1994 BMW 5 Series 525tds SE 2.5 turbo diesel, intercooled from UK and Ireland


Economical high speed cruiser


The air conditioning did not work. I have not had this repaired.

The car would stall a few seconds after starting (235000 miles). This was a simple repair - the injector leak off pipes needed replacing.

It has always been difficult to start when warm. The injectors are nearing the end of their useful life.

General Comments:

These cars initially seem slow. This is because they have an immensely long accelerator pedal travel. However, this gives you precise control of the power. Once you learn how the car responds, you can gain a real advantage from it's performance - enough to upset drivers of "warm hatches", especially on the motorway.

The interior on the car is in excellent condition. The leather steering wheel and gear-knob are showing signs of wear. The carpet on the left-foot rest adjacent to the clutch pedal has worn through.

The engine bay is very clean. Unlike most that I saw before buying this one, it had not been steam cleaned. It does not leak ANY oil, anywhere.

Interior noise at lower speeds is higher than on the petrol models, but above 80mph it is amazingly quiet.

Economy is good, considering the way I drive the car. I have had 32mpg minimum and about 40mpg maximum.

These cars are best suited to long distance, high speed cruising - economically!

E34 5-series diesels are comparatively rare, so the cost of engine parts is very high. For all, but the most basic items, dealer parts are the only option.

A full dealer service history is essential. Budget for keeping this up to date. Note that there are two scheduled oil change services between major inspections.

There are no D.I.Y. repair manuals available for the diesel models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2002

1994 BMW 5 Series 520i SE 2 litre injection from UK and Ireland


Beautiful, drivable, affordable status symbol

General Comments:

I love this car.

I bought it in immaculate condition and despite the high mileage it runs like a dream.

One drawback is that you have to keep the revs up to get any fun out of it - it is definitely underpowered in the lower gears. But then it's a big car, not a nippy speedster, although it can wheel-spin with the best of them if you choose to drive it that way.

It eats motorways for breakfast - it's at its best accelerating from 70mph.

The interior is very comfortable, definitely king for a day.

Mine has beautiful alloys - everyone admires the car.

Tyres are laughably expensive - £130. Each.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2002

17th Sep 2002, 06:39

It is possible to get the tires at £55-£60 each, I've seen Michelin tires at £100 each. You've gotta quote round.

(that's for 225/60/r15)

1994 BMW 5 Series 530i 3.0 32 valve V8 from North America


This car is a money pit


Engine block losing compression.

DME blown.

All brakes.

All ignition coils.

Valve cover gaskets.

Intake gaskets.

Thermostat housing.

Power seats.

Heated seats.

General Comments:

This car has way too many things that can go wrong with it.

Everything is ridiculously expensive to fix.

The engine in this car is make of a compound called nikosil. The compound is affected by a high sulfur count in American gasoline, which causes the cylinders to be eaten away. BMW knows about the problem with the engine block and only fixed it (under warranty) if it happened within 5 years or 100,000 miles. This is over a 4000 dollar repair to change the short block if you have to pay it yourself. I bought this car without knowing this and my car had just gone out of the warranty from BMW to fix it. So now I have this to worry about plus the 4000 dollars it cost me to fix the rest of the stuff.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th December, 2001

27th May 2003, 01:14

I too had a 530 and was fortunate to have my BMW dealer replace the block while the car was under extended warranty (replaced at 73,00 miles). You may try to call BMW corporate offices and notify them of your problem. There have been cases where they will cover the cost. Once you get the new block in, you will indeed enjoy the smooth and fairly responsive acceleration.

18th Feb 2005, 00:51

Money pit is right. You would think that for the kind of money these cars command that the quality would be better.. much better. The power steering hoses leaked, the trunk leaked, a wiper rubbed against the rim of the hood, the plastic cover on the driver seat belt cracked off, the hood opening lever snapped off... the up-down mechanism on the headrests froze up, and a water pump failure at about 55K miles...

All this stuff cost a fortune to fix, so I ditched it...

I must say in its defense that it was a blast to drive, fast smooth and handled beautifully. I just wish the other parts were built better. When it was new, it was at the dealer a LOT for warranty fixes... Fun to drive, but a pain in the butt...