The E39 version (1997-2003) of the 5-series is one of the best sedans BMW has ever made. A very solidly built car with a huge following on the internet. All problems and fixes can be found online with detailed descriptions by enthusiastic owners.
I bought my BMW 540i back in 94, with 100k miles on it. Now 100k miles later, this car is running as a charm. What a nice car to ride. It looks great, and when you need power this car has a lot to give. The only way to replace it, it is finding another one just like it. Highly recommended.
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.
Drive quality, acceleration, comfortable seats, the orange glow of the interior lights at night looks just as good today even at 16 years old, unbelievable paint luster, mint condition.
None... It's a classic car and changing nothing will make it more valuable as the years go by.
I registered just to post how much I loved this car. I recently sold it to get something newer, but in over 6 years/50k of ownership, this is BY FAR, THE BEST, MOST RELIABLE CAR I'VE EVER OWNED. And I bought this car in 2005 w/over 100k on it. Aside from that, it's an absolute blast to drive, look at. MPG is amazing for a car this size, 25 mixed. Build quality is superb. Doors shut solid. Engine is solid, drivetrain. I had some minor repairs like a window regulator, fan blower, but was never stranded. Mine was the sport, so it had the lowered suspension and the 17" BBS style wheels. Amazing car. The 5 speed/sport pkg is a must. Anyone thinking of buying this, do it. You will love this car!!
Sporty suspension, MPG, great acceleration, build quality, feel.
Some cheaper interior plastics, cupholders not very good.
Bought my 1998 528i used in 2002 and have put on 72k miles. Car is at 115k and still runs like new. Replaced struts, brakes, new Michelin tires and other minor stuff to be expected but overall, an easy car to maintain. I stopped giving BMW all my money and now have a private mechanic do the work for me. Those inspections are ridiculous and unnecessary. Great mileage on hwy (30+) and looks great in white/tan. Couple of small problems, the seat molding cracked early on, the cup holders have been replaced twice, and the radio readout is starting to loose some of it's display. But the radio (I have the upgraded DP) is my favorite part. A lot of fun to drive and i will keep her as long as I can.
Drive quality, CD changer and quality of the radio, comfortable seats, looks good today even at 12 years old, unbelievable paint luster, and it's a BMW.
Most are picky so I can't really slam BMW too much. This is a fantastic car.