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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found a e39 2002 530i sedan (Sport, Premium, Cold Weather packages) 108,000 miles, for $9,500-. Had an inspection completed and aside from normal wear and tear this car is NICE!

I have also found a e60 2008 535xi (CWP, Premium, Navigation) 41000 miles for $33,395. This car drives like the "ultimate driving machine".

I'm having a difficult time deciding between the two especially when it comes down to the cost of the 2008 vs the cost of the 2002. When it comes to looks I prefer the e39 but when it comes to performance it's hard to beat the e60. Any help from you folks would be apperciated.
 

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Thebizzy.com
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The actual cost of the E39 after performing necessary (and unecessary) maintenance will be closer to $15 to $17k. That E60 sounds pretty sweet but that's a HUGE price gap. The 530 is an incredible car though. Be sure to research the HPFP issues with that 535 though. Goodluck in your choice bro and be sure to POST UP SOME PICS!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You are absolutely correct in your assessment of the e39 i am looking at. Believe it or not, on a personal level I like the e39 better. It's more appealing to me along with its simplicity to operate rather than all of the technology that comes with the performance of the e60.
 

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Of course I believe it. Seriously the E39 is a timeless classic and will go down in the books as one of the best sedan's ever. The E39 has it's issues but for a true enthusiast it's very hard not to fall in love. Consumer Reports declared the 2002 BMW E39 the best car they had ever reviewed. So that's gotta stand for something. I still get chills whenver I see a well maintained M5 out and about. My 2nd favorite is the 2003 540 MSport closely followed by the 2001+ 530i with stock BBS wheels. Even bone stock that car is just beautiful if well taken care of. I wouldn't blame you for getting either car. There are many E60 haters on this forum but the car has grown on me over time and the 2008+ 550i sport is flat out SICK in every way. Anyways, good luck choosing haha!!! :thumbup:
 

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I have experience with both as my brother in law has an e60 (although M54). The biggest performance difference, at first blush, is the additional power of the N54 (300 hp vs 228 hp) in the 535i and the XDrive, which is really nice in snow but detracts from the pure RWD experience. However, the e60 has the dreaded iDrive knob. The e39 has the sport package, which is the perfect blend of luxury and performance.

What you need to consider is the longer term cost of ownership. While the e60 is much lower mileage and will not need any major maintenance for another 50K-60K, it will happen eventually. Not only does the e60 have a much larger initial cost but there is virtually no user technical support. Go look on the e60 forum. Virtually EVERY e60 owner sends their cars out for service. If you are in that crowd, go for it. But have deep pockets. The e39 forum is filled with folks that DIY, which cuts the cost of maintenance by at least 60% or more. The user technical support on this forum is UNBELIEVABLE. Not only can you reasonably predict what may go wrong next on your e39 (cuz it has already happened to someone else) but there is detailed info on how to fix just about everything. Putting $2-$3K worth of parts (if not already done) into an older e39 will literally transform the car to drive and have the reliability like new.

Bottom line, the e60 is a very nice car. The e39 is truly a classic. However, it really depends which type of owner you plan to be, hands-on or hands-off. The e39 can go either way but the e60 has only one route to go.
 

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Thebizzy.com
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Very well said Fudman.
 

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If you were excited about the performance of a 535i e60 vs. a 530i E39, why not get a 540i E39? It won't cost much more to maintain than the 530i, and will have more similar power to the 535i E60. I'd test drive a 2003 M-Sport 540i. If you find a clean one, the maintenance won't be as bad as Mack describes, at least up-front. Over time of course its usually 1K+ per year.
 

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Maintenance and cost of ownership is expensive either way..
So if the original cost really isn't an issue, go for the e60!
Way more fun.

Dnt worry about the high pressure fuel pump... That issue has been cured.
However, due to other expensive long term possibilities, a good, comprehensive extended warranty may be a good idea.
Just replacing a turbo will be a MINIMIUM of 3 grand... For one!
 

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I feel like it sounds ridiculous to say I would rather have a 13 year old car over a new or newer car. But I would not trade my e39 for any other daily driver. I had to drive my wife's Jeep Liberty last night twice because my son wanted my e39 to take him and his friends to a school dance. I kept trying to find a way to not have to drive the Jeep. I get excited at any opportunity I get to drive it and I'm 42 years old! New or newer is not always better. Then again if you don't get a manual transmission it may not matter one way or another, because as far as I'm concerned, that's not driving. That's pointing.
 
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