We picked up our low mileage unit a few months ago. It basically has every option aside from the active cruise control. We love this car, we also love the iDrive system. We researched the car to death and wonder why iDrive is so hated. If you can answer an e-mail and actually take the time to read the manual, this system is something to adore. The prologic 7 sound system is the best audio system on the planet. Smooth acceleration and gorgeous styling. We have clocked a few thousand miles and could not be any happier. The nav system is very nice as well.
1. The audio system. 2. The powerplant - quick and smooth. 3. The sport seats. 4. Fit and finish 5. Full privacy shades. 6. Did we mention the stereo and V8?
Lack of climate controls. Putting this feature in the iDrive system is actually a very bad idea. Cupholders. Leg room for backseat passengers.
I have the curent body style BMW 530i, purchased near the end of 2003, when they first came out in Toronto. The driving experience is incredible. Handling is excellent compared to every other car I have driven. I tested many before buying the 530, including Volvo R60, Porche Cayenne, Audi A4/S4/A6, Mercedes SL500, Jag XJ-S, and loads of rental sedans. It has a heavy, solid feel compared to most other cars. A muscle car like a Mustang feels like there is more under the hood but the BMW is much more refined and very sporty. I took the BMW driving course and have gained a greater appreciation for the computer controls that keep you on the road. This car needs winter tires for snow conditions.
Handling, steering wheel feel, turns/curves at speed, throttle steering with rear wheels drifting, manual downshifting with Steptronic console shifter, awesome premium sound system, great braking, acceleration in sport mode, heated steering wheel and seats, cavernous trunk with fold down seats.
Cu holders are awful - replaced twice under warranty. Front suspension too shallow, bottoms out too easily on speed bumps. Surprised at how easily it is blown sideways in strong a crosswind. Had the car into shop at least 6 times for electronic related problems eg false idiot lights, telematics unit.
I don't know what's going on with this cars. The noise inside my car is never ending. We brought it to the dealer several times to replace the seals on the four doors. Acceleration is very, very, extremely poor in the 525i. You can not pass a car in the city and mine is standard transm. My a/c always smells so bad that I always prefer driving with my windows down... for the price you pay? No way! This is a 40K car! I drive very poor.
Nice and fun car to drive, but not for real road driving apparently. Drove thru a puddle of water over a dip (deepest part 15 in), killed the whole engine by hydrolock (in a 2 years old car!) Air intake valve in this car is a lot lower than most of the cars (behind the front bumper). So it only looks good in the showroom and drives well in a closed course? Better wish it never rains in your area. We'll never buy a BMW again.
This car makes me feel good to drive. I love it! For about the first year, we had some software problems -- nothing that affected performance, but created a nuisance (e.g., couldn't sense CDs in CD changer, difficulty recognizing voice commands). BMW found the problem and upgraded software. Since then, it's problem free. Inside styling is chic, but it's a bit cramped. Little storage room.
Anything I wished for has already been added: all wheel drive; interface with iPod; enhanced performance.