wheels were the spare and the two rears. If you are buying used, make sure you check the wheels. I changed all four tires at about 60K and the tire guy told me bent rims were very common on 5-Series he'd seen.

    6. I went through a set of front and rear brake pads at about 45K (front) and 50K (rear). Replaced them myself. If you wait until the pad sensor alerts you, you have to replace the sensor(s) and the pads (sensors cost 12 bucks). The pads will make a loud squeal (there are bits of soft metal in the pads that are there to give you that warning) when they need to be changed, before the sensor gets squished.

    7. After the free service ran out, I changed my own oil and filter. It is definitely cheaper than the dealer even buying the expensive filter from BMW.

    8. Just changed the windshield wiper rubber before knowing I was trading it. They only sell the rubber and it is 42 bucks a set (2). Highway robbery and it is a pain to install. I installed only the driver's side before trading the car. I only replaced the driver's side and now have a 21 dollar strip of rubber. LOL

    9. I had an inspection and oil service reset tool from earlier BMWs that worked on my 97. I recommend anyone doing their own service get one.

    10. If you buy new and intend to keep the car beyond the warranty period, get an extended warranty. It would have been worth a couple of grand at trade-in for me. If you lease forget about it. I would also recommend leasing, they have you over a barrel at trade-in time if you buy. I got 22,700 from the Mercedes dealer for my car. Went to Carmax to see if he was crazy, and they offered me 20K. LOL

    I miss the car, I only traded it in because my company leased me a car and my "allowance" did not provide enough for another 540I. The 3-Series just wasn't comfortable enough and none of the 3 BMW dealers I visited were capable of offering a 5 Series within the "allowance". The only 5-Series that met the criteria was a manual 525 with no sunroof, no climate control (i.e. minus convenience package. The dealer that I bought my 540I new, wasn't even interested in discussing the matter when he heard the "allowance" amount. LOL The salesman was disappointed but advised me that there was new ownership and that he had lost many of his customers, for the same reason.

    Oh, I bought a Mercedes C-320 with a convenience package that met the "allowance" criteria. Nice car, has all the amenities (a few more actually) of the 540I, feels just as roomy, handles well and has plenty of power and is comfortable. Unfortunately, somehow there was no thrill in picking the car up and driving it away like there was when I picked up the 540 in Munich. Maybe I'll grow to like it.
  • Does anyone have any thoughts on the best place to purchase an extended warranty for a new 530i? Anything in particular that I should be looking for when selecting one?

  • boiadeboiade Posts: 15
    The only one that will be worth anything to a potential buyer (and the only one that will be useful to you) is the one offered by BMW. I think BMW will sign you up as long as the standard warranty is in force.
  • rml57rml57 Posts: 2
    Drove both the 525 and the 530 - back to back.

    525 seems to wind out quite a bit more. 530 was noticeably more powerful.

    Spend the extra $4,000 - figured I would always feel the 525 was under powered if I went that route.

    Picked up a few standard features on the 530 that are N/A on the 525 - rain sensor wipers work surprisingly well!

    Also, re: sport seats. A little stiff at first, but you get used to them. Most others who drive the car feel they are great - glad I went this way.
  • rml57rml57 Posts: 2
    Noticed that I was going surprisingly fast in my new 530 according to the speedometer. Figured it was the superior ride and handling.

    After some time, could not shake the feeling that something was off. Compared it to a few other vehicles and the 530 read about 5 MPH high. Took it to the dealer and they confirmed that speedo read 5 MPH high at 60 MPH. Was told this was within "normal BMW tolerance"!

    Maybe I am over reacting here, but an auto that sells for close to $50,000 should contain instruments that are more accurate then 8%.

    Also, I figure my odometer is also reading about 8% high. Probably should keep this in mind when vehicle comes off lease if I go over mileage limit.

    Read that BMW leases most of their cars... Odometer reads 8% high... This is normal...????? If it is normal, BMW leasing is doing well with all those extra miles at 20+ cents...

    Anyone else experiencing this problem?

    Have written BMW corp thru the owners web site and am awaiting reply. Dealer was of no help.
  • I own a 2000 528i 5-speed with sport package and love the car, and have so far 22,000 miles on the odometer. For the last few months the tires made a disturbing loud noise and after taking the car to the dealer, I was told that I needed new tires. As part of the sport package it came with high-performance tires (Continental ContiSport Contact 235/45 R17 94Y). It’s one thing having to replace the tires so soon but it’s an entirely different thing to pay $1,200 for a set of four new Continental tires, incl. installation. Did anyone have a similar experience with excessive tire wear, and what other (cheaper) tires are recommended?
  • boiadeboiade Posts: 15
    8% high compared to other cars, which are designed to read 3-4% high anyway, means that your car may be reading 11-12% high. I'd have it read by a police officer with a radar gun.

    You bring up an interesting point leasing-wise as well as for buyers. Class-action suit!!!!
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Relax. EVERY BMW I've owned since 1983(five and counting) have read @5mph fast at highway speeds. Big deal. And anyway, the OBC average speed function is spot on.
  • gjo11gjo11 Posts: 7
    Here is the scoop- am getting rid of my 99 Lexus RX300. too much of a female friendly car, and I want something bigger and more comfortable. My search is all over the place-from Chewy Tahoe to 540i. Base criteria is to be able to ride in great comfort for 4 hrs intervals, 4 people, and in a suv type all wheel drive. Since I just finished driving a 540i I am willing to consider dropping the 4x4 thing. Price can not exceed
    $50 grand. Here are your choices: Lexus GS430, Audi A6 2.7t, BMW 530 or 540i(can you get a 540i for under 50?. At 6'-2" I need some good interior room for 4 people. The 540i did not look that big in the back, and what's with the big hump in the center?
  • boiadeboiade Posts: 15
    The 540I (or the 525 and 530) is not a big car interior-wise for it's category. Four people will be quite comfortable however. The 540 is the finest sedan in the world regardless of price, almost every publication agrees. That said, it is a bit smaller than a 7-Series BMW or Mercedes S-Class. It will be difficult to get a 540I for less than 50K with taxes etc., but you will be close. Unless you go for an SUV, forget the other cars you mention, they are not nearly in the same league. The hump in the center is called the drive shaft tunnel, BMW's are rear wheel drive, like all cars should be. I just sold my 97 540I. It was the finest car I ever owned, but I'd recommend the 530I for the US. Why throw away 5-6K on a motor you'll never use here.
  • bad10bad10 Posts: 11
    Agreed. The 5 series is a very smallish car on the inside, smaller than its exterior would suggest. I would take a serious look at the Audi A6 4.2 as opposed to the 2.7T. It looks much better than the 2.7 and could be had below your 50k with some bargaining. Its got strong v-8 power, albeit not quite as strong as the 540, and makes killer snarly noises. The interior is larger than the 5 series and definately much nicer and with more class and better materials. The nicest of any.... I am being objective on this as I am in the markey for a new car as well and at this point don't own an Audi or BMW. I test drove a 98 528 on Sunday and was not impressed, though. Don't fall for the BMW is superior hoopla..Bad10
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