1989 BMW 5 Series SE 3.0 from UK and Ireland


Solid, reliable value car with good status!


Factory fitted remote Scorpion alarm gave up the ghost after a couple of months of owning. Contacted Scorpion alarms (address can be found online) and they sent me a refurbished direct replacement with two new remote senders (£100).

'Lights on' warning message never worked.

A problem with the windscreen wipers contacting the bonnet when in the full up position, leaving a small mark on the paint-work. Can be corrected by adjusting bonnet position, but with bonnet adjusted to maximum, still made contact.

General Comments:

This car is smoother than anything I've driven before. It can sit at a 100 MPH all day and you would think you were doing about 60!

Very little leg room in the back for a car of this size.

One touch driver's window and sunroof, also can be operated from the door lock, which was a nice feature. Doors can be locked from the boot lock.

Make sure you buy a SE, automatic, BMW alloy wheels with a full service history. There are plenty about, so bide your time and wait for a good one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2001

1989 BMW 5 Series i 2.5 gas from North America


Great style/performance/comfort for the money


My gas gauge and water temperature gauge do not work when the car is cold.

General Comments:

I took the car to FL, 2500 miles in 4 days. Gas mileage was 27.5MPG with the cruise set at 77MPH.

Pick up is very good. Transmisson downshift on the automatic is very sweet. The BMW engineers knew what they were doing with that 'button' under the gas pedal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2001

1st Dec 2007, 09:23

"My gas gauge and water temperature gauge do not work when the car is cold."

I suspect corrosion or slightly loose electrical contacts at the fuse or some such. Disconnect and reconnect to see if it improves.

1989 BMW 5 Series 520i from Denmark


Not good


Everything went wrong 1/2 a year after I had this car. I took it to Switzerland and on the German autobahns, my engine got smoky and was dead. I have spend much money on a new engine and it still has many faults.

General Comments:

This car was very very good when I bought it, but now it's crap, and very slow, and uses too much petrol.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th May, 2001

26th Oct 2001, 16:34

I can partly agree with your opinion on our BMW. First of all, I have owned a 1990 520i since 1998 and I have made about 50.000 km till now. It is a bit slow, but still fabulous on handling.

Inner space is good, but not sufficent. On the question of reliability, I partly agree with you. I have had no big problems until now, but still I had to replace a few things that mechanics claimed are usual for car this age and 155.000 km on clock.

On the other hand, safety is strong point, which is important to me, especially since I have a child.

Previous car was Honda Accord 2.0i model 1990. THAT was fast car (about 9.0 0-100km/h with 136 HP) with good handling (not up to BMW), but it was great inside giving luxurious, compact and welcoming space. That is downside of our current car, it looks like it's from the middle ages comparing to the Accord, especially in dull brown interior color like mine.

I bought the Accord new back in 1990 and covered about 180.000 km (I have a Toyota Corolla as well) and next to fine adjusting of valves in service (irritating, every 20,00km), changing the oil and filters regularly, one changing of the disc pads and homocinetic shoulders on both of wheels, I had no other mechanical problems.

Today I am preparing visit to an official BMW dealer for a diagnostic search, since my car often fail to start in the morning, no matter if the weather is warm or cold, and after starting for a few minutes, it works like a tractor bouncing and choking, until I put up the revs to 2000 for a dozen seconds. Later during the day, there is no problem nor during driving, just irritating mornings.

For the end of this long comment I can say that I could probably buy another BMW - E39 523i or 528i, if it is not so much more expensive than the competition (maybe a Chrysler Vision or 300M - I drove it for a test drive, it is fabulous), or some of the Jags or Lexus'. But it definitely will not be any of the Mercedes.

Thank you, enjoy your BMW ride.

Srdjan Ruzic.

11th Feb 2013, 06:20

To me it looks like you pushed your engine too hard on the autobahn. Since the car has been used to Denmark, the engine is not used to the punishment it gets if you go WOT on the autobahn. Sounds like you weren't careful enough.