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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 07-18-2005, 11:07 PM
nismoz nismoz is offline
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Location: TAMPA
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: Nismo 350Z
Lightbulb opinions-- about 528i

I'm thinking about buying 97 528i w/ above 80k.
I know bmw has its reliability and all. However, I see a lot of threads about
both older, and newer model could be somewhat problematic.
I'm thinking about modifying to M5 exterior look and It would probably run
$4g~$5g?(Rims, Bodykit, angel eyes, xenon, tail-lights, emblem...etc?)
Before I make a move . I want to hear all of your proffesional opinions~
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Old 07-19-2005, 05:03 PM
twintees twintees is offline
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Location: Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 528iT
Thumbs up Opinions are like armpits but...

I just purchased another '99 528iT. We now have twins as my wife has the same model. Her's with 82,000 (bought with 52,000) and just coming off a CPO, mine with 60k. Having owned hers for 2 years now I believe them to be reliable. The only items needing attention on her's having been cam sensor, now being changed for the second time. I guess there are other cars out there but none I've found to be as well designed and feature rich as these. From the locking mechanisms, switch gear, seats to everything else the ergonomics just can't be beat, unless its perhaps a 7 series doing the beating. I've owned the 3's and while they've a great deal of built-in fun factor they are a bit small for my 6' plus frame. My recent purchase included the Sport Package - highly recommended! It makes the 5er seem more like a 3 for handling... somehow much nimbler and easier to drive. Look for that package or better yet, the sport/premium package as you get the best of all worlds. For what its worth, my car when new had to cost a big bundle as it has almost every option - nav, load floor, sun shades, PDC (this option is a terrific one!), zenons, upgraded sport seats and DSP sound with CD. Paid 16.8 for it. Yes, I've seen them much cheaper and yes, I've seen them more. But with 60k and all those goodies and not a cosmetic blemish I'm uncomfortable with, there is real value to the dollars spent. I'd find a well optioned car with milage your comfortable with and buy it even if it is more. You can always add those things you mentioned later if you want but you'd have the basis for a really good car by buying it right to begin with.

Good luck, 5's Rule!
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Old 07-20-2005, 05:56 AM
back_mtn_boy back_mtn_boy is offline
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Location: Northern Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1997 528i 5-speed
Go for it!

Don't be afraid about buying an higher mileage 528i, at least from my perspective, mileage should not be a major consideration. Other things, such as the overall mechanical and cosmetic condition are certainly important, too. Get the car checked out by a BMW shop before you buy, if you are not getting it from a dealer with a decent warranty.

I bought a 97' 528i with 85,000 about a year-and-a-half ago and have been very satisfied. One thing that I would definitely recommend is to get a car with a 5-speed manual transmission. It took me a few months to get the car I wanted with a 5-speed, but it was definitely worth the work. The manual transmission car feels much more responsive, in my opinion.

Good luck!

cheers - John
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