...And Now for Some Good News
Wow, there's some scarey stuff on this post, so I had to chime in. I bought my 1999 540 6-speed last year with 103K and it now has nearly 121,000 miles. It looks like new, runs like new, and I've only had it at the dealer once, and that was for something I really could have done myself (rear differential fluid change). I have put some money into this car, but it needed a lot of maintenance items done when I bought it, and I pretty well have it all sorted out now for the long term. I find it to be fairly reliable and it is built like a bank vault. Oh, and I get 24mpg average (about 67% highway) - I think its great on gas and I got over 28 mpg on a 2 hour trip once.
Parts are reasonable, but labor is expen$ive. If you can spin your own wrenches, then I think you will be happy; if you have to take it to the dealer for every frappin' little thing, then you will likely get tired of those expensive Dealer repair & maintenance bills.
As to whether to go with the 530 or 540 - they are both very nice and you will get opinions in favor of each. To me, the handling advantage of the 528 that I drove was negligible compared to the massive power advantage of the 4.4 liter, all-aluminum, Quad-cam, 32-valve, 282 HP/324 lb-ft V8...B)
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2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater