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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 01-06-2010, 05:35 AM
midexus midexus is offline
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Question E39 vs E46

Hello All,

I know it seems like a stupid question,

But I have a choice of buying a 2003 E39 (525) or E46(325).

How do these two cars compare in terms of durability, maintenance cost performance, fuel consumption and handling?

Thanks a lot
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:41 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midexus View Post
I know it seems like a stupid question,
Not at all. In fact, it's been asked before...
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2010, 08:45 PM
rashid rashid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midexus View Post
Hello All,

I know it seems like a stupid question,

But I have a choice of buying a 2003 E39 (525) or E46(325).

How do these two cars compare in terms of durability, maintenance cost performance, fuel consumption and handling?

Thanks a lot
I would say both of them are almost of the same level except the size & weight.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2010, 08:47 PM
andyffer andyffer is offline
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basically the same. The e46 might be a tad quicker because of a bit of weight difference.

Test drive them both and see which one you like. I know I love the e39's styling much better and that would do it for me.

Good luck! Keep us posted
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:59 PM
newton22 newton22 is offline
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I've driven a E46 325i sport and the car rides stiffer than my E39 530i sport. They seem to handle better as well, but interior fit and finish trails the E39 a bit.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:17 PM
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chong188 chong188 is offline
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I like the styling of e46's until I see the cutouts on the underside of the headlights. Dont know why but I cant stand that styling cue, same thing with the early e65's bumpers that sorta mimic that cut out shape around each projector.

I can not say too much as I've never even been in a 3 series before. but the e46 has been rated highly over its lifetime. But the e39 was claimed as the best car ever tested by consumer reports IIRC.
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:54 AM
Rgol Rgol is offline
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It depends. Is this a daily driver and you do not plan on mods? If so, go with the E39. Overall fit, finish and quality is higher. If you want to have fun with mods, go with E46. Your options are far greater. I love my E39, but I would go with the E46. I think the E39 525 is underpowered and not much fun to drive unless ina 5-Speed manual. Just my $.02.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:38 AM
larryshomework larryshomework is offline
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I've owned several e46s and I'm about to get my first e39.

If you get a 325i, the manual is recommended. The best of the bunch is the 330 (sedan or coupe) with the Performance Package (ZHP). If you can find one of these and you want a great handling, fast car I highly recommend it.

I'm moving to an e39 because I have a Boxster for my fun handling/sports car. The e39 is for daily driving, comfort and class (for lack of a better word). To me, the e39 is one of the best looking sedans ever made with probably the best interior I've ever seen.

Both are so much better than most other stuff out there. Good luck.
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  #9  
Old 01-07-2010, 09:37 AM
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For some reason I love the E46's and think that the M3 is just awesome. The E39's are also really nice so you can't take anything away from them especially since you will be getting a bigger car if you go with the e39.
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