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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 11:46 PM
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Hello all of you BMW lovers!!
Here is my current situation. I am an avid BMW fan and have loved them all of my short life (16 years). As you probably could have guessed, the time has come for my family to buy a car on my behalf(ah, the lovely circle of life). Anyway, my parents will soon be looking for a car to buy for me and my father when he needs the extra space. All if this is well and great, however the "extra space" i mentioned before is where the problem lies. You see, my father needs a vehicle with a lot of space, and has set his very stubborn eyes on station wagons only. Specifically the Volvo 850/GLT/T5. I, of course, want an early nineties BMW 5 series Touring (I say early nineties because of our rather pitiful budget of around 6 thousand). Moving on, my father is very insistent on the Volvo because: we already have a 1999 Volvo S70, they are very reliable, "BMW's are expensive to fix", "BMW insurance would be unbelievable"(i guess the insurance companies don't like bimmers?), and various other small arguments. The reason I am posting is that I am trying to get the BMW, but am not very knowledgeable from the insurance and reliability stand-points. Because this is where my dad bases his arguments, I would like to figure out a way to convince him with strong points. Also, a contributing factor on my side, my dad has had 2 BMW's and I know deep down that he has a soft spot for them!

I value all of your great knowledge, and hope that you can help! B)

Best regards,
Slickfast
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 09:42 AM
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Slickfast

You may not like my answer so feel free to minimize this window from dad:
Both: you and Dad are right. Volvos are good cars and well known for their safety; plus he is thinking it terms of utility in a station wagon.

You also right: for a young guy a bimmer is a knock out or two. Bimmers are really superior cars in terms of look and performance and yes they do require expensive maintenance.

A middle ground compromise, one would think, is a BMW station wagon. While a wagon Bimmer might meet your dad's needs especially if used for family and/or business; it will ultimately meet your needs in terms of sport ride and performance. A middle ground compromise for the time being; I suspect.
So get your college degree, a good job, safe money then buy your own. Trust me it will feel way much better when you pay for your own. A sense of accomplishment if you wish. Once I was 16; as you can tell I am tilting towards dad's side a bit because now I am a dad myself.

P.S. Let us wait for another reply from a younger and unbiased member.

Good luck young man and wish you and your family the best.
regards
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 11:26 AM
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Thank you!
I can see what you mean by the sense of accomplishment. For example, I saved and bought my own Bach Stradivarius silver trumpet and am currently taking flying lessons out of my own pocket. It does feel great, it gives you confidence to tackle bigger things. The problem is though that a BMW is a little too expensive for me to pay for!

Since you are a father though, how do you think insurance costs would be? I understand that they are both great cars(our volvo is very tight!), however I can only imagine what even a rear-driving BMW can offer.

Thanks for the great input! I'm really sorry I haven't found this forum sooner!
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 11:42 AM
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As the owner of a BMW wagon of the vintage you are considering, I may be able to offer some insight.

Station wagons are a great way to have occasional hauling ability and maintain car performance and efficency. I was stubbornly commited to having a RWD vehicle, as I'd never met a FWD car I really liked. The whole sideways motor and CV boots thing just doesn't do it for me.

That being said, The Volvo 850's are great cars. I'm sure to take some heat for this, but given the chioce between an 850 T-5 and a 525 Wagon, the 850 would be more fun. They are a good bit faster than 5 and would have more useable space because of the squared off back.

If you could find a 530 or 540 wagon, that may prove different, but the 525 wagons don't handle like any other RWD car I've owned when pushed to the limit. The 850 is a little lighter and would be at least as fun, especially if you could talk him into a T-5R.

Either one will prove to be a better first car than most people have. I'd be careful not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

BTW, for what it's worth, the insurance on my 525 is more than on my v8 mustang, for the same coverage.

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#5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
BTW, for what it's worth, the insurance on my 525 is more than on my v8 mustang, for the same coverage.
Same here, I am 20 years old and was looking at many other cars that were "high performance" or much faster than my 525. In most cases, the insurance costs were less than my 5er. This happens because if it breaks they have to come up with much more to fix the car because of it's expensive repairs.

