Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Bimmerfest - BMW Forums (
-   E39 (1997 - 2003) (
-   -   E39 touring or Magnum??? (

vavet5308 10-05-2012 06:13 PM

E39 touring or Magnum???
The stork is dropping off a bundle of joy in December/January and I need a family friendly vehicle. My wife has a 2011 Sonata and I have a 2003 Ranger Supercab. I sold my Mazdaspeed Miata a couple months ago to make room and free up a little cash.

I think I want a wagon-like vehicle, instead of a sedan, SUV, or *gasp* minivan. I prefer older, simpler vehicles. I'm not a fan of the E61. I 've pretty much narrowed it down to either an E39 or a Dodge Magnum.

MPG is a concern, but not a primary criteria. I would lean towards a Magnum Hemi or a 525it. The MSD on the Hemi makes that a reasonable option. I know a 540 would be a more equitable comparison, but 16 mpg is a little hard to swallow. At least a 525 gives me a nicely balanced. Space is pretty comparable between the 2, although the backseat is roomier in the Magnum.

What about longevity? Driving pleasure? Maintenance costs?
I've driven E39 sedans and tourings, but never a Magnum. If all goes well, that will be corrected tomorrow.

Nline6 10-05-2012 07:31 PM

Stupid question if you ask me. Obvious reasons, being biased and all.

the540wgn 10-05-2012 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by nline6 (Post 7116696)
stupid question if you ask me. Obvious reasons, being biased and all.


The magnum will feel like a boat.

LaCrosse540i6 10-05-2012 07:45 PM

Sit in the Magnum and start poking/flicking various interior surfaces.

The dull hollowness resonates through the rest of the car, literally and figuratively.

ill540i 10-05-2012 10:04 PM

525i= no power!

Sent from my MB502 using Bimmer App

Jase007 10-06-2012 08:30 AM

I looked at both back in '07 and settled on the 528it because I found one with sport and 5-speed manual. Yes, the magnum had hp but I wanted a stick as the 525it or 528it can have.

Magnum "A" pillar blocked my view as well (5' 8" here). I notice them out and about in metro DC area, still like their looks ... don't like the 20+' wheels people pimp them out with around here.

doru 10-06-2012 09:24 AM

With a small kid you might want to take care of him instead of the car. If the Magnum is not a problematic car, stick with that one. If you have DIY time, get the BMW.

vavet5308 10-06-2012 07:24 PM

I checked out the Magnum today. Loads of HP - I could drunk on that, but the particular specimen I drove was a hunk of crap! The seat belt warning sounded randomly. Both of us were securely belted in. I don't know what that was about. The turn signals did not cancel after turning. Lots of groaning and squeaking from the front end during turns. This was a 2006 model with just under 100k miles. I think I test drove it less than a mile. The salesman was surprised to see me back so soon but I knew that wasn't the right car that quickly.
The blindspots were an issue for me too, which goes further than that one particular specimen. It was a concern and driving it for that little while told me what I needed to know. This car had a lot of needs - tires, lots of paint touch up, weird stains on the headliner, etc.

So we ventured farther north to check out the 525it I'd found online. It too had some needs, but nothing major - engine oil leaks, front tires, alignment to correct the offset steering wheel, jack pads, some rubber door seals, and the battery compartment hatch (latch striker is broken so it won't stay in place). The paint wasn't bad, but far from perfect. The wheels need some love, and the airbag light was on. One of the techs in the shop pulled the code for me - passenger seat belt tensioner - ok, no biggie. Suspension - everything is tight, but the grease boots on the sway bar end links and the rear upper contol arms are torn, so those bits will require replacement sooner than later.

So after some back and forth with the salesman and used car manager - I'm now the owner of a 2002 BMW 525itA. Fatherhood, HERE I COME!

vavet5308 10-06-2012 07:26 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here she is...need a name.
I'm leaning towards Bianca.

RichDeezy 10-06-2012 07:35 PM


Originally Posted by vavet5308 (Post 7118202)
Here she is...need a name.
I'm leaning towards Bianca.

very nice... looks like a 2000 or newer ?

Jase007 10-07-2012 06:56 AM

Nice get. Like the color.

FWIW, mine worked well with two Graco Turbo booster seats on the sides and a forward facing 5-point car seat in the middle... all in the 2nd row. The three were a little cramped but it worked and I didn't need to buy a minivan.

For longer trips, we take the GMC Suburban ... :)

IndiansFan 10-07-2012 08:47 AM

You made the better choice. Once you get it sorted out, you will be very happy.

