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Old 01-15-2006, 10:05 AM   #1
DukeNo1
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Opinions about E39 530i Sport

What would you guys rather go for?
Not sure whether I should get myself an E36 M3 or an E39 530i with sport package. I am thinking about a 2003 model with M Tech body styling.
It really suprises me that used 5er BMWs are cheaper than 3er BMWs.
I had an opportunity to test drive a 98 528i Touring and I really liked how the car pushed in the 3rd gear(up to 170km/h, it was an auto though.)

My limit is 25k Canadian dollars. Hope the prices will continue falling down so I could get a 530i in 2008 for the price mentioned above.

How's the overall performance of that car?
Does an E36 M3 feel much quicker?
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:36 AM   #2
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530i is the best 5 BMW made as far as all around value goes. I'm hoping that it will be my next daily. I will be looking for a 530i sport with M-tech in 5-speed. My Audi A4 is awesome but too small in the back seat for a family guy.
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:16 PM   #3
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it is a very good all arround car ... just don't drag race anyone in it ....
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:46 PM   #4
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It is a very solid car. It is also hot if you get the M sport package. I was actually going to pick one up before I got my 330i, but I couldn't afford one. They go for mid 30s to mid 40s depending on kms and condition. You can get one in the 20s with higher kms though. Slow from a stop, but on the highway, it goes!!!! As for an 1998 to 2000 528i, they have many problems. Auto trannies suck, suspension in front will go very easily, radio buttons break. If you choose to get one, go 5sp and watch the bumps on the road. As for E36 M3...nice car!!!! Very hot. Can't compare the two cars though, one is a 4dr family sports sedan and another is a sports coupe. It all depends on what you need and want really.
How about a 330...has same engine as the 530, its alittle smaller and only has 15 hp less than a stock E36 M3.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:20 PM   #5
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e39 530i One of the best cars consumers report ever test drove...

Don't kid yourself.

I would trade my e39 540i for a 2001-2002 530i in a heatbeat- son won't let me.

Raw hp isn't everything.

For everyday driving, handling is much important, and when you look at the list of aftermarket performance mods available for the bmw 3litre vs. 4.4 litre, the concept seams even more appealing.

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Old 01-19-2006, 09:13 AM   #6
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I drove one at Oakville KIA, it was oooooooooooohkay, the handling was good don't get me wrong, the driving dynamic is better than the 540, but its not like I go attack twisty roads in the E39, it is a daily driver/family/drunks/bitches hauler, so I went with the 540. So its all about what you need, if you want this car as a daily driver and already have another weekend car, go get the 540. Not to mention I still get 31mpg on the hwy, and 26mpg in mixed driving with tiptronic in S mode.
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:36 AM   #7
DukeNo1
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Thanks for your responses. If I went for a 5er than only with M Tech body kit.
I am not so convinced about the 540. Not so ideal if it's your only car you own. As a second car, I would take it any day over the 530.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:06 PM   #8
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i drove a e39 528 sport, 530 m sport and 540i m sport and the difference was night and day, just the sheer ammount of power and the difference in handleing from model to model really goes to show the reason for the $$ difference. the 528 sport was nice, pretty tight suspension, pretty underpowered for the vehicle and it was auto but all around nice car and was quite nice for a hwy cruiser. the 530 was just that bit better than the 528, the m sport suspension and the power made it a much more fun car to drive all around but there were times you wish you had a bit more "passing power". then getting into the 540 m sport and driving the same roads as i did with the others you really could see the difference, there was never a time you would feel like, "common give me more power" it was just always there whether you were starting from a light, or passing someone at speed, the handleing of the 540 was what really set it apart from the others. the 528 and the 530 shared the same steering type, recipricating ball (dont quote me on that i get the 2 types confused) vs the 540 that had rack and pinion, it could be visa versa but im pretty sure that was it, anyways, the 528 and 530 were both quite good in the corners, but lacked the almost telepathic steering that the 540 had, i mean where ever you pointed the car, it would go with little effort and with bang on accuracy. whereas the 530 and 528, while still amazing felt somewhat looser and less accurate. all in all, the 3 vehicles are amazing to drive in their own right, it really just depends on how and where you are driving them. also even thought the 540 has the v8 engine, the car is actually slightly better, as i remember, on fuel since it doesn't have to work as hard to move the weight of the vehicle vs the 530 or 528 that really has to be in a higher gear, thus using more fuel to move the same weight. both the 530 and 540 i drove were standard so that helps a fair bit as well in regards to fuel economy. obviously if you drive the car hard and fast, which is hard not too lol, you will end up eating through the fuel and your wallet very quickly. really it comes down to what you want. if you drive the hwy alot and like to take the twisty roads a lot then the 540 would be your best friend, if its all around duty then the 530 is fine. if its mostly city and the ocasional twisty or hwy haul then the 528 might make sense. hope this helps. and hope you enjoy whichever vehicle you choose.
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hound
i drove a e39 528 sport, 530 m sport and 540i m sport and the difference was night and day, just the sheer ammount of power and the difference in handleing from model to model really goes to show the reason for the $$ difference. the 528 sport was nice, pretty tight suspension, pretty underpowered for the vehicle and it was auto but all around nice car and was quite nice for a hwy cruiser. the 530 was just that bit better than the 528, the m sport suspension and the power made it a much more fun car to drive all around but there were times you wish you had a bit more "passing power". then getting into the 540 m sport and driving the same roads as i did with the others you really could see the difference, there was never a time you would feel like, "common give me more power" it was just always there whether you were starting from a light, or passing someone at speed, the handleing of the 540 was what really set it apart from the others. the 528 and the 530 shared the same steering type, recipricating ball (dont quote me on that i get the 2 types confused) vs the 540 that had rack and pinion, it could be visa versa but im pretty sure that was it, anyways, the 528 and 530 were both quite good in the corners, but lacked the almost telepathic steering that the 540 had, i mean where ever you pointed the car, it would go with little effort and with bang on accuracy. whereas the 530 and 528, while still amazing felt somewhat looser and less accurate. all in all, the 3 vehicles are amazing to drive in their own right, it really just depends on how and where you are driving them. also even thought the 540 has the v8 engine, the car is actually slightly better, as i remember, on fuel since it doesn't have to work as hard to move the weight of the vehicle vs the 530 or 528 that really has to be in a higher gear, thus using more fuel to move the same weight. both the 530 and 540 i drove were standard so that helps a fair bit as well in regards to fuel economy. obviously if you drive the car hard and fast, which is hard not too lol, you will end up eating through the fuel and your wallet very quickly. really it comes down to what you want. if you drive the hwy alot and like to take the twisty roads a lot then the 540 would be your best friend, if its all around duty then the 530 is fine. if its mostly city and the ocasional twisty or hwy haul then the 528 might make sense. hope this helps. and hope you enjoy whichever vehicle you choose.
After reading your review I should maybe consider going for a test drive in a 540. I have been always looking for a car that would offer enough power in every driving situation without spending a fortune.
But what about the maintance? What does an inspection at an official BMW dealership cost? Much more than for a 530?
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Old 01-22-2006, 12:45 PM   #10
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my 2 options were '01 530 sport vs. '99 540 non sport..overall, i just liked the 540 better...on all counts...but drive them both before you buy them, they're both amazing cars, you'll end up getting one of them for sure
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:18 PM   #11
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do keep in mind, 540 will costs more to keep than the 530, here are things that will need to be placed pretty soon.

