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BMW 5 Series, Sedan
#6014 of 12737 Summary of posts "happy with standard suspension"
Mar 26, 2003 (9:18 pm)
This post is not to instill a war between sp and non-sp. Clearly the sp group wins hands down on this and other message boards. However, there is a vocal minority and frequent questions on advantages of standard suspension, so I thought I would summarize those comments from reviewers and bmw owners for those seeking words on the non sports package BMW 530.
1) consumer reports: Highest scoring car in CR history; Car tested was non sport version.
2) New car test drive.com and placed in other reviews: Even when equipped with the sport package, each model provides acceptable ride quality. However, for most people, the standard suspension (which is hardly standard) is probably the better choice.
Readers on message boards:
3) like most people, drove the 530 (w and w/o sports package). With all the potholes in and around Chicago, car drives much better w/o the sports package. Very glad that I didn't get the sports package (can't believe I'm saying this).
4) The roads in Mississippi are miserable, with gaping potholes. Also, many freeways are concrete, and the blocks settle irregularly, so each expansion gap is like a step that you ram into. I passed on the sport option, but my 530i still handles beautifully. I would possibly have ordered it if I lived in a place with good roads, but not here.
5) Same in Houston Ė roads are a disaster and the dealers must be making a fortune on suspension repairs, replacement wheels and new glass!
6) Got 525i, Premium, Step, non Sport...LOVE it! The 5% of the time I might want the Sport and manual tranny is more than made up for the other 95% of the time I am driving at 90mph and it feels smooth as silk. I think that you would love the 530ia without the Sport package. For normal everyday commuting,I really don't think you would be disappointed at all.
7) Standard suspension handles fine, goes aroundcorners as if its on rails, No hassle in changing tires in winter. BMW standard suspension is better than most cars sport versions. you made right decision,
8) Quite happy w/o. Not practical for me either.
9) I donít have it and I donít miss it. Unless you're into taking tight turns at high speed, the standard suspension is just fine- as a matter of fact, everyone who rides in my car comments on the smooth ride. If I want to have fun in the twisties, I'm fortunate to have my wife's Z3 that will out-corner ANY E39. The only "downside" for me was that my non-sport came with gobs of chrome trim. As the post above indicates, there's an easy fix for that.
10) I am so happy without SP.
11) In retrospect, I'm extremely pleased with the standard suspension. I drive hairpin turned canyons to work, and the car is very stable, true and solid. As a comparison, I've driven the same route in a Turbo Eclipse, 325i, Honda 750, Harley Sportster Motorcycles, Mercedes 250C, and Lincoln Town Car. So I think I have a good basis of comparison. Nobody, but nobody can stay on my six in the Turbo Eclipse though, even had an E39 SPP pull over to keep me from riding too close
12) Test drive the Sport on some rough pavement before you make your decision. I drive a 99 wagon with sport package. Personally, if I had it to do over, I would have gone with the non-sport
13) After driving both, I decided that for daily commute Non-sport was best, the suspension is already tight. I am very happy with 530I
14) have tried both before deciding on a 530, as the engine is much nicer in terms of torque and power, and you get the same mileage. While I happen to have the sport package, I could have easily done without, as the 5 structurally handles well. IMHO, the 2.5 is a downgraded 3.0 for marketing reasons. Go for the 3.0, since you';ll enjoy routinely every day, whereas the SP only improves a feature that's already above average.
15) I have owned many sports cars as well as normal cars of both domestic and foreign make over the many years I have been driving (I am now 75, but still an avid car fan and drive "quickly") I have a 1997 540iA; most of the cars I have owned had manual transmisisions, but I have had to settle for automatics the last few years due to some medical siituations with my left foot/leg. Yes the sports package will handle "better" , but the standard suspension E39 cars still out handle the majority of all other cars out there. I am not the least bit phased when entering an on ramp at speeds that scare the crap out of friends riding with me that have not done so before in an E39 BMW. You can still throw it around with aplomb!
