2002 BMW 5 Series Review


Pros & Cons

  • Thrilling to drive, luxurious ride quality, clean exterior styling.
  • Confusing interior markings, demanding manual transmission, high-end models are pricey.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

Every vehicle in the 5 Series lineup is a wonderful car. 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 this is one of the best.

Vehicle overview

The 5 Series follows BMW's fine tradition of embodying a "true driver's car" and is offered in four flavors for 2002: the base 525i, the mid-level 530i, the top-level 540i and the high-performance M5. In addition to the sedan body style, a wagon is also available in 525i and 540i versions.

A 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower moves the 525i models. This base model comes with a standard five-speed manual transmission, or it can be optioned with a five-speed Steptronic automanual transmission. Step up to the 530i, and you get a 3.0-liter inline six that makes a healthy 225 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 214 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm.

Under the hood of the 540i sedan and wagon sits a 4.4-liter 32-valve V8 that manages 0-to-60 times in the low 6s. With 290 horsepower at their command, these Bavarian barnstormers are a blast on the open road. The powerplant comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed Steptronic automanual (the 540i Sport Wagon comes only with the auto) for those who find the BMW stick-shifts a bit too demanding in stop-and-go traffic. The suspension is pleasantly firm on this lively model, making even the most docile of drivers feel like Michael Schumacher.

As one would expect in a top-end luxury/sport vehicle, equipment levels are first-rate. Standard fare includes a 10-speaker premium sound system, car and key programmable memory, dual-zone air conditioning, eight-way power adjustments with memory settings and cruise control with steering wheel controls. All-Season Traction Control (AST), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Brake Control are standard on all 5 Series cars.

Standard safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, door-mounted front side airbags and head-protection airbags for front passengers. The optional Rear Side-Airbag package also includes head-protection 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 drive-away protection and a vehicle security system are also standard. To list all of the 5 Series' luxury options would take more space than we have. A few of the more noticeable ones include a Cold Weather package with heated front seats, Park Distance Control, a navigation system and 17-inch wheels with performance tires.

The 5 Series continues to be one of our favorite luxury cars currently offered. No matter what you are looking for, something in this lineup will likely suit you.

2002 Highlights

This year a standard CD player, climate control and power seats. The 4.4-liter V8 of the 540 now makes 290 horsepower, up 8 from last year. Rear side-impact airbags are now a no-charge option, rather than standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 BMW 5 Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Trade it before it goes out of warranty
Samuel Reese,04/17/2015
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I own a 2002 530i purchased in 2005 with 34k miles. After 100k interior cooling fan burned out and short circuited my electronics $1500. Rear door gaskets went bad $500. Transmission failed $4500 used. Had to replace the guibo. Passenger window regulator replaced then drivers window regulator failed. Within 2 yrs drivers side failed again.Inner and outer tie rods have been replaced 3 times. Both seat motors no longer work. Windshield wiper motor burned out twice. Fan clutch failed. Of course the cup holders broke before 100k and radio display you can't read.Even doing the majority of the work myself the car is a money pit. Now I have 213k and want to sell it. No characters left to list all. Finally got rid of that headache. Thank God!
The Ultimate Driving Machine - not just a slogan!
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I own a 2002 BMW 530i. My car has all of the packages (sports, cold weather, premium) that were available at time of purchase. OMG! What a fun car to drive! This car is the best compromise between sport/luxury, power/economy, and it is oozing with class. Due to exceptional handling, my confidence on the road under any driving conditions is extremely high. Other than a six-figure sports car, my 530i can handle any driving maneuver better than other vehicles due to the Sport Package suspension system. The cab is quiet. The car is heavy as a tank yet rides like a gazelle. I feel very safe in my vehicle. Owners have made the mistake of filling the coolant system expansion tank to the top. You are suppose to only fill it until the float is level with the the top. This leaves about 1/3 air inside the expansion tank. As the coolant heats up and "expands", it overflows into the expansion tank. When it cools down and contracts, it brings the level back down. By overfilling the expansion tank, excessive coolant pressure builds as it expands. This eventually caused the expansion tank and/or the radiator to rupture (via a hairline crack). Then the very people who have overfilled the tank go into BMW forums and complain about the coolant system being cheap rather than realize that overfilling it caused the problem. The same is true of the transmission fluid. BMW basically lied and claimed their transmission fluid lasts forever and does not need to be changed. This sometimes results in a torque converter going bad somewhere between 100,000 ~ 200,000 miles. If you ignore BMW and change the ATF every 30,000 ~ 60,000 miles, this too would not be an issue. BMW handles so great because they figured out decades ago, if you achieve even weight distribution be tween the front and rear axle, the center of gravity will be as perfect as it can be, which makes the car hug the road much better under any condition. To achieve a 50/50% f/r weight distribution, BMW used light-weight parts under the hood, and even placed the battery in the trunk on the passenger side (opposite corner from the driver). Due to the slightly larger 530i engine (compared to the 528), my car weigh distribution is 51/49% f/r. She handles superbly. Although I would likely never buy a BMW off of the showroom floor (aka brand new), I really enjoy owning one. You can wear blue-jeans or a three piece suit and still look right for the car. She never fails to turn heads. She never fails to paint a big smile on my face on the road. There are some cars out there that are faster. However, there are few cars out there that can out perform her in all weather conditions. The body style of these cars in the early 2000s is timeless. I purchased a Dynavin E39 NAV Unit for her, which looks better and has more features than the head units that come stock in the 2016 models of most cars today. It's touch screen and feature rich. Great car for her time AND for today!!!
Wondering which way to go???
Mark Shaw,08/31/2009
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I've owned my BMW for 4 years now - grey with sport pkg. Love the drive as I used to own a 1988 535i. After the mechanic called me today with a radiator/fan bearing replacement bill, I almost went out to trade it in. I have had a series of small issues with the car: dash pixels, xenon light failure, oil leaks, rubber dipstick boot oil leak, and more...I have 102K miles on the car but wondering if I should cut my losses and move on to newer...positive is that it has ALWAYS started like a charm...maybe I've replaced most of the parts that can wear over time...
Fantastic Car
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
I've owned this car for about 3 years and it still impresses me by its performance, handling, and comfort. The engine has ample power throughout the entire rev range. You could be cruising in 5th gear at 1500 RPM and it will still pull when you put your foot down. The car also rides very well. The ride is stiff yet comfrotable. You definately feel the road well and feel every bump, but it's never uncomfrotable. The steering is also nice as well. It really makes you feel connected to the road, which is something some modern cars lack. For being a mid-sized sedan, this car really handles well. You can definately take corners with a lot of confidence in this car.

More about the 2002 BMW 5 Series

Used 2002 BMW 5 Series Overview

The Used 2002 BMW 5 Series is offered in the following submodels: 5 Series Sedan, 5 Series Wagon. Available styles include 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 5A), 525i 4dr Sport Wagon (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 540i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M), and 540i 4dr Sport Wagon (4.4L 8cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2002 BMW 5 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2002 BMW 5 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 BMW 5 Series 530i is priced between $8,994 and$8,994 with odometer readings between 65606 and65606 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 BMW 5 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 BMW 5 Series for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2002 5 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,994 and mileage as low as 65606 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 BMW 5 Series.

Can't find a used 2002 BMW 5 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 5 Series for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $13,435.

Find a used BMW for sale - 5 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,387.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 5 Series for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,242.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $13,856.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 BMW 5 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 5 Series lease specials