1990 BMW 5 Series 525 i 2.5 gas from North America


A reliable surefooted fun car


I have replaced a radiator hose.

I have replaced the oil pan gasket.

I have put new rotors and pads on it when I bought it.

General Comments:

I love the road handling, and incredible dependability and low cost of operation. I have found local BMW only mechanics and parts stores on the internet and rarely need either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2004

1990 BMW 5 Series 520i from Croatia


Executive express :)


Radiator leek at 160 000km.

Water pump leek at 165 000.

ATF oil leek from the beginning.

Rear right suspension broke under tremendous pressure.

General Comments:

I wanted an E36 320i, but instead I bought this car, and I never regret it.

Although it's pretty heavy (1400kg) and not so good at acceleration (0 -100km/h in 11,7 sec), it has good top speed - 203 km/h (don't forget this is straight six with two valves per cylinder - 129 hp)

Car has indeed lot of room, both on the front, back and in the rear box.

Handling is perfect; ideal weight distribution (50:50) and rear drive gave me lots of joyfull over-steers in wet conditions.

Brakes with ABS were also good; ABS starts to work very late, and I find that perfect.

Fuel consumption is very low for this class of vehicle; average at only 10,5 - 11,3 liters per 100km!!!

Overall I fell in love with this car, and I tested something I wouldn't like any of you test; crash test. I was hit sideways in crossroad and insurance called it total loss. I was unharmed (the weight of the car saved me).

Definitely a drivers car for ultimate driving pleasure, if you find one in good condition, I strongly recommend.

And don't bother for oil consumption; in manual it is written that everything under 1,5 liter on 1000 km is normal. My was "drinking" 0,4 - 0,7l on 1000km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th January, 2004

1990 BMW 5 Series 525i SE 2.5 24v from UK and Ireland


A well-kept luxury secret


Broken windscreen (my fault) cost UKP150 to replace. Shop around... I had some quotes for UKP500.

Faulty rear electric window - fixed by the dealer.

Faulty viscous fan clutch causing overheating - fixed by the dealer.

Rough idle. Moves between 500 and 1200 rpm. It seems to have settled down since I've been using Red-ex, but I'll get the dealer to look at it during its next service as it's still under warranty.

General Comments:

This car is 13 years old with 111,000 miles on the clock and it still drives like I've just picked it up from the showroom. It's smooth and quiet and very very comfortable.

For a car that weighs a ton and a half it's pretty quick. 0-60 is quicker than you need it to be. I took it to 120mph before I chickened out and there was still loads of power left. It's not underpowered.

It's not a car that's cheap to run. A specialist will typically charge UKP200 for a service and at UKP60 for a tankful of petrol, I still shed a tear every time I arrive at the pump. BMW parts are pricey, but if you are fairly technically able you can save money by doing some jobs yourself.

This was once of the first M50 engined 5s - this means it has the newer 24v engine. The straight-six sounds fantastic. I have several friends with four-cylinder cars who frequently remark on how good it sounds.

I would seriously recommend a car like this to anyone who wants a luxury motor which is a pleasure to drive, but is on a budget. BMWs were built to last for years and a good 5 series with 100,000 on the clock is barely run-in. Look after it and it will keep going for ever. The 6 cylinder engines are widely accepted to be the best. Pick a good one and you're laughing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2003

11th Jul 2003, 01:55

You may find that the erratic idle is due to either the throttle position sensor, they get clogged with dirt and/or oil, Or the LAMBDA sensor, I had mine done at a dealer including the diagnostics at a cost of £155 (LAMBDA sensor)

6th Apr 2005, 09:37

The idle problem could be the air flow meter, that went on mine a few months ago. I went to the scrap yard and got one off another car for £25 and fitted it myself (its only a couple of clips and a plug in electrical connection)

Runs fine now!

6th Apr 2007, 02:23

Your rough idle problem.

I seem to have that problem too and so do several of my beemer owning friends. I run some fuel cleaner through the tank and it just stops and goes away.

The rpms floating while driving when your foots not on the gas pedal could be a result of transmission problems that aren't yet apparent.

BMW's are very sensitive to low grade fuels. A fuel cleaner usually does the trick.