Based on 614 Ratings for the 1997 - 2003 models.Review this car
By zhammmy (HI) on Friday, May 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Sure footed handling and comfort."
Cons: "High maintenance cost if you're not a DIYer."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I bought this car in October, 2012, for $4000. It had 110000 miles on it. Since I got it, I changed the motor oil(7 quarts of Mobil 1), oil filter($10), air filter($15), cabin air filter(comes in a set of two @ $15), spark plugs(Champion Platinum $30 for 8 of them.), replaced the leaking clutch slave cylinder($50), a bottle of DOT-4 brake fluid($6), and I installed a short-throw shifter($30 from "xBay".) Lately, the warning lights for traction control and ABS comes on while driving. So, I would take out all 4 wheels to check if it's the ABS sensor(s) broken or something else. Also, When I brake hard during high speed, the front of the car shakes. So, I am going to change the front brake rotors($100 each) along with new front brake pads($50)Lately, the driver's side headlight keeps fogging up, don't know what's wrong with it, but that can wait. So far, the car drives very good, the ride is comfortable and fast. Fuel economy is about $65 for 300 miles(92 octane gasoline at $4.30 per gallon.)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By HogDriver (MI) on Monday, April 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"IMHO, the best looking 5 series ever. Awesome to drive, handles like a dream. At this point be ready to replace the coolant system (hoses, pump, thermostat, expansion tank), oil supply and return lines, trans supply and return lines, power steering lines, tie rods, and struts. It sounds like a lot. But you should be able to do most, if not all, of this yourself. This a sports sedan with performance parts which wear out. My E39 is a 1999 build; currently 14 years old. Things wear out. There will be small stuff in the interior also. I think these cars are at the low point for prices. They was too much mass production for them to be a valuable classic, unless you have a real M5. But there should be a ready supply of parts."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By loco (CA) on Friday, January 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Just put on a new bumper ($1200.00), added new Continental tires (exactly like originals) ($980.00 total), just put in a new battery, and finally it was completely detailed to look, in and out, like new. Something hit the hood and windshield on the freeway so the insurance company replaced both with new ones which helps with outside new appearance. It also has a couple hardly noticable dings which have been touched."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By bmwguy (NH) on Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, price, luxury"
Cons: "few cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this car is fun to drive and it also has a lot of luxury! the car is comfortable and has a lot of power when you need it! it has a good amount of space!"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By CKKazoo (MI) on Monday, December 03, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice to drive"
Cons: "Lot's of little problems - just ignore most of em!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I buy only used cars and only pay cash. So I typically look for good deals on nice cars with moderate mileage. I wanted a wagon (already own an SUV - bad mileage). I have owned two other BMWs back when I used to buy brand new cars (a 328 and a 540). Both were owned for 3-5 years in duration. I bought this car in 2009 at 6 years old. I got a pretty good deal, knowing it needed brakes and tires, which were immediately replaced and the performance/ride improved instantly to where it should be. The driving of the car is nice, responsive, quick enough for my needs, but what I like most is the wagon aspect (2 kids, 2 dogs, several family trips). What I don't like? Computers and electrical items go on moderate aged BMWs. My check engine light is permanently on - 02 sensor supposedly but they all (4) test good. Cat tests good. I lost a computer chip that put me in fail safe mode. The rear tailgate window stopped opening/closing. Go through light bulbs like crazy. The print-outs on the dash/radio are a joke - some days read okay, others just a bunch of random dots. Temperature outside ranges from -40 to 110 degrees during the summer and -40 degrees and 80 degrees the rest of the year. All those annoying tones that warn me when I am near freezing conditions - during the summer when it is 80 degrees outside. Cup holders - don't even get me started here. They provide just enough support that you almost feel comfortable accelorating without supporting the cup with a hand. My key fob goes for months without working, then starts working just like that. The cheap plastic tubing for the window washer is designed to run right past the hottest parts of the engine and develops small holes from the heat. Plan to dump a few gallons of washer fluid in every month - even if you never once use it. Of course, whenever you really want to or need to have washer fluid, it will be bone dry. I knew when I bought the car I'd have some costs into it that would be much higher than when I bought them new in the past. But I also bought a used Dodge Durango (for boat towing) at the same time. I can tell you without a doubt that the Dodge Durango is a 100 times more reliable in terms of everything, have spent a fraction on maintenance (though more on gas). The truth is that it's nice to drive - all my problems have really been nuisance problems. But as a boat owner, I can tell you that the nuissance problems are the difference between happiness and confidence and disappointment and fear of what will happen next. I'll drive the car into the ground (it's not really worth anything), actually pass it on to my teenager and let him do it. Have put about 66K on it in 3 years and truth be told, it has never stranded me and I have always been comfortable pulling out of the driveway for an 8 hour+ drive. Seats aren't all the comfy - try the new Honda Accord's seats, now that's comfortable. PS. I almost never put premium gas in it, and when I do, don't see much if any difference (at least for my driving habits)."
16 people out of 17 found this review helpful