2003 BMW 5 Series Reviews - Page 2 of 4

2003 BMW 5 Series 530d Sport 3.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.0 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance144000 miles
Previous carHonda Accord


There are no obvious faults with the car, hence why I still have it


This is one of the best cars I have driven, and I still have the car.

But there are a few things that would be worth mentioning. The boot lid key hole catches rust, and this is a common problem. In the BMW manual, it says 5 years warranty on paint work and rust. BMW was really good about it, and took the car in, even though it had 1 week left for the warranty to expire, and repainted the boot lid, and gave me 2 years of warranty. This was my first BMW, and for that reason I would go back and buy another one.

There is a leak in the power steering fluid, and I cannot find the fault. I have to top it up every week, and this is costing me a fortune. I am due to get it checked, as I suspect one of the pipes needs to be replaced.

The pixels on the audio player have faded, and it quite annoying, but the audio works fine.

The service is quite expensive as it takes heavy oil (Mobil 1 0w-40). Now I have changed to Castrol 5W-30, as the car has now aged.

The tyres are expensive to buy, as the rear ones are bigger than the front ones.

The central locking can play up, and the key fob does not work, but the key works in the door to operate the central locking. BMW were asking to charge me £120 just to have a look at it!! That was quite extortionate.

General Comments:

If the car is serviced on time, it is a beauty to drive.

This is a very quick car, and it can give any car a good run for their money; Mercedes, Porsche, WRX, Audi, and many more.

I bought the car for £5600, and it now fetches about £4000 for a good one, and I would highly recommend it.

It has been rated one of the best BMW's to be built.

Hope that helps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2012

2003 BMW 5 Series 530i Sport Touring 3.0i 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0i 24v petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired121000 miles
Most recent distance124000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series


Probably the best Sport wagon in the world!


At the moment - in the process of fixing faults left over by its previous owner...

Rattling DISA (inlet manifold) flap, resulting in an unpleasant rattle at idle - now fixed (£140)

Cylinder 4-6 maniverter (Manifold/Catalytic converter) element coming loose and rattling at normal engine operating temperature, causing the engine to sound like a diesel at tick over - in the process of fixing (£300 for the cat plus fitting)

2 back tyres illegal - replaced, but can hardly classify this as a fault, more wear and tear.

Gearbox, gearshift fault - apparently a known problem on BMW's made from 1997-2002, gearstick rests on 5th gear side of gear-gate when at rest, meaning slight left hand pressure is required to change up from 2nd to 3rd/4th.

Engine required an oil service - seemed to be consuming an excessive amount of engine oil, but has since calmed down.

General Comments:

The car lives up to everything that has ever been said about the E39 BMW (or certainly has the potential to!)

I've not owned mine long enough to pass real judgment, but initial impressions are very good.

Great handling (for a tub!).

Awesome performance.

Gadgets galore (cruise/sat nav etc).

Extremely comfortable.

Unbelievably practical, yet doesn't detract from its exterior appearance.

You can't really call it an estate, because it's far too good looking.

Better looking both inside and out than the E60 that replaced it.

Quite economical for a 3-litre engine (similar consumption, if not better than my 2.8 convertible)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th May, 2010

2003 BMW 5 Series 530i Inline 6 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Inline 6 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 kilometres
Most recent distance160000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 5 Series


Know the facts!


Upper control arm thrust bushings.

Tie rod ends.

Lower control arm tie rod ends.

Sway bar links.

Front struts.

Brake hose.


Leaking rear door seals.

Rear doors fail to close when cold.

Cup holders.

Rear speaker blown.

Stereo display pixels burnt out.

Side mirror turned brown.

General Comments:

Many BMW owners are happy with their BMW despite huge annual repair bills. They'll give a particular model a glowing review, despite the fact that certain areas of the car wear out quickly and need replacing. They'll say "it's reliable as long as you look after it".

I purchased the car with 100k, and it soon needed all of the above parts listed. Have your BMW inspected by a mechanic before you buy. I'm not unhappy with my BMW, the car makes up for it in how it drives. But if you buy one thinking it will be as reliable as a Japanese car, you'll be very frustrated.

Our 2007 Camry has 108k and drives like it did when new. No issues to speak of.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th February, 2010

23rd Nov 2013, 23:09

Normal maintenance on a BMW is not normal for a Honda or Toyota. These vehicles will drive to at least 200,000 on original equipment.

My Toyota mechanic has a Toyota mini van used as an airport shuttle with 400,000 on the original engine and gearbox, and it's going strong.

My Lexus RX has 210,000... All original equipment... Not a squeak or rattle.

Would I rather have a BMW? Yes!! But I have kids and other expenses! In my dreams... :(

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 13 reviews