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
#5409 of 12737 bajabob1, SergeyM, ksqrd
Jan 27, 2003 (3:33 am)
The 530ia is fine, including in the power area. It's down right quick when equiped with a 5-speed manual, but the automatic is still potent and a noticable improvement over the 528ia. I too have decided that I would opt for the 530i (5-speed) over the 540i (6-speed). The cost savings, better fuel economy, and likely lower maintenance and repair costs make the 530i a better choice for me. If I hit the big one and was hungry for more power, I'd go all the way with an M5.
Regarding the comparison to the Infinity G35 and Acura TLS, I think the 530ia stands above both. The G35, with it's purported 270 hp, is at most only marginally more powerful. For whatever reasons, Infiniti horsepower is simply not equivalent to BMW horsepower in terms of real world performance. As for the 260 hp Acura TL-S, IMO it's not even in the same league as the BMW. Better compared to an Accord. It's reasonably quick, but it's handling is, at best, average for a FWD sedan. A business associate has a 2001 model and my 1995 Maxima SE (5-speed) is quicker, corners flatter and feels more nimble than his TL-S. The 530i, on the other hand, is IMO the pinnacle of handling in its class.
The 530ia is a fine choice. I suspect the new 5-series will add more power to the "545i" or whatever they call it. But for now, I think the 530i is a prudent choice over the 540i unless you absolutely must drag race at stop lights and can't afford an M5.
Congratulations on your triplets!
Unfortunately, I think you'll find the 5-series nearly impossible to get three car seats in the back. The 5-series is about 1" narrower than our (1995) Maxima and it can only accomodate two car seats. Any attempt to squeeze a third seat in the middle would cause the outboard ones not to sit flat. I don't know if car seats come in different widths, ours are not particularly "streamlined". But I suspect the best you are going to do is 2 seats in the 5-series.
The good news is that I've noticed very good prices on used 740i's in our area (DC) often less than what a 540i of similar vintage goes for. Also, not to steer you to Mercedes, but the E-class may be just enough wider to accomodate your needs. I think the 1996-2002 generation was about 1" wider than our Maxima in rear seat hip / shoulder width.
It's a nice problem that you have, accomodating triplets.
#5410 of 12737 BMW Options
Jan 27, 2003 (8:59 am)
ksqrd... Congrats. Finding the "right" vehicle is probably down on the list of things most important right now. But... Seems like there are a ton of nice 1999, 2000, and 2001 CPO 7 Series out there. Prices reasonable. Wonder if a CPO X5 might work for you? X5 3.0 is nice. Not sure if it is any wider in back. Can't say I remember if the 5 Series wagon has a 3rd seat or not.
#5411 of 12737 15in vs 17in Wheels for 5 Series
Jan 27, 2003 (9:37 am)
I am in the process of buying a 98 528i. The dealer is offering to upgrade the wheels of the car from the original 15 inch ones to the 17in wheels normally found on the 540i. Of course, the dealer wants to increase the cost by $1400 if I go for the bigger wheels. Any thoughts on the increase in performance of the bigger wheels?
#5412 of 12737 Thoughts on Tires & Wheels
Jan 27, 2003 (10:24 am)
braue... Only use a size proper to your specific car.
I'd look into buying from an aftermarket source. Places like Tire Rack, etc. You'll likely get cheaper and you can keep what is already on it as winter tires or just for spares for when you sell.
You might consider getting whatever combination came with the '98 528i Sport Package. Stick with the size and type from that specific Sport Package. Forget if that is staggered as is with my '98 540i6.
There is always a trade off when it comes to using different and bigger tires/wheels. What you might gain in handling might be offset in ride quality or steering response. That is why I say stick with sizes and tires used by BMW. They tend to be "right" for the platform. But that doesn't mean there aren't a ton of other sizes and tires that might be equally "right".
#5413 of 12737 braue
Jan 27, 2003 (8:41 pm)
In my opinion you'd be MUCH better off using the $1400 to take the stock 5er to several BMW CCA drivers schools. My wife drives a 1997 528iA with 15" wheels and I'd bet the farm that less than 5% of US drivers can drive that car at anywhere near the handling limits of the E39 non-sport suspension. You should also be aware that BMW calibrates the stock suspension to work with 60 series aspect ratio tires. Spring rates, damping, and roll stiffness will no doubt have to be modified in order to extract the maximum performance from a Plus One or Plus Two tire package.
#5414 of 12737 This sounds stupid, I know...
Jan 28, 2003 (6:49 am)
I am in the market for a 5 series, and because I LOVE the current style, I am not going to wait for the new model (judging by the pictures I've seen, it reinforces my decision).
So, from what I gather, the end of ordering 2003 5 series will probably be March or April, correct?
