1997 BMW 5 Series Consumer Review: Superb Euro Sedan

1997 BMW 5 Series - Consumer Review

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Superb Euro Sedan
By Blondebeard on


1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


The í97 E39 540i Sport is a study in contradictions, completely in-line with expectations. Iíve had mine about a year, and just crossed 72K miles. On the whole, the car has been a splendid purchase. They stop on a dime, handle well, and start to really shine where other cars sign off. With the right tires and fresh clutch, theyíre a blast at track days, too. Imagine that: a family sedan that performs well at the track. Short of an M5, I cannot recall another sedan that can make this claim.

Best Features

The E39 exudes refinement yet subtle aggression. Sport package 540i adds taut suspension, larger wheels, and other touches. I find BMW controls agreeable, others do not. 282 hp propels it quite smartly. Stops on a dime, handles well. Six-speed manual abrupt but quite fun.

Worst Features

Predicable failure points: radiator, water pump, minor electrical issues. My radiator went with almost surreal timing, at 65K miles (in-line with most other owners). Resale value is abysmal. Spendy to insure. Keep an eye on tires and alignment.
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