there is a Simple "Reason" it is Called the Ultimate Driving Machine ....It "IS". the Build Quality is Wonderful, the Engine is a "Perfect" Balance of Economy/Performance Very Bullet Proof, and NO! you do not need 400 horse power. i can't find one Problem with its Design and Build ,my 2000 538-I sedan came with a Great Professional Business Sound System as Good as any Recording studio I've worked in,and that is What I do for a Living over 35 Years now. yes the Owners before me took "Great" care of it, it looks and Drive like a NEW car..NO leaks at all I mean NONE, not a drop. rare for any car, guess I'm lucky. it now has 180,000 miles .I did fix the two front windows with a Indie Shop in Laguna Beach for only $150 each window, it has Luxe 20" wheels on it and it Looks and Performs as a Euro-Racer. I just Cleared the inside rear Wheel wells a bit so there was no rubbing of the 275 Tires. I do light work on it myself, but there are only two shop I'd let touch it. it has a Performance Air filter on it but no other modifications at all. I'm just Driving and Enjoying it as long as I can. I'd not Trade or sell it for any Reason, Again. I got Lucky,.. if you take care of your car ! it will Serve you and keep your Family Safe, ..what price do you put on that ? I think cars "Know" when you love and care for them. in the future science will figure it out and give it a name.
It's a family car that's turned over to me. I have mixed emotions. Happy because it's a gift. Nervous because it's turning to be a money pit. I have a long list of things to fix: driveshaft replacement, oil pan gasket replacement, transmission service and selector shaft seal replacement, upper control arm bushings replacement, brake rotors, pads, water pump, thermostat and hoses replacement for preventive maintenance. Update: It's now on its 151K miles and didn't replace water pump, thermostat, and cooling system hoses. I didn't replace the driveshaft and oil pan gasket. I only lose 200 ml of engine oil every 5K miles. I can live with the driveshaft "ting" noise only at take of anyway. Update @ 157800 miles - Car is strong. Engine oil leak is not bad and I replace the oil at least twice a year. Cooling system is ok without replacing any parts since 145K miles. This BMW E39 is really comfortable and reliable.
I have owned my 2000 528i for seven years and love it! Bought it with 43,000 miles on it and have driven it to 132K mostly commuting. Have had a few repairs ( radiator, nav system) but as I use an indie shop the repairs are not as expensive. BMW even agreed to help me replace a bad nav unit and now that works great, and I saved about $3,000 dollars installing a used part. As a road car it is really superb. Great ride and feels like a tank. Decent mpg overall ( 24).. Best of all mine is CLEAN. Looks new really and people comment as it is increasingly older. I took a risk buying a ten year old car, but it's worked out great for me and I really respect the brand. As an update, in fall of 2015 the ABS module failed, but the car is still drivable, just not with ABS if needed. The replacement cost is 1600 dollars-so the future ability to keep this car hinges on the number of such repairs that are needed. Update 3/2018-no further mechanical problems. car has 132K now and still drives excellently as a commuter car. I got offered 500 dollars for it on a trade, and said thanks I'll just keep driving it. So it's a reliable, if very old, second vehicle.
I'm a 60 year-old high performance car guy. I've had Hot Rods, sports cars, Mercedes (500SL), BMWs & Porsches (including a wicked 914 w/a 400 HP 350 Chevy V8), you get the picture. Our 2000 528i is the most reliable & fun to drive sedan I've ever owned. I'm 6'4" & 220 lbs & this is so much more comfortable than any of our past Mercedes or BMWs. Excellent handling; quick & nimble; great gas mileage; ideal for long trips. Never get tired of driving it. Huge trunk & way more practical than a cumbersome 7 series. My wife, kids & grandkids are tall & there's plenty of room in back for 3 passengers. This is a fantastic car. In a 100K miles I've only replaced tires, brakes & an alternator!
Extension "wings" on the sun-visors. I'm over six feet tall and have the seat all the way back... and the sun- visor does not help when you're as tall as I am. An aftermarket "extension" from Pep Boys solved this minor problem.