Looking for a new car opinions needed! - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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 08-16-2007, 12:16 PM
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Thumbs up Looking for a new car opinions needed!

Okay I am new here, and Im looking for a 5er and I've found a few 528's and 540's on craigslist in the chicago area. Basically I need some opinions on what I should get, or if any of these are good deals. Please check the links and tell me what you think.

This is a forum members 528i manual w/ upgrades 137xxx mi. for $8300.
97 BMW 528i 5 speed, FAST

Another 528i all stock probably a dealer but only $6500.
bmw 528! nice

And for the big boy 540i.
BMW 540i %%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Please tell me what you think is best for a first time BMW owner.
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 07:57 PM
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Here is another option-But I dont know about the mileage or all the lights he says are on...
1999 BMW 540i, Black, Auto, Loaded, MUST SELL.
Bump for new guy needs a BMW
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 08:46 PM
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KJLegend - Do you currently drive an Acura Legend? I ask because I had a '94Legend GS 6-speed prior to owning my '99 540 6-speed, and there's one very important lesson I learned: the 540 is NOT a Legend in terms of reliability or economy of ownership. The cars are about equal in ergonomics and looks (IMHO), and the 540 has superior handling and an edge in acceleration. But if you're looking for a 540, you need to expect to shell out at least $2000 per year in repairs and preventive maintenance and tires. For me, another factor as much as the monetary cost was the downtime and time spent away from my family on repairs.

Not trying to talk you out of a 540 - there's nothing better from a driving standpoint anywhere near its price - I'm just trying to set realistic expectations, especially if it's going to be your daily driver.

Of the 3 choices above, I prefer the first one, the 528. It has all of the "right" mods, and appears tastefully done. You'd spend hundreds ifnot thousands duplicating it with the other 528. That 540 is ho-hum (lacks the sport package and I hate those wheels). If you get a 540 (shoot ANY BMW), get one with the Sport package for superior seats, handling, and steering wheel. All 540 6-speeds will have the sport pkg, BTW, but not all sports are 6MTs.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
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

Last edited by Eric S.; 08-16-2007 at 08:52 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-16-2007, 09:32 PM
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Eric,
Thank you for the input I think that is exactly what I needed to hear for now. I think you are right about the first pic up top, but I definately could not afford to spend 2k a year on a 540i, even though I'd love to and all but I'm still in college and maybe I'll just hold off on it for now until I'm finished with school and get a real job! haha

The legend is a nice car I definately dont have one as nice as the GS 6MT, its just a 95 LS but its been good to me for 4 years or so...I think I might just stick with it for a while and we'll see what happens.

So as for the 540 to 528 comparison for maintinence, is it similar for the 2.8L? I hear they are easier to maintain than the 540 but if its 2k/year thats hefty for me.
Again thank you very much for the input its just what I needed to make up my mind.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 08:29 PM
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My advice is seriously to stick with that '95 LS. That's an excellent car and has more HP (200) than a 528 (about 184). As you know, the Legend GS has 230 HP.

Your Legend is the match of the E39 in interior appointments, quality, and most ergonomic aspects except the BMW's seats are far more sporting/supportive. The power is similar and the smooth ride will be comparable. However, the Legend's handling won't be on par with a 528. Its longer wheelbase cuts nimbleness, and the roll stiffness can't compare to the 5-er. There isn't much aftermarket support for upgrades either.

If you must get into a BMW now, I'd recommend an E46 3-series, or an E36 3-series or E34 5-series. They are definitely more reliable and cheaper to keep at those higher-mileage levels (above 70k) than the E39. And still very rewarding to drive!

As for our Legend GS, which we owned from 101K to 189K miles, the only things that "broke" in that time were a leaking pinion shaft seal and a broken rear transmission mount. THe shaft seal is a common '91-'95 Legend malady around 100k miles - a $5 part that required $425 labor to replace. But that's about it.....

To answer your Q - the 528 would be somewhat cheaper to maintain, but not enough to matter (radiator issues are fewer in the I-6 models). The Sport suspension increases tire costs since the staggered tires of the sport package cost more and could not be rotated. So a non-sport would save some coin. But many of the same problems are common to both 528 and 540: expensive suspension bits, relays, brakes, wheel bearings, air conditioning, p/s fluid leaks, dash minder pixels going out, cam sensors, etc. etc.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
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

Last edited by Eric S.; 08-17-2007 at 08:37 PM.
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