2002 BMW 5 Series 2.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap to buy second hand, but expensive to run, and unreliable


Engine breather valve replaced due to oil usage and white smoke from the exhaust.

New pistons rings as oil usage still evident (1 litre per 400 miles).

Complete engine rebuild, as oil usage is still a problem after the above steps.

General Comments:

Good car for long journeys.

I have owned or had access to three 5 series of this model, and they all have had engine trouble starting at 80,000 miles.

Expect valves or piston rings to go, and it's going to cost over 1500 euro to fix.

They are not the bulletproof car everyone says.

Fixing them is difficult due to the amount of extra kit BMW load them with.

Petrol consumption is an average of 23mpg.

The 2.2 litre engine is not strong enough for weight of car.

The 3.0 litre petrol is a better match for the weight of the car.

The automatic transmission in most of them is not smooth, but may be designed to feel more sporty.

You can actually drive it smoother by selecting the gears yourself.

1st gear is particularly short.

I have owned 5 automatics, and this is the worst.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th September, 2011

4th Dec 2011, 10:36

Sorry, but do not agree. The experience I have had, is that I get medium repairs. It is not bulletproof, but it is not an Alfa Romeo either...

And I have the 2.0 150 bhp model, and I can agree the engine is way too small.. but have not been running into the same problems as you are.

2002 BMW 5 Series 530i Touring M Sport 3.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Great package


Alternator died, which also killed the battery.

Door actuator stopped working.

Rocker cover gasket leaked.

General Comments:

I have had a few E39s now. The 530i M is the best by far.

Much better than a 540i, and get the M Sport, it is worth the extra dollars.

The wagon is great, but it is not a big wagon. The side trims make the boot a little narrow.

Great comfort. I am yet to find a better car that I can do 500kms per day - and still feel like I could do another 500kms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2009

29th Apr 2009, 11:47


Can you elaborate why is it better than the 540? I know the fuel economy is better, but is there anything else?

Thank you for your answer and I wish you a million happy miles with your bimmer. I hope I get one soon.

5th May 2013, 04:41

The 540 tends to be more unreliable and expensive to fix, should things go wrong. The 530 won countless awards, is smoother with its even firing order, and has 77bhp per litre compared with the 540's 64bhp per litre.

2002 BMW 5 Series 525 2.5 from Egypt


A car for those who love to drive


The electronics need some attention. Every two weeks or so I need to replace a burnt bulb, headlight, taillight, number plate light. Maybe I should buy more expensive bulbs, but Bavaria once charged me 240 L.E. for a fog-light bulb!! Now I only pay 30 L.E. at random spare part dealers. By the way I also replaced Bavaria's 240 L.E. bulb.

The steering box needs to be replaced. I understand this a problem with this model.

There is a slight slip in the transmission in normal mode.

Changed the AC cut-out thing at 69000 km.

Changed the AC fan at 70000 km.

Changed the camshaft sensor at 75000 for optimum acceleration.

General Comments:

I have owned used BMW,s since I started driving. I started with the E21 (1979 318), then moved onto the E30 (1988 318), and last but not least the E39 (2002 525). For bimmer lovers this is the car to drive. I pretty much out-run anything on the road. Acceleration is unbelievalble. Of-course I need not to mention BMW's stability. The thing with this car is it is huge. So I did not think it would be as quick and agile as it's smaller siblings. I was never more wrong! The car transforms depending on your style of driving. If I am taking my family out for a long drive, the spacious cabin, the natural leather seats and multi-function steering wheel make feel as if I were in my own living-room. If I am alone, maybe driving home from work and needing a little adrenaline rush the car magically turns into a mini cooper! Definitely the Ultimate Driving Machine!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2008