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View Full Version : 2003 540ia Sport vs. 2004 530ia sport


mswaz
10-28-2004, 02:35 PM
I found a 2003 540i sport.
This one is silver on black,
Certified
14,000 miles
Auto
Sport Package
premium stereo
rear shade package
split rear seats
PDC

Ran CarFax and it checked out good.

Basically can get it for $48,500. This car is like new, better condition than the other.

What do you all think. I am comparing to a new fairly 530 for roughly the same price save a couple thousand.

mottati
10-28-2004, 02:47 PM
correct me if i'm wrong, but the 03 is an e39 and the 04 is the e60 body style, right? I suppose it depends on which style you like. I'd be surprised to find that anyone out there would really compare one with the other, it seems you either love the new car or hate it. It also depends on your needs. Is this a daily driver? the e60 530 will probably be a better car, less maintenance costs, higher residual value etc.
just my $0.02.
Mike

mswaz
10-28-2004, 03:08 PM
Yes different models, thus the dilemna. The 540 is exhilirating to drive and was $62K car when new so the major depreciation hit has taken place.
The 530, I found very uninspiring but a very refined ride. Need to really sepnd more time behind the wheel of one but driving the two back to back you definatly tell the difference in torque and HP.
The hit on the 530 would be immediate so I don't buy the higher residual of one over the other. I think they would actaully be about the same.

Just asking this ever so wise forum what their own personal pro's and con's of each car are.

Cars are similarly priced and the warranty coverage on the 540 actually exceeds the 530's so all in all cost is the same.

shabbaman
10-28-2004, 03:21 PM
Yes different models, thus the dilemna. The 540 is exhilirating to drive and was $62K car when new so the major depreciation hit has taken place.
The 530, I found very uninspirable but a very refined ride. Need to really sepnd more time behind the wheel of one but driving the two back to back you definatly tell the difference in torque and HP.
The hit on the 530 would be immediate so I don't buy the higher residual of one over the other. I think they would actaully be about the same.

Just asking this ever so wise forum what their own personal pro's and con's of each car are.

Cars are similarly priced and the warranty coverage on the 540 actually exceeds the 530's so all in all cost is the same.

I disagree with Mottati on this. The 540 is in it's LAST year of production while the 530 is in it's FIRST year of production. There have been several refinements made to parts on the 540 since it came out in '97, there have been none made to the 530 since it just came out. Also, because of the advanced electronics, I would argue that there are More maintenance costs on the E60 530 than the 540. There will be iDrive software updates for sure and then there's the hydraulic sway bar and active steering. I wouldn't want to be caught out of warranty on those things until some statistics on its' reliability were made available. With the 540, you pretty much know exactly what to expect( ie Radiator).

The choice is yours and yours alone, but for my money if the cars were option for option, unless you gotta have the HUD and L7, I'd get the 540 ins a hearbeat.

mottati
10-28-2004, 03:34 PM
I disagree with Mottati on this. The 540 is in it's LAST year of production while the 530 is in it's FIRST year of production. There have been several refinements made to parts on the 540 since it came out in '97, there have been none made to the 530 since it just came out. Also, because of the advanced electronics, I would argue that there are More maintenance costs on the E60 530 than the 540. There will be iDrive software updates for sure and then there's the hydraulic sway bar and active steering. I wouldn't want to be caught out of warranty on those things until some statistics on its' reliability were made available. With the 540, you pretty much know exactly what to expect( ie Radiator).

The choice is yours and yours alone, but for my money if the cars were option for option, unless you gotta have the HUD and L7, I'd get the 540 ins a hearbeat.

You have some good points, i wasn't thinking about the e60 being in first year of production, i'd probably avoid a first year bmw. In my past experience, maintenance costs are a lot less on I6 bmw's vs V8's. 00-02 540s are pretty cheap right now, and I do think in a few years, the e60 would likely be worth more money than an older design e39. I wouldn't necessarily want either one out of warranty! I also wouldn't compare a CPO warranty with a factory warranty. I bought my M5 CPO (actually i bought my 528 cpo as well) and there is a lot of stuff (mostly electronics, and whatever can be considered a wear item) that will not be covered by the warranty. Think of cpo as insurance against a catastrophic disaster (blown engine, trans etc).
Mike

kc5
10-28-2004, 03:52 PM
Well, let's see....... One is still considered good looking, one is not by at least half of the BMW enthusiasts. One has a cockpit that is driver-oriented, one does not. One has more unneeded techno stuff (iDrive, etc.), one does not. One is controversial, one is not. One has a proven record, one does not.

MSWAZ, you answered your own question -- "The 540 is exhilirating to drive. The 530, I found very uninspirable." Case closed, get the E39.

jun
10-28-2004, 05:14 PM
I was presented the same decision making when I bought my 03 540a last October. The 04 530s were already starting to come in and I was able to drive both cars. I also was able to look and sit at both cars side by side. Well, I bought the 03 540.

noonehome
10-29-2004, 10:57 AM
I found a 2003 540i sport.
This one is silver on black,
Certified
14,000 miles
Auto
Sport Package
premium stereo
rear shade package
split rear seats
PDC

Ran CarFax and it checked out good.

Basically can get it for $48,500. This car is like new, better condition than the other.

What do you all think. I am comparing to a new fairly 530 for roughly the same price save a couple thousand.

I had a simalar experince when looking for my 5er. I drove the e60 530-Sport first and then an e39 540 second. The e60 was a nice refined drive, smooth, quite and agile, which was what I was looking for on road trips. The e39 was a kick in the a$$ when you stepped on it. I ended up with a 545-Sport. It had the refined drive and the power. Granted I went over budget. But the 545 was only about 6K more than the comperably equiped 530. On paper it looks closer to 10K differnce but you take into conseration the included 530 options the gap narrows to the 545.

Mr Hyde
10-29-2004, 01:24 PM
Unless you are one of the people who loves the new design, I'd get the 540 hands down. :thumbup: