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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 01-22-2006, 08:07 PM
psychrunner psychrunner is offline
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530 vs 540

Debating which to buy. Believe it or not, recently sold my 2006 (e90) 330 manual (SP). Really should have bought the e39 to begin with. Still love the look of the e39. Anyhow, how is MPG in the 540? What can I expect to pay for a 530/540 (2003)?
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2006, 09:54 PM
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chgolatin2 chgolatin2 is offline
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Look up the values online, plenty of tools to decide. For some reason my 540 is better on mileage than my 528, love the 540's power awesome!
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:28 AM
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wwb4 wwb4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychrunner
Debating which to buy. Believe it or not, recently sold my 2006 (e90) 330 manual (SP). Really should have bought the e39 to begin with. Still love the look of the e39. Anyhow, how is MPG in the 540? What can I expect to pay for a 530/540 (2003)?
Thanks
I feel the same way that you do about the E39 and E60 body style, for some reason I truly love the E39, and because of that I'm choosing to buy a used E39 M5 in Spring rather than a "new" E60. As for the MPG, I avg about 20.2 MPG with "very" spirited driving. As far as what you'll pay for a 530/540 it's gonna vary depending on several things....CPO....or not......sport package or not.......auto/manual......you gotta be a "bit" more specific as far as what you're looking for as far as colors and options and we'll se what we can do to help you out as far as a good price you should be looking to pay.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:48 AM
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jermiester1 jermiester1 is offline
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I have owned both a 528i and a 540i. The 528i averaged about 21 MPG and the 540i around 17 MPG. Although, I wouldn't make a decision on a 530i vs a 540i on MPG. The 530i will feel lighter and more nimble and has rack and pinion steering. It has enough power to have a lot of fun and makes a great daily driver. The 540i is a great driving and handlng car, but feels heavier and IMO not quite as nimble. If you are into muscle then consider the 540i. If your want a smooth good handling daily driver with adequate power, consider the 530i.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2006, 06:29 AM
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jogus jogus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jermiester1
I have owned both a 528i and a 540i. The 528i averaged about 21 MPG and the 540i around 17 MPG. Although, I wouldn't make a decision on a 530i vs a 540i on MPG. The 530i will feel lighter and more nimble and has rack and pinion steering. It has enough power to have a lot of fun and makes a great daily driver. The 540i is a great driving and handlng car, but feels heavier and IMO not quite as nimble. If you are into muscle then consider the 540i. If your want a smooth good handling daily driver with adequate power, consider the 530i.
I have not driven a 540, so I can not speak to that . However, I would say your assessment/description of the 530 is spot on
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2006, 07:43 AM
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bimmerd00d bimmerd00d is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 540i 6-speed
Quote:
Originally Posted by jogus
I have not driven a 540, so I can not speak to that . However, I would say your assessment/description of the 530 is spot on

Definitely drive one. the difference is night and day regarding the handling. Power becomes overrated when the handling is sacrificed .
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2006, 08:06 AM
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1bad540 1bad540 is offline
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the 540 does not get good gas mileage, i get 200 -220 miles per tank when driven in sport mode, and sometimes i tend to be a psycho, it handles fantastic and is the best car to drive all the time, i also had a 528 sport it blew the 540 away in handling but lacked the grunt i like to feel when getting on the highway
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2006, 08:47 AM
bensonc bensonc is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 540i, E38 740i
I am a 540i onwer, few days ago I have fun with a E60 530i on the road, heavy traffic. I floored my car once theroad open up, and to my suprise, I didn't gain much on acceration. You should try both car to see if the power in 530 statisify you.... And you won't be reglad on either of your choice.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2006, 09:40 AM
SILVERBACK530I SILVERBACK530I is offline
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I Went With The 530i Because I Got A Real Good Deal On A 2002 Model. I Have Upgraded With A Power Chip, Underdrive Pully Kit. And Rear Spoiler. I Also Will Be Putting In A Cai I'm Making Myself. The Next Performance Part After Cai Is An Exhaust.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2006, 09:51 AM
NoBull NoBull is offline
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I get about 17-18 MPG in my 540. I wouldn't call my daily driving spirited or anything. I do like to feel the power of the engine, but it just doesn't get any better milage than that.

On a 350 mile highway drive I got 25mpg though, so it does depend on your drive.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2006, 11:48 AM
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rudejamaican rudejamaican is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 335i Sport
I cant comment on the MPG, because sinceI got my 540 6speed, its hard to keep my foot off the gas. I get good Gas mileage, because once on the highway I drive in 6 gear and at 80 mph it rev about 2200rpm, but I love my 540I I am a HP man and the 540 does it for me
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:24 PM
baileykb baileykb is offline
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Mein Auto: '97 540i 6-Speed
Handling for the 540 can be upgraded for a modest price (much more modest that uprgading the power of the I6 to equal or surpass the Hp and Torque of the V8) to close the handling gap between the two. I can not be positive but the difference in handing probably has more to do with feel than performance. For my 540/6 suspension I went from stock sport to :
Eibach springs
Koni adjustable struts
rear 17mm Dinan anti-sway bar
front 27mm M5 anti-sway bar
PowerFlex urethane bushing for the traction struts
PowerFlex urethane bushings for the wishbones
(soon to be installed)
Then if needed I will get urethane bushings for the anti-sway bars.

