Purchased from a private party with 25K on the odometer. Currently have about 99.4K miles on it. This has been far the most reliable car we've ever owned - Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Mazda. When you do basic maintenance yourself, ownership costs are somewhat comparable to many other brands. Just have to keep an eye out on the cooling system, heard that this was/is the weakest part of the E39's (so far no problems with mine). Average MPG during summer months: 24-27
Purchased our 2003 530i a little over a year ago. Got it for $5K and at 130K miles. I do most of my own repairs and I've never seen such awesome engineering on a car. It's a pleasure to work on if you are into car repair. Driving it is a real thrill that never gets old. We've taken it on several long trips and it just loves the open road. Seats are amazingly comfortable. Usually back seats are a weak point in most sedans but this BMW has very comfortable rear seats. Gas mileage on a combined city/highway commute is about 25 mpg. For a 24 valve 6 cylinder that is very good mileage. Hope to keep this beauty for the foreseeable future.
I just bought my 525i a couple of weeks ago. I have owned a couple in the past---328xi and an X5. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about buying a car with so many miles on it but I was really up against the wall. WIth 4 kids in college, my funds were limited. But I just loved the ride. I am 6'2" and 240lbs and an ex football player. Needless to say, I need my comfort. This car handles me just fine. I bought it and decided to take it on a road trip with my sweetheart. We went from MPLS, MN to Albuquerque, NM and back...then went to Lewistown MT!! No issues at all. Speed limits were 80 mph! This vehicle just loves the open road. Comfortable---even at the gas pumps. Considering my speed we still managed over 26.6 mpg overall for our 5k trip. Performance is totally acceptable, quiet cockpit, and the handling---oh my, the handling. There is simply nothing like a BMW on the road---it is happiest there! Now just after purchase I did get stuck with a crank ventilation valve issue. $1043.00 at the dealer. and the ABS system is on the bug. But I am pretty old school and never liked ABS anyway. Dealer said it wont hurt the car not to fix ($1700.00 plus $400 for reprograming) so I am running it as is. The one previous owner took good care of this vehicle. So as far as a recommendation goes for this car, I would have to say that I recommend it highly. CHeck it out thoroughly when you come across one with higher miles on the clock. Then take it to a BMW dealer and have it scoped--about $150.00. Trust me---get this done! Then you can be very comfortable with your purchase.
The 2003 530i is a classic, and in every sense a world-class vehicle. I can't seem to let mine go. I am the new leaser of a Ford Fusion Hybrid, and I am getting 43 to 44 MPG, and it rides smoothly, and it has all the modern synching and convenience features, including magnificent cup-holders (if you catch my drift), all for new price $29K with leather seats. Quite a good value, but I will never stop driving my 530i for fun, for that luxury feel and comfort, for that unbelievable handling and precision. As the last and most refined of the E39 series, it is just the best car, much more of a driver's car than even the 2004, and far more so than today's 5 series.
This car is amazing! Bought it in '05 with 7K on it and now I have 168K and still solid, well built and reliable! If you can DIY some things, you can save a grip of $$$ and still have one of best cars built, period! Heavy car and going through tires is going to be an issue but nothing beats this car on the open road! I drive from northern CA to southern CA twice a month 700+ miles and 30+MPG can compare with a lot of hybrids out there...but no hybrid is as fun to drive. It truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine!