Last post on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM
You are in the BMW 5-Series
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BMW 5 Series, Sedan
May 14, 2007 (2:41 pm)
Before asking my big question, I need to get this off my chest and just wondering: WHY DO MANY CAR MANUFACTURERS MAKE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION CARS THAT SUCK, BREAK DOWN QUICKLY, AND BURN GAS RAPIDLY BUT THEY RARELY MAKE NICE STICK SHIFT CARS THAT GO FAST, LAST LONGER, AND ARE MORE FUEL EFFICIENT?
I was looking at several cars available; a 1993 325is Stick Shift Coupe, a 1995 740i or a 1990 750iL witha v12 and low mileage, and a nice 1994 530i or 540i with an automatic.
First, I was looking for a BMW with good condition and at a low price but runs great because soo I'm looking to strip the car and rebuild it with some high performance parts. As for my driving needs, I need a car which might have a manual transmission that would react better in a city environment as opposed to an automatic. Don't get me wrong, I can take an automatic as well, but it must shift nicely in stop and go traffic. Also, I need a car which has nice horsepower and get up and go, like a v8 or v12. But, since the car's being used in city driving, I need overall fuel efficiency in a car.
Let's look at the 325is. It is stick shift, which I might like since I don't like automatics. But overall, what would be good for city and highway driving, as well as Motorsport driving? Auto or stick? Stick has 5 gears which can be selected rapidly at lower RPMs for increased acceleration where as autos have 4 and are slower at shifting with power reduction. The problem is this car has a inline 6 which might have nice power, but may have struggling against cars with 8s or 12s and it might not catch up to an M3. Also, the car is small and agile, which is great for cornering and grip and reduced weight for faster acceleration, but it is only a small 2 door car. And, it weighs just as much as a 5 series or a 7 series and is only limited to a 6.
Next, the 1994 530i. It has a 3.0 V8 which is a peppy, fuel efficient v8, it is a 4 door sedan with a pretty roomy trunk, and is reminiscent of an M5. The downside is it is an automatic, it is a bit heavier than a 3 series which may reduce acceleration, grip, and cornering. Also, I don't know how good a mini-v8 performs it Motorsporting.
A 540i stick shift is a M5 knock off, but is very rare, pretty high in price, and are more available in auto than it is in manual.
Third car is a 1995 740i. Newer model car, but may cost more in parts and probably spend more in replacement parts than high performance upgrades. Heavier car, bigger car for even more reduced acceleration, grip, and cornering. And its an automatic.
Lastly, a 1990 750iL. Again, v12 excellent for high speed, acceleration is no problem for a v12, extremely roomy interior and trunk, but it is an automatic and a v12 will cost astoundingly more than its 740 counterpart and may still need more parts even after repairs.
I'm leaning towards the 530i since it has less drawbacks, but should I go for it since 530i stick shifts are rare? Or should I do a tranny swap out and end up with all advantages and no drawbacks? Or should I enjoy it as is?
Or should I go for a newer model beemer like a '97 528i or a different model e36? I appreciate your response.
#11793 of 12737 Re: Which BMW to have? [joyrider147]
May 14, 2007 (5:42 pm)
Do your homework Joyrider, the 530i is not a V8, it is a straight six. 530is w stick shifts aren't rare. I suspect you are new to driving or you would understand that no one car is well suited for city and highway driving, as well as "Motorsport" driving?
You need to examine and explain to us what your priorities are.
#11794 of 12737 did you just get your license? ;)
May 14, 2007 (5:53 pm)
i second andy' sentiments - you are all over the spectrum with those different cars. and your complaints about a mfr not making cars to your standards are kinda far fetched.....ESPECIALLY for 15 yr old cars!
either you get a nice cruiser with good gas mileage OR something with a bigger engine with less eficient gas mileage.
i could go on and on but i'll start at the beginning with the first example.....the 325. you comoplain of it not being able to "catch" an M3??? why would it and why would you expect it to?? and no, this car does not weigh as much as a 5 or 7 series...i'm giving up, nevermind
#11795 of 12737 Re: Which BMW to have? [andys120]
by kyfdx HOST
May 14, 2007 (7:45 pm)
That 530i is a V-8..
The '94 530i and 540i both had the infamous Nikasil engines... Lots of problems with internal engine failure.. Though, one could argue that any car that old would have failed by now, if it had a problem..
The 750IL is no car for someone on a budget..
The '93 325is is the only one of those that I'd consider, and even the early E36 models were known to be problematic.
