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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • I've been driving the E60 now for a month-and-a-half and I agree with Sports Car International: the active roll stabilization and steering features kick [non-permissible content removed]. Throw in the sexy, cutting edge styling, the roomy interior and the well-balanced set-up and this car is well worth the price increase (over the E39). As far as the SP goes, I love each and every feature it brings. Of course, in the interests of full disclosure, my opinions on value must be tempered by the fact that I got the E60 (automatic) with PP, SP, Xenon lights and 1,000 miles on it for $47,500 (a small controversy already discussed elsewhere on this site).

    As always,
    I am...
    the ATOMICPunk!
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,571
    I'm going for an M3, but that's just 27 year old me with no kids:)

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, an E60 with Step, PP, SP and Xenon. That would be a 525i, correct?

    Best Regards,
  • pen101pen101 Posts: 238
    Initially, back in December, 2001 I was looking for a 330i, but when I did the math, I realized that to upgrade to a 530i was not that much more. It was a no-brainer at the time. Now, the difference between the two cars is substantial. This will weigh heavily when my lease is up and its time to decide on a new car. Do I need to have and am I willing to pay the premium to have the extra features the 04 530i PP, SP has? Can I find another car, costing less, that will give me a comparable ride and driving environment? That is the question I hope to answer by lease end.
  • Check this out from the 3 Board -- about the E46, but entertaining for any BMW owner.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    M3 performance is considered by some to be overpriced. Check out these posts from a former M3 owner and racer who is now doing an STi, and who happens to be in his late forties.

    #703 and #705 by rickrover in this thread:
    BMW X3 vs Subaru Forester/XT vs Infiniti FX 35
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Noticed in your recent post that you replaced the Pilot Primacy's with SO-3's. How do they
    compare? I am very pleased with the Primacy's, contrary to what I read in Tire Rack they don't tramline , the ride is excellent, they are not at all "noisy", all in all I think they are an excellent tire. What is your take on this? What other, if any, tires did you consider? Thanks in advance.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The post referencing the S-03s was a hypothetical "What if", I still have the OEM Primacys on my car, or should I say, on my rims (I currently have the Artic-Alpins mounted). The only reason I chose the S-03s in the above post was that didn't list the Primacys in the size that I needed for the comparison.

    Like you I have not had any problem with my tires. Yes, they are getting a little noisy, but not too bad. No, I haven't noticed any tramlining or any other bad habits for that matter. Regarding a replacement set, hmmmm, I'm not at all sure. Fortunately the decision will only come if I keep the car past the lease end in March 2005. FWIW, given the state of my wallet and the new E60, I am currently planning on buying my 530i next year. If I don't it's because I decided to pop for a 645Ci. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • dabimmerdabimmer Posts: 165
    Thanks for the quick response. I'm glad to hear that others like the tire, I sure do. Another
    knock on these tires is that they wear or cup very quickly. I only have 17 K miles but I know of at least one poster here that has already gotten 28K mi. and will probably get 35K before replacement. I know of at least one person who got 38K mi before replacing. That is not too shabby,eh? I also like the 645ci but it's a little out of my financial reach. Good luck. Great posts.
  • Told by the dealer that there is an upgrade in "late march" for the problem with the I-drive track-01 problem.

    Anyone gotten an upgrade? Do you know what the release number is?

    Thanks --
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, 28K to 38K miles? Wow! I doubt that I will get even 22K on mine. That said, I live on a rather winding and hilly road that I just LOVE to push the limit on. In one three mile stretch there are four separate hills where the road transitions from curving one way to the other right at the crest, and unless you know the road, your cresting the hill at speed will generate a very nervous correction once you can see the road again. ;-)

    A time or two I have taken a couple of the crests fast enough to have at least one of the tires lift off of the pavement and then chirp and they reconnect. I've shared all of this as a possible suggestion as to why my tires have not cupped or worn unevenly in the inside. They have however worn much faster than the folks getting 28K plus miles.

