2003 BMW 5 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 184 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2003 BMW 5 Series

  • 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.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Thrilling to drive, superb ride quality, upscale interiors, wide range of trim levels, clean exterior styling.

  • Cons

    Some confusing interior controls, demanding manual transmission, high-end models are pricey.

  • What's New for 2003

    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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (59 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The greatest car on the

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

Being only 16 years old I am fortunate enough to have a 2003 525i for my first car it's got 45k miles and this car is truly a dream! It rides so smooth! Mine has the sport package and it is a joy to drive! It handles like a dream and the most fun car to own! If you have the opportunity to own one DONT HESITATE!!!! The repairs are kinda pricey but if you're a car guy like myself DIYing it will save you plenty of money! Truly love this car and am now a loyal BMW owner!



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Got to love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

I read some reviews that talk of the cup holders and other issues. We bought our 2003 525i and simply love it. The thing is on rails but also feels heavy but responsive. The weight is good for absorbing road imperfections. Just feels solid. Performance is nice, just need to hit the sport tronic trans at right rpm range. This car looks better than the newer model and BMW has changed it back to the E39 style with a more squat body. I had to change the alternator, but like our broken cup holder, alternator, and brakes, all of which I changed myself with the Bentley E39 Service Manual and the write tools and she is as tight as, well tight feels good. We Just Love Her, Silvia, because it's silver.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great car, if you ignore

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

I love the handling, the ride, & the fuel efficiency. The engine power is only slightly lacking. However, a car must also be reliable. This car requires repairs every 8 to 12 weeks (seriously). Thank god for the extended warranty. I fear the day the extended warranty expires & I still owe monthly payments. I love this car&hate its ongoing issues: new radiator; new plastic radiator reservoir; washer fluid pump failure (3 times); pcv valve failure ($700 to repair) & my personal favorite is when the seat warmer caught fire. The car is awesome to drive and looks like poetry in motion but my 30 year old Ford truck has been more reliable. German efficiency does not seem to include reliability




My bimmer

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

Original owner. Not as quick as my old 325 but still good. 30+mpg on trip on reg or mid grade. A good car with little trouble past the warranty except for display digits dying which was fixed gratis by dealer. OEM Pirelli tires were noisy from get go and after several attempts of balance and rotation I ditched them for Michelin Exalto All Season and have been happy ever since. Dealer again shared the pain with free install and alignment as comp for OEM cheapies.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Solid car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

I have had this car since 2007 and just recently had its first problem, a gasket leak that cost $800 to repair, its been reliable, solid, wonderful to drive. Its the best looking car on the road in my eyes, I love the ageless design.




03 525 keeper

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)

Bought it to beat model change and avoid Bangle butt. Second BMW. And second car so do not drive in bad winter weather much. Not as swift as prior car which was 325--same motor but heavier. Get 28 mpg on highway and 24-26 mixed driving. Run on unld regular at times. Plenty of room, comfortable and handles very well and has been reliable after some early quirks; new coils, ignition wires and alternator. OEM Pirelli's were noisy so after much discussion with dealer, I bought Michelin All Season and dealer mounted ,balanced did alignment free. No problems .Also had pixel problem on steering column and dealer did free computer replacement even when out of warranty. A keeper!



Full 2003 BMW 5 Series Review

What's New for 2003

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.

Talk About The 2003 5 Series

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs