Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
What is this discussion about?
BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#11318 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [jcd14]
May 15, 2006 (10:52 am)
The 525i and 530i models didn't debut until 2001, in 2000 the only 6-Cylinder model was the 528i (and 1997-1999).
Having driven each of the six cylinder models (all with a 5-Speed manual), I would personally rank them in order of engine size, the larger the engine, the more desirable. Said another way, each of the three models has the following characteristics:
530i -- Most powerful engine with decent low end torque. This car has a beefier manual transmission than the 525i, and brakes from the 540i (i.e. larger diameter/more capable).
528i -- Power and low end torque are not the equal of the 530i but not far from it either. This car has the same manual transmission as the 530i but smaller brakes.
525i -- To me at least, this car feels rather anemic, enough so that I wouldn't be happy driving this car on a daily basis. Mechanically it has the smaller transmission from the 325i and the smaller brakes of the 528i.
As far as what you should look for, I'd drive each of the three and determine for yourself what you can live with on a price/performance basis.
#11319 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [shipo]
May 15, 2006 (10:57 am)
Thanks for the input. In your mind an '01 or '02 530 would be your choice?
#11320 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [jcd14]
May 15, 2006 (11:20 am)
Yes, unless price and condition was taken into account. If it turned out that I couldn't quite swing a 530i with the options I want and in the condition I require, then I'd back my search down one notch and start looking for a 2000 528i over a 2001 or 2002 525i.
May 15, 2006 (11:57 am)
There are plenty o wheels to choose from.
There are BMW "exact" replicas -- even down to the center caps.
I would upsize to 18" were I you and go with a UHP A/S tire if you live where it ever gets cold (below 40F for days on end.) They are OK for light snow too.
If you don't care about a factory looking wheel your choices are way way way off the scale, limited only by your time and money.
I would, however, pay the "premium" to have the dealership mount and balance and install the "system" (tires+wheels), this way the dealer will "for free" provide BMW maintenance on them which is part of the 50K program that comes with these cars. (N.B.: the wheel itself will NOT be covered, but the balancing will be -- our dealer also offers an extra cost wheel warranty which, in OHIO, is worth it since we seem to be a magnet for potholes.)
The BMW replicas (German or Italian made) should specify they are "German" spec wheels which is worth something vs an otherwise good looking wheel that is NOT German spec.
18" wheels and tires of course can be purchased through the dealer but the price is -- well, OVER priced.
Google, ASK or DOGPILE the wheels or go to a BMW blog site (perhaps here too) and "ask around."
My only regret with my current Audi A6 is in NOT getting the sport suspension -- I see that seems to apply to the cars from Munich as well (My wife DID get the sport suspension package on her 2005 X3.)
#11322 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [shipo]
May 15, 2006 (11:59 am)
I may look for the 528 or 530 then. Is the brake size the only real difference between the cars? Thanks.
#11323 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [jcd14]
May 15, 2006 (12:05 pm)
"I may look for the 528 or 530 then. Is the brake size the only real difference between the cars?"
From a mechanical perspective, I believe the only real significant differences between those two cars is engine size and brake size (although there might also be some slight differences in the base (i.e. non-SP) suspension).
That having been said, BMW performed a very mild but visually obvious cosmetic "Face Lift" between the 2000 and the 2001 model years that, to my eyes at least, took the E39 from "Nice" to "Wow".
#11324 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [shipo]
May 15, 2006 (12:18 pm)
Agreed. Thanks so much for your input.
#11325 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [jcd14]
May 15, 2006 (12:31 pm)
My $.02. The 528 (if auto equipped) will seem pretty anemic power wise. Even with the stick (which is THE way to go) both of the 5 series above seem underpowered.
Come to think of it though, the comparable Merc and Audi models were pretty weak accelerators. The Audi middle child, which was priced a bit below the Bimmer, was a 2.7T (turbocharged) model -- which was quite the spirited performer and if you can find one of them as a 2003 or 2004, it will probably be certified to 100K and it will be very strong in terms of power.
On the other hand, the BMW is exquisitely balanced and will handle better at the extremes since it will understeer less and later than the other Germans.
The BMW's seemed to come with stark black interiors frequently, too -- but if you like black, they are hardly cheap interiors, but they lack the "jewel-like" qualities of some other models and brands.
If you want the Bimmer, you will not be disappointed if you go with the stick shift version (and you may find one that is better equipped and will sell for a lot less money since for some reason sticks are not in favor much here on this side of the Atlantic.) Go with the biggest numbers after the 5 you can find though if you want power and refinement. The engines improved (and did again last year) with each iteration.
#11326 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [markcincinnati]
May 15, 2006 (12:37 pm)
Thanks. Wish I could afford the newest version. It seems in Colorado that most resales are auto, not stick.
I was considering Audi as well but haven't spent the time researching them yet. What models do you like as a comparison to the Bimmer?
#11327 of 12737 Re: BMW 5 Series - what year to buy? [jcd14]
May 15, 2006 (12:45 pm)
What about the 540i?