FYI, Bimmerforums dot com has a seperate thread just for tourings.

I bought my touring in '08, with the primary reason being to haul my two dogs. It is so practicle for a variety of other reasons. I focused my search for a 5 speed sport package. I liked it so much I bought two more E39 sedans.

Nline6 10-08-2012 07:17 AM

[QUOTE=ill540i;7116954]525i= no power!

Sent from my MB502 using Bimmer App[/QUOTE

compared to what? a 540? true, I have had both a 540/6 and my current 528it, 540 was faster, but the 2.8 is still decent, not to mention i average 26mpg rather then 18.

Vavet, very nice. I love the color!

IndiansFan 10-08-2012 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Nline6 (Post 7120565)
.....but the 2.8 is still decent, not to mention i average 26mpg rather then 18.

Vavet, very nice. I love the color!

:beerchug: +1 on what Nline6 said.

If the 540 came with 3 pedals, IT would be in my garage.

Nline6 10-08-2012 12:15 PM

I tried so long to find a touring with a standard tranny. No luck, plus I had to have black leather and sport package, so i deal with the slushbox tranny. I love my wagon. My first BMW was a 92 325i, in line 6, hence the name Nline6, when I got my 540 the name no longer fit, but now it does again. yay...

E39swagwag 10-08-2012 12:34 PM

Ok, you will have a few items to replace. Plan on spending a few grand. Just do a search here and you will know what to look for. You made the right choice. I rented a Magnum once and though there was lots of hp, the workmanship was awful along with rear view etc. I also thought it wasn't too roomy for its exterior size. I have three to schlep around on wknds and the 525it is perfect. For driveability, I don't even realize its a wagon most of the time. Good luck with the fatherhood and the e39.
2002 525it / 172k mi.

vavet5308 10-09-2012 05:56 AM

Yeah, I'm handy with a wrench, so needing to replace a few bits here and there is not a concern for me, especially straight forward tasks like suspension pieces, valve cover gasket, etc. I enjoy the work. It borders of therapeutic for me, as I'd imagine it does for many of us driving these older cars. I've yet to investigate the state of the CCV system and cooling system, checking for leaks, etc, but I know it has some oil leaks. Maybe I can blow into some of it tonight when I get home.
The maintenance concerns actually worked out well for me. I was able to appeal to the salesman on these issues and told him that almost any other potential buyer would want these items corrected before they would purchase, especially the airbag light. He knew that was a valid point. In reality, I'm not even sure it's legal for them to sell a used car with the airbag light on.
Frankly, I'm surprised a premium dealership (stand-alone Mini dealer) would sell a premium brand car without correcting the issues, especially a corporate parent brand.

I had an interesting experience that I've never heard of before with the salesman. I made an out-the-door offer (including their processing fee, taxes, and 2 year tags) that was $1k below their internet price (so actual purchase price would've been about $1800 below internet price). He was skeptical but took it to his used car manager.
He countered with an offer $1k higher.
I raised my offer by $300 and told him that was it (now at $700 below internet asking price, but including all taxes and fees).
He came back with another counteroffer, but we were still about $500 apart. He asked me to meet in the middle and I said no, that was it. That was my final offer. He appealed to my wife. She's a stone-faced negotiator and wasn't a huge fan of the car, but willing to go along at a reasonable price. He got nowhere with her.
He actually took the same offer back to the manager again and came back with an approval. I've never heard of that happening before.
The way I look at it is this: I'll spend some money and time on the car. I think their internet asking price was actually a bit low, considering mileage and overall condition, but it gave me a good place to start negotiating. Money I spend on the car to bring it up to my standards up to the point of their original asking price is just included in the price of the car.

sean911sc 10-21-2012 02:24 PM

E39 Touring or Magnum

- Do you want a warranty?
- Can you do your own repairs?
- Do you want something you can just drive or tinker with?
- What do/don't you want?

Simple question for me - I only buy German cars for myself. Wife has 2010 Flex with EcoBoost for daily kid runs and cross country trips - it has more family amenities than a E39, but it gets poor gas mileage - 17-20mpg at best on long trips (could pass the deal up as we get a Ford discount and its has warranty. As for me - E39 period.

Now I will say that if you're not hauling more than family - take a look at Ford Flex with EcoBoost - Better resale value. Had no problem getting rid of our 2009 Flex Limited with 56K miles.

My dad had an Magnum that I could have picked up, but just not feeling it. The E39 Touring is more rewarding car. It fills the bill for what's need in a work/family hauler, but it also has reconnected me with my passion to tinker with euro cars as I did in high schools with my E21.