o2 sensors (its under warranty for 10 yrs)
MAF (its a hit and miss thing, some go bad quick, some takes a while)
rad (every 540 will have this problem)
water pump
t-stat
expansion tank

things that MAY easily break:
coolant return line (had it happened to me)
VANOS sensors
leaky spark plug boots


it won't be no Lexus, but then again, Lexus don't drive like any BMWs, compare to my GS400, the 540i is well worth it.
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Old 01-22-2006, 04:38 PM   #12
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I think the difference in the handling of 525 530 and 540 should be accounted for the diffeerence in tires. Generaly ... because of the better steering and lighter engine 528 and 530 handle MUCH better ... or at least they should. But tires can make it or break it.
I would take 540 over 530 if I have a choice... and I did. .... If you drive a 540 and then buy a 530 you will say ... damn ... I wish I bought a 540 ... because 530 does lack HPs a bit ....
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Old 01-23-2006, 09:20 AM   #13
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530i or 540i......... either is excellent. 530i not as much grunt but as a daily driver all around, best of the bunch in my mind. ESPECIALLY if you live in traffic congestion hell. Mind you, I 100% agree that if you're doing mainly highway and can afford to step up to the 540i, that would be the way to go. But NOT in the city which you'll spend most of your time in the traffic parking lot. I live in the city. Thus why I own an E30 M3.......... for when I need to get out of the city and let 'er rip.
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:21 PM   #14
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As you mentioned guys, both cars are amazing. 540 is actually my first choice, but prices are above my budget at the moment. As I mentioned already, I don't intend to spend more than 25k. So I hope the prices will be low enough to get one with M Tech body kit.

Would you go for automatic transmission or manual?
I could imagine that it would more comfortable to have an automatic(steptronic) in a 540?
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DukeNo1
As you mentioned guys, both cars are amazing. 540 is actually my first choice, but prices are above my budget at the moment. As I mentioned already, I don't intend to spend more than 25k. So I hope the prices will be low enough to get one with M Tech body kit.

Would you go for automatic transmission or manual?
I could imagine that it would more comfortable to have an automatic(steptronic) in a 540?
6sp manual for sure! when you turn sixty, then you switch to auto...
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