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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-28-2012, 05:55 AM
Newbie528 Newbie528 is offline
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Strong Competitors for 530i out there ???

Hey guys,

I don't know if it's just me.....but I can't think of a SINGLE car that matches the 530i in class, performance, luxury, and specially handling...........IS there one, or two...???

What would come closer to the 530i, and I mean comparing apples to apples. (Plz don't compare other cars which are way OFF in specs).

I'm sure you've all thought about it sometimes.... Let's hear it...
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2012, 06:09 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Are you referring only to 10+ year old cars? That would be a true apples to apples comparison. An Audi A6 or an Infiniti G35 are the only two that come to mind. While similar in general features, I don't think any are close to the e39 for that blend of size, performance, luxury and class.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:15 AM
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A 330i.
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  #4  
Old 09-28-2012, 06:22 AM
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If there was one out there, I would be driving it.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:11 AM
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If there was one out there, I would be driving it.
There's one but it belongs to me.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:21 AM
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There's one but it belongs to me.
MINE. MINE. MINE!

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:11 AM
granlund granlund is offline
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Ten years ago, a Lexus GS300 would be a close match to a 530. Likewise would an IS300 be to a 330. The design of the Lexuses (Lexi?) doesn't quite exactly appeal to me, but reliability would be better.

Last edited by granlund; 09-28-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:15 AM
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Ten years ago, a Lexus GS300 would be a close match to a 530.
No 3-pedal option.

Plus, butt-ugly.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:58 PM
granlund granlund is offline
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No 3-pedal option.

Plus, butt-ugly.
True, I agree about the styling but Japan has some really interesting variants of that car (Toyota Aristo) with a manual 6-speed and a twin-turbo (same driveline as the Supra).
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:19 PM
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True, I agree about the styling but Japan has some really interesting variants of that car (Toyota Aristo) with a manual 6-speed and a twin-turbo (same driveline as the Supra).

The last Supra I ever liked.

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:16 AM
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:46 AM
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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" today.....you 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.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:06 PM
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Let's make it more Interesting and ammend the choices !!!

Quote:
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" today.....you 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.



HOT Dang it You said it "Exactly" the why I was thinking, hence the thread. I totally agree with everything you've mentioned. But I'm still thinking.....there's gotta be....

Okay to make things interesting - how about we compare the E39 (530i) to a more newer (let's say 2005 - 2007) cars. Example G35, Lexus, Acura, Audi (turbo Audis), Mercedes, Kompressors (Benz), etc - some high end name brands. Hope that adds spice to the soup now... So, what's your theory now guys ? Reason I ask is to see what's more newer out there compared to the E39 within say, $15K range, with low miles, easy on gas (not a V8), but still holds and handles well, and doesn't lack the character of E39.

Last edited by Newbie528; 09-28-2012 at 02:12 PM.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2012, 10:27 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Quote:
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" today.....you 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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Old 09-28-2012, 11:47 AM
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We drive Best Car Ever

Even today !

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...4&postcount=18
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:46 PM
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I honestly can't think of a single car to compare the 530i to. When I think I do I realize comparable cars lack one or two key features.

Far as I can tell the leather in my 530i is second to none! I've had leather seats that peel or crack. Some would be too hot to sit on in the summer. Some would tear. The BMW leather is the best I've ever experienced in a car seat as far as durability, style, and comfort (all combined).

For a sedan the handling is off the chain.

A simple thing that amazes me is the feel of the steering wheel during turns. I have zero clue to what mechanics go into my steering system but it feels freakin PERFECT in every form of turn to include parking! Not too stiff and not too loose. I'm talking PERFECT feel!

I recall the old luxury cars one could turn the wheel with the friction between their index finger and the wheel (way too loose). I also had a 1978 280-Z with rack and pinion steering. That sucked when turning the wheel from a dead stop. You had to put your back into the turn to get out of a parallel parking spot. It felt great on the road though. Good road feedback.

Last edited by seemyad; 09-28-2012 at 06:52 PM.
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  #17  
Old 09-28-2012, 04:39 PM
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When the E39 was in its younger days, a number of automotive publications referred to it as "The best sport sedan on the planet". For damn good reasons, obviously....
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2012, 04:59 PM
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I can't think of anything of a similar age (or any age for that matter) that compares with the E39 for the perfect blend of performance, handling, balance, quality and luxury. Other cars may beat it in one or two of the above but the E39 rolls it all into a single package.