16) I have a '01 540/6. The other week it was in the shop (yet another temp gage and fromt wheel liner panel replacement) and I was loaned an 02 525a (auto) by the dealer. While I disliked the lack of power from a stop, and don't care much for automatics - including BMW's due to sluggish responses on kick-down etcetera - I must say that the non-sport ride had many advantages in LA. where many streets in the downtown area have bumps, holes and small dips which can cause the sports package to crack the front airdam and bottom out the front suspension at speeds the car encourages. I drove the 525 for about 50 miles and very much enjoyed the less jarring ride and enjoyed not having to worry about every bump in the road. Of course, I am getting older too.
That is not to say that the sports package isn't terrific on smooth curvy roads which are plentiful in the surrounding area. Its a tradeoff. Also, in my opinion, while the sports seat are very nice for aggressive turns because they hold you in place, for my 5'10" average weight frame they are not the most comfortable. (My wife's 95 940 Volvo wagon, while a dog - had unbelievably comfortable seats.)
17) The 530i is the perfect car and there is no reason for you to spend the additional $$ for SP. I purchased the SP because there is value in it for me. I have the factory SP in my 1993 325i and I own a race car, so it would be strange not to have SP.
18) First of all, you said it in your post: Everyone has different tastes and preferences. For instance I have a black on tan (because it is obviously the BEST clor combo.), 1997 528ia non-sport pkg. Do I sometimes dream about the 17' cross-spokes? Yes. Do I take a corner a 80mph and feel body roll? Sure. Do I think the sport pkg would handle better in "agressive driving" situations? Thats what sport pkg is for, so yes. Do I wish I had sport package (with those phat looking 17' mentioned above)? NO.
I specifically wanted the more "plush" feel of the standard suspension and any additions made by the premium package (I think just 15' wheels though). When I bought the car I knew exactly what I wanted and I knew how the car was going to be driven... like a luxury sports sedan. NOT a sports car. For me I am happy with the non-sport pkg and I think the car handles great without. Even friends of mine who were passengers in the vehicle comment on "how great this car handles" or "I couldn't take that turn
#6015 of 12737 bmwdoug/SP debate
Mar 26, 2003 (9:22 pm)
The '01 530i sport is a phenomenal car, as I can attest after purchasing one used just over 6 wks ago. However, the price you quote seems a bit high.
I purchased an '01 530i Sport/Premium/Xenons/CD for $36.5K. The differences are that my car is a CPO car, and I had them include an installed OEM CD changer at that price. The car only had 13.5K miles, and was in showroom condition. With that extra mileage, I would bargain for a lower price, especially if the car isn't a CPO car (est 1-2K for the CPO value).
RE:larryn3's excerpted SP reviews: I'm in Houston, and have had no problems with potholes or rough roads with my SP in contrast to the poster you quoted. I think it's a philosophical issue--my dad loves his LS430 and bought it over a 530 because he likes to feel insulated from the road. Anyone who feels similarly should probably opt out of the SP if choosing the E39.
#6016 of 12737 2004 5 series photos
Mar 27, 2003 (1:14 am)
There are more spy shots of the production model in South Africa being used for filming a new commercial in the BMW Car magazine. It is a UK publication and I believe it was the March issue. You can probably find it at the Borders or the Barnes and Noble.
#6017 of 12737 Sport Package
Mar 27, 2003 (5:16 am)
larryn3... To each his/her own. I couldn't imagine owning a BMW without the Sport Package. Gives you so much for so little expense. I consider it the single most important option.
Isn't the point of a BMW to bring out the most in your driving experience? Thankfully the roads around where I live and drive are in pretty good shape. If I lived somewhere they weren't or I was stuck in a ton of stop-and-go traffic, I'd probably have a 2nd car for those days, a less expensive non-BMW car to get me from point A to point B.
#6018 of 12737 How do you all drive your 5er?
Mar 27, 2003 (7:34 am)
Being a first time owner of a sporty car (my 4 other cars are lexus/toyotas), do you all rev your engines harder on your 5ers? Does hard revving cause a shorter life? BMW are known for their sharp handling but I am deciding how it should be driven. When I mean hard, I don't mean driving recklessly or going into the red line. That reminds me of driving my friends S2000 in which it went well over 7/8K RPMs screaming which was kinda scary.
