Upcoming redesign notwithstanding, the 5 Series is an excellent midsize luxury car, whether you choose the high-performance 540i or a comparatively basic 525i wagon. If you can afford one, we'd highly recommend it.
by veinr on Sep 4, 2009 Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
I bought this car a little over a year ago and have spent approx. 2K in repairs. The radiator is plastic as is the water pump impeller motor. It had several oil and hydraulic leaks which I had repaired. The rear tires wear on the inside quite rapidly due to camber settings with the independent suspension. The battery burned a hole in itself and I've had several turn signal issues, lights burning out, shorts etc. Right now I'm getting a low oil pressure light at idle even after replacing the sending unit. The cupholders and interior buttons are very cheap. Other than that, this is a really fun car to drive. The motor is bullet proof. I got 23mpg on a recent trip with 3 bikes on the roof rack.
by WDD on Oct 19, 2006 Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Bought it certified preowned and love it. For an avg family it's a great car and very fun to drive. I have a 91 240SX that I'm having a problem giving up, but this is just as fun to drive and much more comfortable. I've been getting 26 to 29 mpg and the interior is comfortable and relaxing on the hwy. Overall I love it. I got the newest GPS disks and it made the GPS much more usable. The original 2001 disks were very weak in rural areas. I've owned it for 4 months now and am very happy with the decision.
by OC dude on Feb 24, 2005 Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
Got this car as a demo with 7000 miles on it. Paid $37000 for a fully loaded car w/ every possible option. The 2.5 engine surprise me with its get up and go, especially if it's put in Sport Mode. I've had 4 adults in this car and still drive great with wonderful acceleration on the on-ramp. Build-quality is much better compared to my 2004 330Ci; definitely a step up from the 3-series. This car's interior is timeless compared to the spartan design of the new 5 series; quality of material and leather seeems to be of better quality; compare it for yourself and save yourself a whole lotta money by buying the previous generation 5.
This is your last chance to get a traditionally styled 5 Series -- next year, its styling becomes more closely aligned with the controversial 7 Series. For now, BMW will offer a DVD-based navigation system for the existing 5 Series -- but alas, you must still give up an in-dash CD player if you opt for the nav system. Besides that, rear head protection airbags (optional last year) are now standard across the line. Additionally, all six-cylinder models get a standard moonroof. Standard on the manual-shift 540i (and optional with the automatic) is a new sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, a revised sport suspension, front and rear spoilers, visible exhaust outlets, black side molding, a black headliner, titanium-ringed gauges and an M footrest for the driver. Finally, the 525i gets a new alloy wheel design, and its premium package now includes rain-sensing wipers.