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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am about to change my current car, 1996 Range Rover 4.6 HSE which I bought used with 43k in 2000. Despite having being told that is is an unreliable car and one to stay clear from, I went ahead and bought it. It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned and almost maintenance free. I have never had any issues expect for electronic suspension which went out at 75k. At a suggestion of RR forum members, rather than replacing it, took out the electronics and had manual suspension put on for about $1500. That is the only issue I ever had to deal with expect for wear and tear replacements like tires, battery, break rotors and pads. All fluids are original expect for engine oil. Transmission, break, coolant are all original. Please don't flame me for this. I have been an irresponsible owner but the car keeps going without complaining. Still drives like it used to when I first got it. Amazing! Miles now stands as 137k.

What I am looking for is the most reliable and cheaper 5 Series model to maintain. I don't mind the initial high price I have to pay, but I need it to be as reliable as my last car. I don't need the muscle of a 535 for example if a 528 is the most reliable and cheaper to maintain. Don't need a lot of complex electronics that break and cost a lot to fix. I am now looking at either a 2010-2014 MB E350 or 2006-2010 5 Series BMW. I am not looking at any other car manufactures expect these two brands. If I want to make my other half happy, I would look into 2009-2014 X5 but I hear they have a lot of issues and pretty expensive to maintain otherwise I would be happy driving an X5.8*15

My budget is up to $30k if I decide on the MB E350 or up to $18K if I buy the 5 series BMW. Maybe up to $33K for an X5 if this one is bullet proof and reliable vehicle. Any car I buy will have less than 60k miles on the dial.

Can you please provide me some recommendations as to which model to buy? If more reading is required, please point me to the right direction and I will educate myself more on the 5 series and the X5 before making any decision. Thank you.
 

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The most reliable x5 would be 3.0 with the m54b30. Engine will last forever. So 99 to 06. Only cost you about 10k with low mileage. But your in a older car. As for an e60 530i a 2006 with the m54. But e60s are hit or miss engine may be solid but you may have electrical problems. You got lucky once with the range rover real lucky. Id get the 06 x5 and cut your risk back a little. Just my opinion. And good luck. Oh maybe a ml63 but dont tell the others i said that haha.
 

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2005 was the last year for m54. Those are reliable engine but old technology, just like my old M112 320 engine in the benz. Bulletproof engine and trans combo. Thats impossible i repeat IMPOSSIBLE to find with newer models and engines. Its always recommended to buy the last year product car in a series. More issues will have been solved and in general its a newer car. 2010 E60s with NAV + sport package are great cars with the newer CIC a 528I engine with the updated transmission is going to be easily considered as the most reliable/advanced e60 there is. They are averagely powerful. More then enough for everyday driving, but not something you want to pick car battles with for sure. The light engine with the sport suspension will feel heavenly. NAV with give you that newer CIC idrive on later models. newer eclasses are nice sure, but they are completely different cars then BMWs. They are way more laid back and soft. Also interior quality 2008+ new benz models really took a hit. They fixed those issues with facelifts. just take a look at a w204 pre and post facelift interior. That was one of the main reason i switched to BMWs this time round.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The most reliable x5 would be 3.0 with the m54b30. Engine will last forever. So 99 to 06. Only cost you about 10k with low mileage. But your in a older car. As for an e60 530i a 2006 with the m54. But e60s are hit or miss engine may be solid but you may have electrical problems. You got lucky once with the range rover real lucky. Id get the 06 x5 and cut your risk back a little. Just my opinion. And good luck. Oh maybe a ml63 but dont tell the others i said that haha.
Thanks. For the X5, I rather not get anything older than a 2009. My wife will also be driving the X5 so anything older than 09 will not get her approval. Yes, I have been very lucky with my Range Rover, very lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
2005 was the last year for m54. Those are reliable engine but old technology, just like my old M112 320 engine in the benz. Bulletproof engine and trans combo. Thats impossible i repeat IMPOSSIBLE to find with newer models and engines. Its always recommended to buy the last year product car in a series. More issues will have been solved and in general its a newer car. 2010 E60s with NAV + sport package are great cars with the newer CIC a 528I engine with the updated transmission is going to be easily considered as the most reliable/advanced e60 there is. They are averagely powerful. More then enough for everyday driving, but not something you want to pick car battles with for sure. The light engine with the sport suspension will feel heavenly. NAV with give you that newer CIC idrive on later models. newer eclasses are nice sure, but they are completely different cars then BMWs. They are way more laid back and soft. Also interior quality 2008+ new benz models really took a hit. They fixed those issues with facelifts. just take a look at a w204 pre and post facelift interior. That was one of the main reason i switched to BMWs this time round.
I spoke to an indy BMW shop yesterday to ask a few questions. I told him about the horror stories I have heard about BMWs and their unreliability in general. He said the 528i will be the most reliable. He said any BMW without a turbo or V8 engine are reliable and cheaper to maintain. But he also stated that the turbo are not bad cars and will require more maintenance and are more expensive to maintain. He suggested just like you to look for a 2010 528i with a lower mileage will be the one to get. But he said I might have to change the tire during the winter months if I get the 528i I was considering.

