2002 BMW 5 Series Reviews

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

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 2.2 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired52500 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carCitroen DS5


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.

6th Jan 2014, 12:05

Original poster here:

My car's oil and brake service indicators lit over the holidays, so I took her in to be fettled by my local BMW dealer. Yes, I know my car is old, but with a full service history I couldn't bring myself to use a back street garage. The mechanic came out to tell me how lovely this car is, and that it got "greens" on every single inspection.

The car has 62000 miles on now, so I have covered 10k in it.

In that time I have needed to replace two headlamp bulbs and add 1.5 litres of oil. The car runs beautifully, is swift and comfortable, and returns 32 MPG overall.

My car is still "as new" and I am absolutely loving it right now.

13th Mar 2014, 02:39

Original poster here

64000 miles and seven months now.

This old car still washes up like brand new, and still offers almost unmatched refinement. I can hardly believe how little this car is costing me to run, with 30 MPG overall, a litre of oil every 3000 miles or so, and no repairs required so far.

I am sure other folks have worse experiences of the E39, but I can barely fault it.

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

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 3.0 inline six Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired132000 miles
Most recent distance139000 miles
Previous carLincoln Town Car


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

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 15 reviews