Should I buy a 540i or 528i ????? - 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)

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
#1 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 09:57 AM
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windsor
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rogcontact is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to rogcontact
(Thread Starter)
Cool Should I buy a 540i or 528i ?????

I am debating whether I should go for a 540i or a 528i, either way it will be Automatic. Right now I found a really good deal on a 540 with about 60000mi selling for 17000, which is about the price tag of a 528i. There is also a 528 I am looking at which has 50000mi selling for about 15500. To what I have seen, these are really good deals. I am wondering about the reliability factor, are they both as reliable? Is BMW's I6 a more sure buy compared to thier V8? I also know that the 540 uses a different suspension, which smoothens the ride a little more, which I like, I am more into luxury then sport (with a little kick none-the-less). But I am concerned about reliability again. Can you guys give me your input, also, how much better is the 528 vs 540 in terms of gas milage. I noticed that the 528 is rated at about 20 mi\g while the 540 at about 17. But my main question\concern is RELIABILITY RELIABILITY RELIABILTY... Thank you guys, I cant wait to drive my first bemmer....
rogcontact is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:12 AM
I am Teh Edumacator.
 
Teh Prof's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: ATL, London, and Barcelona
Posts: 4,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of Teh Prof has much to be proud of
Send a message via AIM to Teh Prof
At 60K miles, you won't have to worry about that V8 for a long time. Same with the I6.

My 528 got 30+ mpg on the highway. I'm not sure what the 540s get.

Do realize, however, that our cars do require some maintenance. You're not buying a Toyota.



1999 E39 540i/6-VF Stage 1 S/C, Dinan exhaust, Dinan strut+shock braces, Dinan ltwt flywheel + clutch, Dinan Brembo BBK, Dinan monoball, H&R Springs, Koni Yellows, M5 sways, Dinan forged 18" wheels, &c.

1995 E38 740i. Highly modded. Faster than you.

Sold 2-28-07: 1997 E36 M3/4, 8-30-05 RIP 1997 528i


Lindsay fan club member.
Teh Prof is offline  
#3 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:21 AM
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windsor
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rogcontact is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to rogcontact
(Thread Starter)
What type of maintenance have you done to your car?... what year is your car?... Stuff like breaks, and normal maintenance I understand. But what are common problems, other then regular maintenance, do the 540 and the 528 have? would you say one is more reliable then the other?
rogcontact is offline  
#4 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 01:00 PM
3rd Gear Member
 
Scarface's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jacksonville, AL
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Scarface is an unknown quantity at this point
Send a message via AIM to Scarface
Go 540....I contemplated the same thing for a couple months and chose a 540i. I made the right choice. You will LOVE it!!!!!!!!

-1998 BMW 540i6(Axis Penta 20's,M5 shadow grilles,trunk lip,led tails,oem front lip,PIAA lighting)
-2002 Cadillac Escalade(Zinik Luina 22's,OEM HID upgrade)
Scarface is offline  
#5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 04:51 PM
68th gear and shifting
 
superdeadman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: College Park, Maryland
Posts: 2,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
superdeadman has a spectacular aura about superdeadman has a spectacular aura about superdeadman has a spectacular aura about
Send a message via AIM to superdeadman
dude rog - first of all as far as the drive goes - make sure it's the SPORTS package that you're getting, not regular (in sports package suspension is MUCH better than normal)
second - realize that while the engines should run well for a long time, there's some mantainance that needs to be done -> between 60-100k miles the following should be changed: thermostat, thermostat housing, shocks, o2 sensors, and other stuff that i can't think of right now. You ARE looking at about $2,000 worth of work within the next 40k miles no matter which car you chose. Also, if you are in united states, provide which year is 540 and 528 as you may be getting a BAD deal in my eyes. Also are both cars in EXCELLENT condition?

and w/e you do - check carfax! and mantainance records. Buy the car whose owner has mantainance records to show for his car. From them you can see if the car keeps having same problems (like electrical)

i have 1999 528i and so far so good


member and partial creator of the Pimpin' The Auto club
Quote:
m20 pwr: "oh yeah baby, pour some acid on my penis"

