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Andyrt200

E39 Best BM ever?

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Hello,

 

Between my better half & my self we have had a few different BMs. We started with E28s she had a 518i & I had a 520i, I was 19 then & thought it was fast still I got blown off once too may times, so saved for ages & got a E34 535i (M30 engine) I did quite a few things to that, suspension stainless Scorpion exhaust breathing mods, chipped, clear indicators & imported 17" Star design wheels.

 

Then my better half was forced into company cars so had a E90 320d MSport, nice but a little slow & a bit harsh on uk roads, I was a little surprised how the brand new BM seemed like a step down from my old E34. That made way for a E91 325i SE Touring again nice, but even with 17" wheels the runflat tyres still gave quite a harsh ride & you can't change them on company cars.

 

Then she got a new job that didn't force her to have a company car so we got the E39 touring MSport, we got the 530i as they gave her a fuel allowance & she made more money back with a petrol engine. I was a little cheesed off how the stock E39 MSport was clearly better than my old E34 SE had been after all the time & money I'd spent on it that!

 

The E39 came right after the E91, but it was 10 years old & I was amazed much better it was than the E91 that wasn't much more than two years old. The E91 had a new 2.5 petrol engine with a manual gearbox & the heaver E39 had an auto box with it's 3.0 petrol engine but still felt much faster. Even with 100k miles behind it the E39 handling shamed the E90s, the comfort & refinement also.

 

I kind of put that down to the 5 series being better that a 3 series, but then my other halfs car policy changed & they wouldn't let her run a car over 5 years old, if she wanted to keep getting her very generous car allowance. The E39 had been paid for many times over by that allowance by then so we headed down to the local BMW dealers, thinking of F13s. They tried to palm off a very nice brand new 420d sport so it seemed rude not to at least test it, but getting back in the E39 to drive home just reinforced how good the E39 still was, the 420d seemed very much the same as the E90s we'd had. So the two year old F13 640d MSport came & we kept the E39 for moving the kids. I didn't use the F13 much as my other half was mostly out in it, but after my first solo drive 200 odd mile drive I was shocked how bad the F13 was. The 20" wheels with the runflats jumped about on the road, so we changed them for 19" BBS rims & non runflat tyres. It was much better then but even so I sill preferred the E39. The 640d twin turbo 3.0 should be a lot faster than the old M54 3.0 petrol N/A engine, but the old E39 didn't feel all that much slower after driving them back to back. As far a refinement went there really was very little to chose between the two. But as for actual driving pleasure the E39 left the F13 in the dust, driving the F13 felt like you were playing a bad video game in in all the controls the steering worst of all though, I hated that, even with totally knackered bushes the E39 lets you feel exactly what's going on....    

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Hello ,

I'm on my 3rd e39 , haven't driven any other bmw model ( don't want to either) latest is a 530ia sport , sterling gray, currently on 90k ,

Insp 2 last year just after I bought her ,

Big smile on my face when my local Indi told me she was in A1 condition,

£1000 per year on maintenance is cheaper than depreciation on many cars , so yes the e 39 the best BM ever

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Hello ,

I'm on my 3rd e39 , haven't driven any other bmw model ( don't want to either) latest is a 530ia sport , sterling gray, currently on 90k ,

Insp 2 last year just after I bought her ,

Big smile on my face when my local Indi told me she was in A1 condition,

£1000 per year on maintenance is cheaper than depreciation on many cars , so yes the e 39 the best BM ever

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Broadly agree Andy. I've had a fair few BMWs over the years - E28, E38, 2 x E39, E46 and now on a 550i E60. I got the 550i expecting it to be a significant step up from my 530i but aside from the engine - which is very impressive - I find myself wishing I was back in my 530i. I keep checking myself to make sure I haven't got rose-tinted specs on but build quality seems to be significantly worse in the E60 and for general comfort / "feel good factor" I prefer the E39. Now looking at moving on the 550i and getting back into a good E39, either a 530i or 540i.

 

To be fair the E38 was also a fantastic car. I guess BMW really struck gold with that generation of 5/7 series.

 

Cheers

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The E39 was the last 5 to allow the home mechanic to fix without the aid of cables and computers. This allied to a more old school  build quality where things were thought out rather than a computer telling them it was the logical choice.

Possibly the build quality peaked at around the end of the e34 era but that's debatable.

