The title says it all, truth is this is the overall very best car I've ever owned. After over 30K miles I still smile every time I drive the car. And because it's a touring model I can haul real things. The only complaint I actually have is stupid and dangerous cupholders. Oddly the only cup which works is "Mini" mug.
After five years of driving, the 540 with the sport package is the most fun car I have ever driven. The six speed manual is a necessity. That said, this is also the most delicate car I have ever driven. Lots of issues with sensors, water pump and radiator replacement etc. The radio is also less than stellar. Not even worth calling a stereo. I spend on average $1500-2000/year on maintenance and repairs. Part of this cost is getting the wheels repaired after hitting speed bumps too fast (sport package comes w/low profile tires and alloy wheels). I don't know if this is typical, but I'd suggest budgeting for higher than average repair costs. All that said, i'm still addicted to the drive.
the driving experience, auto dimming r/v mirror, interior
Most fun car to drive I've ever owned when it's running. In 9 months of ownership have spent over 2K on repairs. Best advice is to find a competent independent mechanic who specializes in Bimmers. Going to the dealership for repairs or routine maintenance is a very costly and time-consuming adventure. From a driver's perspective the car is awesome. Enough power off the line and especially when passing on the freeway over 60. The steering makes you feel like you're connected to the pavement. If you can afford the repairs and downtime, this is a fun car to drive.
Performance, handling, overall look of the vehicle
We bought this car used with 72000 miles on it. Before our first month was up we had to replace the $400 water pump. Other than that we have taken it on some long trips and couldn't be more pleased. This car drives as smoothly at 110 mph as it does at 65 mph. Bridgestone tires are working well for us. My fiancee is the main driver, and when I get to drive it it's usually with her and our son so I don't get to push it like I want to. It is a joy when I do get it out by myself. Acceleration is great for a 2.8 and it corners very well right now, and I will probably get sticker tires for next time. Very enjoyable car to drive.
Love the leather seats, the electric telescope and tilt. Easy to maintain if you have any car knowledge - light bulb replacement is a breeze, very well laid out, and the oil changes are $60 cheaper to do it yourself.
Well, the cupholders. CD player in the cabin, not the trunk. Easier to clean rims (like to collect brake dust, especially up front).
It took a while to find, but my persistence yielded me a used 540i with aftermarket intake and exhaust upgrades. Stock HP is already 282, and with the upgrades mine is around 310. The 5 series is one of the best combinations of sport and luxury you'll ever find. Don't hesitate to get one!