2003 BMW 5 Series Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 BMW 5 Series Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 17/24 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



Electronic gremlins

by on
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.




Very happy 525it owner

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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.




Best value in the bmw

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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.




Great car but get extended

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

We bought our 2002 525 wagon new at the end of 2001, and it has been a great experience on the whole. The car is a joy to drive. It has also turned out to be practical for a family with young kids and a dog, and there is little that you can fit in an SUV that can't be coaxed into the back of this wagon. Our only complaint is that some of the electronics and interior fittings are not wearing well. Both of the front power seats have already failed, the stereo has had to be replaced, and numerous plastic fittings have fallen off. Our dealer told us that power seat failures are very common and a design flaw. Very expensive repair off warranty (which we are not yet).



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This isn't your mothers wagon!

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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.




Sportswagon review

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

My kids can't understand why I have a wagon, instead of a big SUV. I can park any where, low center of gravity, and it's a sports car with a big trunk.



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

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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