What is your budget? You should really try to get into '96 and later models.. All of those that you mentioned come with big issues.
#11796 of 12737 Re: Which BMW to have? [andys120]
May 14, 2007 (7:48 pm)
"Do your homework Joyrider, the 530i is not a V8, it is a straight six. 530is w stick shifts aren't rare."
Sorry dude, but I have to say this, maybe you should be the one to do the homework. During the mid 1990s, BMW's 530i WAS a V8 and not an I6. To the best of my knowlsdge, the first I6 530i was produced in 2001.
#11797 of 12737 Re: Which BMW to have? [shipo]
May 14, 2007 (8:14 pm)
E34 I-6 model was 535i, and as many pointed out, 530i is a v-8. Most Nikasil issues were addressed with replacement parts and extended warranty, but there may be some out there with original engines.
#11798 of 12737 Re: Which BMW to have? [andys120]
May 15, 2007 (4:49 pm)
Has ANYONE PROPERLY READ MY FORUM???? I SAID "Next, the 1994 530i. It has a 3.0 V8 which is a peppy, fuel efficient v8, it is a 4 door sedan with a pretty roomy trunk, and is reminiscent of an M5." I've had my license since I was 18, but driving since I was 15 (I'm now 24.) And, why do you think I'm posting this message; I'm LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE DRIVING EXPERIENCE WITH THESE SPECIFIC TYPE OF BMWs!
I'd take a 325is and still enjoy it as an M3 derivative, no problem at all. I'm just considering the advantages or disadvantages from having a dependable, well-developed 2.5 inline 6 as opposed to an efficient 3.0 V8 which might produce a bit more horsepower with less stress on the engine.
Why do you think I was looking at 530i or 540i? I KNOW 525i and 535i and M5 ALL HAVE Inline 6s!!!
What I mean for "well suited for city driving" is peppy in low gears and doesn't burn alot of gas, resulting in a lot of carbon buildup which kills the car in a short amount of time.
As for "highway driving", has a nice amount of punch to accelerate from 40 to 60 MPH in a small amount of time to merge with traffic, and can easily have an overall speed of 75 to 80 without high RPMs or stress to the engine to maintain that speed.
And what I meant for "Motorsport" driving- Capable of traveling at speeds of 100 plus MPH in high gear with a moderate amount of efficiency and has tight grip to the road for extra traction, but yet feels comfortable on a long, smooth road.
With my budget, I'm looking for a car in an okay condition and alright mileage with a good price that will last for several months until I chop it apart for a project car and replace various engine and transmission parts. I'm estimating $2,500 to $3,000 for the car, plus $5,000 or $6,500 in parts. Sure, I can get an M3 for that price tag, but either it will have high mileage, need lots of repair, and it doesn't give me the hands on experience with BMW engine and transmission rebuilds, vehicle modifications.
#11799 of 12737 sport suspension on 5
May 28, 2007 (7:04 pm)
ok joyrider, I think you scared everyone off the discussion for 2 weeks! Thats got to be a record. Anyway I have a serious question for only those who have drive 5's enough to answer and please no parroting from articles! Ive had a 3 sport,and I'm going to buy a 550 auto. Thought the 3 sport drove just a little rough while I thought the stock 3 was sporty enough but dont like seats. Now I am told that the 5 sport doesnt ride as rough due to the increased weight(inertia and all being harder to bounce around)Dont want stock seats love sport seats with big bolsters. Do you think it is possible 5sport will possibly ride like 3 non sport?
#11800 of 12737 Re: sport suspension on 5 [richardga73]
May 28, 2007 (7:58 pm)
I can't comment on the ride question, but according to the BMW 2008 5 series brochure, the optional seats are called multi-contour seats, with 20 way adjustment. They're not referred to as sport seats.
You can order the multi-contour seats separately, without the sport package. Or, they're included if you order the sport package.
I just ordered a 535Xi, and opted for the multi-contour seats after a "test sitting" on the showroom floor where the salesman ran through all the adjustments available. I liked them much better than the sport seats in my '06 3 series.
#11801 of 12737 535 Sport Question
May 29, 2007 (5:35 am)
I am looking at a '08 535 with sport package. Love the look and feel of this car (Steering ,head rests - seats, rims etc.). I am new to BMW's and have heard of horror stories of the run flats, especially on the low profiles ( mostly concerning the 330's). I have read that they are running into problems under 10k. Is this a general issue or specific to some of the 3 series?