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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My google-fu has failed me. I remember reading about these cars in Road and Track at the time (Speaking of, that magazine is in a much different place now...), but not the specifics. I've read some articles that mention, for instance, the M5's styling being too aggressive.

Of course the chassis is lauded today for what it brings to the table and the devolution of the Driver's car. But I think it'd be cool to see how accurate original reviews were and what it was like compared to it's competitors!

If anyone happens to have old magazines or at least the dates they came out I can keep digging. The back issue feature for many of these magazines is awful.

Examples:
Motor Trend's Car of the Year Article: https://www.motortrend.com/news/1997-bmw-5-series/

Top Gear M5 Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmpf_IJMZ_w

Motor Trend's Video Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlKBHQBCX6g
 

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Apologies for the duplication, but I'm not sure how I could have known to search that. I tried an advanced search with "Review", "Reviews" "Contemporary Reviews" etc.

Also, the PDF links are dead.
No, use the links in post number 3. Post 7 also has nice links.
 

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Great resource list. BTW I think Q later reposted those articles in a non-Acrobat way.

Can't beat those Bimmer Mag Buyer Guides for detailed info. Don't get confused OP by all the Euro mag articles and options and models that never made it over here.
 

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Not sure how you would find it, but in either 2002 or 2003, the E39 530 was Consumer Reports top pick for luxury sedan. I recall all the BMW dealers had a copy and would wave it around in the showroom at the time. Probably the first time CR didn't recommend a Japanese car. :)
 

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What Speed Limit?
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Not sure how you would find it, but in either 2002 or 2003, the E39 530 was Consumer Reports top pick for luxury sedan. I recall all the BMW dealers had a copy and would wave it around in the showroom at the time. Probably the first time CR didn't recommend a Japanese car. :)
It was actually their highest scored car ever until a few years ago when it was beaten...by a Tesla smh!
Hmm, my wife looks at me in a funny way when I say its a luxury sedan!
Terms of luxury have changed over the years since. Even most new cars like corollas come with more stuff than E39's had when new. So their idea of luxury is different than it was 20+ years ago. Now most people just see non M E39's and think "It's just a dumpy old BMW".

Sent from Uranus with Love
 

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It was actually their highest scored car ever until a few years ago when it was beaten...by a Tesla smh! Terms of luxury have changed over the years since. Even most new cars like corollas come with more stuff than E39's had when new. So their idea of luxury is different than it was 20+ years ago. Now most people just see non M E39's and think "It's just a dumpy old BMW".

Sent from Uranus with Love
But I think Consumer Reports re-evaluates their judging criteria and raises the bar periodically. I don't think you can compare a car review from today, with 20 years ago. Same with TVs, vacuums and many other products. Even their rating system changes over the years.

Example: 8 or so years ago, the Michelin Pilot Super Sport was the highest rated tire CR ever tested, and rated like a 92 or something. The newest Michelin Pilot Sport 4S is rated #1 today, but receives a point value of 76. Do you think tire technology has gone that far backwards in 8 years? CR simply raised the bar in their rating system to match as tire technology marches on. It takes more to rate a 92 now.

Today's cars are (in general) head and shoulders better, safer, and offer better fuel economy, less emissions and wonderful creature comforts compared to 20 years ago. Is the overall driving experience of the E39 better? Maybe, I definitely enjoy the handling of my heavily modified suspension on my 540 over the M550i I recently bought. But I also think that if I threw a set of firmer springs such as H&R on my M550i could give me the same tauter handling I am looking for. (I do have the Active M Professional Suspension on my car with the servo controlled antiroll bars, rear wheel steering and active dampers). With 20" wheels, summer tires and all that suspension technology the car definitely has amazing grip, but does not have the feed back or tautness I have in my 540.
 

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FYI...in case anyone couldn't open the e39 Buyers Guide PDF links that directed you to Acrobat.com...here's two links that hopefully will work. As these site's change over the decades...its sad that the info can get lost:

  1. E39 Buyers Guide PDF: http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/q/original/E39 Buyers Guide 8-2005.pdf
  2. E39 Buyers Guide Market Update: http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/q/original/E39 Buyers Guide Market Update 5-2009.pdf

I highly recommend downloading the PDFs to anyone that may want to pass this info along in the future. Again, we never know if/when a site that is hosting the PDF goes down...so the more people that have a copy...they can dig through their BMW documents and re-upload the data for future owners. :thumbup:
 
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