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2003 BMW 5 Series

Overview
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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Vehicle Highlights

Information shown for entry-level Sedan.

Fuel Economy:
City 18/Hwy 26/Comb 21 MPG
Max Seating: 5
Engine: 6-Cyl, 2.5 Liter Transmission: Automatic
Country of Origin: Germany Country of Assembly: Germany

2003 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 650 Ratings for the 1997 - 2003 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

One of the best BMW s ever made

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Joyful drive, strong, reliable"

Cons: "RWD is hard on the snow, expensive repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Other than expensive repairs and maintenance , this car is a genuine BMW quality that is hard to match, car is firm, powerful, safe and reliable. Just be prepared to what you pay for keeping such good performance. E39 was a very nice transition between old and new BMW looks and dynamics. Today's models are arguably build for commercial and mass production than a piece of art car to be remembered"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

The favorite car. Great handling, motor, interior

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "sporty, useful, practical classy"

Cons: "Poor cupholders, cooling system overhaul at 100K."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had two of these now, both I6 motor, one a wagon (touring) and the other a sedan (saloon). The motor is strong, torquey and smooth. It's a excellent handling car in normal trim, but the sport suspension is a total joy to drive. It's a well appointed car in stock mode, but with options it's downright luxurious."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Overrated

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Ran out of money for repairs

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Best looking BMW ever!"

Cons: "Couldn't sell enough blood to keep it running"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"One of the nicest looking cars I have ever owned, unfortunately looking at it is all I could afford! I knew that I was in trouble when my repair shop send me Christmas cards! Its over engineered and unreliable, every repair requires a loan. Rich cars are for rich people."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Its the single most versatile car I've ever owned

By on Monday, May 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 166,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "See Review"

Cons: "Sun Visor doesn't work on side window"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The BMW 540I Sport Touring is not your mother's station wagon! It is fitted with the Sport package, which includes an aero body kit, blackout trim, sport suspension settings and 17" staggered wheels. It looks a lot like an e39 M5 wagon would look, if such a thing existed. It is the single most versatile car I have ever owned. It goes like stink, cossets like a 750iL, hauls everything from five skiers with luggage to estate sale furniture all the while getting about 20 miles per gallon. At idle the engine is near silent, but a gentle push on the throttle produces a low moan and a brisk getaway. A harder push on the pedal shoves you back into the seat while the engine makes a slightly angry V8 roar. It sounds a lot like a Corvette from about a block away. Unlike most luxury cars, this one always lets you know what the engine is doing, yet the sound is so rich it is never irritating. The transmission is a 5 speed adaptive Steptronic, an automatic with a manual shift option. Shifts are smooth but audible. The manual mode works well, particularly on hilly, winding roads like we have around here. The interior is all leather and is very comfortable, and the seats are almost infinitely adjustable with three memory settings to keep each driver’s preference . Sport suspension with low profile performance tires is all part of the Sport package. The wheels are great looking staggered style 32 alloys of 8” width in front and 9” width in back. On the road, the ride is firm yet supple. The car feels carved from a single block of hard rubber, without a single rattle. It corners very well with minimal roll. There is never a shortage of power. I will go on record here that I prefer this car to my BMW X5, which has the same engine, but is considerably bulkier without any more useable space. Yes, the X5 handles well for an SUV, but the 540I touring offers even better handling in a tidier package. It actually feels much smaller than the X5. I cannot think of another car that will provide this much competence, capacity and convenience for anywhere near the Blue Book price. Technical Data: 2002 BMW 540iA Touring Original Base price: $76,800 Price as optioned: $82,200 (with Sport package) Type: 4-door, 5-passenger station wagon Layout: front-mounted longitudinal V-8, rear wheel drive Engine: 4.4L V-8, DOHC,32 valves,Motronic engine management Horsepower: 290 @ 5,400 rpm Torque: 324 lb-ft. @ 3,600 rpm Fuel: Premium Unleaded Transmission: 5-speed automatic Steptronic with manual shift mode Curb weight: 4048 lb (1840 kg.) Wheelbase: 111.5 in. (2830 mm) Length: 189 in. (4805 mm) Width: 68.3 in. (1,735 mm) Height: 56.7 in. (1440 mm) EPA Fuel Rating City: 20 mpg Hwy: 28 mpg"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

My favorite car ever!

By on Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 202,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Sporty safe and sexy"

Cons: "91 proof appetite"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am 48 and have owned over 20 cars over the years ranging from practical econobox imports to exotic European divas. Being a car guy, I have loved something about each. This is by far the most fun and value for the endless miles of smiles I have ever owned. I'm not new to the marque, I have owned a BMW 318i convertible (too small), and a 735i - too big and soft. As Goldilocks said, "just right" came in the 2002 530i I bought from my mechanic. It is comfortable, sporty, fast and civilized. I plan on giving this to my son for his first ride. Parts are cheap and plentiful and if you follow the maintenance and own a Chilton's manual, you will be guaranteed many years of fun safe motoring."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love this car; hate to sell it!

By on Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Quiet ride, safe, awesome handling, and neat perks"

Cons: "Poor cup holders, expensive parts and labor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Things that are great: For driving long distances or to/from work, the 2003 5-series is great! On long trips on the interstate, it is by far the smoothest drive I've experienced ... and very very quiet. I've caught myself going over 100mph and not noticing because there was very little engine or wind noise. Having the lumbar support and heated seats are fantastic. The battery is in the trunk, which is very helpful if you are parked and need a jump -- no pushing your car out of the spot. The sun shades for the back seats are something you don't normally think about, but once you have them you can't live without them. Same for the automatic rear window sun shade. The dynamic steering control (DSC) prevents fish-tailing even in Alaska winters! Things that need improvement: The cup holders are horrible. I had to replace them twice while still under warranty. The alternator didn't last past 95K miles, and I had to replace the motor for the passenger seat -- not cheap. And although the DSC is fantastic for stability and traction (?), it's still not enough to overcome having RWD in snow. Still, I drove 3 winters in Alaska and only had to get pushed out of the snow twice."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?