    Best Regards,
  • ...when I turned in my lease after three years. However, the rear didn't pass the depth test, while the front were fine. $200 to replace the rear pair.

    Suggestion to anyone on lease: at about 15K miles, swap them front to back. Have the dealer do it so they're torqued right. That way you'll turn it in without the charge.

  • Shipo: I've got a 530i. Pretty sweet deal...

    Bentleyfam25: I've got that CD track 1 problem too and have not yet received the upgrade. Was scheduled to bring my ride in to the dealer this week, but called beforehand to see if they had the upgrade yet and was informed they did not. Was going to get the radio amplifier replaced then, as well, but opted to wait and get it all done at once.

    Yesterday, I noticed a new glitch. My steering wheel column has stopped raising up out of the way when I take the key out and exit the car. Have you been blessed with that little wonder, yet?

  • On the CD, if you get any specifics, let us know. I'll do the same.

    Can't answer on the wheel. I like to see the gauges, and the thick (heated) wheel blocks them except in the uppermost position. I leave it up there unless I'm on a long drive, and so haven't experienced the wheel repositioning. I tend to place the seat position high anyway, so I find that wheel postion comfortable.

    Perhaps others have dealt with it--

  • I made a big mistake and drove the M5. I loved it! It made the 540i I drive--a great car by any measure--seem a little grandmotherly. Lots of kick and great handling--and that was in early rush hour traffic. God know what it would be like with fewer cars on the road.

    I also drove the M3 with SMG. I did not find the SMG as objectionable as some. I had heard that shifting in or out of auto mode was like getting rear-ended. That was definitely not my experience, though it was certainly rougher than a true automatic. I never fully mastered the manual mode. Unlike my 2000 steptronic, you push it up to downshift. I kept wanting to do the opposite. It also redlines at different rpms in different gears. I did not feel the car had that much kick (no comparison to the M5). Whether that was due to the car design, the particular car I drove, or the fact I had not gotten used to the SMG, I could not say for sure. I think some of the low 0-60 times could be due to the paddle shifting on the steering wheel which would save a lot of time in shifting. In other words, the car needs less zip to get to 60 in a given time with paddle shifting than a car without paddle shifting.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    ...what's it going to be?

    My vote is of course the M5. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • blamiblami Posts: 2

    I have just purchased a slightly used 1998 540i with 36,000 miles on the odo. The car is equipped with the standard suspension with 16" wheels (Conti all season tires), and automatic transmission.

    The car will be used 90% of the time on public roads (in the Pittsburgh area that means bad roads with plenty of potholes and frost heaves).

    I do plenty of track days in a Caterham Super 7 but I will occasionally be taking the 540 to lapping days, mostly at BeaveRun, and possibly Mid Ohio and Watkins Glen.

    I'm considering upgrading to 17" wheels and dedicated performance tires and I also plan on doing the Dinan engine and transmission software download.

    I probably will not do anything right away with the suspension because I want to preserve a reasonable street experience.

    What can I expect from the stock brakes? Should I plan on a pad upgrade and if so, does anyone have any recommendations.

    Is there anything else that I should consider?


  • The steering wheel column on my 99 540i has been screwed up for about 2 years. The dealer replaced the motor, but to no avail. It only moves up about 1 inch, unless I manually move it up, and then it won't come down next time unless I push the memory button. I just gave up.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,571
    Interesting that you track your car and went with the Auto/Standard Suspension.

    As far as wheels go, you may want to stick with the 16" and just upgrade the rubber. Increasing the wheels to 17" (for track use) will actually add unwanted unsprung weight to your 540iA.

    Good luck and congrats on your car!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Test drive a CTS-V, then you will see the real difference in performance, Tourque and crisp handling.

    The CTS V is sooo refined, It makes M5 look ordinary
  • blamiblami Posts: 2
    The choice of an auto trans and non sports suspension is not so odd when you consider that my 540 will see limited track use; perhaps 5 days a year.

    The Caterham Super 7 is my serious track day car and it will be used on the track 25+ days per year.

