E36 320i vs E39 530i Sport for Handling - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 11-13-2012, 06:40 PM
andrew320i andrew320i is offline
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Location: Australia
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 63
Mein Auto: 1994 320i
E36 320i vs E39 530i Sport for Handling

I'm currently driving a manual early 1994 320i, which has done over 200,000 km and has a good collection of mechanical issues. I'm not sure if it's had any modifications, the suspension may be a bit sportier that stock, but I used to drive an early 2000 Toyota Corolla... . It's a great car, but I'm wanting something with a bigger interior, newer, and safer.

So currently I'm quite keen to get a 2000+ 530i with the best sport packages (chiefly suspension and traction control) that I realistically get. Here in Australia we can only get it with sports automatic. Now how would I find this compared to my E36 in terms of handling and sporty driving? Obviously it will thrash for straight line speed (170 kW vs 110 kW despite 1575kg vs 1375 kg), but I do enjoy the twisty bits in my E36. Also what's it like going from manual to sports automatic whilst doing a big engine upgrade?

Ultimately it doesn't matter as space is a priority, so long as the 530i isn't a complete boat, but I would like it to handle as well if not better.

Perhaps a follow up question if the E39 handling would be worse, how much $$$ of modifying would I need to do to get it as good if not better? I'm guessing suspension, sway bars, tyres and rims.. is there an optimal rim size for handling?


Last edited by andrew320i; 11-13-2012 at 06:42 PM.
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