1999 BMW 5 Series Executive 2.8 litre 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand




Mechanically nothing.

Things wrong with the car were superficial and related to some of the slightly cheap finishes. The plastic around the door grab handles is painted thinly and was scratched. 3 out of 4 cupholders were broken. The previous owner had young kids.

I had problems with the fuel cap being hard to open and once the central locking lost it. The front passengers door wouldn't unlock, which can happen. Playing around with the remote for a while got it back into sync.

Never had to go to the dealer, apart from a service at a non-dealer BMW specialist.

General Comments:

This was a perfect car. It was a '99 update Executive in Diamond Schawrz with beige leather, dash-top, wood trim, 16" mags and M spoiler. Only had 100,000ks and cost $25,000.

These e39 5s really are the "world's best car". I've never experienced such an overpadded, tank-like car get down and hustle like a roadster. That is if you stomp on that big fixed accelerator and work the engine.

Apart from being a bit gutless below 2500rpm, performance was adequate. The average performance was kind of refreshing, it was a very relaxing car to drive, which isn't really fitting for a BMW. Not to say it was a barge, the handling is astonishing considering the bulk of these cars and the lushness of the suspension in Executive tune. I always thought these e39 Beemers were more of a Benz than the E Class was, but in a good way.

Which I learnt when driving through an intersection on a green light. A girl in one of those Rover-esque Nissan Pulsar sedans ran her red light at over 80k's and smashed into the front driver's wheel. Completely destroying the car, but saving my life. The head curtain and thorax bags all deployed in the accident and the 5s tank-like construction completely took the blow, allowing me to walk away from a high-speed side impact. The left-hand side doors could still be opened, which shows you how tough these cars are.

The car was a write-off. The front-right suspension was completely mangled and the chassis bent. Brisbane BMW said they might be able to fix it, but it wasn't worth it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2007

1999 BMW 5 Series Touring 2.8 litre 6 cylinder from North America


Great car that falls short on QUALITY!


Radiator leaked and replaced twice at 60K, 73K.

Water pump replaced at 69K.

Thermostat replaced at 69K and 73K.

Driver's side window regulator broke at 65K.

Front passenger side and rear passenger side window regulators broke at 69K.

Rear hatch lock mechanism broke at 75K and at 90K.

Drive belts replaced at 60K, 78K, 88K (belts broke and and I was stranded)

Power steering pulley replaced at 88K.

Cup holders constantly breaking each year.

Shake developed at around 55K (previous owner). 5 mechanics checked, but all had various theories and none was able to fix (numerous tire balancing, control arm bushings replaced @75K).

Key-less entry system shorted out frequently, but corrected itself at around 96K??!!

Previous owner has maintained the car well with BMW dealers and had all service records that also showed some minor problems.

General Comments:

The station wagon is great on styling, handling, ride and comfort. I average 25 mpg on mix city/highway and the car is peppy.

Too bad numerous problems have killed my confidence with BMW. It has stranded me three times in 2 years. I used to own a 1989 735 BMW that was also plagued with problems. This will be my last BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd January, 2007

27th Jun 2007, 17:37

Cooling system seems to be an on-going issue, with the plastic radiator.

In my experience, their handling is phenomenal, but quality is not any higher than that of any other make. When getting a used bmw, ask for the repairs list. I found a nice '98 model without any issues, but didn't buy it because they owner had done no repairs /maintainance whatsoever. Very scary.

12th Oct 2007, 21:37

You are not alone. When my 540 started falling apart at 75,000 miles I went on line to check on other owners experiences. It seems every problem I come across is common. The parts used in this vehicle are terrible. I have a 1986 F250 that gets abused, but all the original parts work. Why can't my babied $40,000 car hold up half as well?