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.
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.
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!!!
I have thoroughly enjoyed this car. I have owned VWs, MB, American made cars, etc. This car has been the most fun on a daily basis. Even with the mileage topping 100k, it is still fun to drive. In shopping for a new vehicle, it is hard to find something that compares to the over-all driving experience. The only complaint is that at 100k, all sorts of gremlins have come out to play. Major and expensive repairs have been necessary. This is NOT a maintanence free vehicle, especially at higher miles.
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...