E39 BMW 5 Series (1996-2003) Review

19 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on E39 BMW 5 Series (1996-2003) Review
BMW 5-Series

E39 BMW 5 Series (1996-2003) Review

by Mullins 03 December 2011

the invention of the motor car in the late every so often there has something to come along and the mould in such a way that it the game on considerably. Peugeot did it their 205 in 1983, Toyota did it their Lexus luxury car in and Ford did it with their Mondeo in the early nineties. One company that hails Bavaria in the south-east of Germany created the biggest impact yet a car in the executive segment.

Until few manufacturers had achieved the level of that BMW did with their generation 5 Series. While its E34 had always remained competitive its eight year production Mercedes had just launched updated E-Class (W210) than a year previous and had it look that slight bit

Lucky for BMW, fast Audi had barely made an in the premium sector by that and the W210 itself had been in a period that was at the height of cost cutting regime. It a hard challenge for the more German rival to push the launched E-Class back the shade. Although it did more that; it shook the segment down.

At its introduction, motoring publications the world were taken by the latest 5 Series’ broad of talents. With sharp solid build quality and a range of six cylinder engines; it was considered to be the best car in the world. the styling was considered tame by the conservative standards of the time, the car was so that it would take a period for rivals to catch up. It was literally the most complete car made.

The fact that BMW no compromises in the development of the E39 can be seen in the of all aluminium suspension for the first (which was carried through to the but disappeared with the present It delivered exceptional ride and with Autocar describing it as most complete saloon we’ve ever tested” in first in-depth review. It featured an optional electronics and system so advanced that it be updated with software followed years later and was adopted on the 2002 Range

From launch and to the finish of in 2003, the E39 5 Series consisted of a that was exclusively straight and V8’s. At the beginning, there four six cylinder models in the of the 520i, 523i, 528i and (diesel). The V8’s came in 3.5 and 4.0 litres (540i), with a of some 40bhp between

These two models were accomplished machines that it brought into question the for an M5 model, although criticism was at their steering due to its ‘recirculating system that was less than the conventional hydraulic employed on lesser models. It did not the ongoing debate within however and resulted in the actual M5 not until a good three later.

The mid range 528i was to be the sweet spot in the range, pace that could the iconic ‘whale tail’ Cosworth, as well as being refined. Known as the M52, it a year earlier in the 3 Series and was the six cylinder around.

BMW 5-Series

In 1997, the Touring estate arrived, rounding off the range of This was far more of a lifestyle than the likes of the S210 and possibly the only area the 5 Series range as a whole out.

Practical features the split tailgate tried to up for this and emphasise the 5 Series position as a more sporting to its rival from Stuttgart. it lost out on in space was more made up for in its dynamic ability. The arrived a year after and was a forward for diesel technology in It was the first convincing example of a model that didn’t out much to its petrol equivalent in performance and refinement.

Its top speed of was a headline figure for the time and used in promotional literature marketed it towards people who have usually only a 528i. The arrival of the E39 M5 in late ’99 further catapulted the range and the E39 even more of a force to be with.

It was the first M5 to be built on the same line as the regular model were previously hand and featured a tuned version of the updated M62, bored out to 4.9 and with double VANOS variable valve timing), a power figure of 395bhp and 380 lb ft of It was also a turning point for BMW’s in the fact that it was the of a long line of performance to be heavily dependent on electrical substituting mechanical operation for in many components. The electronic body that is operated by rather than a cable is an of such complexity that was on the E39 M5 and now commonplace on today’s models something we would rather be

The year 2000 saw the 520i bored out to 2.2 litres and horsepower up to 170. This year marked the official arrival of the package which was a sports that consisted of stiffened alcantara/flat weave sports white indicator lenses and an M5 aerodynamic bodykit with lip

The uptake of this package was and many manufacturers soon with their own versions S-Line, Mercedes AMG, R-Design etc.) It wasn’t after that a facelift was for the 2001 model year. In was a very successful mid-life of a car, BMW updated the exterior the now famous ‘angel eye’ as well as clear LED rear colour coded rubbing enlarged twin kidney and a range of new wheel designs.

Both the 523i and 528i out of the engine line-up to be replaced by the and 530i respectively, while a new diesel arrived in the form of the (which was never officially to Ireland, although several examples have made it the country from the UK #038; The 530d also saw a bump in and torque to 190bhp/300 lb ft and the range largely unchanged until the end of in 2003. In this final the ‘Comfort Pack’ became at a heavily reduced price on 520i/525i/530i/530d models for the Irish including leather, sports steering wheel, white lens, metallic paint and Spoke 82 Alloy Wheels.

The E39 5 Series was generally a reliable car its production life and much than the model that it. That said, be wary of such as a faulty ABS light on the which can sometimes be caused by a failed ABS speed sensor or in case scenarios, an ECU that’s had it. If the ABS light is intermittent then it is to be the ABS module rather than the sensor itself.

On Touring air suspensions are also known to with failure resulting in a harder ride as well as the sagging ride height. It also be noted that all fitted with automatic suffer from the dreaded flap issue. This is a plastic propeller located the manifold that can become and sucked into the engine, to catastrophic failure.

Overall, its niggles and foibles, the E39 5 Series is probably one of the best executive cars you can buy today and the benchmark successive generations will to be measured against well the future.

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