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540i purchased from dealer pre-owned program. "Sports package" with upgraded suspension, xenon headlights, steptronic transmission. Fold-down rear seats. Car is very comfortable and inspires confidence each time you get behind the wheel.. Very reliable and most problems can be searched for by symptom on the web... (E39 club etc.). I really like the performance sedan style of vehicle....
E39 5 Series Best Body Style Ever
Pros: M62 4.4 L V8
Cons: NoneBig Mistake with the E60 Body style....looks like a Buick...actually heard the 2011s are resurrecting some of the E39 style features hopefully so
Pros: The 6-speed manual transmission
Cons: The cupholders
Advice: Keep a watch on the radiator because the end caps are plastic and they only last for about 50,000 miles.This is the best car that I have ever owned. The performance is awesome( 6-speed M Sport edition), and there is room for my family. This car is very quiet. It is docile around town and has plenty of low rpm torque like a car with a much larger engine. When called upon, it willingly comes to life and pulls strongly all the way up to the redline. The handling is great and the 4-wheel discs do a great job of slowing things down. The seats are fully adjustable and the controls are all within reach. This is a true 4-door sports car!
Pros: The drivetrain - the combination of the 292 bhp V-8 and BMW's slick shifting 6-speed is phenominal!
Cons: Cupholders are a joke!
Advice: These are complex cars that are expensive to fix - make sure you car is in the CPO program. Also - 540i 6-speeds have a firm suspension and ride harder than a 540i A - make sure that's what you want before you buy one.When the time came to replace my venerable 1990 525 5-speed I considered both the 528i 5-speed and the 540i 6-speed. Good luck and an dealer willing to negotiate put me in the driver's seat of a low-mileage V-8. While I love BMW's 6-cylinder, driving the 540 6-speed is an experience that never fails to delight. SOme recent reviews have called the lokk of the 5-Series dated but it looks great to me inside and out. I have experienced few cars that capture the road feel and mix of luxury and performance as this one does. Also, BMW stands behind their Certified Pre-Owned cars - eveything I have asked to be corrected has been done at their cost and without question.
Cons: sun visors don swing to the side all the way.
Advice: Get oneThe V8 is powerfull and exceptionaly smooth. American V8s don't come close on the smoothness of delivery and the breadth of the power band. It will accelerate hard in any gear above 1500 rpm. In corners, it's powerfull enough to light up the DSC even on smooth, clean pavement. That's with 255 series high performance tires. Makes you want to upgrade to the M5 limited slip differential. Sport seats rock, but not if you have a big but. Stearing is telegraphic. Ride is smooth despite the stiffer sport package.