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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 11-13-2012, 10:37 AM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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Is the sports package a must?

I've been searching the classifieds for an E39 and have found a few nice ones but they don't have the sports package. I really like the seats better with the sports package and I'm sure the car will handle better with it. Have any of you driven the E39's with and without the sports package, is it a must own in your opinion. I guess I will be patient and wait to find an E39 with botht the sports and premium package. I live in a smaller town and will probably have to travel to a bigger city to find what I am looking for.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2012, 10:47 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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Depends. I say yes, but it all comes down to what you want with the car. If you plan on installing after market suspension then maybe it's not a big deal. I want to keep my car pretty stock so I found a sport package, bigger rims, lower ride, exc.. I have my 2 favorite packages, winter and sport.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:30 AM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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i like the sport package. nice wheels, nice suspension, nice package. I like to keep mine mostly stock. So not having to buy wheels and suspension on a depreciating car is a bonus.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:47 AM
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ncmallard78 ncmallard78 is offline
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I would argue yes. I like the sports seats a lot more than the regular seats. I love love love the sport steering wheel. That, plus better handling, nicer rims, and shadowline trim makes me strongly prefer the sport package. My 02
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2012, 11:54 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
I've been searching the classifieds for an E39 and have found a few nice ones but they don't have the sports package. I really like the seats better with the sports package and I'm sure the car will handle better with it. Have any of you driven the E39's with and without the sports package, is it a must own in your opinion. I guess I will be patient and wait to find an E39 with botht the sports and premium package. I live in a smaller town and will probably have to travel to a bigger city to find what I am looking for.
between 10 non sport 530i you will find 1 Sport
and the answer is yes Sport is a must to have
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2012, 12:25 PM
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Tema Tema is offline
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540i sport 6 speed manual is a must have! 530i w/ sport is a +.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2012, 01:21 PM
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aa240sx aa240sx is offline
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I could be wrong here, but I think if you don't get the sport package you won't get the M3 steering wheel or the sport seats with the adjustable thigh support. Otherwise, if you can live without that stuff, I say go for it.
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2012, 02:32 PM
Psalm11_6 Psalm11_6 is offline
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Sport is a must... As to seats, you can get comfort seats in a sport package, fact that it has sport doesn't mean it has sport seats :-)

I test drove a non-sport and it just didn't feel very well planted on corners like the sport does.

Like others have said though, if you're planning on changing the suspension up, it's more of a toss-up than if not.
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  #9  
Old 11-13-2012, 02:57 PM
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I have a feeling you'll end up like most enthusiasts if you get an e39 and in that case, Id say yes the sport package is a must. My car is a nonsport but after a few years of ownership Ive replaced parts that are non sport found with ones on the sport package, i.e. sport suspension, black window trim, black impact strips, 17" wheels and 3 spoke steering wheel.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2012, 03:39 PM
Schitzo Schitzo is offline
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IMO Sport package is preferred but not a must. If you find a non-sport in good condition priced appropriately, I would not pass on it in the hopes of finding a sport in similar condition. However, if you must have sport and are patient, by all means wait for the 'ideal' car.
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  #11  
Old 11-13-2012, 04:13 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Quote:
IMO Sport package is preferred but not a must. If you find a non-sport in good condition priced appropriately, I would not pass on it in the hopes of finding a sport in similar condition.
X2

I've driven a friends non-sport touring, automatic even! (LOL) and b/c it has low miles .... and is in great shape .... I liked it almost as much as my 5-speed manual sport touring.

FWIW, I've replaced just about all the parts that make my touring a "sport" b/c they were worn out. Only thing I haven't touched are the seats, steering wheel and trim (exterior). These could be easily changed if one was to get a non-sport and "HAD" to have the sport package aesthetics.

If I found another great shape low mileage 5-speed manual touring ... as a non-sport, I'd buy it and then modify as time / $$$ permits.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2012, 05:38 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Perhaps this is an indication that I'm getting old, but I'd rather have cold weather package (so I could have a heated steering wheel) than sport package. Did I really just say that? Yeah, I did...but anyway, yes, to me an E39 w/o sport is still going to be a great ride. Comfort seats are nice, suspension is still great compared to the average grocery getter, and the shadowline trim doesn't really do much for me.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2012, 06:43 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Just get a nicely maintained E39. It's not like a non-sport is going to drive like ****. It's still a BMW, right?
Do you drive like a racecar driver?
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  #14  
Old 11-13-2012, 07:47 PM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *****zo View Post
IMO Sport package is preferred but not a must. If you find a non-sport in good condition priced appropriately, I would not pass on it in the hopes of finding a sport in similar condition. However, if you must have sport and are patient, by all means wait for the 'ideal' car.
Now a guy has a 2002 525 in my area for sale, black on black which I want and it is in great shape and has the sports package. I wanted a 530 so now have to think about whether I want the 525 or not. 30 less horsepower compared to the 530, are the maintenance costs much less. Any advantage to the 525, seems it gets about the same gas mileage as the 530. Should I hold out for a 530?
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:20 PM
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Dking078 Dking078 is offline
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I say yes! Despite the time gap between my 540i's the sport package changes EVERYTHING!
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  #16  
Old 11-13-2012, 08:54 PM
Solo12 Solo12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa240sx View Post
I could be wrong here, but I think if you don't get the sport package you won't get the M3 steering wheel or the sport seats with the adjustable thigh support. Otherwise, if you can live without that stuff, I say go for it.
Exactly if that stuff is important to you then hold out for a sport package car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by King 5 View Post
I have a feeling you'll end up like most enthusiasts if you get an e39 and in that case, Id say yes the sport package is a must. My car is a nonsport but after a few years of ownership Ive replaced parts that are non sport found with ones on the sport package, i.e. sport suspension, black window trim, black impact strips, 17" wheels and 3 spoke steering wheel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase007 View Post
X2

I've driven a friends non-sport touring, automatic even! (LOL) and b/c it has low miles .... and is in great shape .... I liked it almost as much as my 5-speed manual sport touring.