Anyway this is just my opinion and I am only a little biased towards the 54!
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:24 PM
NFS NFS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1bad540
the 540 does not get good gas mileage, i get 200 -220 miles per tank when driven in sport mode, and sometimes i tend to be a psycho, it handles fantastic and is the best car to drive all the time, i also had a 528 sport it blew the 540 away in handling but lacked the grunt i like to feel when getting on the highway
Wow, you must have a heavy right foot. I get 300-320 miles per tank on my 540I. And I live in the heart of Los Angeles where traffic is horrible on a daily base. Test drive both and see which you like better.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2006, 02:11 PM
Wildcat_1 Wildcat_1 is offline
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NFS

What does that equate to MPG wise ? I am having one of those mondays
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2006, 02:14 PM
Wildcat_1 Wildcat_1 is offline
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Also looking

I am in the same boat. Currently trying to make a decision by end of day on a new daily driver for me either 2002 530ia or 2001 540ia. The 01 is CPO
d the 02 is not.

I'm wondering if the 540 is overkill even though I do 100 miles per day driving.

Also wondering with a good set of snows how these handle. We don't get months and months of snow here in Colorado but it can catch you unawares. Any advice qould be greatly appreciated as I need to tie this up by end of day. I have driven both and love the power of the 540 just wonder if the 530 is the best of both worlds ?

Thnx

WC
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2006, 02:42 PM
NFS NFS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat_1
NFS

What does that equate to MPG wise ? I am having one of those mondays
I don't know if it's accurate or not but according to OBD is says 20.4 MPG. For a 100 miles per day commute, I would definitely lean toward 530. Wildcat, sorry about the Broncos.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2006, 03:02 PM
mtush mtush is offline
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Above comment is right. A 540I can be made to handle like a 530I for a modest price. Upgrade sway bars to M5 which cost $110 apiece. Factor in extra for labor and you have yourself a monster and sweet daily driver not to mention admiration from 530I owners. I bet you any 530 owner would switch to a 540 anyday. Are you kidding me?
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2006, 03:02 PM
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GJR GJR is offline
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[QUOTE=Believe it or not, recently sold my 2006 (e90) 330 manual (SP)[/QUOTE]

Psychorunner: If you don't mind my asking, why did you sell your E90? I always thought that it might have a chance at replacing my 540iT someday (even though I have yet to drive one) so I wondered if you had any comments about that. Thanks!
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2006, 04:21 PM
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wwb4 wwb4 is offline
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I also get about 280-300 miles to a full tank in my 540iA with "very" spirited driving.
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2006, 04:44 PM
Wildcat_1 Wildcat_1 is offline
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Thanks NFS. Nightmare of a game. I've been leaning towards the 540 but as I've always been a bimmer man I am concerned about putting all that mileage on a 540.

Torn between the pursuit of happiness and a lead foot and reality and MPG

WC
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  #21  
Old 01-23-2006, 06:13 PM
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liuk3 liuk3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jermiester1
I have owned both a 528i and a 540i. The 528i averaged about 21 MPG and the 540i around 17 MPG. Although, I wouldn't make a decision on a 530i vs a 540i on MPG. The 530i will feel lighter and more nimble and has rack and pinion steering. It has enough power to have a lot of fun and makes a great daily driver. The 540i is a great driving and handlng car, but feels heavier and IMO not quite as nimble. If you are into muscle then consider the 540i. If your want a smooth good handling daily driver with adequate power, consider the 530i.
wise advice. i had an E39 530 and absolutely loved it for driving the streets and commuting. it transported people in luxury.
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  #22  
Old 01-23-2006, 08:01 PM
tommyg tommyg is offline
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I love the handling (and of course the power) of my 540i. Then again, I drove a grand cherokee before my purchase.

I had a chance to drive the new Porsche Cayman yesterday...now this thing can handle!!!
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  #23  
Old 01-23-2006, 08:54 PM
Wildcat_1 Wildcat_1 is offline
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Last question, if the two (02 530 and 01 540) are the same price which is the way to go ?
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  #24  
Old 01-23-2006, 09:14 PM
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wwb4 wwb4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat_1
Last question, if the two (02 530 and 01 540) are the same price which is the way to go ?
Depends on the options and mileage on them both? That's a pretty vague question to ask.
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  #25  
Old 01-23-2006, 09:42 PM
Wildcat_1 Wildcat_1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 BMW 540ia
47k miles on both***12290; 530ia has sport***65292; black on black***65292; premium pak***12290; 540ia has sport black on black premium***65292; navigation***65292; bluetooth CPO***12290;

Both at 27k dollars
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