2002 BMW 5 Series 530i M Sport 3 litre 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand
Simply the Best
Nothing serious has gone wrong. There is a persistent, yet quiet squeak from the sports seats (I suspect it's the passenger's side) when driving on rough roads and the windscreen washer reservoir warning light flashes on occasionally when it shouldn't, probably a dud sensor which I'll get the dealership to look at, as I have a warranty through the BMW dealer network.
After surviving an accident where a speeding Nissan T-Boned and wrote off my '99 528i Executive earlier this year, I was certain I'd get another e39, but something with a bit more oomph and without going to a 535i/540i, which usually seem to be '97 models. So it had to be a 530i and the M Sport pack is just so hot. The Executive, in comparison, while one of the most comfortable cars around, just looks a bit average.
The one I ended up with has a few more Ks on it than I'd like and didn't come with the Harman/Kardon HiFi system or TV screen. Not too worried about the TV, but would've liked the HiFi. But it's the right colour inside and out and has the silver inserts instead of the wood ones. And check out those wheels and the subtly aggressive bodykit. I've had blokes in old VN Commodores pass me by with their jaws hanging out the window dragging on the ground. And I thought everyone else hated BMWs...
I've driven it further in 6 months than I drove my 528i in 15 months! Obviously it's even more of a joy to drive than my old 528i Executive. Compared to the slightly gutless 528i, the 530i really does have some grunt. This motor, for its relatively modest size really does shove along this heavy beast of a car and makes a glorious noise from 4000rpm. Boy does it sing. That drainpipe exhaust probably helps.
The M-Sport suspension and Dunlop SP Sport tyres (wider at the back) transform what was already a competent, if slightly soft sedan car into an all-out sports car, with pin-sharp reflexes. While firmly damped, the suspension is still very supple, yet roll is virtually non-existent. The sports seats are amazing (if not silent) and are about the most comfortable seats.
It is this car's finely honed chassis, comfortable seats and extreme over-engineering which make it one of the only big sedan car choices for those who really love driving, yet need a sensible car and they're great value used. I mean, you could buy a Nissan Maxima (or whatever) for about the same money and it'll drop most of it's value in the next 3 years, while a 5 year old BMW's depreciation is beginning to plateau. I know which one I'd rather drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th September, 2007