2000 BMW 5 Series 530d 2.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
I can't imagine owning anything else
The air-con resistor control went, making the air-con fan speed fluctuate wildly.
The rear anti-roll bar linkages required replacement.
The front thrust arm bushes required replacement.
This is the best car I have owned, seemingly achieving the impossible. I have had the performance map applied to my car giving me 235bhp, but this figure is misleading, it feels more like 300.
The reason being the 400ft/lb or torque the car now produces. Don't believe anyone who says that BHP is all that matters, the shove this car has from any speed is verging on the ridiculous, very little can keep up in the real world.
Yet still it's the most comfortable and economical car I have owned. If I leave the cruise control on at a steady 80mph, it gets 42mpg, and at 70 it's nearer 45mpg.
I got my car fairly cheap because it needed a few bits doing, but I would say to anyone considering getting one to do it now. And get it remapped by someone reputable, because it totally transforms the whole car, making it so much more driveable as well as powerful.
I timed it the other day, and it can accelerate at 5mph per second from any speed up to at least 140 with seemingly no drop off.
The seats are very comfortable, and the whole car has that "chiseled out of granite" feel about it.
This is an "E39" 5 Series, which is regarded as one of the nicest looking and most reliable BMW's ever made.
My car is the SE, not the Sport spec car, so the wheels are 16 inch and the interior is cloth not leather, however the taller tyres provide the best ride quality I have experienced while still being able to hold serious levels of cornering without drama. This is no wallowy cruiser, but it will drive forever in silence.
This is my first diesel from over 20 cars owned, and I can't see a way back; once you feel that wave of torque displace you along the road, it really makes no odds that it "only" revs to 5k not 6 or 7, such is the massive thrust, you want the gearbox to change before the redline to access the thrust again, the higher gear seemingly doing nothing to dilute the madness.
The engine only sounds "like a diesel" at idle, on full attack it sounds great, you can even hear the turbo working at times. When you are cruising at a steady speed, I swear to you it is virtually silent; you couldn't tell it was diesel.
I have had fast bikes and several hot hatches but I'm totally smitten by this car, its blend of comfort, economy and power are unassailable. I urge you drive a standard 190bhp/300ftlb, which will impress, but after a remap the 235/400 will blow you away I promise.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th May, 2009
I drive a 2002 (E39) 530d M-Tec Auto, which has covered 209,000 miles without any engine or gearbox problems, so far!!
The car is very comfortable, great driving position, nice leather seats, holds the road like a leech, handling is superb, but does tend to tramline on rutted/ridged road surfaces. Tyres are 245X40X17 at rear and 235X45X17 at front, which do make the steering feel a little heavy at slow speeds, this eases out to a nice weight and feel, when pressing on.
Braking system has just the right amount of feel, and you can really knock off speed in a very controlled and safe manner when required.
These cars can be high-maintenance; suspension wear is a concern, common failures are rear boomerang arms and front drop links, front wheel bearings, and brake disks. Front brake calipers seizing is another; this often occurs as result of salt, from roads after severe winters.
Important to power wash the wheels and underside of car, otherwise it's a very costly day at the dealer!
Other common failures are fuel pressure pump (sometimes the fuel lift pump) and blocked fuel filter. All these are caused by letting the fuel tank go to almost empty.
Always refill as soon as yellow warning light is displayed!
The camshaft sensor can fail, causing lumpy idle, and lack of power, also the MAF sensor can fail, the car will drive normally, but will be hesitant when accelerating!
Wiper linkage (shuddering wiper movement) wear and failure is quite common too, the linkage between the two wiper arms is a type of snap-on connecting link/rod onto a ball joint. This ball joint wears, when this happens the complete wiper chassis bracket has to be replaced, very expensive!!
If buying a pre-owned 530d, be aware of the above, otherwise it can be a expensive buy!
I can thoroughly recommend the 530d, for its comfort, driving/handling, acceleration, economy and sheer fun!!!