2000 BMW 5 Series 520d Touring 2.0 turbo diesel
- Some noise from the differential when letting go of the accelerator; probably the rubber discs need replacing.
- ABS sensor faulty.
- Some light bulbs.
- Regular wear and tear.
- Previous owner had done some suspension repairs and a change of water pump.
If you wouldn`t see it on the odometer, you would have never guessed this car has done this many kilometers. It still feels solid, very little interior creaks despite being a wagon.
It`s built like a tank, roomy like a wagon, comfortable like an armchair, safe like a Volvo and handles like a sports car. If you think that`s too good to be true, wait until I tell you about the fuel consumption. It drinks around 6 litres per 100km, that's 47 Imperial MPG. And that`s mixed driving with highway speeds of 150km/h, if I obey the speed limit of 130km/h it does about 5l/100km, that`s 56 MPG.
If you find a good one, buy it and you won`t regret it.
The downside of this car is that it`s only a four cylinder engine in a heavy chassis. This can be improved by having the car˙s engine electronics remapped, this upgrades the power to 170HP and torque to about 400Nm (300Lb-Ft). After this is done it accelerates like a stock 530d, but consumes much less fuel. Even without this remap, the car is fairly drivable and can safely overtake most traffic when needed, the turbodiesel provides sufficient torque.
Its diesel nature is most noticeable when the engine is cold, due to the clatter. But the cabin is very well insulated and this poses no problem when the windows are closed. It is also very quiet at motorway speeds.
Ergonomics are excellent, everything fits like a silken glove and the materials are of high quality. Seats are comfortable, gearbox is perfect, but the steering wheel is a little too big if you don`t go for the sporty version, still livable though.
Handling and braking are sublime, the car has ideal weight distribution, meaning you just point and it goes in that direction, without trying to tear the steering wheel off your hands in corners. Very relaxing to drive and inspires confidence at all times, even goes very good in the wet.
A let down could be the stereo, without the hi-fi equipment feature it can be disappoint for audiophiles. But the speakers are easily accessible for swapping them with some quality ones and after that the sound quality is more than sufficient.
When it comes to service, try bypassing the dealers and find a BMW specialist, it is at lot cheaper for the same if not better quality of service. If you are a DIY mechanic it is also quite easy to work on.
A letdown can be the image, some people do have their misconceptions about BMW drivers. But they usually change their mind once they get to travel in this piece of excellent machinery.
It certainly is a car you can appreciate. It`s disappointing to drive most other cars once you own a decent 5 series, it is just a package of comfort, handling and quality that is very rarely met in other cars. But beware, get a good one with service history or you might regret it very badly.
And if you do decide to get one, be a good man and use those turn indicators, will you :)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th June, 2009
14th Oct 2011, 07:00
Fuel pump went at 280 000km. The plugged up fuel filter could be the culprit, but hey, at least there will be peace of mind about the pump for at least another 250 000km.
The other update is the rear axle mounts, which were replaced due to a harsh ride over smaller imperfections. This is a common occurrence on e39 wagons.
Other than that, just regular maintenance. The car still drives awesome, and has a perfect ride balance between sporty and comfort.
10th Dec 2014, 01:14
Since my last update it all went downhill with this car.
The regular maintenance items since then were some brake work, heater plugs, some front suspension bushes, battery, rubber mounts for the engine and transmission.
Other than that, the fuel injectors needed replacing, the flywheel went kaput so that also, there were serious rust issues on the boot door, and the final straw was the failure of the main injection pump; a new one costs as much as the car is worth. So she is a goner.
If someone is thinking about buying this BMW model, I would well advise them to buy the best one that you can, and be aware that it still might get costly, way too costly. And if you insist, then avoid the 520d and go for the 525d or 530d. The 525d is almost as economical, the 530d just slightly less, and both engines and peripherals are more reliable than the 520d, and are way more fun and smooth to drive. Also avoid auto gearboxes if they haven`t been replaced yet; they aren't very reliable in the long run, especially if not taken good care of.
Well, good luck with your Beemers mates.