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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 04-10-2006, 09:54 AM
danna's Avatar
danna danna is offline
<my other German
Location: SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 434
Mein Auto: 05 545i
Should I buy a 545?

Please help me get a clue!

I have a 1999 328...love the performance, but getting old (it, not me). I'm considering a 2004 545 ($45,500 at a dealer) w/ 20k. Questions:

1. Was there something wrong with the 545 engine that is why they only made it for 2 years?

2. I have driven a stick since I learned to drive one. I'm told the 545 is so powerful I will not mind driving an auto, + stick will be hell to find used, and to sell. Agree?

3. I really like the way the new 5's look...but now I hear there's a minor body style change coming? Should I wait?

4. Also hear rumblings of a turbo. The 545 is near the outer limit of my price tolerance. Would I save $$ by getting a 53? turbo?

5. Any difference between the '04 and the '05 545?

6. Any other things I should watch out for that you think a consumer(not an enthusiast like you guys) might not know?

Bonus Question: Anybody know if a road bike will fit in the trunck w/ just the front wheel removed?

Thanks very much!
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2006, 11:55 AM
Ågent99's Avatar
Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mein Auto: Trek 6500 MTB
545 engine is just fine. Competition has a way of changing things on cars....

Give it a shot finding a manual if you really want one but it could be tough. The V8 will have you grinning regardless.

Note that it is minor...but it won't show until MY2008.

The 3-series will get the bi-turbo first. Remains to be seen how they outfit a 5-series with one. Expect the 5-series bi-turbo in MY2008.

'04 vs '05 will be minor in only the options available on one vs. the other. Not sure of the exact ones, however, but Bluetooth was big for the '05.

Road bike? Like a Trek or something? Make sure you get the fold-down rear seat and you'll be good to go.
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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  #3  
Old 04-10-2006, 02:15 PM
mach schnell mach schnell is offline
Living bimmer to bimmer
Location: Baltimore, MD
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 59
Mein Auto: E60 550i
Should I buy a 545?

IMHO, fold down seats are a must, even though they charge you $500 extra . My E46 M3 does not have much trunk space, but with the seats folded down I have fit many things including my road bike and my eight-foot kayak (yes, INSIDE the car ).

If you get a 5er with the fold down seats, you will have no worries.
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2007 550i (E60) ED 7/28 redelivered 8/31 Monaco Blue, Beige, SMG, Sport, Cold Weather, Premium Sound, CA, Folding Rear Seats
2003 M3 (E46) - second BMW, sold in 2006
1998 328is (E36) - first BMW, sold in 2002
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  #4  
Old 04-10-2006, 04:32 PM
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marc545i marc545i is offline
Whatever
Location: WhoDat Nation
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,188
Mein Auto: 2004 Jet Black 545i
I paid around the same ballpark for my '04 with only 8k miles + still came with a full warranty and BMW roadside assistance. Make sure they're giving you all the perks. Had a little problem with error messages from the computer (see earlier post about active steering) but it turned out to be nothing. Auto with Steptronic transmission has been fun to drive, but I wish I had SMG after reading everyone elses posts. Engine is incredible... great acceleration, smooth like butter on the hwy - you'll have to get a radar detector cuz you don't even realize you're speeding. I don't think you can fit a bike in the trunk...maaaybe with the fold-down seats but i don't think i have that option on mine. good luck on your decision. if the only thing keeping you back is the bike, don't let that stop you!
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  #5  
Old 04-11-2006, 05:55 AM
danna's Avatar
danna danna is offline
<my other German
Location: SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 434
Mein Auto: 05 545i
Marc - oh, trust me, I know I'm speeding. I used to have my detector hardwired on my 300Z. It was definitely more conveneint- every time I've gotten a ticket in the BMW it's been when I forgot to get new batteries. I had hoped they wouldn't notice me in the 3-series soccor mom sedan. I am confused now about what transmission I test drove in the 545. Can you breifly explain steptronic v. SMG? The 545 I'm looking at is Jet black. What is your opinion on that v. the metallic black?

Mach Schnell - Yeah, I've got fold-downs in my 328...but finding a lightly used 545 w/ that option has proven mostly impossible. I'm going over to the dealership with the bike tonight and try to cram it in. If it doesn't fit...I don't know, I may have to buy a 330 after all...the cold weather package comes with fold-downs, so it's not too hard to find. I'm 5'2", so putting the bike on top is not a good option unless I want a lot of scratches.

Agent - thanks for the info. I guess I shouldn't worry about body style changes. I normally keep a car 6-9 years, so there's going to be a new body before I sell it anyway.