Would you please explain what you mean by 528i engine with the updated transmission? Was their a known transmission issues with this model? Should I be concerned about engine cooling, Transmission, Electrical System, Climate System or any electrical problem with a 2010 528i? What would be a fair price for a 2010 528i X drive with under 50k miles. Any additional concern if I get the 2010 528i xDrive? I live in the greater DC area? Thanks for your help.
 

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2008 facelift the transmission was updated to a newer model with the same basic configuration. Previous version of the transmission wasn't unreliable per say just needed some care more care then usual. He's right about the turbos some people have zero issues some people end up going through 2 or 3 fuel pump and fuel injectors (which all are much more expensive then normal). V8s are reliable in general. Known issues are with oil/water seals. But the issue with the V8 and the seals is that they are a horror to reach which means much much higher labor costs. Not sure about pricing in the US, as I dont live there but Xdrive is reliable no problems there. Maybe the only downside to Xdrive would be that you dont get the great additions to the suspension you would normally get on a rear wheel drive car. only visual and interior additions on an xdrive sport model. But the added benefit is potentially more beneficial depending on what you want as a car. Personally the sport package really transforms an e60 rear wheel drive sport model's character, and i wouldn't buy an xdrive model just for that reason alone; but again that depends if you really need/want a 4x4. Alsot hat car your looking at does it have NAV? I'd consider NAV (or CIC) on 2010 models as something essential because it really will make the whole interior and BMW experience much nicer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
2008 facelift the transmission was updated to a newer model with the same basic configuration. Previous version of the transmission wasn't unreliable per say just needed some care more care then usual. He's right about the turbos some people have zero issues some people end up going through 2 or 3 fuel pump and fuel injectors (which all are much more expensive then normal). V8s are reliable in general. Known issues are with oil/water seals. But the issue with the V8 and the seals is that they are a horror to reach which means much much higher labor costs. Not sure about pricing in the US, as I dont live there but Xdrive is reliable no problems there. Maybe the only downside to Xdrive would be that you dont get the great additions to the suspension you would normally get on a rear wheel drive car. only visual and interior additions on an xdrive sport model. But the added benefit is potentially more beneficial depending on what you want as a car. Personally the sport package really transforms an e60 rear wheel drive sport model's character, and i wouldn't buy an xdrive model just for that reason alone; but again that depends if you really need/want a 4x4. Alsot hat car your looking at does it have NAV? I'd consider NAV (or CIC) on 2010 models as something essential because it really will make the whole interior and BMW experience much nicer.
We don't get much snow in the DC area, maybe 2-3 times a year. If the 2010 528i has good control/traction on wet road then I don't really care for all wheel drive. I just don't want a car that skid whenever it rains or snow snow on the road. My wife's 2x wheel drive Toyota 4 Runner is terrible to drive in a wet road and snow covered road.

Whichever BMW I buy must have a NAV. I agree the NAV makes the interior look much nicer. How can one tell the sport model from other versions? Thanks again.
 