BMW now are falling into the mainstream era whereby the thinking if they make 200 different models with an inch difference here and there with some nice alloys on it wins the customer. BMW was a premium brand where half a dozen choices was enough and the quality was focused solely into r&d on said models giving a more ( to my mind) quality product.

Look at Lexus and Porshe with their limited but solid offerings.

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2 hours ago, bigrigbri said:

The E39 was the last 5 to allow the home mechanic to fix without the aid of cables and computers. This allied to a more old school  build quality where things were thought out rather than a computer telling them it was the logical choice.

Possibly the build quality peaked at around the end of the e34 era but that's debatable.

 

I'm sorry but the electronics on an E39 need a cable and computer to diagnose and reset properly, and park an E34 next to an E39 and just shut a door or two, wiggle a trim or two and count the cost per year of maintenance and you'll find the E34 miles cheaper due to its far better quality.

 

The zenith for BMW quality and design IMHO lays with the E38.

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5 Series Fan here:

I have had the E34 and E39 verions, so far no E38 but I really rate them as well.

the E34 build quality and ability to do home repairs etc is great, limited electronics and remains now a fine proposition for relatively simple ownership

the only E39 I have had is V8 540, three tourings and the B10 saloon, to me this is combination is the best car ever and I have had many makes.

the E39 electronics are now aging but sources from scrapped vehicles helps plus a mate with lap top, inpa and cables,

I could go later than the E39 quite easily, but fixed my mind that E39 model does everything a modest price used car can offer, even if bad luck strikes most things can be resolved, even most rust.

So one E34 will stay here and the B10 is a class piece of kit that cost someone a fortune - not me.

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1 hour ago, sharkfan said:

 

I'm sorry but the electronics on an E39 need a cable and computer to diagnose and reset properly, and park an E34 next to an E39 and just shut a door or two, wiggle a trim or two and count the cost per year of maintenance and you'll find the E34 miles cheaper due to its far better quality.

 

The zenith for BMW quality and design IMHO lays with the E38.

The op was generalising overall I guess from the build, driving experience, shape and running costs so as I said the e34 might pip it on build quality but as an overall package with refinement and handling included it comes out slightly on top.

Day to day with most repairs and maintenance a computer is redundant unlike the e60-61. 

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I've only owned one E39 and one E38. 

 

Had every variant of E46 as company hack back in the day and also an F10. 

 

I think the E38 and E39 are very similar to each other and would have another. 

 

Bought an E60 a few months ago as a cat-d to do up and flog on and I quite liked the thing. Built quality seems very poor compared to the old E39/38 mind. 

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I had my 2.8 e39 for 10 years, doing over 80,000 miles in 5 countries, previously having a e34 for 5 yrs before that, and I know every nut and bolt on the old thing. Lots of bits replaced with quality parts (dampers, springs, rear sls airbags, new discs, decent pads, intravee, pixel fixed, etc, etc.). I Thought it was well equipped, handled, went and stopped pretty well for a 17 yr old 1.75t estate. That was until I bought Digidick's e61 last week. After only 300 miles I'm sorry but I'm converted. E39's are great, but not 100% sure they are totally the best.

I think if the spec and engine combination had to be right for the person and driving you do. A 518 or 520 in the size of car just wouldn't do it for me, neither would lack of A/c, no heated seats, having basic obc, and a lack of leather when you know these cars can be treated to the absolute best available spec money can buy. These are supposed to be top notch luxury cars. I never understood why some one would spend £500 extra on comfort seats but that were too tight to pay for seat heaters?! This is across the range, not just the e39 btw.

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As an overall package - build quality, reliability, driver feedback the E39 is hard to beat but it does have it's faults. I owned 2 E39's over a period of 9 years and 95000 miles.

 

My current car (F11) is over six years old. It is more complex but so far has proved more reliable than the E39 over a similar time. It is better in so many ways namely efficiency, and size but it lacks steering feel, decent std suspension over poor road surfaces and an overall feel of being hewn out of stone!

 

Ideally I would like an E39 touring with the modern engine/gearbox and tech

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Hard to say....

 

I have had all generations of 5 series apart from F series and its a close call between E39 and E34 for me...

 

I have never really had any major issues with any of my 5 series,although my B10 blew its headgasket 10 weeks after i sold it.

 

As regards reliability i would say that they are 50/50.....

 

 

A well specced E38 has to be at the top of the hill ..

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Miss my old e39 champagne edition. I regret selling it to move on to an E60, worst decision ever.

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