Used 1997 BMW 5 Series 540i Consumer Reviews - 24 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1997 BMW 5 Series

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24 Total Reviews

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Poor reliability offsets driving thrills
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Peter
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


Review

Fast, solid, highly capable car. I thoroughly enjoyed driving it. The 540i adds power but gives up the 528i's nimbleness. The great driving experience was more than offset by poor reliability though - particularly the electronics. I had to take the car in for unexpected repairs about twice a year.


Best Features

Power, handling and solidity.


Worst Features

Better electronics (security system, electric motors).


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Love this car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Wilfredo
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


Review

My 1997 540i is 163,000 miles-old and it still feels & drives like a brand- new-year-model. With a powerful V8 that's not designed to pull you back into your seat when taking a ride, but instead, gives you the smooth enjoyable feeling which makes you just want to keep driving. At first it all had to do with just experiencing what was to have a BMW, but once I had it, it all changed. I thought I had tried it all, I was very wrong. This is the Ultimate Driving Machine. Quality Interior design & components, powerfull awesome engine,... There are new cars coming out every year (Lexus, Infiniti, etc) and most of them don't even come with the gadgets that came in my BMW 540i 1997 model.


Best Features

ASC (Stability Control), curtains, windows retract (pinch point). I can leave my kids inside the car, windows slightly down, lock the car and they can't get out. +++


Worst Features

Most of what i've thought of, is already included in newer models.


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Great Investment
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By justducky150
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


Review

Great investment... if a used car could be such a thing. This 540i has been stellar in reliability and performance. I bought with 29,000 miles and it started service on the road in August 1996. 80,000 miles later and the car still is turning heads and has tremendous thrust. Parts that had to be purchased: water pump, windshield wiper motor, AC compressor (covered under warranty). Other than that, it has been almost flawless. I started driving it in brutal Western Pennsylvania winters 2 years ago, favoring its reknowned safety cage, and have never had a problem with sliding/skidding. The car is perfectly balanced. Above average cost of investment for excellent long term return.


Best Features

6 speed clutch manual, I don't believe in automatics. Rear wheel drive, car is pushed instead of pulled. Tight turning radius. 8 cylinders of spine tingling thrust.


Worst Features

Typical of BMW 540s in 1997 model year, dash display pixels failing.


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look out open road
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bigb
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


Review

Bought it recently and car was well cared for. What a car-like going on vacation every time behind the wheel- just pure pleasure. I know it will eventually cost me but who cares-you can't take it with you. If you have the desire-try one used and you will see what I mean.


Best Features

world class speed and handling


Worst Features

less complicated stereo and heating/ac


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Fun to drive!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By PAER
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW 5 Series 540i 4dr Sedan


Review

Initially, I wanted to purchase a 7
series, but discovered that I could get
the same V-8 in a 540. Plus! Why pay a
few extra thousand dollars to have leg
room for people to sit in the back who
are not paying your car note!

The 1997-2001 5 series look basically
the same, so I used the “worst house in
the best neighborhood” theory and
purchased a 1997 in mid-Jan 2004 with
only 52K miles on it.

At the 61K mark, the cooling system
died and I got that and all belts
replaced at an independent BMW shop.

I saved some pennies and went from
riding a bike to getting this BMW!

:-)


Best Features

1. V-8 2. Gas milage 3. Limited exterior design changes between 1997-2001.


Worst Features

Cup holders...of course! Master A/C control on steering wheel. More easily removable flashlight in glove compartment.


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