My wife and I just had a baby so I would like to avoid paying in excess of $45,000. Therefore, I am deciding between the 525 and 530.
But here is the real reason I am posting. Is it stupid/wrong/irrational to want to buy the 525 sport package just because of the way the wheels look? Please don't laugh, but I just can't get over the looks of the standard 525 or 530 wheels, they look ugly to me. And with the 530 sport, I don't like the blackout or shadow effect around the windows, I prefer the chrome.
My choice, then, is between the 525 sport and the 530 non-sport (with different wheels). Both would be in 5 speed, no automatic for me. I know the 530 has significantly more power (from what I have read) so it sure would be nice if I could put the 525 sport wheels on the 530 non-sport, but from what I understand BMW frowns on this?
I looked at a site someone referenced (pacificbmw.com) to look at different wheel options, but none of those appealed to me either.
I know, it sounds weird but I guess I just have my little peculiarities that I prefer.
Anyone have any suggestions? Or recommendations on a shrink?
#5415 of 12737 RE: This sounds stupid, I know... by mumike
Jan 28, 2003 (7:25 am)
Hey, it's your money, so don't let anyone else tell you what to do. To get a 530i at rock-bottom pricing, look into the Euro Delivery option, which can save a couple thousand.
The chrome/matte finish around the windows is noticeable only if you look at it, otherwise it just blends away, IMO. In other words, it makes almost no difference.
As for wheels, visit the wheel & tire forum on roadfly.com and you'll realize you're not the only one concerned about how wheels look. It's a subjective call. But, I suggest you drive both the sport and non-sport models to see the handling and peripheral (e.g. better steering wheel and seats) benefits. You can worry about the wheels last.
I'm sure many dealers would be willing (perhaps for a small charge) to swap out a 525's wheels with a 530's. Or, you could probably arrange the swap through the classifieds. I don't think BMW really frowns on the practice; only true BMW enthusiasts would notice the anachronistic wheels.
#5416 of 12737 mumike - no shrink recommendations
Jan 28, 2003 (7:43 am)
but I do think you should reconsider some of your "peculiarities" just to make sure you get the right car in the long run. A 530i 5-speed sport DRIVES a hell of a lot different than either a non sport 530i or 525i of any kind.
Personally, I like the sport package's shadowline trim more than chrome. IMO it looks cleaner and sportier and doesn't clash the way chrome does with some of my color preferences. But I would still never make a decision between the 530i sport or non-sport based upon window trim. You are already fortunate enough to have married right (i.e. wife who drives a stick). Don't give up the opportunity to have a world class handling sedan, because of a chrome fetish. Sorry, that was harsh, but the 530i sport package is not just "looks" it's serious substance.
I respectfully suggest you drive a 530i sport and non-sport back to back through some curves before you make up your mind. Remember, you wont see the shadowline trim from the inside of the car, but if you are like me, you'll definitely feel the handling difference.
P.S. For the record, I have not driven the 525i. I had previously planned on getting a 540i 6-speed. But with the added power of the 530i over the previous 528i, I convinced myself the 530i was sufficient. I don't think I could drop down to the 525i and feel the same way, but that's just me.
Good luck and congrats on the baby.
#5417 of 12737 525i Sport manual Great Choice
Jan 28, 2003 (7:50 am)
mumike... Nothing wrong with this. Great car. Fun to drive. Practical and efficient. Order it with exactly what you want and can afford. Most buyers also want Premium Package. There is a Sport-Premium Package that combines both. Avoid options you don't want or need. The MY 2003 comes standard with 4 yr/50k free maintenance, sunroof, and rear head airbags. Plus the Premium Package includes a couple additional items (e.g., auto headlights and rain sensing windshield wipers).
#5418 of 12737 WOW, thank you!!!
Jan 28, 2003 (8:23 am)
I sincerely appreciate the (almost instantaneous) feedback. And thank you for going easy on me.
snagiel, thank you for the advice on the wheels, I will definitely research roadfly.com.
habitat, I am lucky to have my wife for more reasons that that! LOL But you are correct, she encourages getting the manual because it's more fun to drive (her words!). But to the 525/530 comparison, is the upgrade in power that noticeable? Obviously I will need to test drive both, but it always helps to hear others' experiences. (And for some reason - I know, it's stupid and it shouldn't control my decision- but I really prefer the chrome finish. Perhaps when I get behind the wheel I could be easily swayed.)
riez, the premium package is a definite must and I have already factored that into the decision. One question, does "MY" stand for mid-year? I am guessing that means anything I order will definitely be MY at this stage of the game. Also, it sounds like you think I would not be disappointed in getting the 525 sport, is that a personal choice for you as well?
Thanks again everyone!