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