1995 BMW 5 Series 525 iT Wagon V6 from North America


Dreamy money pit - stay away


Where do I begin?

Transmission failed 144,000.

Headliner completely detached 144,000.

A/C died 130,000.

Leatherette seats cracking 130,000.

Shocks replaced 124,000 & 154,000 ALL AROUND.

Radiator replaced twice.

General Comments:

I must have acquired a lemon - this BMW has been a money pit from Day 1. :(

LOVE the ride, so comfortable it's addicting. Has spoiled me completely.

My mantra for this car has become "Oh my God, what NOW?"

Sadly, will sell soon in utter defeat. Transmission was not fixed properly 1st time around by the shop.

But oh, the ride!!!

Maybe someday I'll try again with another BMW. The handling of this 1995 feels better than the 2002 I test drove last year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th October, 2010

23rd Apr 2011, 04:57

No offense, but I hate it when people write reviews like this. Somebody buys a 12-year-old car with 125,000 miles on it, and is surprised that it is not as maintenance-free as a brand new Honda would be.

While these cars are known for problems with cracking their radiators, all the rest of what you describe is just the result of age/neglect and how the car was driven.

Are you really complaining about the cracks on the leather seats after 12 years and 155k? Leather dries out and cracks if you don't take care of it. Did you ever bother to TAKE CARE of the leather seats with a leather conditioner like you are supposed to??

1995 BMW 5 Series 520i SE 2.0 6 cylinder 24v from UK and Ireland


Possibly the greatest saloon car ever made?


After purchase, I've installed new front pads, thrust arms, front shocks.

Wearing items, nothing else.

General Comments:

These old 5s are superb, this one cost me £200 only and it has needed just £200 to get it driving spot on. It cruises in silent and smooth comfort, and handles like a car half its size.

I have changed the ATF as well as normal service items to prolong its life. My car has now done 168k miles and feels like new. There are no rattles, creaks or noises from the trim or the suspension.

These cars are also very easy to work on for the home mechanic, they needn't be expensive to maintain.

It's not the quickest off the line, but get it above 4k rpm and the VANOS does its thing and it's be no means a slow car.

It really likes high octane (97-99) unleaded too. To think that the basic suspension of this car is so old fashioned is amazing. It rides better than the latest 5 series and handles nearly as well. All electrical items work 100% and the engine sounds and performs like new.

Looking over the history of the car, it has only had 1 exhaust system and some bushes and some brake pipes over its whole life. The last of the granite built BMWs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2009

18th Sep 2009, 15:00

When I read "the Greatest Saloon" I suddenly became very thirsty - I was quite disappointed to find out the writer was referring to an automobile.

1995 BMW 5 Series 520i 2.0 6 cylinder from UK and Ireland


A car that you will love!


Well, just a fog light bulb; runs and starts perfect every day.

General Comments:

Seats are comfortable, boot is huge, well built, strong car.

The in line six 2.0 engine is smooth, and has torque even at 1200 rpm in fifth gear, but if you want to fly you must raise the rpm from 3500 to 5000 and you will be pleased.

The fuel consumption is 7 litres exterior and around 11 in town. A Golf 1.6 engine or a Passat 1.6 engine has the same fuel consumption, so why buy a VW when you could feel good in a BMW 5 series. If you want to buy a spacious, well built strong car, well this is the car for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2009

1995 BMW 5 Series 540i 4.0 V8 from UK and Ireland


An excellent and surprisingly efficient high performance cruiser and potential sports car!


The Air Conditioning does not appear to be working at present. I can only seem to get hot air, and fiddling with the controls just makes it worse. I hear replacing a valve of some sorts and a filter should fix the problem.

Looking back in the service history, other than normal wear and tear items (brakes/clutch) nothing much seems to have gone wrong other than, again, the Air Conditioning.

General Comments:

Having solely had Volvos as my cars, I am fairly used to being in a large, safe and comfortable environment. My 340, 460 and S90 were all superbly comfortable and very reliable.

Having got bored with the automatic gearbox in the S90, I wanted to change back to manual. The straight six engine in the Volvo was truly excellent, and if they had done a full-powered version in manual form then I'd have bought that. I started to look at BMWs as they are renowned for their straight sixes and handling. After hunting around a bit and checking with insurance companies, I realised that despite my age I could afford a V8, which with a manual gearbox would be excellent, and it is!

I quickly (and luckily) found an E34 540i V8 with a 6 speed manual gearbox, with all the cream leather and wood that my Volvo had. Cruise Control, Dual Climate Control (which should be good once it's working) and most other little toys. It even has a keypad immobiliser which I've always wanted for some reason?!

Having driven it for a few days now, I can happily say it's the fastest road car I've ever been in. 0-60mph comes up in 6.2s, and as it's limited to 155mph, it doesn't slow up either, even when the speed gets into triple figures. It's truly exhilarating! The handling's spot on for a car that weighs about 1.7 tons, and the grip on 225/55/16 tyres is excellent, helped by the ASC+T no doubt!

Having been used to the 21mpg average of the S90, I am pleasantly surprised to see this 4.0 V8 getting nearly 40mpg on the motorway at 50mph (1500rpm) and about 20mpg round town. Obviously that's taking it rather steadily, put your foot down and it drops somewhat!

Having a manual back is excellent, especially now having 6 gears! The torque is so immense you can happily cruise about everywhere at 1000rpm. The torque figure at 1000rpm is just over 280Nm, which more than the Volvo had at 4500rpm?! It's going to take some getting used to, but I'm certainly enjoying. And at 22 years old, I consider myself pretty lucky to own one of these monsters.

If buying one, make sure it has Full BMW Service History. I have kept some money in reserve (from haggling down the purchase price) so that I may have the funds necessary to carry on servicing it properly.

If you are looking for an absolute monster of a car, with more torque than you would ever need, then I can highly recommend an E34 540i. Although the interior is not quite as nice as the Volvo S90, it is still very luxurious and quiet, and a very nice place to be when you want to go out for a drive!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd May, 2008

22nd May 2012, 14:04

Tank you for the review and update. I'm looking for a 94/95 540 now. I have been in love the classic body and beastly drive. Any continuation of updates would be very helpful.