There might be a car - a Caddy believe it or not, that has some potential. The new ATS looks to be the real deal. Here it is stacked up against the new 328. The tester actually prefers the Caddy but is put off by a strange phantom detent in the gearbox.

http://ca.autoblog.com/2012/09/27/mo...sus/#continued
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:53 PM
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You pose an interesting question there Newbie528 --

"So, what's your theory now guys? Reason I ask is to see what's newer out there compared to the E39 within say, $15K range, with low miles, easy on gas (not a V8), but still holds and handles well, and doesn't lack the character of E39."


It's really unfair to compare a fairly priced e39 with any car that sells in the $15K range.

At that price point, I want reliability. You'd probably be looking at one of the high end Japanese sporty cars. I've seen the Acura NSX Selling for a little more than $15K-$20K perhaps something like that would fit the bill. A Lexus SC maybe. But my 528, even with the standard maintenence included over the next few years, would only be little more than half of $15K.

You know what would be cool.....there's a guy in Ocean County who does the Ferrari Kit Body over a Fiero frame.......why not just go all to helll with it !?!?
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:14 AM
Newbie528 Newbie528 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveDriver View Post
You pose an interesting question there Newbie528 --

"So, what's your theory now guys? Reason I ask is to see what's newer out there compared to the E39 within say, $15K range, with low miles, easy on gas (not a V8), but still holds and handles well, and doesn't lack the character of E39."


It's really unfair to compare a fairly priced e39 with any car that sells in the $15K range.

At that price point, I want reliability. You'd probably be looking at one of the high end Japanese sporty cars. I've seen the Acura NSX Selling for a little more than $15K-$20K perhaps something like that would fit the bill. A Lexus SC maybe. But my 528, even with the standard maintenence included over the next few years, would only be little more than half of $15K.

You know what would be cool.....there's a guy in Ocean County who does the Ferrari Kit Body over a Fiero frame.......why not just go all to helll with it !?!?
I see your point But say, I have about $15K to spend...what can I get that's similar to E39 530i. And I don't mean NXS types, or Lexus SC, or Altima, Camry either. Those could be had almost new for 15K. I mean a 4 door sedan, that is newer, low miles, will last a while, and has similar personality to the E39 530i (possibly German or Japanse, luxury sport sedan type).

Last edited by Newbie528; 10-01-2012 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:18 PM
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E39 530i...

Can't touch this.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie528 View Post
I see your point But say, I have about $15K to spend...what can I get that's similar to E39 530i. And I don't mean NXS types, or Lexus SC, or Altima, Camry either. Those could be had almost new for 15K. I mean a 4 door sedan, that is newer, low miles, will last a while, and has similar personality to the E39 530i (possibly German or Japanse, luxury sport sedan type).
Nothing for the same price compares to the e39. Never gave it a lot of thought until this thread. E39 curb appeal is still the best in its class when well kept.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:46 PM
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E39 curb appeal is still the best in its class when well kept.

Even with a 5' paint job, when polished and pretty, my car is a sexy beotch.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:33 PM
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A match for the manual 530 E39 in 2002???....That is easy...the car that I did own at that time...which peformance wise was significantly faster.....and not only on a straight line.

My 5.5 gen Maxima......6 speed, a throbbing 3.5 liter V6 (the magnificent VQ35), limited slip diff, the best Navigation system of that time and a killer BOSE stereo, fit and finish was exemplary (the last Maxima built in Japan)....more passenger and trunk space than an E39...Nissan threw the kitchen sink at that car and they sold ton of them.....it was the killer sport sedan in the 6 cylinder segment....I did cross shop it with the 530 (which was my initial intended buy) and I could not come for any reason to go for the 530....

The 530 had the edge on luxury and the handling was on par (on dry roads) but it was down on other aspects.....

You did need a E39 540 to smoke an 02 Maxima



Last edited by duberalles; 10-08-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:57 PM
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Nah! Maxima is front wheel drive and their V6 is very poorly built. I had a maxima and by the time it hit 80K miles most of the exhaust manifold studs started to fall off and left me with annoyance exhaust leaks.

If I ever cross over to the dark side it would be Mercedes. I had a Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 Dogleg 5-spd with 275K miles by the time I sold it.
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