FWIW, I've replaced just about all the parts that make my touring a "sport" b/c they were worn out. Only thing I haven't touched are the seats, steering wheel and trim (exterior). These could be easily changed if one was to get a non-sport and "HAD" to have the sport package aesthetics.

If I found another great shape low mileage 5-speed manual touring ... as a non-sport, I'd buy it and then modify as time / $$$ permits.
These two comments taken together are key. If the suspension is really all you care about in sport package then you can change it over when you redo the suspension (unless it was just done).

But if the seats, steering wheel and to a lesser extent trim are important to you then just hold out for a sport package car. Yes you can swap seats and steering wheels, but it is going to cost you money and time to do it. So if those are important to you just hold out for the sport package car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
Now a guy has a 2002 525 in my area for sale, black on black which I want and it is in great shape and has the sports package. I wanted a 530 so now have to think about whether I want the 525 or not. 30 less horsepower compared to the 530, are the maintenance costs much less. Any advantage to the 525, seems it gets about the same gas mileage as the 530. Should I hold out for a 530?
Don't do it. Expand your search area. I don't think you are going to see much of a difference in gas mileage and maintenance costs are going to be a wash, but I think you will notice the power difference. The only advantage of that car sounds like is that it is close to you. It sounds like you might have to convince yourself that you want that car rather than a 530. I know a lot of people would prefer to just get a car in their back yard rather than expanding their search radius a few hours. I on the other hand would be willing to go to across the country to get exactly what I want so I can't completely relate.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:49 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhw58 View Post
Now a guy has a 2002 525 in my area for sale, black on black which I want and it is in great shape and has the sports package. I wanted a 530 so now have to think about whether I want the 525 or not. 30 less horsepower compared to the 530, are the maintenance costs much less. No Any advantage to the 525 None, seems it gets about the same gas mileage as the 530 Yes. Should I hold out for a 530?Sure
Wait for a 530i. I bought my 525i before I know bimmers.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2012, 08:37 AM
mhw58 mhw58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmvE39/E53/Z32 View Post
Wait for a 530i. I bought my 525i before I know bimmers.
Thanks for all the good advice! I think I will wait for a 530 and expand my search further. Can't make my mind up about a manual or automatic transmission also. I haven't driven a manual for years but the thought sounds fun.
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2012, 09:58 AM
Psalm11_6 Psalm11_6 is offline
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I'd likely hold out for a manual as well... I jumped the gun on an auto and while I love the car, I really miss the feel of the manual I had in the speed3 :-)
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:58 AM
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I spent 6 months doing a nationwide search for exact car I wanted. It had to be an 03 540/6 Mtech with the perfect color combo, low miles and solid service history. When I found it, I made a 1,000+ mile trip to buy it. That was over six years ago and I have never regretted it. If you want a particular car, don't settle for anything else. It sucks to regret what you have purchased.
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  #21  
Old 11-14-2012, 11:02 AM
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aa240sx aa240sx is offline
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Originally Posted by tmvE39/E53/Z32 View Post
Wait for a 530i. I bought my 525i before I know bimmers.
Same here with a caveat, what outweighs search criteria for most bimmer enthusiasts is the manual gearbox especially on a 5 series since they never bought them over in the larger 7 series (not since 1994 anyway) and they're a little more common with the 3 series. The cool factor speaks for itself when you consider there are no manual tranny 4 door mid size cars available by most manufacturers anymore!

Hold out for it and with any luck you'll get it with the sport package and a 530 (holy grail combo)

In my case, 2/3 aint too shabby.. got the manual, sport package, but sadly 525i
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Last edited by aa240sx; 11-14-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2012, 12:00 PM
waapples waapples is offline
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Yes, I had SP and loved it! You get the black exterior trims instead of chrome ones. It handles much better than non-SP.
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  #23  
Old 11-14-2012, 12:24 PM
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I am the original owner of a 2003 530i with a manual and SP. I ordered almost every major option excluding the NAV. It only has 48,000 on the clock. I am going to keep it until it dies. Good luck with your search. You won't be disapointed.

Regards....JL
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  #24  
Old 11-14-2012, 12:52 PM
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In my case, a black on black manual 530i was my main and only criteria. Do I wish my car had the SP, of course I do.

But with the addition of the OEM sport springs I installed last summer, I now have the most important (to me) part of the package. The one part that actually transforms the road manners of the car from non-sport to sport.

I can deal with "the letdown" of having the 4-spoke wheel and comfy seats. The wheel is just as round as the 3-spoke job and the standard BMW seats are as good as any out there. Without the thigh bolster, I also have one less gizmo to break.
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  #25  
Old 11-14-2012, 02:53 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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If you don't get the sports package you will always be kicking yourself it the butt wishing you had one.
I had a few dealers search for 9 months to get me one, I'm glad I waited.
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