24th Dec 2013, 19:53

I agree, it's sad to see most people driving around in cars they don't really own or are leasing in order to afford them. BTW I never have to do a timing belt on my BMW, which is considered regular maintenance on say a Camry every 100k miles at a cost of 600 to 800 USD. Really depends on what you want out of a car. I do like the idea of having a vehicle that is "below the radar", though. How about a Subaru Legacy GT?!

25th Dec 2013, 05:21

Imagine the interest, or even worse, risking losing a home to just buy a car. I realize many on here can afford it, and even are those that don't care about showing off. To me, I care more about a car holding up, and not spending a lot and getting far less than I expected on quality and repairs. I simply do not have the time getting cars fixed. Nice days arrive, and it's either in the shop or in the garage incapacitated. That doesn't impress me or the ones that don't see me driving around in it, if that's my purpose to start with.

26th Dec 2013, 12:12

How about a new world class Cadillac sedan with a Corvette motor and manual trans? I have had zero issues with new Corvettes. The drivetrains are exceptional and don't break. The sedan would be a great family vehicle compromise for room. Great handling as well. I think BMW is too bland in styling and high cost.

27th Dec 2013, 22:46

High cost depends on where you are. A Corvette outside North America is not cheap at all. To buy, insure, pay road user charges (based on CO2 emissions), or repair.

28th Dec 2013, 21:01

This gen Corvette is. I have seen them as low as 2500. I maintain it's well worth the wait to buy a 98 up in the teens C5 era. I learned this after owning Corvettes since 1986.

9th Mar 2014, 20:27

Thank you. Very well said.

22nd Aug 2014, 04:24

I see you are from the USA, but the summary stats for your car say it's done 160,000 km, not miles. Not sure if that's actually miles, or the web site has converted your 100,000 miles to 160,000 km.

Anyhow, my sympathies, because I suspect from your list of faults that this particular example of yours had a rough life early on. Most of the items would be consistent with the car being belted over gravel roads or similar??? Jeep territory??? Even at 160,000 miles I'd be raising my eyebrows at some of your car's issues, but if it's only 160,000 km, something is not right here and you have reason to be grumpy with previous owners, rather than BMW.

Personally, I think the build quality of the E39 is outstanding. Normally, even after more than a decade and 100,000 miles, doors shut with the 'thunk' of a bank vault, and the suspension still performs way ahead of most competitors when new.

The key to these cars is steady, common sense maintenance from the get-go, and high quality tyres. That won't fix past neglects, but once things are brought up to standard, it'll last amazingly.

Having said that, you have to treat them more like the thoroughbred they are, than just a donkey out in the back paddock, which is part of your point, I guess. And they'll reward you accordingly.

When the next bill comes, just remember, no Camry driver ever had reason to break into a stupid grin on account of how his car just clung to a tight 70 mph bend that was sign-posted 50, and made him want to turn around and do it all over again, just to feel that much alive!

22nd Aug 2014, 13:26

Just a clarification. The review was from North America, which for the purposes of this site is the United States and Canada (where km is the primary unit of distance for driving). So it's pretty likely that it's a 160,000km car from Canada.

steven@carsurvey.org (site admin)

2nd Sep 2014, 15:46

I have enough dough to own a Lamborghini if I wanted to. However I chose to stick with an Infiniti. Drives just as well as a BMW; even better in some situations. My Infiniti has over 120k miles now and has never seen the inside of a shop for any repairs.

BMW's are only for people who believe a car is going to pull them up the social ladder. Bimmers are giant money pits and honestly aren't that fun to drive.

I'd much rather own a car I know I can start up and never see an error code.

3rd Sep 2014, 19:48

"BMW's are only for people who believe a car is going to pull them up the social ladder."

That's in countries where they're relatively inaccessible vs. the mainstream brands. A cachet, if you wish. They're all over the place in Europe, even in the eastern part, and in New Zealand, even people in poorer suburbs have them, because it's cheap enough to buy used. There's no mystique in having one. There's no prestige in it (any more), there's no ladder where no-one sees your car parked elsewhere and no-one asks.

6th Sep 2014, 18:06

The above comment is wrong.

A Honda will require the exact same repairs at 100000km (60000 miles): tie rod ends, suspension bushings, axle and tie rod dust boots, ball joints, engine mounts.

As these items don't last past 60-70k miles. Honda has durable parts such as transmission and engine, but all other parts don't last the life of the car. But while replacing those parts at a Honda dealer is not cheap, replacing the same worn parts on a BMW will feel like grabbing electric wires.

As for the original BMW review, I have a Volvo of the same year, and with the exception of the mirrors turning brown, I had the exact same issues, although at a little higher miles.

7th Sep 2014, 20:41

Re: the price of replacing worn parts on a BMW is like touching electric wires, I'm finding that it is very much country-dependent. In countries where OEM and aftermarket parts are easily available, these parts don't cost any more than a more mainstream car. But in places where the dealer is where you get the parts, prices are consistently extortionate. Just as a matter of exercise, try pricing up the radiator for a BMW (available as aftermarket) vs. one for an equivalent Honda/Acura (same size, engine displacement, cylinders). You'll find widely varying prices. There are places where I would take a German car over French just because of spares prices.

5th Dec 2016, 18:39

I hate to say this, but having owned a E60 530i N52 and now currently a 530d, I think the diesels have it in the real world.

Matthew Khaghani

9th Aug 2020, 17:00

I just went on Youtube and typed "bmw e39 repair". Then started looking at the videos. You get the idea how difficult are these cars to repair, to access and replace faulty parts. It's German engineering: complexity at its best. They put the parts on top of each other with tiny and difficult access to the mounting bolts. There are also parts that fail way too soon, window regulators, wheel bearings, electronic modules, suspension components. Just too soon, every 80K miles or even sooner. Sure, the owners will tell you they never had a single problem. You know why? Because when men like their car, they will never tell the problems with the car. Yes, it was a great car to drive, but an expensive and time consuming one to own. Definitely the kind of car that you have to DIY most repairs, or at least know a very good and cheap local mechanic.