Used 2004 BMW 5 Series

2004 BMW 5 Series
List price
2004 BMW 5 Series


  • Available V8 power, handles more like a sports car than a sedan, luxurious yet sporty cabin.


  • New styling may not appeal to 5 Series' loyalists, iDrive system can still be more hassle than it's worth.

Used 2004 BMW 5 Series for Sale

BMW 5 Series 2004 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
110,381 miles
Used 2004
BMW 5 Series
Est.Loan: $123/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
$165 Below Market
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Edmunds' Expert Review

A controversial new look and continued use of the confounding iDrive system are the only blemishes on this otherwise outstanding luxury sport sedan.

vehicle overview

With stiff competition from Mercedes' E Class and Audi's A6, BMW is readying a fully redesigned version of its midsize 5 Series sedans and wagons. Styling is likely to be similar to many of themes introduced on the 2002 7 Series.

Both six- and eight-cylinder engines will be offered, with the possibility of a V10 for the top-of-the-line M5 model. The controversial iDrive control system introduced on the '02 7 Series will also make its way into the midsize 5, although it will likely be reprogrammed for easier operation.

2004 Highlights

The 5 Series has been completely redesigned for 2004. Along with a new V8 and the iDrive vehicle management system, buyers can expect even greater handling from this premier midsize sedan than before.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2004 BMW 5 Series.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Love / Hate
I love and hate this car. the signalers still drive me nuts, there is no temperature gauge, cabin storage, can't set the radio because of the stupid I-Drive, cup holders from Hell, can't see the speedometer through the steering wheel, Setting the climate control is almost impossible (I-Drive again), Nothing about the controls is intuitive (I previously drove an Infiniti, which practically drove itself). That said, I have never driven a car that handles anywhere as well as this BMW 530i. Just give me an open road, a Valentine 1 radar detector and I am a very happy boy. I have owned this car for over 4 years and have no plans to trade or sell it. I hope to put another 100,000 miles on it!
It's a trap!
Collin B,03/02/2016
I owned a 2004 530i that I purchased in 2013 for a year and six months and 20,000 miles. In those 20,000 miles the vehicle needed more than $5,000 in maintenance and repair items, and this was a clean 1 owner example that had been meticulously maintained. It needed 4 new brake pads and rotors for $2200, 4 new tires for $1200, all new PCV hoses for $850, Spark Plugs for $300, transmission fluid and filter exchange for $900, water pump and coolant for $75 (DIY), $200 for a sunroof leak and the subwoofer it took out (DIY), and $300 in oil and filter changes. I cringe when I think about how much I spent on this car, only to have it totaled in a flood. However, it was the most solid driving, comfortable and beautiful car I have ever owned. All of the features it had worked from the heated steering wheel, to the complex iDrive system, even after 11 years and 120,000 miles. The engine still purred like a kitten, could bounce off the rev limiter, and the car would still hit 155mph and pull 0.90g in the bends just like when it was new. It never broke down, nor had any problems. All of the items listed above are either wear items, or were replaced preventatively. I can't imagine owning another BMW of this age, as the rubbers and plastics used simply don't hold up over time, however I'd definitely consider owning another newer one. This car is not for the faint of heart, and if you just need a cheap luxury car to drive everyday, I'd go for a Lexus. On the other hand, if you like to work on cars yourself, or want a fun daily driver and are willing to pay for it, the BMW is the best you'll find.
Buy the manual
Felt compelled to add my review since it is positive and most people complain. This is my 4th BMW (3rd 5 series). All have been manual. This is another great sedan. Has been very reliable. 3 years and 25k miles. Have only had to replace a coolant sensor (cheap/easy fix). The car gets amazing HWY MPG (34ish) City 20ish. Accelerates and handles amazing. RWD, and have been caught in a few CO snow storms, and got me home. It's also a very safe car. About the only cons, is the I-drive has scared me a few times where it did not turn on, then all of a sudden turned on. But as far as mechanically, another excellent BMW sedan. 4-15-16: Still own this car. Still love this car. Still recommend the manual.
I hate that I love this car so much!
Jeff Allen,04/28/2015
I purchased my 2004 BMW 525 used with 28K miles in 2010 to be used as my commuter car. I can not stand the iDrive that BMW uses in this model year. The cup holders are officially the 10th level of hell. Tires and brakes are three times as expensive as a "normal" sedan. Repairs, though few and far between so far, are costly. Every few months I will shop around hoping to replace it, refusing to look at another BMW. Every couple of months I go test drive another round of models and makes that I cant bring myself to buy. I love my BMW! Nothing handles like it. Nothing performs like it! Nothing captivates the true essence of the drive like a BMW! Until i can find something better...
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Features & Specs

