1996 BMW 5 Series 523i A SE 2.5L 6 cylinder VANOS from Australia and New Zealand


A fantastic reliable automobile


I had to replace the shocks at 285,000KM, so I upgraded to Motorsport shocks and springs.

Starter motor at 300,000KM.

Radiator and thermostat housing at 280,000KM.

General Comments:

The E39 was one of the best cars ever produced by BMW.

This car handles and brakes very, very well, and is super smooth and quiet.

I have fitted it with facelift lights and upgraded to OEM Xenon headlights...

Also upgraded to the Motorsport Staggered fitment alloys.

I just love driving it.

Super frugal on fuel, and see 10-11L/100Km around town, and as low as 7.6 on a trip.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2013

1996 BMW 5 Series 523i from Portugal


Amazing luxury car



Airbag sensor.

Strange noise on brake pads (when braking in reverse).

Wheel bearings.

General Comments:

Great comfortable luxury car, built with very high standards.

Performance is OK for a 1700kg car. It reaches easily 220km/h, and the top speed is around 240 km/h with great stability. Can reach 250 km/h downhill.

Consumption in the city is about 12L/100km normal and 10L slow. At a constant 120/130 km/h with 4 people, it can do below 8 liters.

It's a pleasure to hear the engine revving above 5500rpm, with the 6 in-line singing nicely. Pure BMW technology.

The faults are normal for a 15 year old daily car.

The steering wheel is big and the steering is not the fastest. Maybe the age is playing a role now.

It's a great buy for the price, if you want a quality car for a small price. Find one in good shape.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2012

1996 BMW 5 Series E39 2.8 inline six from Slovakia


BMW - the real driving pleasure


Rear wheel bearing on right side was gone, needed to be replaced.

Front axle needed to be repaired completely - new shock absorbers, stabilizer bars, arms...

This all was about 600€ with work already.

Engine started to make ticking noise - valve lifters issue, nothing horrible, but soon will be replaced.

General Comments:

I bought the car because it still offers comfort and a luxury feel, combined with enough power to out run every day cars, although it is 15 years old.

I haven't made any mods to it. It has KN sport air filter, Supersport complete exhaust and very decent sound. I beat a stock 528i with no problems.

Interior is still looking like new, but there are some squeaking noises, coming from the from doors, when riding over bumps.

Original audio system is still pushing real good sound, but there is a Pioneer DVD system installed with SAL Sub.

Consumption is not so bad, even though it is 2.8 litre engine. I can make better than 24 MPG in the city without problems, and on highway I get 40 MPG.

In my opinion, this car is very reliable, when taking service seriously and in time. With 280 000 km, the car is still going like rocket, when you push the gas. It feels like this engine will make three times more kilometres than it already has :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2011

25th Apr 2012, 08:06

Little update:

The car now has 288000 km. Everything is still working just fine. Engine needed a camshaft sensor to be replaced, but nothing more. I am pushing it really often, and this engine is just indestructible :). I think that is because I drive the car till 1500 rpm for 20 minutes when cold, and after that I drive higher RPM, and push it after a minimum of 25 minutes of driving :)

1996 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.8 I6 from Australia and New Zealand


True classic class, and it lasts


Cassette player is broken.

Camshaft location sensor needed replacing as it was not working properly. This did not result in a breakdown though. $544 NZD for repair, but was mucked around by doing a catalytic clean. $1044 in the end.

Keeps coming up with 'Slow! Cat. Overheat' warning when starting, despite issue being fixed (above). Apparently this is a characteristic of models sourced from Japan.

Driver side window wash jets are weak.

Sunroof still opens, but can be temperamental.

Window wash reservoir was leaking, but fixed by myself with silicone glue.

Steering at low speeds sometimes feels a little bit loose, and suspension has a rattle at low speeds. Steering wheel has a bit of a squeak too.

General Comments:

Economy: Very impressed. On long trips and around town. Seems to handle variable trips quite well in comparison with my last 1.6 4 cylinder car. On the two long trips I have been (500km one way) I have achieved 8.4 l/100km and 8.7 l/100km. I usually achieve between 11 l/100km around town if I do not push the car too much.

Comfort: The cabin is very quiet, very smooth and enjoyable to ride in. Quite possibly the most comfortable car I have ridden in, especially on open road and on the motorway.

Performance: When this car needs to be pushed it handles it extremely well. It is quick off the mark, and accelerating for overtaking is simple and very quick.

Handling: Handling is okay. I call this car a cruiser because that's what it is. I am not sure if it actually does, but when I am doing a lot of cornering, I put the car in sport mode because it feels like the suspension is firmer. It does hold its position very well in corners, yet does have a bit of roll. More a comfort thing. The traction control system works extremely well in the wet, and when the wheel may spin, very impressive for a RWD car.

Looks: I never really liked the E39 that much before, but now I own one, I feel that the car has an extremely classic look. More as time goes on. The side and back of the car is probably its best looking feature, and as mine is a 96 model with quite large authentic alloys, the car sits quite low in comparison with newer E39 models. The colour is metallic dark blue and looks amazing with a wax. Nothing has been modified.

Interior: Everything inside still works, except the cassette player. All materials have lasted very well with no fading, splits or stains. The car still has that fresh BMW smell, and the interior feels extremely classy and inviting.

Service costs about $260 NZD every 10,000kms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2010

5th Apr 2011, 06:42

I wrote this entry and since then:

- Drivers side disc brake rotor/pads needed replacing, along with wheel arm, power steering/A/C belt, bush. $970.

- Passenger side trust arm bush. $270.

- Heated nozzle/washer jet replaced on drivers side because it piddled out water. $120.

- Water pump was leaking coolant quite badly. New water pump and labour $340.

Not fixed yet:

- Rear passenger side window has lost its grip with the motor. Needs replacing.

- A/C has a ticking noise.