Thanks again, all.
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2006, 06:49 PM
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marc545i marc545i is offline
Whatever
Location: WhoDat Nation
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,188
Mein Auto: 2004 Jet Black 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by danna
Marc - oh, trust me, I know I'm speeding. I used to have my detector hardwired on my 300Z. It was definitely more conveneint- every time I've gotten a ticket in the BMW it's been when I forgot to get new batteries. I had hoped they wouldn't notice me in the 3-series soccor mom sedan. I am confused now about what transmission I test drove in the 545. Can you breifly explain steptronic v. SMG? The 545 I'm looking at is Jet black. What is your opinion on that v. the metallic black?

Mach Schnell - Yeah, I've got fold-downs in my 328...but finding a lightly used 545 w/ that option has proven mostly impossible. I'm going over to the dealership with the bike tonight and try to cram it in. If it doesn't fit...I don't know, I may have to buy a 330 after all...the cold weather package comes with fold-downs, so it's not too hard to find. I'm 5'2", so putting the bike on top is not a good option unless I want a lot of scratches.

Agent - thanks for the info. I guess I shouldn't worry about body style changes. I normally keep a car 6-9 years, so there's going to be a new body before I sell it anyway.

Thanks again, all.

I'm not the best in describing the difference between steptronic and smg b/c i've never driven the smg. With Steptronic, you can shift out of "D" into a sport mode then shift from 1st gear all the way to 6th gear without using a clutch, but you're still actually in automatic transmission. You can switch outof Steptronic back into regular automatic transmission even in mid-drive With SMG, I believe it's a true manual transmission without the clutch, so you HAVE to shift through the gears like a regular manual. If I'm wrong, I hope someone out there with SMG will correct me. Regarding Jet Black, I love it but it's a constant battle keeping it clean. Luckily I have a touchless car wash that I can run it through during the week, and I'll do a handwash, sealant and wax maybe every other weekend or so. Hope this helps and good luck in your decision!!!
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2006, 07:49 PM
djw521 djw521 is offline
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Location: Long Beach CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 113
Mein Auto: 2004 545i ED w/ sport pkg
Can you wait one year. Will be trading up my 545 with 15,000 miles next summer. It has fold down seats, sport pkg. I think you should be able to put bike in the trunk without the folddown if wheel removed. It is a deep trunk.
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  #8  
Old 04-11-2006, 08:05 PM
530iii 530iii is offline
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Location: Brooklyn,NY USA
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 237
Mein Auto: E60 N62,ED E60 M54no mas
Talking 05 545i with fold down rear seats

I'll sell mine now for the right price.
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  #9  
Old 05-02-2006, 09:42 AM
danna's Avatar
danna danna is offline
<my other German
Location: SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 434
Mein Auto: 05 545i
HI - I'm back. Found a couple of black 545's sport pkg with the fold down seats. One is Cert. Preowned asking $52k w/ 13k miles on an '05 auto. The other is CarMax '04 w/ 15k asking $46 - stick.

Question: is there some way I can look up the options with the VIN number on the carmax car? It's several states away, $200 to transfer it in, and the CarMax salesmen are extremely obtuse about giving me a complete rundown on the options.

What would you offer ? thanks!

p.s. I'm going to BMW permformance driving school tomorrow! woo hoo!
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2006, 12:57 PM
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marc545i marc545i is offline
Whatever
Location: WhoDat Nation
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,188
Mein Auto: 2004 Jet Black 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by danna
HI - I'm back. Found a couple of black 545's sport pkg with the fold down seats. One is Cert. Preowned asking $52k w/ 13k miles on an '05 auto. The other is CarMax '04 w/ 15k asking $46 - stick.

Question: is there some way I can look up the options with the VIN number on the carmax car? It's several states away, $200 to transfer it in, and the CarMax salesmen are extremely obtuse about giving me a complete rundown on the options.

What would you offer ? thanks!

p.s. I'm going to BMW permformance driving school tomorrow! woo hoo!
Danna, you should be able to get the '05 down around $50k. The Sport Pckg is great and the Steptronic will provide you with more than enough performance. I'm also assuming the the Pre-Certificatied includes the 100k mile warranty? On the other hand, if you don't mind driving stick all the time in a sport sedan, then the price on the '04 is pretty good, except is it pre-cert and is there a mileage warranty included?
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2006, 05:46 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
Moderator, 5-Series
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,931
Mein Auto: Trek 6500 MTB
Try to find a local helpful dealer and hand him the VIN numbers. Some will be glad to help you, others won't even bother talking to you. Good luck.
__________________
2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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  #12  
Old 05-05-2006, 07:53 AM
danna's Avatar
danna danna is offline
<my other German
Location: SC
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 434
Mein Auto: 05 545i
Thanks. The '04 is NOT certified, so only 2 years left on the original warranty. I'm not sure how much $ to factor in there.

Things I learned at the Performance track: I like SMG. M5 is a glorious thing. M3 ain't too shabby either. I do not want a 760, although it would be nice to be able to afford one.
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