2003 BMW 5 Series - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 216 Total Reviews
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168K and still going strong!
By papatago on 06/27/14 22:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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!
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14 of 24 people found this review helpful
Transmission problem
By lawrence on 10/25/10 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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A Fine Sedan
By Robert on 09/06/10 19:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 5A)

Review

After seeing and driving the 2004 E60 5 Series, I immediately leased the last 2003 E39 540i at my dealer. At the end of the lease, I still didn't find a better car, so bought the car from the leasing company! Now after 7 years and 76,000 miles this car continues to impress. I've been fortunate to own many high end cars, but the E39 540i has been one of the best. It has pleasing styling, a comfortable, stylish interior and great ride/handling balance. Mine has had some reliability issues: door locks, power seat cables, and radiator, all covered under warranty or extended warranty. I know this can be an expensive car to fix as it ages and I should replace is soon, but with what?
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Got to LOVE IT!
By Viper1 on 08/22/10 23:57 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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7 of 7 people found this review helpful
They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore
By DMan on 08/20/10 07:45 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Great car, if you ignore reliability
By Mike12345 on 07/18/10 16:38 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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
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My bimmer
By CTK on 06/30/10 11:44 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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Perfection
By dino on 06/14/10 20:06 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Solid Car
By Northern Rider on 05/03/10 20:50 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

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.
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03 525 keeper
By ckem on 02/25/10 07:39 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

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!
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