Heres where I stand. This was my first car that I've had for a while and after driving everything I was interested in, this is the car I bought although its the slowest thing in the world - It's SO much fun to drive. Maintenance is getting really expensive and as bad as it sounds, it's time to sell it and use my money on a down payment on a brand new (and cheaper non BMW) car. I figure I'm only 20 and by the time my new car is payed off I should be in the position to go back to a BMW 3 series or so. I will also welcome the insurance break that I should get with another car. I've enjoyed my bimmer and I will miss it, but I have a whole life ahead of me to get another one. Enjoy the Volvo and buy yourself your own BMW when you are in the position to maintain it.

Edit: I'd like to add that parents are usually right. Back when I bought this car my mom was pushing me to get a brand new car that was on the cheaper side. I couldnt see how I should spend that much money when this little BMW was only 3k. I went against their word and we all loved this car. If I hadn't been doing my own maintenance and repairs - honestly I would have spent about 12k by now. I now see why I should have bought a brand new car. Now that my school's class load is heavier I don't have the time to work this car anymore and I definately dont have $1,000 at a time for repairs.

Best of luck to you, hope this helps some.

~Don

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Deuce@Jan 17 2005, 05:42 PM
As the owner of a BMW wagon of the vintage you are considering, I may be able to offer some insight.

Station wagons are a great way to have occasional hauling ability and maintain car performance and efficency. I was stubbornly commited to having a RWD vehicle, as I'd never met a FWD car I really liked. The whole sideways motor and CV boots thing just doesn't do it for me.

That being said, The Volvo 850's are great cars. I'm sure to take some heat for this, but given the chioce between an 850 T-5 and a 525 Wagon, the 850 would be more fun. They are a good bit faster than 5 and would have more useable space because of the squared off back.

If you could find a 530 or 540 wagon, that may prove different, but the 525 wagons don't handle like any other RWD car I've owned when pushed to the limit. The 850 is a little lighter and would be at least as fun, especially if you could talk him into a T-5R.

Either one will prove to be a better first car than most people have. I'd be careful not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

BTW, for what it's worth, the insurance on my 525 is more than on my v8 mustang, for the same coverage.
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The Deuce/slickfast:
Excellent reply; I think The Deuce covered it well. As to insurance rates they do vary by state and cities within states. here in New jersey while I pay $1250 a year on 2004 Jeep GC, I pay $1150 on a 97 528I. Again take into consideration the year, parts replacement value, location, age etc etc.

and Slickfast: I am sure your parents are so proud of you.
regards
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sp0rky@Jan 17 2005, 06:00 PM
Quote:
BTW, for what it's worth, the insurance on my 525 is more than on my v8 mustang, for the same coverage.
Same here, I am 20 years old and was looking at many other cars that were "high performance" or much faster than my 525. In most cases, the insurance costs were less than my 5er. This happens because if it breaks they have to come up with much more to fix the car because of it's expensive repairs.

Heres where I stand. This was my first car that I've had for a while and after driving everything I was interested in, this is the car I bought although its the slowest thing in the world - It's SO much fun to drive. Maintenance is getting really expensive and as bad as it sounds, it's time to sell it and use my money on a down payment on a brand new (and cheaper non BMW) car. I figure I'm only 20 and by the time my new car is payed off I should be in the position to go back to a BMW 3 series or so. I will also welcome the insurance break that I should get with another car. I've enjoyed my bimmer and I will miss it, but I have a whole life ahead of me to get another one. Enjoy the Volvo and buy yourself your own BMW when you are in the position to maintain it.

Edit: I'd like to add that parents are usually right. Back when I bought this car my mom was pushing me to get a brand new car that was on the cheaper side. I couldnt see how I should spend that much money when this little BMW was only 3k. I went against their word and we all loved this car. If I hadn't been doing my own maintenance and repairs - honestly I would have spent about 12k by now. I now see why I should have bought a brand new car. Now that my school's class load is heavier I don't have the time to work this car anymore and I definately dont have $1,000 at a time for repairs.

