I just purchased a 2002 525i, first thing I always do is put the biggest rims with the skinniest tires. So I bought a set of 20" Lorenzo 2 piece aluminum wheels, with some Yokahama tires. Doesn't effect ride or speedometer. Beautiful car. Drives like a dream. Stops well, handles well. Doesn't burn any oil. Its quiet. And it is super sexy looking. I get great gas mileage. Of course you need to fill up with premium, but who cares? It says to do it, so do it. This car is fast too. I didn't think that a 2.5 litre inline 6 would be as fast as it is. I do wish it was an x drive, but hey I paid 3500 for the car. It does have 184k, but I'll tell you what. This car has to have been garage kept, no rust, no dents, paint is mint, interior is beautiful. I have no complaints. Everything works as intended. The radio LED lights are screwing up, but I guess they all do that. All in all, I love the car. There are a couple little things, the led on the radio, the cupholders suck, but hey, it's got an ashtray. Thumbs up on the ashtray!!! My kids fit in the car well, the headlights look sweet, I just want to tint the windows, and I'm all set. I will definatly buy another bmw in the future. I love Mercedes Benz, and i kinda just grabbed this up cause it was a good price, and I knew it ran well, plus I work at the car lot. I recommend BMW for everyone.
These vehicles require a great deal of preventative maintenance. They can be prohibitively expensive. Having said that they are a pure pleasure to drive. Odometer now reads 160,000. Wouldn't trade it for anything on the road.
A joy to drive since the day I purchased it brand new. A dependable, well-built 4-door sports sedan that still handles and accelerates beautifully. It's my favorite and oldest BMW in the garage. A great value. It's a keeper.
I own a 2002 BMW 530i. My car has all of the packages (sports, cold weather, premium) that were available at time of purchase. OMG! What a fun car to drive! This car is the best compromise between sport/luxury, power/economy, and it is oozing with class. Due to exceptional handling, my confidence on the road under any driving conditions is extremely high. Other than a six-figure sports car, my 530i can handle any driving maneuver better than other vehicles due to the Sport Package suspension system. The cab is quiet. The car is heavy as a tank yet rides like a gazelle. I feel very safe in my vehicle.
Owners have made the mistake of filling the coolant system expansion tank to the top. You are suppose to only fill it until the float is level with the the top. This leaves about 1/3 air inside the expansion tank. As the coolant heats up and "expands", it overflows into the expansion tank. When it cools down and contracts, it brings the level back down. By overfilling the expansion tank, excessive coolant pressure builds as it expands. This eventually caused the expansion tank and/or the radiator to rupture (via a hairline crack). Then the very people who have overfilled the tank go into BMW forums and complain about the coolant system being cheap rather than realize that overfilling it caused the problem. The same is true of the transmission fluid. BMW basically lied and claimed their transmission fluid lasts forever and does not need to be changed. This sometimes results in a torque converter going bad somewhere between 100,000 ~ 200,000 miles. If you ignore BMW and change the ATF every 30,000 ~ 60,000 miles, this too would not be an issue.
BMW handles so great because they figured out decades ago, if you achieve even weight distribution be tween the front and rear axle, the center of gravity will be as perfect as it can be, which makes the car hug the road much better under any condition. To achieve a 50/50% f/r weight distribution, BMW used light-weight parts under the hood, and even placed the battery in the trunk on the passenger side (opposite corner from the driver). Due to the slightly larger 530i engine (compared to the 528), my car weigh distribution is 51/49% f/r. She handles superbly.
Although I would likely never buy a BMW off of the showroom floor (aka brand new), I really enjoy owning one. You can wear blue-jeans or a three piece suit and still look right for the car. She never fails to turn heads. She never fails to paint a big smile on my face on the road. There are some cars out there that are faster. However, there are few cars out there that can out perform her in all weather conditions. The body style of these cars in the early 2000s is timeless. I purchased a Dynavin E39 NAV Unit for her, which looks better and has more features than the head units that come stock in the 2016 models of most cars today. It's touch screen and feature rich.
WIth traffic increasing daily in Atlanta, I decided to sell my daily driver (Mini Cooper S) for a larger and heavier car in 2013. I lucked up, found a 2002 530i, and bought it immediately. This has been one of my best purchases ever! The E39 handles like a dream, and has only had the normal problems that come with a car of its age.