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.

2001 BMW 5 Series 530iA 3.0 litre straight 6 from Sweden


Very good all-round car


- 2 parking distance sensors needed changing (£100 each).

- Stabilizer in front suspension (£60).

- Passenger seat heating does not work.

General Comments:

I was very surprised that this would be the best car I have ever had. I have driven 60000 kilometers with this car since I acquired it, other than servicing it has needed little or no maintenance.

The performance is adequate, the comfort is good, the consumption not too high, and the face-lift E39 5-series still looks fairly fresh.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2008

2001 BMW 5 Series 520 M 2.2 from UK and Ireland


Best car on roads


Camshaft sensor fault after 1 year causing car to cut out intermittently. Part was only 80 euro, but position required 2.5 hours labour to repair at 100 euro per hour.

General Comments:

Outside of the premium brands (Aston, Ferrari et al) this really is the ultimate driving machine. The straight six provides a sweet purr on acceleration and the car is a solid in the drive as the day I bought it.

Agreed that the 5 (E39) is common on the roads, but I did buy the model fitted with the M kit and is an elegant machine. I would only change this car to buy the E 60.

Consumption is poor in city driving (21mpg)..but wouldn't put me off it. Open road driving is 45+mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2008

2001 BMW 5 Series M-pkg 3.0L In-line6 NA from North America


Ultimate driving machine/experience


Things went wrong since I have had the car:

Shadow line trim started to corroded on both rear doors. Car was under warranty, and was replaced no charge.

Had a flood in the rear floor. Took 3 days for BMW to figure it out that it was the weather barrier on the door that came loose, which took me 5 minutes to figure out. Fixed under warranty.

Radio had a weak reception, bulletin was out to replace the head unit, covered under warranty.

When I got the car, the 12v power outlet was dead, they fixed it under warranty.

One of the Key fobs went dead, car was under warranty and they replace one of the keys.

Cup-holders, well, lets just say are as good as not having one at all and just using the dash top. Any turns will cause the drink to fall out, or its too small to fit anything. Ummm shot of espresso would fit...

Audio system, on a non-dsp vehicle, let just say, is very weak, shame for a vehicle of this class. But the system is very easily up graded, if you have some experience with mobile audio.

I am a DIY type of guy. Actually when I do work on the car, it a pleasure since the E39 is put together so well. Thank God it was still covered when I first got the car. I think if you maintain this car, it will last a long time. Plus it was the last model with no i-Drive. It's a keeper.

General Comments:

Drive like no other. Once you have driven one of these fine automobiles and you can afford it, you will not get anything else. It is definitely worth it. I happen to be a car guy as well, so it not just a statement making vehicle. Roomy, good power, great handling, looks timeless, and is a respectable machine. I know why the 5 series was the benchmark all others tried to compete with. Now only if they can get that cup holder to work on turns?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2007