As for the best year for the E39? The first year of course! Early 1997 E39 (built date June/July 1996) are the most reliable! C'mon, who didn't mind all the glitches, bugs, etc...? My grandparents 97 528i (7/96) had numerous warranty claims. They still have it and its parked in my driveway (currently doing a full detail for them) and has 82,000 miles. Mint all around. But seriously, I would say the last E39 built (7/03) production. I wonder, where is "the last E39 ever made" located?