Bought it with 30K on it after trading in my 328i. Still have it with 100K and it's been the best drive I ever had. Also own a 03 330 convertible and still like the solid, smooth ride and power curve of the 98. It's as tight as a drum, no rattles. All E39s need an aftermarket water pump at 50K due to the plastic impellar, thermostats every 30k, and a better cupholder which can be retrofitted in the change holder. I'm thinking of getting a new 3xi series, but can't bear parting with the 98. Oh yeah, no iDrive!!!
Ride, suspension, brakes, power curve, transmission, large trunk, great seats, heated seats, and heated steering wheel, finish.
First, the good things: the 528i drives like the 3 series and is larger and heavier. Corners like a dream and is solid as a rock. As much as I hate to say it, BMW really over-engineered this car in many respects. So many unnecessary saftety features used. My 3-series had one thing go bad in 3 years-the oxygen sensor, thats it. My 528i has 130,000 miles on it and here is a list of things on the car that don't work: cruise control, rear window, sunroof, e-brake, catalytic converter broke and o2 sensor went out. Yes, it is true parts for BMWs are expensive, probably 2-3 times that of even other luxury cars. I feel betrayed. I hope this travesty is never allowed by BMW again.
Handling, heated seats, 6 disc changer, memory and power seats, ASC, brakes, engine, essentially everything.
The seat setup is wrong, the pedals should be adjustable, steering wheel doesn't come out far enough, engine seems to be lacking torque, not going to mention cupholders, reliability of acessories and integrated systems is horrible. From what I've heard much of this was fixed after 1999 however.
Have owned the car for a couple of years and seem to have a major (>$500) repair about every 6 months. Most of the previous posts highlight the poor quality cooling system parts (replaced) and window mechanism (twice replaced). I have also replaced the steering and a/c fan,. That said, it handles perfectly on the road. I am considering either a CPO 5-series or a Porsche now - both are always in the shop anyways.
I bought this new in '98 -- mistake, I should have bought used and saved some depreciation. The vehicle is trouble free. Below normal wear and tear-no real system failures. I still love driving the car and it looks great. The seats wear like iron-even with my considerable weight. At 121,000 miles it is tighter than my wife's Acura was new. I do agree that the cup holders are junk. I make several long trips a year and average over 30 mpg at speeds well in excess of posted. The braking and handling have saved my bacon several times in Atlanta traffic.
Acceleration, hanling, brakes. The car feels solid and looks great inside and out.
Cup holders. CD player in trunk. Tail lamps burn out too often.
A classic vehicle that offers a truly sporty ride, with excellent highway handling, while comporting itself with that slow lingering class often found in high-tea cosmopolitan settings. Refined, elegant but full of secret agent type surprises.
Sport package! Wonderful driving machine, especially at speeds which fall well north of the 64MPH signs. Fantastic steering/manuevering characteristics.
Would benefit little else. Already the complete package.