Dug this up from last time I owned an e39
this car can be summed up in two words...casually competent. it treats your requests for anything with an unflusterred, unhurried air of copetence, it doesnt feel like its trying, it doesnt feel like it needs to ask for help, it just gets on with it.
this bmw sits on its lower, stiffer m-tech suspension and 18in alloys looking every inch the thugish bad boys toy. it has that drug dealer chic look about it, the kind of car someone who looks like me...big and 'orrible...should be driving in a guy ritchie film. four bull necked yobs in a lowered 5 series on big wheels always look like they are up to something naughty. whereas if i drive it myself, well, butter wouldnt melt...the e39 5 series is a much prettier, much more cohesive design than the bangle 5 series to my eyes. its got spot on proportions, looks aggresive yet not overly so, classy yet a wee bit threatning. i like the cars looks. it can appear sublte, almost anonymous, then you notice the slightly deeper front and rear valences, the tiny bootlid spoiler, the bad boy wheels and you think, yup, this car oozes an inimitable disreputeable class... it reminds me of the guy in the pub who doesnt LOOK handy, doesnt make a show of how big and strong he is, but ya dont wanna pick a fight with him..just in case....its that underlying threat of clinical, casual competence that scares ya!!
inside, the sport model has the m-tech kick plates, multi function steering wheel..(no, it doesnt make you a cup of tea, and yup, i hate that phrase too, but thats what its called, right??), aluminium inserts, not wood, lovely m-tech gear stick and the cloth/alcantara sports seats. the seats are firm, and hold you well..if you cant get comfy in here, you are a physical freak, no question. the bmw majors on what all bmws seem to, the driving environment. its spot on. a gorgeous cabin, lovely to sit in, everything is lovely to use, the dash is ergonomically perfect and it feels special, sporty and, hell, expensive. schmoozing around the town of a saturday night, bathed in the orangey glow from the dash lights, its a nice place to sit. catch sight of yourself reflected in a shop window and you think, jeez, whats he up to??....then you realise its you, and realise that its none of your business what your up to!!
the car is a peach to drive. its got a firm, no nonsense ride, just like a proper geezers firm, no nonsense handshake. the big 3 litre blown six pot is smooth, powerful and sooo torquey it punches hard when you drop the hammer. this old 'diesel tractor' will go past 140mph on the speedo and catch a few petrol drivers off guard with its mid range urge. the engine is smooth too, sure it has a low redline, but it spins right round quickly and smoothly and rarely, if ever, do you feel shortchanged by it. the cars steering, body control and grip, are, it has to be said, something special. this big old lump shrinks around you when you punt it hard along a road you know. it becomes a three series size sports saloon, tight, precise and biddable, powering out of corners with a loveable free reving gruffness, hunkering down into the road and slingshotting down the next straight. its been a revalation to me to drive this car, the first car iv driven that appears unhampered by the addition of a diesel engine. its well balanced, quick, stops and steers ell and is huge fun when you want it to be. lord knows what the newer bmw 335 twin turbo diesels and the like must be like to drive.
the car is a bit of a contradiction at times..its a diesel, but its got all the sports kit, its understated, a q car, but it looks powerful, it has prescence. it oozes class, it feels beautifully wrought, yet it has that underlying image of sawn offs and bank jobs, as all 'pre loved' bmws seem to aquire with age..its the kind of car that your mates say as they see you pull up 'jeez mate, ya cant hide money, eh??'...then they think, 'jeez, wonder where he GOT the money for it'....
so, the 530d..its like an ex fighter, a big bruiser...but not one of those bashed up ex pugs, this is a guy who invested his earnings in property, a guy who can get by, doesnt need your handouts, he is eloquent, self sufficient and lets be honest here, you need him much more than he's ever gonna need you. nice to be around, confidence inspiring but a little bit dangerous. muscular and athletic, but in a nice suit and with a degree in accountancy to soften the inevitable blow...if you ask him to do something, you KNOW he's gonna do it, you KNOW he aint gonna cut corners, you KNOW there isnt gonna be any mess and you KNOW he aint gonna shout about it...cos he doesnt have to..the flip side is you KNOW he aint gonna be cheap, and you KNOW lots of other people use him too....but what price peace of mind?..the 5 series is the default choice in its market sector for a reason. its crushingly, casually competent...sure, you MIGHT whisper its a wee bit boring...but you might get your face smashed in if it heard ya...and no one would ever know....sssshhhhh...