2001 BMW 5 Series 535i M Sport 3.5 V8 from Australia and New Zealand


Best car I've ever owned... Hands down... get one!


First year..

Had a heater hose split 150km from Darwin, tow + repair over a gorilla ($1k), the tow was $500 and the repair was $600, both criminal prices... but what can you do in the middle of nowhere?

Water pump seized without notice a few months and 15/20 thousand k's later (in Newcastle this time.. it's done some travelling), that cost me $1800 from a stealer.

Replaced small things like a perishing front badge and broken front cup holders over the next few months.

Noticed reduced top end performance and had an independent specialist diagnose (free) and replace $600 the air flow meter.

Second Year.

No show stoppers, it's got a leaky front engine seal.. common problem I'm told, should have been replaced when the water pump went as it was definitely leaking then, but the crims at the dealer opted not to mention it.. I wonder why? Will cost around $1000, mostly labor.

General Comments:

Not the fastest car I've owned... but that's the only 'best of' box it doesn't tick! It's definitely fast enough for all but boy racer occasions; don't worry, it's a pissing contest winner before you even switch it on.

The 535i M Sport is a beautiful, sporty, comfortable full size sedan that has only recently been matched (on paper) by Australian luxury equivalents.

It feels solid, sounds solid, is solid!

Its revvy 3.5L V8 uses 8.5L/100k on the highway, and about 12L/100k with mixed city/80k+ daily driving.

The particular car I purchased has been looked after its whole life, garaged, with full history to back it up... that's the difference between my car, and someone with a BMW who reckons its the most unreliable car on the face of the earth. If you get them serviced properly.. I mean all the filters, all the fluids and all the checks done properly and on time, these cars will remain brilliant for many years!

If not, they turn into the 328i I had with a 50k gap in its service history... unsatisfying money pit.

They are available for next to nothing these days, take service history over k's every day of the week and let the overall appearance of the car speak for itself if you get one.. little annoying things that you overlook at purchase WILL be expensive to fix, so shop around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2010

2001 BMW 5 Series 520i SE Touring 2.2i petrol from UK and Ireland


Good until you start digging deeper


The M54 engine in this car used a lot of oil. I mean a lot - much more than it should do, especially for a car with a genuine (HPIed) 90k and full BMW/specialist service history.

Interior faults: trim around the rear hatch broke easily, wooden trim came away from dash, rear courtesy lights failed.

Front parking sensors stopped working.

General Comments:

Cheap to buy, considering it was £30k new.

Handles very well for a big estate car... don't expect a sports car though.

Feels solid, and is very practical and comfortable.

Extremely quiet in the cabin, which has some nice design touches and a good standard stereo.

Dreadful fuel consumption for a 2.2, much worse than expected. And I had low expectations.

Looks very solid, until you start to dig deeper. In retrospect, I don't think the E39 is all that well made, and there are some signs of poor engineering, especially in comparison to earlier 5 Series.

Buy with caution and check everything... twice!!! (Check forums for oil consumption issues with M54 2.2 engine.)

I think a '99/'00 528 is probably a better bet if you simply must have an E39... for people with no badge snobbery, a late Vauxhall Omega is a good alternative.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th August, 2010

18th Nov 2010, 08:27

Vauxhall Omega good alternative? You must be joking... All Omegas are nightmares. Spare parts cost as much as Mercedes and/or Lexus parts. Vauxhall dealers are not great. £60 an hour labour charge. All Omegas are totally unreliable and expensive to fix.

Stay away from General Motors cars...

19th Sep 2012, 07:23

I don't know where the Omega's you got are from, but you must be very unlucky.

Those Omega's are extremely good cars, especially the 2.0L petrol and the BMW 2.5L TD.

Just another case of looking after the car, otherwise it'll make your life hell.