1988 BMW 5 Series 528e from North America
Would be best to have in lieu of a new 5 series. When ya feeling old school, this e28 will do
Control arms, various other minor relays/electrical things.
02 sensor replaced with a proper one (previous owner seemed to have had a knack for jury-rigging stuff).
Replaced rusted out exhaust.
Nothing out the ordinary for a car this age.
Performance - By today standards, it's on the econobox side for off the line, but this car was built over two decades ago. Even then, for a Bimmer, it was one of the slowest. At the same time, the acceleration was more than adequate for the cars of the time. Compared to the cars of its time in the same class, it is a speed demon. Once it gets going, it's a Bimmer all the way.
Reliability - (based on this car for the year, and previous one that I had for over 5 years) It's very reliable overall. A few electrical gremlins here and there. At times it does seem like once a repair is done, another minor one crops up. And things on these cars must be fixed proper, or else it will cause a great headache when a person is trying to get it right. Many things are interconnected (more simple than today's Bimmers though) and a jury-rig on one component requires adjustment of another and so on. So when it is fixed proper, the other stuff will have to be re-adjusted. Parts can be expensive compared to a domestic (it's imported. In Germany it's the reverse; Jeeps cost tons more to repair than a BMW).
Very comfortable. Not as comfortable as my old S-class of the same year, nor the 7 series, but more than comfortable enough for long road trips. The ride is firm, but not harsh, and without all those electronic doo-dads found in new car suspensions. Wind noise is present at high speeds. There is more exhaust note than the Benz, but it's suppose to be, as this is BMW. But it's just as quiet at highway speeds. The engine is legendary smooth.
Running cost - I get good gas mileage. Regular maintenance is easy for a do it yourself er, and that saves a ton. Usually things that get fixed stay fixed though, once the bugs are worked out. If you have to run to the repair guy every repair, it will cost. Avoid the dealer if you can. Most of those guys running around there have no idea what an e28 is. Rightfully so, as they don't mention the e28 and other classic Bimmers in their training. Try not to laugh when they ask where is the OBD2 port. The veterans of the dealer are usually too busy fixing the newer $100,000 7 series and M series to worry about a car that might be worth 4 or 5 grand in showroom condition. Take it to an independent shop, as any veteran BMW mechanic worth his/her salt will find it hard to bolo things up on these cars. Not many special tools are needed outside ones that any standard euro car repair shop should already carry.
Not sure if I would buy another one from this company if I was looking for a newer 2002 and up BMW. If a 88 e28 is expensive and a struggle to keep up, the new ones will bankrupt ya if you are not careful, and if it's out of warranty.
This thing is like a tank. The leather is thick, the interior is business, it's metal and solid. It's straight old school to the point. It looks a bit dated compared to new ones on the inside, but that is part of the charm for me. Everything is in an easy classic German layout. Many buttons and indicators, but all easy to read and operate. The outside to me will never go out of style. It will never be mistaken for anything else but a BMW.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th December, 2011