Great car, but the problems with the fuel system are ridiculous. 4th time it has been in, reprogrammed software, new software, new fuel pump. This is a serious safety issue as the car will not get fuel and will stop or lose acceleration. BMW needs to take this seriously.
Realistic review for people who want to buy a used 535i
written on 12-17-2013
I bought my 2009 535i with sport/cold/light packages with 49k miles. First make sure you find the service records on the car so you know what you will be facing. THIS CAR IS NOT A MAINTENANCE FREE CAR LIKE TOYOTA! With that being said, there is a lot of 'common' issues with this car. Gasket leaks, the HPFP (high pressure fuel pump) and one of the taillights have recalls so make sure you have the new HPFP. Water pump also goes to shit after about 50k miles i read so that is something i'm looking forward to. This is not a smooth car like Mercedes, you will feel the road. Other than that, the car can take serious curves, and the twin turbos make the car go!
My 535i came with the sport package, which does improve handling--especially the active roll bar in the rear. This car rides almost like an Avalon in a straight line, but has almost ZERO body roll on a turn. Really amazing handling. The turbo engine is very impressive as well.
HOWEVER, you cannot change your battery on your own. The dealer MUST do it.
Seriously--I'm a DIY car guy. Also, I just had two injectors replaced at 20K MILES. BMW forum people act like the injectors are SUPPOSED to go out because they're just such "high performance", but I've had 3 Lexuses with direct inject and had ZERO problems.
On top of reliability being spotty, the dealer treated me like a pariah.
This is our 3rd 5 series starting in 2003, 2006 and 2009. Each model has gotten better, especially with horsepower. The 2003 could barely get out of its own way. Over the years they have increased horsepower by 50. The car drives great, handles well and is good on gas. Sound, navigation systems are great and seat comfort is also fine. It still could use an upgrade on horsepower over 230.