Best of luck to you, hope this helps some.

~Don
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To me this is "the essence of maturity" for a young man like you. the way to go Sp0rky. Best luck of all
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-17-2005, 12:39 PM
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Slickfast -

Congrats - you have what is called a "good problem" in your BMW/Volvo issue! I don't want to sound patronizing, but when I was 16 (back in 1978), the family "expansion" car chosen was a 1964 Rambler Classic wagon, without A/C but the small V8, purchased for the meager sum of $150. Fortunately, my dear mother was a Rambler enthusiast (having owned a '63 before that) and took to the wagon, which most of the time left the far sexier '72 Cougar available to me.

Back to your topic - one of the selling points for me to buy my '99 540 and sell my '98 Civic was that in my case insurance was only going to be $33 more per month on the 540 (I've had no tickets since 1990).

Anyway, to echo some of what's been said here - Volvo isn't a bad car and they have a great safety reputation. In fact, the more recent Volvos, since Ford took over Volvo, seem to be even better and sportier.

If I were buying wagon, I'd look hard at the Volvo. And I must echo Sporky's statement about maintenance/repair. BMW parts costs aren't all that bad so if you do all work yourself it's OK, but you can get into some serious $$$ if you have to take the car to a mechanic for every fix and maintenance item. Since buying my 540 in October, I've done my own work that otherwise probably would have amount to $2000 or more at the dealer and I would be divorced now.

Oh - forgot to mention - way to go in buying your own Strad! I played trumpet in high school and college and since my dad was a trumpet pro I had my own new horn by 9th grade and didn't appreciate it (or my Dad) enough. Turns out my dad died unexpectedly right after my high school graduation and I ended up with his horn: a 1970 hand-made Calicchio. If you ever get a chance to play a Calicchio, especially one of the older ones hand-made by Calicchio himself, make sure you take full advantage. It's an awesome instrument, especially for lead players like I was. Kindof the BMW of trumpets...

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 10:56 PM
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Wow thank you guys so much for the input!

After all of your info, I expect my dad is kind of being nice and not completely shutting off the idea of having a BMW. I have to say, also, that after thoroughly filtering through MANY classifieds and online searches(its become almost a habit to look after school for the past few months), I am going against myself and saying that for the money, a Volvo will be a little cheaper, safer, less in insurance and maintenance, and generally a better all arounder for the money. Although I have a supreme love for BMW's and most German car companies(besides Audi and MB...I hope you see why.), it appears the Swedes have won me over for a car in this stage of my life!

About the insurance: upon seeing the rates that you guys pay for your Bimmers at a middle to older age, I have realized that the cost of the car plus my typically crazy age of 16 would make for an unforgivable amount of yearly insurance. Another divot in my argument!

Eric S-How I envy you! That sounds like a truly magnificent horn! I have never tried one but if you ever feel like making a donation just pm me! haha just kiddin. I am completely satisfied with mine, if you want to know the technicals it is a Medium Large Strad Lightweight with a 37 bell flare. That combined with my soon-to-come Monette mouthpiece should make for an awesome horn!

The deuce- Well I'm not completely sure it will be a T-5, but we'll see! The way its going now, I will be happy with either, and if I can find a manual tranny, then even better!

You know it's funny, after all of this discussion of the bad sides of BMW, I still want one more than ever...
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-18-2005, 10:59 PM
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Specifically a 2001 M-Coupe
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#11 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 05:40 PM
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-very mature lad!

either way you'll be happy. when i was your age the family car was a 77 lincoln continental....and it wass'nt in 1977 : (

the thing was longer than my school bus!

the first car i bought with my own $ was an '82 honda civic for $500.

if you can learn to do some repairs yourself BMW is not a bad choice. full coverage on my 1990 525i is less than that on my 2001 chevy impalla.

parts have been very reasonable on the beemer as well.

