I bought a 70,000 mile 2001 saloon a couple of years ago. The turbo jammed under centrifugal force and blew the plastic inlet manifold. My local BM dealer's mechanics told me this was the 5th or 6th similar story they had heard of when the cars, including the 530d, hit around that mileage. The car had a full BM service history but because the owner sold it to a trader who immediately sold it on to me, BM UK refused to do anything as I had 'bought it from an unrecognised dealer'. The BM mechanics told me it was a common fault, where the central turbo shaft flexed in corners, locking it in the bearings, building up pressure in the manifold, causing it to split! They said it was down to the poor quality of the turbos both BM and Merc fitted at that time. They were replacing the turbo in a 530d when I spoke to them, and they had done another 4 or 5 in recent months. Of course, when I emailed BM UK,they denied this, demanding to know who told me that. Further to this problem, I found the suspension was getting a bit 'woolly', and was told the bushes needed replaced every 40,000 miles! When I spoke to the local BM sales manager, he said, 'A BMW is and expensive car to run and should only be worked on by a main dealer. You bought outwith the franchise's so you can take the associated flak!'A sad end to my dream of the 'ultimate driving machine'.
I've now short listed a Lexus LS430; Audi A6, and Jag XJR supercharged for my looming retirement!
I have the touring version. I bought it in February 2006 , with 83,000 miles. I choose it because it has the Comms pack with Sat Nav. I love driving the car, I have the Auto version and performance in Sport mode is great. As an ownershop proposition this car has been a nightmare. I've owned 2 523i previously and have run them both to 160K miles with no problems, but this car has been different. So far in the last six months and 20,000 miles it has had 3 sets of parking sensors, leaking fuel tank seals, new hydraulic motor for the electric tail gate, new Auto gearbox, new wheel bearing and this week 2 bolts from the starter motor broke free and worked into the gearbox. This was caused by bad workmanship from the first gearbox replacement at a BMW main dealer and another new gearbox has been fitted this week by a different dealer. So far I've had to call BMW Emergency Service 6 times in as many months and I've spent many hours in BMW garages waiting to get my car back. It's really frustrating because otherwise the car is great, and the engine is stunning. However, this has really made me consider moving away from the BMW brand which is a shame because this is the 5th BMW Ive owned (328 coupe, 523 saloon, 523 saloon again, 325i sport and now the 530d) I've had the new shape 5 series as the replacement car, I was seriously underwhelmed by the 523i manual I drove but the 525d sport Auto was brilliant
I have had my 523i SE auto touring now for over two years and have completed over 52,000 miles in that time. Fuel economy has been just over 30mpg average for my ownership. This car has been great fun to drive, performance is adequate, when solo, but not when laden, but copes well. The car has done to date in excess 144,000 miles and it just purrs. It all feels tight. I have had to replace, the air suspension bellows, thermostst & waterpump, tyres, and a rear suspention bush. Servicing intervals are increasing and are now approx. 18,000 miles between visits to either a BMW dealer (expensive) or an independant BMW specialist. The car came with some nice options, the best one for me being the auto dipping/folding exterior mirrors - makes night time driving a pleasure. I have fitted genuine Hella facelift xenons and the updated rear light clusters, which really improves the look of the car. The xenons transform night driving - the standard halogens are not up to much. Would I buy another? Yes. I have just bought a 530d SE auto touring, so must now sell this wonderful car.
Anyone who has had one of these will know what I am on about. On the road these machines are formidable to drive and very sleek and eye catching. I have had the angel eye upgradeed lights and it is very imposing on the road. Goodness knows why, it is only a car. or is it Lol. I had to mark the running costs as 5* simply because I have only added the cleaniunf fluids to the fuel and the engine oil adds and I get an astonishing 58.8 to the gallon at 56-58 mph. It just cruises. The mpg dgoes down to 33.6 at 90-95 mph, which is better than my old peugeout 405 diesel. Awesome BMW. The only let down is the tyre prices. But considering they are the only thing i have had to change, how can I argue with that. Most other cars would want A,B, and C doing. If you get chance of this model, snatch it. But they are like getting hold of rocking horse stuff :-)
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owned for 3 years Pro engine, performance, size, looks Cons Service cost (BMW in general), folding rear seats is an option - annoying, no spare…
Even after 8 months I still look forward to driving this car. The handling is superb, the 8 speed gearbox a dream. There is a bit of lag when you…