Pros: "Reliability, handling, comfort, mileage for it's class, fit and finish."
Cons: "Cup holders are terrible, premium gas, nav system is a little clunky."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I drive a LOT - my commute is nearly 1000 miles a WEEK. Gets very decent highway mileage (28.3 average) for a car of it's size and weight. Handles well (except for in heavy snow), great sound system. Nav system is a little archaic, but technology changes so quickly. Reliability is key for me, and this car has been great! One water pump, one radiator. Other than that, brake shoes, oil changes, and that's it! Electric trunk release went at 150k, but hey, it's minor. I LOVE THIS CAR! I had a 1994 525i that I got rid of at 340,000 miles...and I still see it on the road. This is a quality designed and built car."
Cons: "Repairs are not cheap and maintenance must be done"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This was the last of the great sport sedans on which BMW built their reputation. Great handling and brakes, good power and executive accommodations. At 50,000 miles, be prepared to spend $7000 to rejuvenate the car (brakes, misc leaks, radiator, water pump, control arms....but then you get another 50,000 miles of great performance. Once you have a car like this, you will never want to go back to American or Japanese models. This is what made BMW the ultimate driving machine!"
"Fun to drive, great handling and comfort. Decent gas mileage (21 city and 26 hwy) considering size, age and weight. Have had "odd" (not usually seen) repairs that have been somewhat costly and repairs in general are a little steep. Electrical works fine, it's the components in engine that keep wearing and need to be replaced. Wish BMW realized in 1999 that CD's were here to stay and it was standard. Love the programmable seat setting. Don't like that I have to use "Z" rated tires because I don't travel that fast. Overall fun to drive, repairs can be a headache but at 100K - 177K, some repairs are expected.
Cup holders in front are awful. Can't hold anything taller than about 4 inches and not even sure if that would hold. They are plastic and snap easily. Rear sunshade very helpful as the summer sun is hot out here. A/C powerful, sometimes too cold for me."
"The 530i was the first (and absolutely the best) combination of sport and luxury out there. All the other brands are just trying to keep up with BMW. I bought my car used and have now owned it for almost 2 years (95,000 mi). A 5 speed car with the Sport, Luxury, and Winter packages is pretty hard to find but well worth the search. The CDV valve MUST be removed to shift the car smoothly. The stock M54 engine has plenty of power but I added the Dinan Stage 2 package so I can play with 540's. My car is just as fast (250 HP) and handles better than the V8 cars because of better weight distribution and rack and pinion steering (which the 540's lack). I average 22 MPG around town (brisk driving) and on the highway - get ready for this - 37 MPG (easy cruising at 60). It is so well built that when new, it was considered one of the safest cars on the road. I believe it. For the winter months I install a full set of dedicated rims/winter tires.
I use an independant mechanic and so far have not needed to visit the dealer. I hope it stays that way. Yes- factory parts are expensive, but there are many good aftermarket brands available for wear items. My previous car (1992 525i) had over 180,000 when sold and didn't see a dealership in 8 years. Even with the mileage I sold that car for 3K, so these cars can have decent residual value.
In conclusion, the E39 530i is a great combination of luxury and drivability. It's worthy of consideration and will take care of you and your family if you're willing to take care of it"
"Love my 99, 540i, however; it's been tough love- When she runs she runs great, excellent acceleration, comfort, low noise, and a solid safe feel. Won't lie to you the car maintenance isn't cheap- Have had some blow ups with the car regarding water pump- Highly recommend you check the radiator after 100k on this vehicle- Make sure you replace the water pump if not the whole entire cooling system. Like anything if you keep up with the maintenance the car won't let you down- Just learn to change your oil if you don't have deep pockets, it's very simple and if you're handy buy the 5-series manual for simple repairs- The dealer will take advantage of you, but who doesn't know that already- Enjoy :-)"