The '95 540i is among the last understated, genuinely beautiful cars from BMW. It is tremendously powerful and the routine maintenance consists of little more than oil changes and brake jobs. The downfall is the transmission. It is a sealed unit with "lifetime" fluid (complete nonsense). It _will_ fail at 100k mi. and cost $5k to replace. The car is worth $4k. My trans has disgorged it's fluid on the driveway fully 4 different times. Each episode requires a limping trip to the shop and a bill of $300. On the road, the car is heavy and ponderous and not in the least bit fun to drive. Brakes have only two modes: off and full lock up. Zero finesse. Big disappointment.
Just bought my first bimmer and I'd
have to say it is my favourite car to
drive for luxury and comfort. I owned
an rx-7 and a suped up, customized 65
karmann ghia both of which had power,
but the 540ia now is my prized
possession. I love all that it has,
except for the maintenence costs. It's
a bmw what do you expect though.
Anyway for a 95 it is almost as nice
as the new ones and a fraction of the
cost. I get excited everytime i get in
the drivers seat. Definitely has
power. Just ask the cars next to me at
the lights when I blow their doors
off. If you can find a 540ia in good
shape for a good price I recommend it.
I am a true BMW fan.
Power and comfort by far.
Bigger tires, cupholders, rear leg
room and metal engine parts instead of
plastic. Example (thermostat housing).
Plastic tends to crack too easy.
I have this vehicle since it's new.
However, it came with a nikasil V8
instead of alusil V8. Gradually the
high sulphur of US fuel started to
cause problems with the engine. Now it
needs engine replacement, $9k plus
labor. If you own one with an alusil
engine, you should buy a lottery
ticket. If you are thinking about
getting a used one, you must make sure
what type of engine it has. Check the
engine block numbers before buying it.
It's a very serious problem!
choice of nikasil and alusil engines.
test the engine with US fuel before
shipping it here.
With all the BMWs in this world, I
found myself in a dealer looking into a
certified 525ia during a battle with my
Jeep. The car is solid and has taken
me on many long trips without any
failures. On one occasion, my BMW was
hit from behind by a commercial van and
suffer NO damage other than loosing the
cover for the tow hook in the read
bumper. The van had heavy grill damage
since it went under the back of the
BMW. I highly recommend this car to
anyone interested in some class without
the huge cost normally associated with
The gas mileage is the best feature of
this car. Everything else such as the
interior, sound system and performance
is what you would expect from a BMW! I
would buy another 525ia if the need
Install the Jim C performance chip. I
travel at 90-95 MPH on empty highways
and still maintain the great 28MPG. Oh,
I once had an emergency where I need to
get to the hospital FAST! NO power lose
at over 110MPH.
This car was lot of fun to drive when
it worked. I owned it for nearly 6
years and it broke down quite often.
Radiator changed twice, got new
shocks/struts at 100k, Battery changed
twice, Differtial system replaced, had
to replace stereo under warranty, rear
lights blew up very often, and so on.
Driver comfort and controls are
superb. Handles great.
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