R.I.P. fast 6
"drive hard
keep it clean
and most of all have fun driving"
superdeadman is offline  
#6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 05:01 PM
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windsor
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rogcontact is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to rogcontact
(Thread Starter)
The 540 is a 1998, while the 528 is 2000. The 540 is from Canada, 528 USA. I live in Canada but work in USA, I might move here if it seem like it may be worth it. The prices I provided are sunc with where they are from 540 CAD 528 USD. But the dollar is almost the same right now anyways. I am going to look up the CARFAX for sure, before I buy one. Also, I am going to go to BMW and check the car service history. I was told by the 540 that it was always services at BMW, so I will see exactly what they have done. The 540 is NOT the sports package it is the premium though. Although I know the sports package has a better suspension system, it is a "bumpier" ride then the non sport. I am not looking for a sports car, that is why Im going the 5series route. Im just wondering as far as reliablity goes, is there any advantage of one model compared to the other 540 vs 528? I dont know if I will get one of the 2 I mentioned in my first post, but I know I will get a 5series bimmer, and so far from what Ive seen, Im thinking that the 540 is the way to go. Some sites show that the 540 auto tranny gets about 18 mi\g... not bad, it is the same as the 528 auto. If this is true, it very much leans me to the 540 side....
rogcontact is offline  
#7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 07:15 PM
4th Gear Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Eric S. is on a distinguished road
Welcome to the forum.

1) You question is an age-old debate that wages multiple times per month across many forums. Do a search on this and other forums on the topic and study the many hits you will get for additional insights to what you'll get here.
2) Whether the 540 or the 528 is the best choice for you is a very personal choice, and none of us can make that choice for you. So I HIGHLY recommend you test drive as many 540s and 528s as you can find - look at local BMW dealers and used car lots. Yeah, you may not be interested in or maybe cannot afford their particular car, but don't tell THEM that.
3) Your preferences expressed so far indicate to me that a BMW 5-er may not be the best car for you. You sound better suited to an Accord V6, G35, Lexus ES 300/330, or Acura TL. All are fine autos. However, if you absolutely MUST have rear-wheel-drive, then I think the 528 automatic will suit you fine. I test drove a 2000 528 5-speed and my overriding impression was how much more enjoyable the car would be with the automatic because the 5-speed felt like a lot of work for very little reward. In fact, maybe the 2001+ 530i would be a great choice.

That said, let me share how I feel about the subject, after a few test drives of 528s and 540s and talking to friends who owned both: The advantage in nimbleness & handling offered by the 528 was IMHO very subtle, whereas the 540's advantage in acceleration was MUCH more dramatic. Also, the 540 offered a few items as standard equipment (dual-zone climate control, etc. - varies by year) that were optional on the 528.

Reliability: The cold hard fact is that no E39 BMW will be as economical to maintain as the other marques mentioned above. I hate to admit it, but based on my friends' input as well as hanging in multiple forums since 10/2004 I've concluded that the I-6 has an edge on the 540 in terms of cost to maintain, especially a "normal" 528/530 compared to the 540 Sport Package, mostly because of tire wear and replacement.

Check www.540i6.com for common problems and fixes of the 540. That list indicated which issues are common to the 6-cyl models. My personal finding is that I've spent about $1500 to $2000 each year (annualized) for my car's maintenance and repair costs, and I provide all of my own labor.

On that note: BMW parts are not hideously expensive (check out Porsche and M-B costs some time), but labor is high, so if you own one of these babies, you need to be prepared to turn a wrench or two.

Good luck!

<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
Eric S. is offline  
#8 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 09:08 PM
4th Gear Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Eric S. is on a distinguished road
Regretful Buyer of Non-Sport 540iA

BTW, see this thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=155747

<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
Eric S. is offline  
#9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:53 PM
5th Gear Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sp0rky is an unknown quantity at this point
I didnt read the whole thread, but...

I'd get the 528.
It's more reliable.

