Used 1998 BMW 5 Series

1998 BMW 5 Series
List price range

Pros

  • Sport sedan in a luxury car package. This is a perfect way to spend that new raise.

Cons

  • Cheap plastic buttons for the power door lock switches are out of place in a car of this caliber.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

BMW redesigned their 5-Series line of sedans in 1996 and introduced them as a 1997 model. No significant changes have occurred for the 1998 model year, but side-impact airbags are now available for rear-seat passengers, as is break-resistant glass for the windows and moonroof.

BMWs are famous for the suppleness of their ride and the responsiveness of their steering; firmness without harshness is the phrase most often bandied about our offices when discussing these cars' uncanny ability to stay connected to the road while communicating almost telepathically with the driver. The 5-Series is no exception. Breakthrough, all-aluminum suspensions on six- and eight-cylinder models reduce the vehicles' unsprung weight by 46 pounds; better allowing these cars to respond to irregularities in the road. Variable-ratio, variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering, borrowed from the M3, finds its way into the 528i. The variable-ratio steering results in a ratio that increases exponentially as the wheel is moved towards the locks; thus allowing safe, effortless high-speed correction and easy low-speed maneuvering. The 540i makes do with recirculating ball variable-assist power steering, a similar to the setup found on the 7-Series sedans.

The biggest news for the 5-series, of course, is found under the hood. The entry-level 5-Series has an inline six-cylinder engine that provides excellent midrange torque. The 540i gets a more powerful 4.4-liter V8 that offers zero to 60 times in the low-sixes. The 528i comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and is also available with a sophisticated four-speed automatic. Equipped with BMW's Adaptive Transmission Control, the four-speed tracks the driver's driving style and road conditions; allowing the shift timing to adjust accordingly. The 540i models continue to be available with a five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission. Opt for the six-speed manual and prepare yourself for an invigorating ride; the suspension is firmed up noticeably on this lively model.

As one would expect in a top-end, luxury-sport sedan, equipment levels are first-rate. Safety equipment includes four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, nine-mph bumpers, dual airbags, side-impact airbags, optional rear passenger side-impact airbags, three-point seatbelts at all seating positions, impact sensors that unlock the doors and activate the hazard lights in the event of a serious accident, remote keyless entry, two-step unlocking, coded driveaway protection and a vehicle security system. To list all of the 5-Series' luxury features would take more space than we have; a few of the more noticeable ones are automatic climate controls, power moonroof (540i) or sunroof (528i), 200-watt stereo, 10-way power front seats with power headrests, heated outside mirrors, heated steering wheel and a right-hand outside mirror that tilts down when the car is in reverse to help drivers see curbs when parallel parking.

Yes indeed, the new 5-Series is a wonderful car. Given all of the inquiries we receive about it, you apparently think so too. If you can afford to buy one, we recommend that you do. Sure there are other great cars out there in this price range; we just think that this one's the best. Good luck, safe driving, have fun; we're sure you'll love it.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 BMW 5 Series.

The Ultimate Driving Machine
artprophet, 11/27/2013
There's a beautiful spirit about this car. Every time I get into the vehicle I find a great peace with the world. This is truly the best car I have ever owned. This beauty of mine is my first BMW. I'm now middle aged and have had plenty of cars and driving experiences but nothing compares to this machine. Perfect handling on the curves and it gives you power when you need it. I find myself driving on the back roads and the highways with comfort and ease. I feel no stress at all. If I feel like cruising at 40 mph or putting it to the test at 95 mph it's all good. I will always have this car of mine. It's a classic now and forever.
Who'd consider this an economy car - ME!
me, 8/17/2009
Best trip mileage ever 39.49, with return mileage on same trip 38.86 - I PROMISE THIS IS THE TRUTH!! Worst gas mileage ever - 23.0 ONE time, first year of ownership ONLY. Past winter avg commute/errand mileage 27. Current summer avg commute/errand mileage 29.5! I consider myself an "extra- miler", NOT a "hyper-miler". With that standard vacuum (gas mileage) gauge and using the trip computer, I have steadily improved my gas mileage even as my odometer reads over 150,000! Drives so elegantly when taking it easy, but accelerates and tracks so securely whenever desired. Drives like brand new, not like an 11+ year old car, because I ALWAYS drive her with respect!
I LOVE this car! but...
c1, 7/18/2004
I bought this car used in great condition w/63,500 on OD. Looked like a new car in and out. Very good deal-got it for less than my previous VW GTI new. This car has a GREAT engine! Be prepared for high dealer repair cost... I put in three saturdays of work in the car and saved over $2000 in labor. I knew what to look out for- the stock shocks are almost always blown by 50,000, but I would have switched to Bilstiens anyways. Put in a new water pump and thermostat , changed all the fluids and spark plugs. Did a once over on the car-Not bad for a used car that should be bullet proof for a while now.
An excellent veichle
alex lopez, 7/20/2009
I have a 1998 BMW 528i . A reliable and safe car. I've only had it for a year and the only thing that went bad on me were the brakes, but overall it's an excellent vehicle and I strongly recommend one as a first car. The parts are expensive but I think it's worth it. The fuel is not so bad on it unless you floor it all the time, otherwise it's fuel economy.
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Features & Specs

MPG
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
190 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
16 city / 22 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
282 hp @ 5400 rpm
See all Used 1998 BMW 5 Series features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 1998 BMW 5 Series
Used 1998 BMW 5 Series Overview

The Used 1998 BMW 5 Series is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include 528i 4dr Sedan, and 540i 4dr Sedan.

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