18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
225 hp @ 5900 rpm
17 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
184 hp @ 6000 rpm
16 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
325 hp @ 6100 rpm
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
325 hp @ 6100 rpm
See all Used 2004 BMW 5 Series features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2004 BMW 5 Series
More About This Model

One of the most challenging tasks faced by any manufacturer occurs when it's time to redesign a model that is already considered a segment benchmark. This isn't usually a problem because by the time most cars are due for a redesign (about every five to seven years) they have likely been surpassed by at least one or more competitive models.

But in the case of BMW's 5 Series, which was last remade in 1997, the car remains the model by which all other luxury sport sedans are measured. Its sales figures continue to climb, and nearly every major automotive publication, including our own Most Wanted Awards, has repeatedly identified it as the car to buy in this segment.

But successful car companies know the folly of waiting until a vehicle is dying on the vine before injecting new life into it (not that it doesn't still happen). World-class automakers know there's always room for improvement, and they'll work to refine even the most highly regarded cars, regardless of their current position in the marketplace.

While the 2004 BMW 5 Series is considered a complete redesign, the changes to its basic character seem more like subtle refinement. It was already a comfortable, capable and highly dynamic machine. The latest version is still all of these things, just a bit more so. You could say it's still basically the same vehicle, but now "it goes up to 11."

In terms of overall philosophy, the largest shift from the previous model comes in the form of technology. Several items are pulled directly from the recently redesigned 7 Series, including iDrive, Active Roll Stabilization (ARS), Active Cruise Control (ACC), Park Distance Control (PDC) and a Harmon Kardon Logic7 sound system — though only iDrive is standard on all 5 Series models. If you've driven (or even read about) the current 7 Series, you are already familiar with these features. It's worth mentioning that the 2004 5 Series uses what BMW calls an "updated" version of iDrive that is supposed to incorporate simplified menus for greater ease of use. Other than the larger and more colorful display (available when you order the optional navigation system or premium climate control system), we could hardly tell any difference between the 5 Series and the 7 Series iDrive units. And it still took three BMW engineers nearly 10 minutes to switch our test car's system from German to English when we asked them to help us perform this function.

But don't think of the 2004 5 Series as just a smaller version of the current 7 Series. While much of the 7's technology has migrated down to the new 5, several advanced technologies make their debut this year on BMW's premier sport sedan. The most exciting of these is dubbed Active Front Steering (AFS) because it is capable of varying the steering ratio between 10 to 1 and 20 to 1, depending on vehicle speed. BMW says it is similar in philosophy to the "steer-by-wire" systems used on aircraft, except the BMW version still uses a mechanical link between the steering wheel and front wheels (if the system malfunctions for some reason, the car will default to a 15-to-1 ratio and it can still be driven). The final effect is that, regardless of speed, the driver is often using the same relatively small level of steering wheel input to negotiate a turn. This lack of consistency in steering ratio might sound disconcerting, and we admit that at least once, after slowing down from highway speeds, we went to turn into a hotel entrance and initially used far too much steering wheel input. However, the learning curve with this system was almost instant, and it undoubtedly proved helpful when we were charging through tight switchbacks along the Southern coast of Sardinia.

AFS will be optional on all 2004 5 Series trim levels except the 545i with manual transmission, on which it comes standard. It is part of the Sport Package on the 525i, 530i and 545i with automatic, and it works in concert with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to maintain stability by measuring the car's yaw rate and steering angle. The BMW folks told us the system will even "kick back" against steering input if it senses inputs that will result in a spin, though we never felt such intervention.

In fact, we found it difficult to get any sort of unwanted response from the new 5 Series during our brief but intensive seat time. The car's all-new platform feels extremely balanced, and BMW confirmed that the company achieved a 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles by utilizing all-aluminum front suspension and chassis components. Basically, almost everything under the skin and ahead of the firewall is aluminum in a move BMW calls "intelligent lightweight construction." It is the first aluminum-steel chassis combination created by the company, and it uses high-tech bonding agents to ensure that the disparate metal types don't come apart. BMW told us it shaved 81 pounds off the front end, which is significant when you remember that weight at the end of a vehicle has a greater effect on handling dynamics because it is further from the car's center of gravity. We were also assured that no specialized repair facilities will be necessary due to this design.

