2003 BMW 5 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 5 Series

BMW 5 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 290 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/21 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 (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Perfection

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

I'm a former racer, but this is my daily driver. A blast yet still "practical" with two kiddos. Have yet to find a better new or used car.




540i

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

this car is too much fun to drive. power, handling, brakes are all top shelf. powertrain is amazing as it pulls in any gear at any speed: from idle to redline. gas mileage is reasonable on highway (mid 20s), but abismal if pushed hard (which is hard to do without losing one's license). v8 is a little rougher than the i6 i had, but sounds great.




Best bmw i've owned

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

I've owned 4 5-series and 1 7-series and my husband had a M6 and a M3 and this is the best BMW yet. My last 5 was a 2000 540i Sport 6 speed also. I could not believe the difference between the new one and the old one. The handing is super, the suspension wonderful. I love to drive it.




Best sedan ever owned

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

had em all, this is the best by a wide margin



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

540i - sport 6 speed

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Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

Great car, fast, fun to drive, silent and strong engine. No complaints at all, but I hate the rear-end styling of the new (2004) design. And it waits to be seen whether the I-drive joystick will be more user friendly than in the 7 series.




A super automobile

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M)

the 540i 6M i bought just a few months ago is a marvellous car to drive --peppy, quiet, and comfortable. it is also very safe. it is probably the best car i have ever owned.



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

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs