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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-23-2014, 08:53 AM
Caesonia Caesonia is offline
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Location: Va
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: Volvo 245
Test drove a 2008 528i and 2014 diesel 3 series

It was a very interesting experience. I really enjoyed the perkiness and zippiness of the diesel. It's a real go go mobile. The car performs. It's very agile, and I found myself going faster than I thought I was. There was a lot more wind noise than I expected. Almost as loud as my 240 wagon, and that was a surprise for a car that's supposed to be very aerodynamic vs my box. I kind of liked that there were choices for the type of driving style I wanted, but I fear these having the possibility of extra breaking. I also found the car turning off every time I came to a stop very disconcerting. Eco-friendly as it is, there is the scare that the car won't start. It also puts a lot more wear and tear on the starter. If I bought something with a turbo on it, it would be the diesel. If you settled for the RWD I can see getting in the 40's range, but with the performance. Screw the Prius and it's mpg. Move over Toyota, Mercedes, Lexus, Infinity, you just got owned on every level.

Driving the 5 series was really driving a different car, but one I honestly felt more at home with. This is a car I am more familiar with, and the engine sounded like the BMWs I have known. The steering was heavier, like I am used to in my father'cars, and my Volvo. It was also a good deal quieter on the highway. It wasn't quite so zippy, but I felt more settled with the weightier handling and sedateness. Again, like my father's cars, and the 245. It didn't feel quite as tight as I thought it would, but I got the feeling that car wasn't really loved by it's previous owners. Not abused, but not loved. The transmission shifted very well, the car didn't do anything quirky, but even the shift stick didn't feel super snug. I didn't really push it in the corners, because I don't know it, but there is a horrible turn at an odd angle going downhill, and that's when I began to see the 4 cornering machine. Most people slow way down, and I didn't really. No roll, no lean, it acted like it was on flat ground. Weighty it might be, but this is not your Uncle Olaf's yacht.

The seats did not beat me up, and I could actually see the hood of the car -OK I saw it in the 3 series - and visibility was good. Because I am so short, that's a big deal to me. Overall the car is nicely appointed, but somehow I felt like there should be a few more bells and whistles in a car of that class, and I am not talking cup holders. Could just be the German stoic style, the car has what it needs to be a wonderful driving machine, so what else would you want? Perhaps that is what you folks are talking about in terms of getting it with the sport or premium package. I know I like my cold weather goodies on my current car. Perhaps some of you folks can talk about some of the driving things to look for. Maybe I was unfair to this particular car.
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2014, 11:21 AM
BMWFAN275 BMWFAN275 is offline
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Location: Stamford, CT
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 614
Mein Auto: 2009 535i, Sport
So you drove two different cars, miles apart in price. What are your needs and budget? A good 2008 528 can be had for less than half the price of a 328d. Diesels are great (I own one), but I don't think the money I save on fuel costs make a big difference. For us, it was the improved performance over the base model and the better fuel mileage over Cayenne S. Great tradeoff for us.
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2009 535i Sport, NAV, CWP, SAT, IPOD
2014 Porsche Cayenne Diesel
2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
2006 Honda Accord EX-L
Retired fleet:
2013 Auid A5 Cabrio 2.0T (troubles, troubles)
2005 Toyota 4Runner Limited V8 (My snow tires)
2007 530xi
2004 Jaguar XJ8
2006 Saab 93 2.0T unfixable glitches, bye bye
1999 BMW 528i Touring
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2014, 01:36 PM
Caesonia Caesonia is offline
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Location: Va
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: Volvo 245
Well, I needed to drive a 2008 or so 528i, the dealership is close by, and they ahd one on the lot. That was my real goal. Of course, I am a diesel fan, and I was truly curious. They want to try and sell me a car, so they put me in a 328d. Yes, I was very impressed at the combination.

I think it was helpful to have the comparison in what I was looking at, and what I was spending my money on. I have long been of the philosophy about buying something 6 or years old, that is of a higher marque, that has been taken care of, and driving the heck out of it.You get a lot more car for the money from day one. I have done this very successfully over the years with my big trucks - I need them for hauling animals in - and it's paid off. The Volvo was an exception, after having bought used, and I have never regretted it.

The 5 series was just plain more comforting for me. I like the bigger heavier car, and that it drives like a rwd car should when I jumped on it. It was more of what I was expecting, and were I want to go, provided it's reasonable to take care of. ( you guys have been helping with that.) It gets in the 30's on the highwy which is better gas mileage than what I have been getting in my old freight hauling wagon.

More of what I am asking at this point is what I should expect, beyond the typical looking for body work, etc. I am more asking what kind of 'feel' I should expect, to decide if something isn't quite right with the car. How much play would you expect in the shift? noises - I didn't hear any I thought I shouldn't. Maybe some particualr types of driving moves to make to get squeak growl from a bearing, that kind of thing.

The advantage in the case of the car I tested was that it had always been serviced there, and the original salesman happened to be the husband of a friend, and was still there. So finding out about that particular car should be a real possibility. But it was a base model, as far as I could tell, and I would like a few more of the bells and whistles suggested by this site.

Thnks.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2014, 03:10 PM
BMWFAN275 BMWFAN275 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Stamford, CT
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 614
Mein Auto: 2009 535i, Sport
I may be bit biased, but the E60 is a great car. Once you get used to a 5, a 3 series just won't cut it. Good luck with the hunt.
__________________
2009 535i Sport, NAV, CWP, SAT, IPOD
2014 Porsche Cayenne Diesel
2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
2006 Honda Accord EX-L
Retired fleet:
2013 Auid A5 Cabrio 2.0T (troubles, troubles)
2005 Toyota 4Runner Limited V8 (My snow tires)
2007 530xi
2004 Jaguar XJ8
2006 Saab 93 2.0T unfixable glitches, bye bye
1999 BMW 528i Touring
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2014, 06:01 PM
jager911 jager911 is offline
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Location: Easton PA
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Mein Auto: Porsche 911, BMW 540
Test-drive a E60 550 for another comparison, make it a 6spd Sport and you may get that feel that was lacking in the 528. For low $20s, it's a lot of car, there are lots of bells and whistles.
Best mpg I've seen is 24 on a 5 hour highway trip and that was mostly at 80-90. Average is around 19.6 combined, but I didn't get a V8 for fuel economy. Every time I step on the gas puts a big smile on my face.
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'07 550i Titan Gray/black Dakota leather/anthracite bamboo/6MT/Sport/CWP/Logic 7/Comfort Access/Active Steering/NAV
'00 540i 6MT/Sport 237k+
'74 911 Carrera
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'02 Yukon
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