2002 BMW 5 Series E39 520i ES SE M Sport 2.2 petrol straight six from UK and Ireland


One of the world's great cars, purchased for buttons!


Cruise control not working.

General Comments:

My previous 520 was written off by a clumsy Waberer's lorry driver. I was gutted as it was a mint low mileage dream to own.

I am very happy to report that I have found another in amazing condition with very low mileage to buy with the insurance money!

This is a runout edition with a lot of extras included, such as M sport ride, wheels, steering wheel, gearbox etc, and a lot of SE kit like climate control, adjustable seats and a multi CD player.

As a result it drives and rides more firmly than my previous E39, but is still amazingly comfortable. It looks and feels like a one year old car rather than a thirteen year old one.

Very much anticipating putting many happy miles on this beauty, this time avoiding Waberer's trucks!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2015

30th May 2015, 20:04

Keep this E39 you have found well as it's already gaining collectible status, despite the low asking prices, which I suspect, will not last for much longer for good examples.

6th Jun 2015, 14:35

Original Poster here -

I've done over 1000 miles in my first week of ownership.

First thoughts are: the ride is much firmer than my old SE's was. It's certainly sportier and probably handles better, but I'd rather have the magic carpet ride.

It is still a sublime mile-eater however, and very comfortable at speed. It looks fine too with its deep blue paintwork and de-chromed look.

Much quicker than its reputation would suggest too, yet still averaging 35 MPG so far.

Looking forward to piling the miles on this lovely exec saloon!

2002 BMW 5 Series SE i 2.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


A timeless classic, that outshines many modern rivals


Steering wobble at speed; cured by four wheel re-balancing.

Uses a litre of oil every 4000 miles.

General Comments:

I found this E39 in virtually new condition, having been owned by an elderly couple since new.

It drives and rides significantly better than the DS5 hybrid I had as my recent company car. The engine is also quite lovely and charismatic.

I am averaging 31 MPG too, which is pretty excellent for a petrol six.

I love it so much, I am keeping it to use as my work car instead of taking a new company car. Truly one of the world's greatest ever saloon cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2013

13th Oct 2013, 09:25

Original poster here:

Did a thousand company miles last week, from motorways, across busy cities and around fast sweeping Welsh roads. This E39 is amazingly capable. Comfortable, civilized, great handling and communicative; it really does humble many brand new cars for capability. I am even learning to love the boring looks!

I do wish I had sports seats for a bit more support, but nothing at all to complain about; a great car.

2002 BMW 5 Series 530i 3.0 inline six from North America


A love hate relationship


Hood release cable broke. At this time I cannot open the hood. The parts are on their way.

The rear door vapor barriers have failed and the car leaks quite bad into the back floor.

Replaced alternator due to squeak.

Replaced water pump, fan and fan clutch. All of these were replaced as preventive maintenance.

General Comments:

I have a love-hate relationship with this car. It is a fantastic driving car that I really love! At the same time, it is a money pit that so far has already cost me over $1,000, and I have done all the work myself. I have put a lot of money and time into this car already, and it had fantastic maintenance history. The previous owner had spent nearly $10,000 in repairs over the 10 years he owned it.

There is always something broken that needs fixed, but my gosh I have never driven a better feeling car! It looks fantastic, and even as a 12 year old car, I get compliments quite often.

Before you buy one of these used, make sure you have a pre-purchase inspection done. Also, if you are unable to do most repairs yourself, you need to have deep pockets! At the shop, this car will cost a fortune to keep on the road.

This car is exceptionally smooth on the road and very quiet inside. The stereo is not great by any means, but does OK.

Overall, I'm not sure if I would buy this car again or not. Time will tell. I'm hoping that after repairing a lot of issues within the next few weeks, it will be relatively problem free.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2013