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In general with DSC in our BMWs its almost impossible to get the car sideway even deliberately with DSC on. Snow is a different matter. Snow means you need snow tires or all seasons in the least. It snows here where i live 2 or 3 times a year too and I've never had a serious problem in driving all of my rear wheel drive cars. Id say go with the sport model you wont regret that awsome traction. Read up on BMWs ARS technology in the sport models and you'll know what i mean. Also use this link to figuire out differences between difference options. 90% of the cars you'll find are easy to determine exactly what packages they have by looking at pictures of buttons in the interior. For example if a car has heated seats 90% of the time it was a part of a package that includes heating steering wheel. You can input you vin on some sites (try searching for bmw vin decoder on google) and that will return a list of options that specific car has, some websites dont show option lists even though they advertise that, keep searching and you'll find one pretty fast.

"http://www.auto-brochures.com/makes/BMW/5%20Series/BMW_US%205Series_2010.pdf"
 

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I am about to change my current car, 1996 Range Rover 4.6 HSE which I bought used with 43k in 2000. Despite having being told that is is an unreliable car and one to stay clear from, I went ahead and bought it. It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned and almost maintenance free. I have never had any issues expect for electronic suspension which went out at 75k. At a suggestion of RR forum members, rather than replacing it, took out the electronics and had manual suspension put on for about $1500. That is the only issue I ever had to deal with expect for wear and tear replacements like tires, battery, break rotors and pads. All fluids are original expect for engine oil. Transmission, break, coolant are all original. Please don't flame me for this. I have been an irresponsible owner but the car keeps going without complaining. Still drives like it used to when I first got it. Amazing! Miles now stands as 137k.

What I am looking for is the most reliable and cheaper 5 Series model to maintain. I don't mind the initial high price I have to pay, but I need it to be as reliable as my last car. I don't need the muscle of a 535 for example if a 528 is the most reliable and cheaper to maintain. Don't need a lot of complex electronics that break and cost a lot to fix. I am now looking at either a 2010-2014 MB E350 or 2006-2010 5 Series BMW. I am not looking at any other car manufactures expect these two brands. If I want to make my other half happy, I would look into 2009-2014 X5 but I hear they have a lot of issues and pretty expensive to maintain otherwise I would be happy driving an X5.8*15

My budget is up to $30k if I decide on the MB E350 or up to $18K if I buy the 5 series BMW. Maybe up to $33K for an X5 if this one is bullet proof and reliable vehicle. Any car I buy will have less than 60k miles on the dial.

Can you please provide me some recommendations as to which model to buy? If more reading is required, please point me to the right direction and I will educate myself more on the 5 series and the X5 before making any decision. Thank you.
if your worried about cost of maintenance and need reliability bmw isnt for you. When it breaks you will spend a small fortune. My rule of thumb if you cant afford to spend 1000 a month on average in maintenance you cant afford a bmw.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In general with DSC in our BMWs its almost impossible to get the car sideway even deliberately with DSC on. Snow is a different matter. Snow means you need snow tires or all seasons in the least. It snows here where i live 2 or 3 times a year too and I've never had a serious problem in driving all of my rear wheel drive cars. Id say go with the sport model you wont regret that awsome traction. Read up on BMWs ARS technology in the sport models and you'll know what i mean. Also use this link to figuire out differences between difference options. 90% of the cars you'll find are easy to determine exactly what packages they have by looking at pictures of buttons in the interior. For example if a car has heated seats 90% of the time it was a part of a package that includes heating steering wheel. You can input you vin on some sites (try searching for bmw vin decoder on google) and that will return a list of options that specific car has, some websites dont show option lists even though they advertise that, keep searching and you'll find one pretty fast.

"http://www.auto-brochures.com/makes/BMW/5%20Series/BMW_US%205Series_2010.pdf"
Thank you. I will look into that.
 

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if your worried about cost of maintenance and need reliability bmw isnt for you. When it breaks you will spend a small fortune. My rule of thumb if you cant afford to spend 1000 a month on average in maintenance you cant afford a bmw.
$1000 a month? Are you for real? $12,000 per in year for maintenance need to be set aside? There is no way I will buy a car that would cost that much to maintain. I seriously doubt it will cost that much to maintain a BMW anyway. Especially the 528i.
 

