BMW 5 Series Reviews from Germany

1998 BMW 5 Series 525 tds 2.5 turbo diesel

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.5 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired178000 kilometres
Most recent distance235000 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz E-Class


Reliable but dated diesel


Nothing has gone wrong with the car at all during my ownership. Only routine service items such as oil, tires brake pads have been replaced.

Typical rust spots on tailgate (edge near rear window and along bottom of tailgate) for this model which require paint touch-up.

General Comments:

Totally reliable diesel from BMW. Only irritation is the typical rust spots on the tailgate. Ride a little harsh but it is the 'sport' version. Diesel technology old now and incurs increasing environmental taxes because of its relatively high diesel particulate content in the exhaust gases. Performance is OK but not up to modern 2.5 Liter turbo diesels.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2008

1997 BMW 5 Series 520i 2.0 litre in-line 6

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.0 litre in-line 6 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired112000 kilometres
Most recent distance116000 kilometres
Previous carPontiac Grand Prix


Very nice


My move from Canada to Germany in 2007 required me to terminate the lease on my 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix. The Pontiac was a nice enough car, for North American roads anyway, but it would have not been a good car for German roads, the autobahn at least. I was so looking forward to buying a BMW, I did not mind to pay a bit to re-lease the Pontiac.

I spent a couple of weeks researching BMWs before departing NA, so I was prepared when I arrived. I truly wanted to purchase a 1996 540i, as I am allowed to take back to NA a 15 year old car without NA specs. As I was starting work soon, time was a factor, so I ended up with a 1997 520i with 112K, planning on taking my time to find the perfect car and trading in the 97 model.

From the start I loved the handling; it corners fantastic and the brakes seem very good. I drive daily on the Autobahn and usually cruise around 160 kph, often I am at 180 kph, occasionally if the weather is nice and the road is dry I have had it up to 210 kph. I think there might be another 10kph left in her, but it is getting very close to red line. Speed does not seem to bother the car at all, there is no noticeable difference in performance after cruising long periods at 160kph or better.

The only thing I have had to replace on this car so far is the air filter. I had a problem with lag, the car seemed to have little power until past the 4,000 rpm mark, so I replaced the air filter and ran some fuel injector cleaner through the engine, which seemed to help a bit. But I think I will just have to face the fact that 150 bhp and 140 ft/lb of torque is not enough for the size of this car. The stereo is not very good, it has no CD player and 6 cassette stereo (who has cassette's anymore?). I am looking now to upgrade to a 530i or 540i.

Would I buy another BMW? Based on the short time I have owned my current model, yes I would. What strikes me especially about the vehicle is lack of body roll, and for a relatively big car it corners very nicely. I have had a couple of braking emergencies, and the ABS works wonderfully and the car stops well. I just wish it had more power!

General Comments:

This car handles like a dream, could use more power though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2007

1996 BMW 5 Series 540i V8

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired124650 kilometres
Most recent distance126400 kilometres
Previous carInfiniti Q45


A great vehicle, the best in its class!!


From the first week I had the car, there were strong vibrations when air-condition was on, later even when air-condition was off. Gear-box was changed, but the fault continued. Two months ago the entire engine has been replaced with a new one. Both gear-box and engine replaced at no costs!

Car wouldn't start - and I had to get a new battery. Next time the car did not start - the entire CPU had to be replaced. All at no cost!

Heater in driver's seat did not operate properly, and was fixed by the dealer.

One aircondition vent was misaligned, and repaired by the dealer.

General Comments:

I owned a Camry 300sei, a Volvo S70 T5, and an Infinity Q45. I did have some troubles with those vehicles, but not as much as I had with my BMW.

Yet the dealer's service was outstanding, and I am deeply impressed by the way he took responsibility on all the faults. Eventually, I only paid 50% of the new battery cost, and nothing else.

As soon as the engine had been replaced the car is a dream: an incredible performer, the electric comfort-seats are the best I have ever experienced, the navigation-system is a wonder and everything is absulotly great! It is also a most elegant car, with its wood and leather trim.

I will definitely buy another BMW in the future - if not for the car, the service I recieved is good enough a reason.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2004

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 5 reviews