2003 BMW 5 Series Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 5 Series

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BMW 5 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 290 hp @ 5400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/19 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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 15
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This isn't your mothers wagon!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sport Wagon (4.4L 8cyl 5A)

While it is true the sport suspension gives you precise feedback, I find the handling and roadfeel to be one of the best characteristics of the car. For those who are looking for a true perfomance car with the practicality of a wagon look no further. Put four snow tires on the car and winter is no issue. For those seeking to drive your living room this is not the car for you. The BMW 540ia wagon sets the standard for fit and finish among it's rivals, and passes them in so other many characteristics and qualities. This is a car I can drive for 8 hours continually arriving without an ache.




Good but not perfect

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sport Wagon (4.4L 8cyl 5A)

The BMW 540i is fun to drive but lacks interior comfort. Why can't they build a car with the comfort of a Lexus or Mercedes on the interior with the good looks of a BMW on the outside. I have owned three Mercedes and ejoyed their interiors and comfort but always thought the drive was not spunky or exciting. The 540i delivers a thrilling ride and wonderful handling, but I miss the comfort. Am I too old for this car?




A true sport wagon

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sport Wagon (4.4L 8cyl 5A)

Having traded in my Porsche, I found the 540i wagon with the sport package to be the perfect vehicle for my current needs. It holds my family, as much sailing gear as I reasonably need, cruises comfortably on the highway, handles secondary roads well enough (although the ride is too harsh with the 45 series tires), and, despite BMW's disavowal, hauls a trailer with ease.




The ultimate driving machine

by on
Vehicle: 2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sport Wagon (4.4L 8cyl 5A)

Ever since I was 14 years old I always wanted a BMW, now Im 16 and owning a great 530i. You can't go wrong with this car; it has performance and great stability in tight corners. BMW's are truly the Ultimate Driving Machine.



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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.

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Talk About The 2003 5 Series

2003 BMW 5 Series Discussions See all Started By

Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
04-08-2014
car to beat in the entry luxury game. The 5 Series is considered one of the best luxury sedans on the planet, particularly in terms of driving passion....


plasticmd
plasticmd
09-19-2002
Ordered 2003 530 auto with premium/xenon/lumbar/heated wheel for 1500.00 below MSRP. This is a lease..don't know what monthly payments are going to be. Is this a good deal? Residual value will be ?...


manybmws
manybmws
10-19-2007
As an owner of a 2003 530i I have been on a test drive craze to see if anything out there matches/beats the E39 benchmark....



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