Thrilling to drive, superb ride quality, upscale interiors, wide range of trim levels, clean exterior styling.
Some confusing interior controls, demanding manual transmission, high-end models are pricey.
This is your last chance to get a traditionally styled 5 Series -- next year, its styling becomes more closely aligned with the controversial 7 Series. For now, BMW will offer a DVD-based navigation system for the existing 5 Series -- but alas, you must still give up an in-dash CD player if you opt for the nav system. Besides that, rear head protection airbags (optional last year) are now standard across the line. Additionally, all six-cylinder models get a standard moonroof. Standard on the manual-shift 540i (and optional with the automatic) is a new sport package that includes 18-inch wheels, a revised sport suspension, front and rear spoilers, visible exhaust outlets, black side molding, a black headliner, titanium-ringed gauges and an M footrest for the driver. Finally, the 525i gets a new alloy wheel design, and its premium package now includes rain-sensing wipers.
Upcoming redesign notwithstanding, the 5 Series is an excellent midsize luxury car, whether you choose the high-performance 540i or a comparatively basic 525i wagon. If you can afford one, we'd highly recommend it.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2003 BMW 5 Series.
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
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
5 out of 5 stars
164K and still a true road car!
525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M)
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.
5 out of 5 stars
168K and still going strong!
530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M)
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!
The Used 2003 BMW 5 Series is offered in the following submodels: 5 Series Sedan, 5 Series Wagon. Available styles include 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 5M), 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 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).
Pre-owned BMW 5 Series models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine or a 2.5 L-liter gas engine or a 4.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 2003 BMW 5 Series comes with rear wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic.
The Used 2003 BMW 5 Series comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2003 BMW 5 Series?
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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.