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$1000 a month? Are you for real? $12,000 per in year for maintenance need to be set aside? There is no way I will buy a car that would cost that much to maintain. I seriously doubt it will cost that much to maintain a BMW anyway. Especially the 528i.
It doesn't. $12,000 a year on maintenance is Ferrari treatment.
My Road Trip app tells me I spent $278 in the last 12 months on my V8. That includes two oil changes (DIY), air & cabin filter change, a couple extra quarts of oil periodically, and a transmission fluid change which was done by a shop for $700 amortized over 48 months.

I haven't done brakes yet but can't see them costing much more than a typical job. Expect to replace rear tires every 20k. But still, $12,000 a year for maintenance is a gross exaggeration.

Repairs will cost you. I have my entire entertainment/nav system die, costing $1200 to replace. There are also minor nagging issues like my trunk release button not working, squeaky/slow driver window window and steering wheel tilt, and rattling sunroof. These things are worth just living with rather than paying to fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks Reino550. I am going to get a car that has preferably less than 60k, more like 50k on the dial. I plan to get an extended warranty from Rt66 for up to 100k (Easy Street Protection) for $3000. When that expires, I will get another one (Main Street ) for yet another 36months/36k for another $3000. For $6000 I will have protection for 8 years total or 136k whichever comes first. I will pay for the wearable that needs replacing. I am OK with that. I just need to research the details on this Rt66 warranty.
 

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I think you are on the right path buying an extended warranty. You are buying a used vehicle, i am telling you between required maintenance ( tires oil fluids brakes etc etc) and brake downs dont be surprised. Unless you are garage savy yourself, the expenses will add up.
 

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Whichever BMW I buy must have a NAV. I agree the NAV makes the interior look much nicer. How can one tell the sport model from other versions? Thanks again.
Sport package on the E60 will have wider tires on the rear. You can also tell that the trim around the windows is black instead of chrome.

Remember: sport package does not necessarily give you the dynamic drive and active steering. Those are different packages, so you have to verify each one. All three packages are a must if you truly want the ultimate driving experience!

Also, typical 3rd party warranties won't cover the entertainment or convenience components. Make sure you read all the fine print.

Just curious, why is your budget $30k for an E-class but $18k for a 5-series? They're comparable cars.
 

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With the luck you had with the RR I'd be concerned that my luck was used up!! That will be a tough act to follow no matter what you get. $1000 a month for maintenance is totally unrealistic. With an I6 and in decent shape you should be good to go in a 528. You may be tempted to go turbo or V8 to get more ooomph, but your chances of keeping costs down become much more tenuous. I am also confused by your MB budget numbers, but I wouldn't buy one so who cares? An Audi is more appealing.
 

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On my 545i i spend about 2k a year but drive 35k a year and has 140k miles on it. So all in all not bad. But you will have a newer one with less miles and a warranty. So you should be fine.
 

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On my 545i i spend about 2k a year but drive 35k a year and has 140k miles on it. So all in all not bad. But you will have a newer one with less miles and a warranty. So you should be fine.
How has the V8 held up at that mileage? I'm looking for the same longevity, currently at 75k.
 

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While $1000 a month might be extreme, these cars are not cheap to maintain. Even a simple repair will easily cost you $100-200 in parts. If you don't DIY, an older BMW is something to avoid. I've budgeted $300 a month, but my car is in tip top shape. It all depends where you fall on the scale of "I don't give a **** about anything until something critical breaks" to "I love my car. It is my baby. I will own it forever"

If you want maintenance free and reliable, get a honda.
 

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Sport package on the E60 will have wider tires on the rear. You can also tell that the trim around the windows is black instead of chrome.

Remember: sport package does not necessarily give you the dynamic drive and active steering. Those are different packages, so you have to verify each one. All three packages are a must if you truly want the ultimate driving experience!

Also, typical 3rd party warranties won't cover the entertainment or convenience components. Make sure you read all the fine print.

Just curious, why is your budget $30k for an E-class but $18k for a 5-series? They're comparable cars.
US Spec Sport package rear wheel drive e60s all have dynamic drive.
 
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