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Old 08-09-2006, 07:24 PM   #1
Desisuperman
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530i vs 540i

(e39) which of two is a better overall vehicle. It's obvious that the 540i has more hp, and torque but does that necessairly make it a better overall car? I read somewhere that the 530i is a more balanced, lighter than the the 540i and handles better too. is this true?
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:51 PM   #2
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yes it is true, the steering is the biggest part of the problem with the 540, the 530 has rack & pinion & the 540 has the recirculating ball which makes it very indirect.

if you are planning on buying one, go for a later model E39 530i with M-package, save a little on gas & handles better, if you don't need the power.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:58 PM   #3
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The extra weight of the 4.4 on the X5 was obvious in comparison to the 3.0. I'm sure on a E39 5 series the extra weight would be even more pronounced. The extra heft of the V8 will manifest itself as a car with more understeer & less inclined to change direction easily on tight turns.

Depends on what's more important to you. Handling or power.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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From what I have read, E39 530i MT is the best all around 5 series built. Taking in to account cost for ownership and maintenance, handling, power, fuel economy, build quality and a few others I'm sure I forgot.
I have a 97 528i and it's a great car. 530i if a refined version of my car with 30 hp more and upgraded look.
The late model ones look great dressed up. It's not a racer but a great cruiser on the HWY.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:02 PM   #5
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honestly I was surprised how peppy the 530 was, I have a 98 540 which isn't bad, my buddy bought a 2002 530 & I took it for a spin & I like it, it has decent power & handles better, so coming from someone that owns a 540 I recommand a 530, make any sense
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quack
honestly I was surprised how peppy the 530 was, I have a 98 540 which isn't bad, my buddy bought a 2002 530 & I took it for a spin & I like it, it has decent power & handles better, so coming from someone that owns a 540 I recommand a 530, make any sense

yeah makes sense. how does the m5 compare with these two are far as handling goes?

Funny thing is i was looking at a 3 series but i started leaning towards the 5 since their pretty much in the same price range. maybe i should just sick with a 3 series?
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:38 PM   #7
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what is your budget? and do you need the space? if you do a lot of hwy cruising than the 5'er would be a better choice
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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what is your budget? and do you need the space? if you do a lot of hwy cruising than the 5'er would be a better choice
I would say mid 30's. i dont do a whole lot of hwy cruising, maybe about 50%. as far as space goes, i dont really need it since i'm still single. I just assumed the 540i would better in every aspect then the 530i and the 3 series. any advice?
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:05 PM   #9
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I still think 02/03 530i sport package is the car to get, go find one & go for a test drive
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:09 PM   #10
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I still think 02/03 530i sport package is the car to get, go find one & go for a test drive

yeah it would make sense if you could pick them up for the same price but that doesnt seem to be the case. They're priced very closely. Another reason why i satrted leaning towards the 540i, it just didnt make sens to me to pay the same price and get a 530i.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:18 PM   #11
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I understand what you mean, but in the long run I think the 530 will save you more money, the engine parts are cheaper I believe, and you will save on gas as well, if neither of those concern you then go for the 540
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Old 08-10-2006, 02:54 AM   #12
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yes it is true, the steering is the biggest part of the problem with the 540, the 530 has rack & pinion & the 540 has the recirculating ball which makes it very indirect.

if you are planning on buying one, go for a later model E39 530i with M-package, save a little on gas & handles better, if you don't need the power.
The m5 has the ball joint as well. how does handling affect this compared to the 540i?
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:07 AM   #13
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The e39 has been my dream car for many years. I think its design is more classic than the new ones. I have a 97 540 sport package that has treated me reasonably well. If you do a lot of city driving, I'd certainly go with the 530, as the 540 is a pig in the city. 80-90% of my driving is on the highway, so my fuel efficiency isn't bad. As well, the V8s are known for seal and gasket leaks. Its a common problem for that engine. I'm not familiar with the engine reliability of the 6. All in all, the 530 will be cheaper to maintain, from tires to oil changes to powertrain repair. The 525 I'd stay clear of. I feel that engine has no business in a heavy car like the 5 series.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:45 AM   #14
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i drove a 540 m sport and 530 m sport a while back and found i liked the handleing of the 540 better then the 530. Also it's not teribly true what hte say about a big engine getting worse millage. It is true that if you have a heavy foot, that a bigger engine will use more gas, but, if you do a fair bit of hwy and are a good citizen (i.e pretty much follow the law) lol, then a 540 has the potential to get better millage, because the car doesn't have to work as hard to move the weight of the vehicle. Whereas the 530 with the 225hp I-6 will have to work more to move the car's weight plus you... as for city, 530 may be slightly better but again comes into play the weight aspect. Also if you live around, or travel to area's like up north where there is a fair ammount of hills, then a 540 would theoretically get better millage cause of the weight moving potential again. Really you have to look at what kind of driver you are and where you drive the most.

Good luck and here is some eye candy for you.

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Old 08-12-2006, 12:57 PM   #15
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thanks guys. appreciate the comments.. oh and thanks for the candy
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