I bought the car used and had a little trepidation about the reliability of the car. The exterior design of this car is unbeatable bar none. I have the performance 17 inch wheels and the ride is harsh to say the least. The road noise from the tires are too loud. But the car looks and runs so well that I can overlook those few faults. Also I have to take into account that the car is six years old.
The exterior design, the high quailty leather seats and other interior designs.
Can't really think of anything to improve this car. Just keep building them.
I bought this car because the 528i sedan we got three years earlier was so solid. I wanted the sport and premium packages, which is what I have. The ride is very good and aerodynamics great. The stance is low and performance wheels light, so I hit low barriers and bent wheel. The replacement wheels are $600 per. The radiator sprung a leak at 64K. Otherwise it performs as expected.
Be easy on the accelerator and you'll be rewarded. It's very distinctive styling. It has a quiet cabin and every electronic control works.
Increase HP output and fuel economy like Japanese marks, without charging $50K +. Fix cup holders. Add cargo net and cargo mat. Move CD changer to a more accessible place. Local dealer service can't handle volume and charges high fees.
Purchased CPO in 2001. Only had a few problems in my 9.5 years. Performance and build quality is unbeatable. Just sold the car as maintenance is getting expensive on a 12 year old BMW. My all in cost to drive the car (including repairs but excluding routine maintenance) was less than $3,600 per year. With a set of snow tires this car did great in the snow. Car was expensive upfront but more than worth it over time. I miss this car already. I only wish the new 535 wagon wasn't plagued with problems or I would not hesitate to buy another.
Bought a 4 year lease return from a used car dealer with slightly over 40,000 miles. Have driven it to 80,000 miles after 3 years and had no problems except some minor cosmetic details (e.g. cup holders, door sill trim, door rubber moldings). From a mechanical point of view, had to just do my yearly synthetic oil change at the BMW dealer and put in gas. I've driven slightly over a couple parking stops and pulled away the front valences slightly. If you want a reliable, fun to drive car (not truck) with capacity for five and rear cargo for Home Depot, Costco or Ikea runs, this is a great car to consider. From my recollection, it is top of class (E39) for many years running.
Design - timeless and will be a classic. Ride/ handling - the perfect 50/50 balance and "German" ride qualities. I've avoided a couple sure accidents with the sure stability, braking and reponsiveness of the anti-lock brake, anti-skid, stability control. I was amazed I didn't ram the car ahead.
Trim - plastic cup holders, door sill, better placement of the rubber door seals, because I always rub upon entering/leaving the car. repeated wear causes them to wear away. Common to replace the cheap cup holders in front and back. Thankfully, they are cheap and easy to get from the BMW dealer.
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