540indiana 10-21-2012 02:36 PM

People who own magnums or chargers think they are high performance bimmers, Mercs or Audis.
Now you don't have to pretend. Nice choice! Even if she becomes problematic, you have one of the safest cars on the road.

sean911sc 10-21-2012 02:42 PM

I've always admired the fit/finsh and attention to detail euro cars offer. This isn't available in any other cars. Euro car MFG have been doing this since day one. All other are merely playing catch up, but will never be equal.

540indiana 10-21-2012 06:02 PM


Originally Posted by sean911sc (Post 7148805)
I've always admired the fit/finsh and attention to detail euro cars offer. This isn't available in any other cars. Euro car MFG have been doing this since day one. All other are merely playing catch up, but will never be equal.

Except for the one that is "Imported from Detroit". Translation- We just ripped off Audi ,BMW and Mercedes. :thumbdwn:

sean911sc 10-21-2012 06:07 PM

True that USA MFG are finally getting it together. The redesigned Fords look nothing like previous year models. Attention to detail will always be far off.

540indiana 10-21-2012 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by sean911sc (Post 7149124)
True that USA MFG are finally getting it together. The redesigned Fords look nothing like previous year models. Attention to detail will always be far off.

The new Fords look like Aston Martins. Take a gander at the new concept Mustang. Its beautiful but looks like a DB7

FLE39 10-21-2012 07:07 PM

The E39 will require some DIY time. I have a 3 month old myself. I got rid of my '08 Lincoln MKZ which was a 263HP bad ass blk/blk car but had a payment, so I got a paid off E39, which I've been fixing up and will never be perfect. But the quality and type of car, driving etc is what I wanted. Nice Mid-size, MPG friendly RWD, stick shift car with quality interior and quiet ride @ hwy speeds and large brakes. Might as well plan on dumping 2K+ into any E39 you buy unless you buy if off a member or someone you know the history of. I kind of got burned on the amount of crap needing replaced on a 93k/9yr old car. I drove a 225k 1984 Supra's to 2008 and never replaced half the crap my E39 has needed. The magnum is a good size/layout of car but IMO, Mopar makes crap vehicles. V6 Camry will blow the doors off any E39, excpect maybe a M5 or 540. 265HP in a modern car. I know my MKZ was so fast it was stupid. Low 14's in the 1/4 mile. That's equal to my high school 1997 5.7L LT1 Z28 I used to take to the 1/4 mile track. Or do a Turbo Sonata. That's what I really wanted, but all the used ones are 25k+ and new it's a 27k car. Just no old stock yet. I was looking for a under 10k car so I had limits, and used the DIY in my favor vs getting a econo box.

Pros of the E39: mid 20's mpg around town, upper 20's to 30.5mpg on hwy. Quiet at hwy speeds, great handling, brakes dynamic. Interior quality is very high. Good mix of size, sporty and comfort. Good size trunk. RWD.

Cons: Will require extensive work. Cooling system, ABS module, window regulators, Dash & radio pixels etc. Figure $2,000 MIN to get any used unknown E39 up to speed. That's with me doing all my labor too.. so 2k in parts alone or more. my 530i is pretty slow vs the newer cars in traffic. 225hp, and running 89 gas. My MKZ or a V6 Camry or Turbo Sonata would blow the doors off this thing.. but I have a fast car, looking to save money and still enjoy what I drive daily.

If you can commit to the DIY and repairs costs, are hell bent on a RWD then do it. But please do your research b/c I'm a gear head for over 12yrs+ and owned a laundry list of old cars and this is not for a beginner. Or somone living pay check to pay check (not saying you are, but it's not jap reliable)

What I would consider as an alternative before I made my decision:

Hell bent on RWD: New body Dodge Charger in V6 or V8. 4 doors, RWD, good size, newer, cheap to fix. Won't need DIY.

If you are OK with FWD: Lincoln MKZ 2009/10+ are soooooo NICE! Mine was a '08, and was still sweet. V6 Camry. Turbo Sonata. New Fusion looks sick and has some new engines that bring it into the 2010's. Lexus ES. Super quiet, excellent quality, relaible and cheap to fix.

Chose wisely

salesman 10-21-2012 07:52 PM

all these people complaining about E39 DIY make me laugh. chrysler products, especially from a few years ago, have terrible reliability. i can't count the amount of '03-'10 chryslers i've seen with bad transmissions and a bunch of other little things going bad. not to mention the fisher price interiors. my brother bought a brand new charger SRT-8 in 2008 and had to get a new navigation unit a week later since it stopped working

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:04 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2015 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms