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)
I am going to buy a 1998 bmw 540i...i have two choices...one with the sports package...one without? which one do I choose all things being equal. Tell me why...I have heard the the sp is really bad in the smow and rain which is a concern of mine.
Hmmm,its not that bad..but the sport includes alot of cool stuff....You dont get the auto leveling rear suspension like in the wagon...but u get a new and better steering wheel,nicer rims,its lowered a little bit,and a newe suspension.
Ashtangaz is right but to add to the m-tec steering wheel, rims and m-tec lowered stiffened suspension (15mm lower), you get aluminium interior trim instead of wood, no chrome trim outside and a stiffer more taut chassis - this is the bit which stops you from doing a retro sports conversion from a normal e39, you can add all the wheels, suspension and stuff but not a new chassis.
So it depends on what you want really, both are great cars but the sport's dechromed and lowered look is deemed more "aggressive", also it's handling will be slightly better in the corners but a little harder on potholed/bumpy roads.
I have never driven a 39 in snow but can't really see why slightly lower, slightly stiffer suspension would make it handle any worse. In reality any rear wheel drive car is going to be bloody horrendous in snow let alone one with almost 300 bhp.
The 4x4 Jaguar is supposed to be good in snow and of course Audi Quattro's but i hear bmw 330xi is the choice of the discerning gentleman.
Im pretty sure the chassis' are identical... Please somebody prove me wrong if I am incorrect - I like learning new things
As for the original question.
We have an e39 w/ sport package and it really is great. If your looking to keep your car stock, but your occasionally or are always an aggressive driver, sport package is the way to go.
If you just want the 5 series because of its looks and your not a "hard" driver, want a smooth*er* ride, go with the non sport model. I would also choose the non sport model if your going to be upgrading your suspension - why waste the sport pkg money only to change it all out?
Below is an extract from PARKERS USED CAR GUIDE the UK used car buyers bible
Sporky - you might like to look at the paragraph between the 2 smileys.
The latest 5-Series, introduced in 1996, embodies excellence of engineering and styling, being matched only by the Mercedes E Class and Audi A6. It's a high achiever with such ability and maturity it doesn't need to boast. If you want an executive model that combines restrained elegance, subtle design, refined power and luxury without ostentation, put this car on your acquisitions list.
No cheap ones – £10,000 only buys you the earliest 520i – but feel the quality; values are holding quite well.
Costly BMW servicing is a must; fuel economy is good for a big car – 30 mpg from 520i/525i, nearly 40 from 530d.
It would be surprising if anything went amiss; many are under warranty.
:P Poised handling, precise steering; supple chassis gives a fine ride; tidy handling is always confident and controlled but slightly tame compared to the 3-Series; Sport versions have a tauter chassis. :P
Effortless acceleration from all except 520i – bigger engines feel languid as they deliver swift progress; V8 is vocal when pushed; all are refined at speed; 525d and 530d are remarkable engines.
Spacious cabin offers more room in rear than formerly; big seats are a bit flat; luxury environment; bigger boot.
Difficult to fault and distinctive enough to project an impression; subtle in metallic silver – the colour of money.
ABS; strong body; twin airbags, with side airbags from Sept 96; improved again in late 1997; top marks for Euro NCAP crash tests.
Alarm and effective immobiliser; a thief is very unlikely to be able to drive away.
Model by Model
All 5-Series models are rear-wheel drive with traction control and electronic suspension control. All have alloy wheels, body-colour bumpers, electric mirrors and an adjustable steering column. SE models and 540i add front fog lamps, extra interior lighting and an on-board computer. The 540i has leather upholstery (optional on other models). Options: M Sport suspension (standard on 540i), rear air suspension, park distance control. From September 96, the 520i and 525i were available with Steptronic sequential automatic transmission. Revisions in September 97 brought a multi-function steering wheel with auto-matic speed hold (on SE models), and DSC III Dynamic Stability Control on the 540i. From September 98, the 535i and 540i have Dynamic Brake Control. Further revisions in September 2000 included new grille and lamps, new 2.2 litre 520i, plus 525i and 530i petrol engines. Sport line-up extended to 520i and 525d in May 02, with M-Sport body kit, 17” alloy wheels, sports suspension and special aluminium and anthracite interior trim. 520iES (Edition Sport) from June 02 has metallic paint, M Sport suspension and steering wheel, 17” alloy wheels, matt aluminium trim, de-chromed exterior trim.
Personally, a Lexus is a great sedan, that will get you where you are going unruffled, and isolated from the world. If that's your ride buy one of those.
Me, I take the scenic route home because there are plenty of hills and curves. I can't imagine not having a 540, or the sport package to enjoy them with.
The ride is stiff but not harsh. You really do feel attached to the car. Curves are FUN!!
Snow is only a problem if its on the road when you are going to or from work. Otherwise you probably don't have to be driving. How many times a year does that happen? Here in Connecticut maybe 3 -4 times a year. Are you willing to give up the other 362 days because you are worried about getting home from work a few times a year?
I am a lot more cautious on wet roads, but I have not had a problem. I suspect tire width. tread, composition, 290 HP,and rear wheel drive, rather than the sport pkg. make slippery conditions exciting.
I like the looks of the SP but that is just personal preference.
I also have the 6SP. I don't much care for it in traffic, but its fun in those curves!
I have a 2002 530i sport. Here in Texas we get very little snow, but we do have very heavy rain from time to time. I've never had any issues with the car in the rain -- it handles it very well. A big portion of what the car will do in the rain depends on the tires. When I first bought it (used) it had somewhat worn ContiSport Contact tires and they were very bad for wet traction. I went with some Falken Azenis ST115s and the traction in the rain has never been a problem since.
I'd highly recommend the sport package. The car simply looks better with it and the ride is still very nice.
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