    Owning a car like the Super 7 has made me very conscious of both unsprung weight and rotational mass.

    I will check with TireRack before buying the 17" wheel/tire combo for my 540 to make sure that I am not adding significant unsprung weight and rotational mass vs the stock 16" wheels and Conti Tires.

    Are there any other points that anyone feels that I should consider?

  • cassidymcassidym Posts: 108
    Test drove two 530Is yesterday. One with SP and one without. There was too much traffic congestion to get a feel for the Active Stabilization but I was able to compare Active Steering against regular steering extensively.

    And I liked the Active Steering. It does take getting used to (I bumped into a curb coming back into the dealership at low speed) but I was impressed. Seems like this would be an especially useful feature (along with PDC) for maneuvering around a crowded parking garage or similar situation.

    Salesman says he owns a 540 with SP and doesn't switch to winter tires and has no trouble but I expect he'd have said anything he thought I wanted to hear. For example, he waxed eloquent over the heads up display but when I pressed him he couldn't really explain what was so good about it (at least apart from the fact it would move $1000 from my pocket to the dealer's).

    He did acknowledge that the $1800 audio upgrade is not a very good deal unless you are really really into music.

    Now I just got to make up my mind
  • "Test drive a CTS-V, then you will see the real difference in performance, Tourque and crisp handling.

    The CTS V is sooo refined, It makes M5 look ordinary"

    ... About as rediculous a statement as has been made here in some time! Care to expand on the "ordinary" nature of the M5 for everyone?
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    mbukuk... The CTS-V is a nice car. Look back above and you'll see where I point out a recent comparison test between the CTS-V and the M3 & M5.

    But GM needs an awful lots of engine displacement (a huge 5.7L engine) to even begin to compete with the smaller engines in the M3 and M5. Just compare HP per L.

    The CTS-V is a ton of nice car for the money. BUT it is NO M3 or M5 beater. Still rough around the edges. Performance not quite up to what GM thought it would be. Yet, a great first attempt. Will be nice to see if GM spends the development time, effort, and money like BMW has with its M line. Can't wait to see an 2010 CTS-V vs M5. Thinking the M5 has been around for about 20 years. The CTS-V has hardly been around for 2 months.
  • About to take the keys to a 525. Anything I should be aware of? Specifically, warranty items etc?
  • HI rmmirish,
    1. You need to check to odometer if it matches with DMV doc printed out by Finance dude.
    2. Check for scratch paint. Make sure you pick up your car during daylight so that you can see ANY scratch and dent.
    3. Work on every single feature to see if there is any unexpected behavior.
    4. Make sure saleman go over the features.
    5. Go over "QUALITY CERTIFICATION I (2004 5 Series, 7 Series" doc filled out by dealer's technician. This is an important checklist.
    6. Wish you have fun with your 525 :)
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,571
    While I do like the 745i & Li (from a styling standpoint) with their optional 19" wheels, the Z4 is the drop top I would get if shopping for a roadster in that price range, the E60 5ers are growing on me (slowly, I saw a beefy looking 545i6 at the dealer today), I'm with shipo with putting the 645Ci on my wishlist of $70K cars! I saw one today with vehicle mfr plates (silver) and it is breathtaking.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2015 Infiniti Q40 AWD, 2017 Honda Pilot Touring AWD

  • Shipo, I agree with you. I plan to go with the M5. I don't like the M3 that well size-wise, the M5 is more practical and has more kick (perhaps because of the extra torque?).
  • I ventured into the BMW Tips and Tricks Site and saw a little article on an outlet in the glove box which accepts the male end of a portable CD player or iPod cord. I have an '03 530i and could not locate this outlet. Anyone else hear of this or have this? Please let me know!
  • As I noted above, I recently test drove the M3 and the M5. The M3's times are, if anything, better than the M5's, but the M5 definitely seemed to have more "kick." I was told that was because the M5 had more torque. I have never been really clear on the difference between torque and horsepower. Can someone enlighten me?
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