I LOVE my 540.. but its an absolute gas hog in comparison to the 528.. and IMO, with stock gearing... it's a gutless car <keywords ::::> for a 4.4 liter v8.

overall, the 528 is cheaper to obtain, cheaper to maintain, cheaper on gas - and just as nice of a car aside from power. Not to mention that the rack and pinion steering and the lighter front end help it feel like not so muhc of a "pig".

My 540 is sitting on coilovers and all good shape suspension components and still feels a little heavy for my tastes in comparison to the 528. The steering box in the 540 is.... not so great. It works and does it's job, but its just so bland.

sp0rky is offline  
#10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 10:54 PM
5th Gear Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sp0rky is an unknown quantity at this point
btw - maybe hold off, spend a little more and find a nice 530i. reliability of a 528 and a little bit more power for some added fun.

sp0rky is offline  
#11 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 08:38 AM
4th Gear Member
 
Eric S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 817
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Eric S. is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by sp0rky
btw - maybe hold off, spend a little more and find a nice 530i. reliability of a 528 and a little bit more power for some added fun.
I agree with Sporky's point about the 530. ALso, regarding gas mileage, the 540 isn't so bad if you get the 6 speed (I average over 24mpg daily commuting and get about 28 on pure highway travel, including a couple of stops). But the automatic 540 doesn't do as well on gas mileage (generally speaking), so keep that in mind....

<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
Eric S. is offline  
#12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 12:10 PM
5th Gear Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,176
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
sp0rky is an unknown quantity at this point
Manual always does make a bit of a difference, however... I average 24 - 25 highway and dip into high 14s around town. I've talked to many people and apparently thats pretty much "average" most people only differed +/- 1mpg.
The 540 isn't too much of a pig on the highway, but it sure is around town.

sp0rky is offline  
#13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 02:26 PM
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windsor
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rogcontact is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to rogcontact
(Thread Starter)
Question

I think I ended up being more confused then I was before posting this Thread lol
Eric: If you are telling me that you get 24mi/g in your 540 which is a 6spd, what would the 5spd auto get? Couldnt be rediculosly less, what? around 20? I could live with 20, even 19 18, but under that, is getting iffy... What kind of maintenance could possibly round you up to 2000$ per year every year? WOW... Im gunna check out what the 530s are going for, I would not go for the cars you had recommended, I cannot drive a small car, too uncomfortable. As far as the 540 goes, do you guys think it is a good deal? let me recap: 540iA Premium package, Montana leather, 60000mi, 2 sets rims M5 style, BMW maintained always, no accidents (of course), selling for 18000, I already talked him down to 17000 on the phone, maybe even less if I drive the 4 hrs and work my magic. This is in Canadian funds, that would equal about 17000 CAD = 15500 american... Im sooo damn confused, I hate big decisions...
rogcontact is offline  
#14 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 02:34 PM
n00b
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Windsor
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
rogcontact is on a distinguished road
Send a message via MSN to rogcontact
(Thread Starter)
This is the car...

Should I buy a 540i or 528i ?????-540.jpg
rogcontact is offline  
#15 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 02:55 PM
68th gear and shifting
 
superdeadman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: College Park, Maryland
Posts: 2,318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
superdeadman has a spectacular aura about superdeadman has a spectacular aura about superdeadman has a spectacular aura about
Send a message via AIM to superdeadman
i don't think that 540 is worth the money
in my opinion if you're buying a 5-series you should get 1 with 80+k miles since most of the stuff is already replaced AND you're getting it at a cheaper price than a 60k mile car


member and partial creator of the Pimpin' The Auto club
Quote:
m20 pwr: "oh yeah baby, pour some acid on my penis"

R.I.P. fast 6
"drive hard
keep it clean
and most of all have fun driving"
superdeadman is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60)


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How To Tell Options With Vin? cm70man 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 20 11-11-2013 06:31 PM
about to buy a '94 540i prash 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 1 03-07-2006 09:31 PM
Need Carfax Report, Please Help F U Have Carfax Ac ozbmw 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 2 05-11-2005 11:58 AM
Vin Number skimmilk 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 1 12-16-2004 06:07 PM
Carfax Please: Wbadd632xwbw44671 cpuken 5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) 3 12-03-2004 09:04 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome