2003 BMW 5 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 225 hp @ 5900 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 (87 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

168k and still going strong!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

This car is amazing! Bought it in '05 with 7K on it and now I have 168K and still solid, well built and reliable! If you can DIY some things, you can save a grip of $$$ and still have one of best cars built, period! Heavy car and going through tires is going to be an issue but nothing beats this car on the open road! I drive from northern CA to southern CA twice a month 700+ miles and 30+MPG can compare with a lot of hybrids out there...but no hybrid is as fun to drive. It truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine!



15 of 26 people found this review helpful

Transmission problem

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

Once the 6 year 100k miles warranty is gone, surprises! Maintenance very expensive and for those equipped with lifetime ZF HP19 transmission you'll be lucky if it last past 100K mark. Especially in New England weather.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

They don't make them like

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

Purchased from a private party with 25K on the odometer. Currently have about 99.4K miles on it. This has been far the most reliable car we've ever owned - Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Mazda. When you do basic maintenance yourself, ownership costs are somewhat comparable to many other brands. Just have to keep an eye out on the cooling system, heard that this was/is the weakest part of the E39's (so far no problems with mine). Average MPG during summer months: 24-27



6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Bmw 530 past 60,000 miles

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

The 530 corners as if it is on rails and it accelerates very quickly and smoothly. I also own a E350 Benz and the BMW kills it in terms of performance (and the Benz is no slouch). The difference with the Benz is that the quality of the interior is hugely superior to the 530 - indeed the 530 is pretty basic in comparison. The BIG problem with the Beemer is reliability. Since hitting about 60k it's been own thing after another. First the door locks stopped working, then the doors started leaking, then the AC started acting up, then the alternator died, then, then.....the dollars just keep flowing out the door. For a car that is competing in the luxury space this is just BAD




Awesome!!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

Needed a sedan for my wife and wanted something fun to drive for me with room for kids, dog and golf clubs. Purchased the 530i with sport package. Never expected the handling and responsiveness. Enough power for a car this size and decent gas mileage. The sport wheels just want to make you stare at the car and admire!!!!




Very reliable

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)

Bought this car with 85k on it. Sold it with 130k. Only had one problem ac related 150.00 fixed it. Ran great good gas mileage and looks beautiful. Blizzaks on the back will make winter driving no problem (within reason). Don't be afraid to buy. Engine and tranny are bulletproof.



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