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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 07-22-2005, 02:12 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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2003 540i Questions

I'm thinking about upgrading to a 2003 540i/M-sport. I wondered if anyone could comment on the handling of the 2003 model specifically. I have a 2001 530i/sport.
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2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
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  #2  
Old 07-22-2005, 02:24 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A
I'm thinking about upgrading to a 2003 540i/M-sport. I wondered if anyone could comment on the handling of the 2003 model specifically. I have a 2001 530i/sport.
A lot of angst and trouble went into determining the exact suspension differences between the 'MTechnic' suspension and the earlier ones. After a Roundel TechTalk letter mentioned there may be some, a follow up letter ensued. IIRC, the ruling from NA was that the M Technic 540 was a cosmetic upgrade and that they tweaked the software for anothe 8HP. I could be absolutely off.

In comparison to your 530, you may find steering less nimble. You may also find that the steering offers less feedback or feels 'heavier.' Its for you to decide if the power difference makes up for it.
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2005, 03:34 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Well, not having driven a 530 sport extensively, I can say the 540 handles just fine as my "daily driver". But the motor is what makes it what it is. Lot's of torque, great acceleration, even with the "slush box".

I will mention that there does appear to be a difference in the 03 suspension, though I have no idea what it is, or whether it is significant or not. Here's why...begining with 2001, all other markets (other than USA) had the option on the 540 of either the "M-Sport Suspension" or the "M-Sport Suspension II", the later being offerred with the "M-Sport" package or the "M-Executive" package. It appears that this "M-Sport Suspension II" became the standard suspension for USA "sport" 540's in 2003. For those curious, the option code in 2001 was #705 "M-Sport Suspension II", my car (Canadian market) has this as part of the "M-Sport" package.

Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 07-22-2005 at 05:51 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2005, 05:12 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport
I will mention that there does appear to be a difference in the 03 suspension, though I have no idea what it is, or whether it is significant or not. Here's why...begining with 2001, all other markets (other than USA) had the option on the 540 of either the "M-Sport Suspension" or the "M-Sport Suspension II", the later being offerred with the "M-Sport" package or the "M-Executive" package. It appears that this "M-Sport Suspension II" became the standard suspension for USA "sport" 540's in 2003. For those curious, the option code in 2001 was #705, my car (Canadian market) was this as part of the "M-Sport" package.
Eyep. That's pretty much verbatim what the Roundel discussion centered on. I think they determined- for US cars at least- no actual differences.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:03 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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No actual differences between - U.S. and non-U.S. cars, or between 2003 U.S. cars and pre-2003 U.S. cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PropellerHead
Eyep. That's pretty much verbatim what the Roundel discussion centered on. I think they determined- for US cars at least- no actual differences.
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Current
2014 535d, M Sport, Space Gray/Mocha Nappa
Prior
2007 530i, White/Black, 6MT
2001 530i, Orient Blue/Beige, 5MT
1994 325is, White/Black 5MT
1984 325e, White/Black 5MT
1983 318i, Delphin/Beige 4MT
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2005, 09:15 PM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A
No actual differences between - U.S. and non-U.S. cars, or between 2003 U.S. cars and pre-2003 U.S. cars?
Sorry ab that, the Roundel addressed only the suspension on US cars.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2005, 02:45 AM
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dchen dchen is offline
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I used to have an 01 Orient Blue 530i sport just like yours. I traded that car in for an 03 540i sport when I saw the E60. The handling of both cars were very good. If I recall, the 01 530i was softer. I remember my wife commenting that the 540i's ride was indeed stiffer. Handling wise I think they are similar. It feels as though the 540i sticks better due in part to the wider tires in the back (265/35/18). The weight of the 540i is definitely evident although once you step on the gas, all is forgotten. There seems to be less roll in hard cornering in the 540 than my old 530. The M technic II suspension from what I understand is similar to sport suspension offered in RoW cars and is different than previous US E39 sport packages. I remember when I first picked up the 540 there was a big difference in the steering feel. It was much lighter and I felt the 530 felt more direct and better weighted. But after a week, I forgot all about it and it feels just like a BMW should. Hope this helps.
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