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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 01-08-2004, 11:55 AM
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I'm shopping for a 2004 530i or 545i. Every dealer claims they sell for MSRP -- no discounting. Any experience on this forum that can set me straight or confirm what the dealers are telling me?

I expect that the answer to my question will become clearer to me as I talk to more dealers and poke around some more -- just trying to shorten my learning process as much as possible.

Thanks in advance for any input.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 01:58 PM
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If you buy from dealer's stock you should be able to negotiate a discount, more so on the 530 than the 545. There are fewer 545s built per year and limited quotas per dealer, so they're less inclined to talk price.

However, this does not mean they will not offer discounts. I placed an order for a 545i with navigation and head-up display, options that are expected to go into production in February. I got a discount of $1500...on a car that is not in production yet. But it was quite difficult and I suspect the dealership will not make this gesture more than a couple of times...at least not for another few months. A competing dealership refused anything beyond $750.

What transmission type are you looking at? I've ordered SMG, but will probably change it to manual. I test drove a 545i with Steptronic - response and power are wonderful. The Active Steering has a lighter feel at low speeds and toughens up as the car accelerates. I took the car through an abrupt 90-degree turn at 55 mph and it performed beautifully with minimal body roll (and I mean minimal) and a lot of lateral G-force. Active steering took all of 5 seconds to get used to.

Styling-wise, the grill on the 545i has chrome accents (on the kidneys) and round tailpipes. Otherwise it's similar to the other 2 models. However, the chrome accents are a standout.
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 03:04 PM
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This will actually be a car for my wife but, she's left it to me to buy. :P

I like the Steptronic. Driven both the 545 and the 530; really like them both but, no question about it, the 545 is much more impressive. The basic question comes down to: "Is that incremental power worth $10K." Other than that, they're the same car in my mind. The 530 felt a little under powered on a little hill that I encountered on my test drive. I don't want to spend this much on a car that's under powered. On the flat, they both felt rock solid and the 530 certainly has enough to get her to work and back.

I really thought that the Steptronic was fun to drive. She can use "Drive" and I can use the Steptronic. I know nothing about the SMG -- except for the reservations that I've read. It can't be all that bad tho -- it's a BMW.

Thanks for your input on ability to negotiate. I agree that shopping from their "stock on hand" gives you more room to negotiate.
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 03:46 PM
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I have a 2001 530iA (Steptronic) which has been driven in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Lassen Volcanic park, the steep hills of downtown San Francisco, California's Highway 1 along the Pacific coast, etc. etc. I can tell you confidently that the 530 has plenty of power (torque, actually), even climbing through 8,000 ft. (I drove a previous Nissan Maxima to 14,000 ft in Colorado. At that elevation the fuel/air mixture ratio interferes with performance.)

The new 545i, with 325 horses, has about the same output as the M3 (333 bhp) and is a bit shy of the 393 horses of the M5, with a price that falls in between the two, filling an ideal "midlevel" position in the lineup. The former 540i was rated at 289 bhp if I remember correctly. For me the decision was either between two cars -- a commute car and a weekend car -- or one that would fit both bills. After much debating (decisions decisions) I chose the latter option. I suppose I'll switch to the 6-speed manual and pretend it's a baby M5.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 03:58 PM
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I'm not sure how helpful you'll find this but I have generally found that carsdirect.com is pretty good for getting a feel for what the car will really be sold for. They indicate about $800-900 discount on the 530i. I have usually gotten a slightly lower number from a dealership than carsdirect.com. Hope this helps.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-08-2004, 04:44 PM
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Thanks ksz. I don't know what it was about that little hill on my test drive. Good to know that it's got enough. Of course, while I was driving I had to listen to the sales guy yammering constantly -- kind of distracting. All he wanted to talk about was the i-Drive.

Our last one was a 325i. That car was impressive. I trust that I'll be favorably impressed by almost any new model. The extra 100 hp is sure noticeable in the 545.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 04:53 PM
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As an update, BMW apparently revised their prices on December 23. The base MSRP on the 5 series is now 1.2% higher (confirmed on the 545, not sure about 525 and 530). At the same time, however, the $1300 gas guzzler tax on the 545i SMG/Manual has been eliminated. Pricing of options stays the same.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 11:28 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

As general info for anyone interested -- I bought a new 530i. Dealer was willing to go $2,300 off of MSRP. So --- if you're willing to invest your time, you ought to be able to approximate that deal.
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