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E39 5 Series background

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by Bill Howard, Dec 7, 2007.

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What year was best for the E39 5 Series

1997 E39 2 vote(s) 2.5%
1998 E39 3 vote(s) 3.7%
1999 E39 5 vote(s) 6.2%
2000 E39 8 vote(s) 9.9%
2001 E39 9 vote(s) 11.1%
2002 E39 16 vote(s) 19.8%
2003 E39 38 vote(s) 46.9%

    mooneypilot guest

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    2002 540i Sport

    I've had a 2002 540i Sport, Six Speed since 2005. On a recent trip of 200 miles, we averaged 71mph and got 27mpg. I've gotten as high as 30mpg with slower speeds. However, it has 60,000 miles and I just took it in for "old school maintenance" including new plugs. Perhaps I'll get a few more mpg now.

    Maintenance under factory & extended warranty includes CD changer, broken plastic radiator reservoir, valve cover leaks, bad final stage blower motor discharging battery.

    This is my first BMW after many years with Mercedes, and I love the handling over MB. I'm not convinced BMW has reliability equal to MB now that MB has recovered. But I won't buy an early 2000s MB. Considering a 2006 500CL coupe, however.

    See you at Octoberfest 2009!
    • Member

    Dmarque

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    I think you'd find that the reliabilty is quite up to any standard including MB. It does help to buy the car new and to have a great service team doing preventive maintenance though. Buying used has both it's disadvantages and advantages. This latest car I got is a 2003 M-Sport 6 Speed and is my first "used" car since i was a kid. Have had only new 5 Series cars since 1980 but am enjoying this 5er which replaced my previous 2003 5 Series that I originally bought new ......but then totalled it a few months back. Thus the unanticipated need for a replacement. Love this car though but can't keep from sportin' the girl whenever I can. Doesn't amount to anywhere near the gas mileage your getting. Really find that 27 mpg hard to believe for a M-Sport. Good for you...

    Keep in touch

    Dmarque

    mooneypilot guest

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    540i Mileage

    The 2002 540i Sport is a six speed, and has "M" logos, wheels & skirts, but it is not a M5. That's why I get the good mileage, the 540 engine is a 4 liter, 290hp. Quick, but not M5 quick. 0-60 in about 5.9
    • Member

    az3579

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    You must drive on consistently flat roads because otherwise 27mpg in a big 540i is impossible. Try the hilly highways here on the east coast and you'll be crying.
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    CSBM5

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    Between Raleigh and Atlanta, I've seen 25.x mpg in the M5 with cruise set on 74mph. The S62 is surprisingly economical in sedate highway driving. I used to own a 540i/6 many years back, and under highway cruise conditions, fuel mileage with the M5 isn't much worse in my experience.

    I bought a new 2002 540i/6spd back in late 2001 since the waiting list for an M5 at my local dealers was 8-10 months at the time. After taking Performance Center delivery and driving the M5 there, I knew I had likely made a mistake...especially with no LSD in the 540i. I stated looking for a nice M5 right away and 18 months later found a 1-owner, 12k mile 2001 M5 in superb shape. I was able to sell the 540i and buy the M5 for only about a $10k premium at the time which was a great deal.

    I've owned many BMWs over the years (coming up on 30yrs in the club), three of which I'm sick that I sold (E3, E21, E28), but the E39 M5 is never going to be sold. I think of it as the pinnacle of BMW's achievement in sedans.

    mooneypilot guest

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    Botond Pal doesn't believe our mileage claims. The route where I recently got 27mph is gently rolling, from Altanta to Charlotte. That's with 60,000 on the sparkplugs. I just changed them yesterday, we'll see if it makes a difference.

    The 540 engine has pretty good torque at the low end, and 6th gear is "tall" accounting for the good mileage in cruise. It also helps to use cruise control and keep a distance that prevents braking & accelerating.

    I'm on medicare, after all.

    csxander guest

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    2003 540i

    Just purchased a 2003 540i 6 speed with the Msport package, my first BMW, and can't wait to put some miles on it. Haven't got it yet, it's being shipped from the west coast to the east. Expect delivery in another week. I'll let you know how it performs soon.
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    x888jmo

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    My vote... 02 540i Sport 6-speed

    Of Course I vote for what I know... Love the power, handling, comfort and road manners. An almost M and a perfect "sleeper" that surprises alot of the other so-called sports car owners. Can be as sedate and well mannered as the family sedan or as hot and aggressive as you want to push it. I think the poll results are indicative of BMW pursuit of perfection... each year in a generation just keeps getting better.

    ViolinARC guest

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    I vote for e39!!

    I own a 2000 540iA Sport Premium package w/95k on the clock and it's the best car I've ever driven/owned, even though she's had a few of the typical problems (130k now). Personally, I think that the e39 in general is a superior vehicle but prefer the sports model over standard. I'm still on the table about the VANOS vs. non-VANOS issue but so far I've had no problems with mine. I do notice a difference between my Bro's '98 non-sport, non-VANOS 540iA vs. my '00 sport w/VANOS and feel strongly that the '00 is a better car overall. Recently drove an '03 540iA M-tech and she had some definite transmission problems...every shift was delayed and clunking violently so it wasn't a fair comparison even though it had only 80k on the OD.

    I've owned an '89 750iL and really loved it but she had some suspension problems that just wouldn't go away (brake&shake). Overall the ride quality was too "floaty" and soft until I replaced the suspension with H&R Sport Springs, Bilstein Sports and poly bushings, which gave the car a great ride quality with great road contact/feedback. However, even with all that, I find my '00 540iA superior in so many ways...

    I have to vote for e39 post 07/00, which is just before they started making certain '01-'03 items standard so I'd check the 2001-2003 box...LOL! :D
    • Member

    Dmarque

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    I think it's a tremendous disadvantage to not have the pleasure inherent in a 6 Speed manual gear box in these very special M-Sport versions. The car feels so tight and having the pleasure of banging through the gears is an initimate experience that adds significant control and feel.
    • Member

    330indy1

    Post Count: 675
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    has anyone here had the faulty gas gauge issue? Did Techron fix it, or was it new sensors?

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