-oh the family also owned a volvo 5 speed sttion wagon when i was in middle school. we loved it. i was too young to drive, but iremember it being quite peppy.

good luck!
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#12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:38 PM
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I am with sp0rky on this as well..

I am only 20 years old, and I bought mine for around 3k.. EVERYONE and i mean EVERYONE discouraged me from buying a BMW because the costs are SKY-high to fix it. And you know, they were all completely right. Thats why I saved probably over 10k doing it all myself..

My parents were really surprised, and now they are a lot more comfortable about me owning a BMW.. I bought the car when I was just about 19.. A lot of work has gone into it, and more to be put in, but you know what? I enjoy it and really love my car. Sure, its not a SUPER NICE BRAND NEW one, but its a BMW, it drives like a BMW, and did I mention that i LOVE it?!?

Also, insurance has been incredibly cheap for me. I was surprised but its just a few dollars more than my previous car, which was an old civic.. I guess all of this depends on how much time, tools, money, motivation, and enthusiasm is available. Thas my 2c.

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#13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by numberthree_@Jan 21 2005, 03:38 AM
I am with sp0rky on this as well..

I am only 20 years old, and I bought mine for around 3k.. EVERYONE and i mean EVERYONE discouraged me from buying a BMW because the costs are SKY-high to fix it.* And you know, they were all completely right.* Thats why I saved probably over 10k doing it all myself..

My parents were really surprised, and now they are a lot more comfortable about me owning a BMW.. I bought the car when I was just about 19..* A lot of work has gone into it, and more to be put in, but you know what? I enjoy it and really love my car.* Sure, its not a SUPER NICE BRAND NEW one, but its a BMW, it drives like* a BMW, and did I mention that i LOVE it?!?*

Also, insurance has been incredibly cheap for me. I was surprised but its just a few dollars more than my previous car, which was an old civic.. I guess all of this depends on how much time, tools, money, motivation, and enthusiasm is available.* Thas my 2c.
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Your parents were not really surprised as much as they were so proud of you; needless to say taking on all these great tasks at an early stage of your life.
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#14 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 10:36 PM
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What a great thread. I wish they were all so interesting to read.

As a a former owner of a 1992 5er touring and potentially the future owner of the very same car (more on that in a minute), I'd love to contribute to this thread if I may...

I've always loved sports cars. And as long as I've owned a car, that's what I've owned. Some two door, some four door; but sports oriented regardless. After coming to the realization that a Porsche 951 is just too expensive to have as a daily driver, I was for the first time in my life, in the market for a car exhibiting utility.

As a fellow admirer of German autos, and more specifically not as much Audi (albeit I've owned one) or MB, I thought I'd buy a 5er touring. Suprisingly enough, I completely fell in love with it. As a matter of fact, I didn't totally miss not piloting my Porsche. Having a relatively simple lay out, I was able to maintian it myself. ANd wIth excellent fuel economy, ride, and utility; I would say it was one of the better cars I've owned.

So much so, I am seriously considering buying the very same wagon back from the individual I sold it to. He's a good friend, and loves to play car doctor. A huge car lover and pretty darn good mechanic, he immediately repaired every minute issue the car came with. He has receipts in excess of $6K and did all the work himself. Although he completely reworked the car (water pump, thermostat, radiator, brand new tranny, third brake light repair, new tires, door jam repair, dual sunroof repair, new paint job, and few other things), you can stil see that a BMW of ten or more years can require some attention. Keep this in mind when voting your opinion to your parents.

Volvo makes a good car as well. They are notorious for their wagons, heck they are the leading argument for the company's success in the North American marketplace. They have arguably the best overall layout, and while boxy, are good lookin and fun to drive. I'm certainly not gonna tell you to buy a Volvo (shame on you to those who did :P ), but if you are the one leading the charge towards the purchase of a Bavarian car, intend on learning to work on it yourself.

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