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Old 09-28-2012, 09:27 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Location: NJ
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Originally Posted by FiveDriver View Post
If you're going to look at cars that 12-14 years ago had an MSRP in the $40-45K range, and that are still "generally available" have to say there really is No Match for the e39.

You have to account for the whole package not just performance, luxury, and handling -- but also the Exterior Design, the Interior Design including the Sound System and comfy seating. The quality of the finish, the higher grade of leather and the judicious use of wood accents. The Performance (acknowledging the good Fuel Economy when not pedaling too hard ! ) and the overall Brand Recognition as the Ultimate Driving Machine.

The Lex's may have better Interior Design, but the Performance will be lacking. A Porsche may out-perform, BUT those interiors are just too "Teutonic" for my taste. The Infiniti is a dolled-up Nissan which ain't a bad thing but wouldn't stand comparison to an e39. Cadillac and Lincoln tried their entry into this Market Segment but looking back on those units -- let's just say they get a "Gentleman's C" and leave it at that. Jaguar ?? Buy two because one of them will always be in the Shop. Acura ?? A Honda, and just as boring. Vulva ?? Enough said. Audi ?? All the idiosynchracies of German Engineering with none of the Panache.

I'm speaking from experience because I've owned practically all of those cars at some point.
I agree with all of the above but need to add one more perspective. With these older bimmers, you tend to need a back up just like the Jaguar because there will be times that one is tied up for a while getting repaired. That is, unless you find one that has been fanatically maintained by all previous owners and needs no 'catch up' maintenance. I own two fives, a 2003 530i Sport and 95 525iT with an S52 engine swap. The combination is great and when the maintenance dust clears, I think I will have about $20K total invested in the pair. (I did the engine swap myself on the E34.) There really is nothing out there that can touch these two cars for the price and driving fun factor.
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