I'd recommend opting for the more reliable Ford Fusion if your ego can handle it. It's currently ranked with the Mercedes E-class and Porsche Panamera in build quality. We've had experience with 5-series Beemers. Our Fusion is a better car. If you just HAVE to spend more money, a family member of ours has a Lincoln MKZ (A Fusion with 10-grand added for ego appeal). It is a very plush, great handling car with tire-smoking performance.
My 540I has 176,000 miles and I just had to do its first major repair... If anyone if offloading one for $2000, please let me know!!!
What I like about negative reviews on any car is the absence of any kind of balanced or impartial information provided by the reviewer.
You CANNOT buy a second hand car and know for sure that it's been serviced properly or driven nicely. A full service history doesn't mean anything if the car's been hitting speed bumps at excessive speed, driven on dirt roads regularly, or just driven like it's stolen in general!
You can crack on about how your crap, cheap car is soooooo' fantastic, it never needs any maintenance, runs on the smell of an oily rag, and is still going after a billion miles etc etc...
NOW.. you know why you're still happy with your rattly, noisy, unsafe buckets of rust after so many years? Because they were horrible when you bought them! Your standards and expectations were rock bottom to start with, so after 10 years of miserable automotive ownership, you think to yourself...
"I tell you what, that heap of sh*t out there is really pretty good, I've only done 3 oil changes in 10 years time and the old girl is still going... best car ever!"
Why compare a rubbish old Ford with its cracked dash and leaking rubber seals to a A$140000 car? Do you also go onto forums to compare the watch you bought from the markets for $12 to $15000 Rolex's?
Your average Japanese/American/Australian built car can be serviced properly in 30 minutes, as per the service schedule.
European cars, if serviced correctly need over 90 minutes per car on average! Not because they're poorly designed, not because it's a dealer conspiracy, but because they have so many more computers/safety devices/sensors etc (all the things that make them 'luxury' cars in the first place) which need to be checked! Mechanics need the right test equipment, the correct tools and specialist training to complete even a basic routine service to the standard expected by the manufacturers. (after the lease is up, almost nobody will continue to take their car to the 'stealer'... "what do you mean P A Y for a service...?")
There's no sense in arguing any failure people have had with their cars, but to say sarcastically 'I can't believe out of the untold number of individual components ever made for every car that ever existed... some failed!!!???'
These days your average large European sedan will have upwards of 150,000 + discreet components, (12 + computers, wires, sensors, engine /transmission part etc etc) It's impressive that they work as reliably as they do, for as long as they do, with so many potential points of failure!
In defence of the car being slandered here.. the BMW E39 5 series is still regarded as the best 5 series ever made. Even today it looks modern, still tops the list on any used car safety surveys, and can be purchased for next to nothing now it 3 models old.
The chassis and much of the electronics pioneered in the E39 carried over to the E60 unchanged!
I've owned a 2001 535i M62 V8 for 3 years and 80,000km's... it's the best car I've ever owned, read the latest post in 2001 for a proper BMW 5 series review.
Bought a used Toyota Camry 2005. Put on 230000 km with nothing more than oil and tire changes.
At roughly the same time my friend bought his new 5-series BMW, we bought a new 2003 GM car. He now has just over 100,000 miles on his car and we have just over 115,000 on our GM. Over the ten years we have owned our cars, our car has had only one set of tires and two batteries and absolutely nothing else. Our friend's BMW has been in the shop numerous times for some pretty major problems. The last one (in 2012) was for leaking oil seals. Every routine servicing on the BMW costs over twelve times as much as our GM. Somehow I have a very hard time calling a car that costs three times more to buy, twelve times as much to service and thousands more in repairs in less miles "better quality".
This is where the problem lies.
I have 2003 E39 540i Motorsport, fully loaded with every extra you could get. In 2003 the brand new price was 160 000 $.
Now about the problem.
If you sweat every time something goes wrong with your fine driving machine, then be honest and fair to yourself, and admit that you actually want to live a champagne life on a beer budget.
This car is the best of the best, and if you do not have 20 or 50 thousand dollars spare at any time to attend to your ultimate driving machine, then do not bother. That is it.
People buying and driving cars they actually can't afford. Look at yourselves in the mirror, and stop spending money you do not have. It is called living within your means.
This comment was not intended to offend, but to open some individuals eyes.