Additional features to debut on the 2004 5 Series include optional adaptive headlights and adaptive brake lights. Adaptive headlights are bi-xenon units that can rotate to illuminate the road ahead in a turn (they are also networked with AFS and DSC). Adaptive brake lights will brighten the taillights to brake light levels when the driver applies extra pressure on the brake pedal, giving additional warning to following vehicles that hard braking is taking place. Optional run-flat tires — and a tire-pressure monitoring system — as well as a heads-up display (HUD), also make an appearance on the 2004 5 Series. The HUD is unique in that it can display in multiple colors and it has a sensor to constantly vary its intensity based on ambient light (meaning it won't blaze too brightly while you go through a tunnel or fade when the sun comes out from behind the clouds). The driver can customize what information appears in the HUD, including navigation instructions (if the vehicle is equipped with the optional DVD-based nav system). And speaking of DVDs, there's even an optional fold-down DVD player for rear-seat passengers.

If all the high-tech stuff has you scratching your head (or worse, thinking the 5 Series has become nothing more than a glorified, passionless computer chip), don't forget about the more basic upgrades. For instance, while the 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter inline six engines are essentially unchanged from the previous version, both models can now be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (similar to what's been available on the M3 for the past year). A six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is also available this year and it features both a Sport and manual shift mode for drivers who want to be aggressive without clutch concerns. Finally, let's not forget the 4.5-liter V8 (lifted directly from the 7 Series) that comes in the new 545i. This engine features all the advanced systems (Valvetronic throttle control, steplessly variable intake, etc.) as it does in the 7. Another exciting new feature is the 18-inch cast alloy wheel-and-tire package that can be included with Sport Package-equipped cars.

While we would like to say we experienced the new 5 Series in all its many forms, the truth is that only 530i models, with either the six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, were available during the press introduction. While limited in scope, we had enough seat time inside the 530i to confirm a few items. First, as previously mentioned, it's an extremely balanced machine. Aggressive driving maneuvers did little to affect its overall poise, and even on models equipped with the AFS system BMW's trademark steering feel has not been lost. The car is also refined and quiet at highway speeds, more so than what we recalled of the current 5 Series. We were also surprised by the ride quality on cars equipped with the optional run-flat tires. While these tires often trade "anti-flat tire" security for harsh reactions over bumps, the new 5 Series' suspension seemed capable of balancing both notions in a single vehicle.

Inside the 2004 5 Series, we noticed several 7 Series design cues (iDrive being the most obvious), but we were grateful to see that, even on automatic vehicles, the shifter still resides in the center console rather than on a truncated lever hiding behind the steering wheel. As in the 7 Series, basic audio and climate control functions can be accomplished without going through iDrive, and all controls (along with all interior surface materials) had a quality look and feel. We were particularly taken with the "Dark Poplar" wood interior trim (it's part of the Premium Package) that managed to look both upscale and sporty at the same time. Rear-seat room has benefited from the slightly larger size of the new 5 Series, and seat comfort (both front and rear) is exceptional.

With so many upgrades and additions to the 5 Series in 2004, it's clear that BMW wanted to maintain the car's position within the luxury sport sedan class. And although we don't feel that technology can address everything when it comes to creating ultimate driving machines, BMW has married the two concepts successfully in the new 5 Series.

Used 2004 BMW 5 Series Overview

The Used 2004 BMW 5 Series is offered in the following submodels: 5 Series Sedan. Available styles include 530i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M), 525i 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 6M), 545i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6A), and 545i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2004 BMW 5 Series?

Save up to $165 on one of 1 Used 2004 BMW 5 Series for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $5,999 as of11/13/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from5 to 5 out of 5 stars.

Price comparisons for Used 2004 BMW 5 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2004 BMW 5 Series 530i is priced between $5,999 and$5,999 with odometer readings between 110381 and110381 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 2004 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) 2004 BMW 5 Series for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2004 5 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,999 and mileage as low as 110381 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2004 BMW 5 Series. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $165 on a used or CPO 2004 5 Series available from a dealership near you.

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Find a used BMW 5 Series for sale - 5 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $25,359.

Find a used BMW for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $8,878.

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Should I lease or buy a 2004 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