This was my 3rd BMW. I am truly in love with this car, I have taken excellent care of it. Maintenance wise, I have done everything I am supposed to do and more. It only has 75,000 miles on it. I purchased it in 2009 and repairs have been minimal until now. The computer has been in and out (works most of the time) have been to 2 different dealerships and they don't have a clue what's wrong with it. I can live with that, however, my emission system has caused the "check engine" light to be on because of "increased emissions" and was told by the dealer that the cost of repairing this would be more than the car is worth. What the heck! I live in Cobb County and am forced to get an emission sticker each year when I renew my tag. What am I supposed to do now???? I am basically driving a car that is "totaled" because of the repair. What is BMW thinking when they put such a system on a car?. Would like to hear from anyone else about this to see if this is a defect on this car and if there is anything that can be done by BMW to remedy this.
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.
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...
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.
This is the first of many BMW's that I will own! This car's interior is amazing for a 2004! Heated everything, power everything! The iDrive wasn't too hard to figure out after a few weeks of owning. It doesn't save my presets to my radio, but that's fine I use my phone. There is no performance to this car, it is VERY slow, but the luxury makes up for it.