I've owned my 540i for about 6 years now. What a blast to drive - I actually prefer driving my 540i over my 911. The power is great, suspension very precise and brakes rock solid. The interior is awesome (great leather). This is my favorite 5 series body style. My 540i looks fast standing still. Gas mileage is about 18-19 combined. The problems cause me to selectively drive my 540i. The transmission is acting up again. I had the valve body rebuilt and everything was good. Then the transmission light came on and it goes in limp home mode. The radiator, fan, fan clutch, water pump have been replaced. Ditto for numerous seals and gaskets. Power steering fluid res. cracked.
I bought this car recently for $1400 with 184,00 miles on it. I was looking for something with decent gas mileage under $2k. I researched theses older BMW's. The engine reliability and overall quality were praised heavily. I have not been dissapointed! I look forward to driving it every day. I can see why BMW has earned a great reputation over the years. Styling is still appealing on the car and it has been extremely reliable with only normal wear items needing replacing. Fun to drive. My goal was to get a year max out of it. After 4 months, I am now thinking of seriously keeping it for as long as possible. It has been worth every penny and averages 27 mpg at 50/50 hwy vs city.
I bought this car used in 2000 with 107K for my wife. Things show up due to age, but the engine is bulletproof, transmission is silky. 2 years later I bought myself a '98 528i, then my cousin leased a brand new 2002 X5i. Then my sister-in-law got herself a '97 328is. Handling on all of the them unreal - I avoided an animal on a highway at 75MPH once, then I spun the 530 going at about 70MPH, trying to avoid an obstacle on the road without flipping the car on its roof. As I was told, anything other than a BMW (and some other high level brands) would have flipped in the air. Those two incidents made me a fan.
I have owned this one for 8 years. Brought it because it had already had the transmission rebuilt and new radiator at 281ks. I have since done a PCV valve, fuel pump, water pump, 1 x shock , a set of brake pads. and 2 x batteries. Done the work myself, found pretty good to work on. Has now clocked 375ks and has to be the best car Ive ever owned. Never had any door handles or window poblems, a very solid and reliable car. Motor runs sweet as with no lifter noises or rattles, and no oil leaks. Transmission faultless. Plus its a great car to drive, very comfortable and fun.
I bought this car four years ago and I have not had any major problems with it. The car was cared for very well. Maintenance is the most important part of owning this car. It is not a real car unless you have to take care of it. This is a car that I will have as long as possible. I would not trade it for anything (maybe an M5). This car has a timeless design and I still get compliments on what a good looking and beautiful car it is. I think the AC Schnitzer wheels really improved the appearance. I love the handling and the very very quick and secure response . The car will stop on a dime, has been very useful a couple of times. Living in CO the snow is not a problem with this car.