I had drove my other cars gently over the yrs which has help last my cars in the super high mileage club.
#6019 of 12737 Driving the car
Mar 27, 2003 (8:36 am)
Follow the manufacturers break-in period, maintenance period and have fun. In my opinion, these engines can take frequent/constant redline just make sure you follow the recommended maintenance schedule. Of course your gas mileage will be in the tank should you drive your car like that constantly.
#6020 of 12737 BMW Signs Joint Venture Agreement to Build 3 & 5 Series in China
Mar 27, 2003 (11:49 am)
The German public broadcaster, DW, reporting today that BMW signed a $483 million joint venture agreement with a Chinese company to build 3 & 5 Series cars in China. Not a lot of details, but the article is at Deutsche Welle's web site.
Mar 27, 2003 (12:19 pm)
"5) Same in Houston Ė roads are a disaster and the dealers must be making a fortune on suspension repairs, replacement wheels and new glass!"
I almost bust out laughing when I read this but it is not really funny. In Houston, it makes not difference buying SP or Non-SP. I have a non-SP 3er and I am still getting kicked to sleep. I have had my alignment done once and I have to repair my windshield. Houston is not car friendly. I have never had windshield damage until I moved to Houston. In the ideal situation, I would take SP over Non-SP anyday.
#6022 of 12737 CPO MY2001 530ia Need Advice Quick...
Mar 27, 2003 (5:33 pm)
There's a car at my local BMW dealership that I'm seriously considering and I would like your guys opinions on next steps. Here's the situation:
2001 530i with 34,000 miles. In service date is June 2001 and it's a CPO car. The options are steptronic, cold weather package (no use here in Phx.), CD player (no changer), SP and Convenience package. It's about $30,000. The color is white with the sand colored interior. It's in great condition cosmetically and drives just fine - the only thing is it's got a smell in it. They've shampooed the carpets twice and tried to wash the leather seats but the smell is still there.
I'm a dad of 3 little ones and I think it smells like spoiled milk or formula that's underneath the back seat. I'm thinking some enzyme cleaner will get rid of the smell but I'm not 100% sure.
They pulled a repair history and there are 4 non-maintenance codes:
0064360100, 631218200, 6134003700, and 5116331300
Anyone have any clues what the codes stand for? What do you think about the smell and the price? How about ideas for moving forward? I'm thinking telling them out the door for $30k - including TT&L. Appreciate your input. Thanks!
#6023 of 12737 Road Trip...
Mar 27, 2003 (8:03 pm)
Yesterday I needed to take a road trip from southern New Hampshire to Mineola, NY to visit a client. Keeping in mind that there have been several queries around here recently about mileage, I decided to track mine, and to that end, I filled up with gas, reset the trip computer and hit the road. The trip was a run that was primarily done at about 75 mph with a few excursions up to about 100 (I still have my winter tires on, which have a limit of 100), some heavy construction on I-95 in Connecticut, and then heavy rush hour traffic from the Throgs Neck bridge to Mineola and then back to Scarsdale, NY, where I spent the night. I then visited another client this morning in Elmsford, NY, did a lunch trip, and then hit the road at just the right time to ensure that I would hit the Boston evening rush hour traffic. With all of that in mind, it is fair to say that I drove somewhere between 80 and 100 miles in heavy stop and go traffic, which is about 20% of the trip.
Calc MPG: 29.03
Avg Speed: 56.4
OBC Calculations after the first 190 miles (Before I hit the I-95 Traffic):
Avg Speed: 72.1
Some folks have noted that, over time, their cumulative MPG calculations come out as much as 2 MPG lower than the OBC. In this case, I filled up at two gas stations, both of which appeared to be level, and the 0.37 MPG difference is well within the variance of how much two different pumps would fill the tank, so I am inclined to believe my OBC.
As a point of reference (for those of you who do not know), I have a 2002 530i 5-Speed with the Sport Package, which (as previously noted) is currently running on winter tires (Michelin Arctic-Alpin). FWIW, I will probably find the time to remount my OEM rubber (Michelin Pilot-Primacy) back onto the car this weekend.