As a BMW 5 Series owner since the 525i E28 (1983), I expected more from the E34
Unfortunately, though the car has a great chassis, it has weak rear shock absorbers. The interior isn't as spacious as it should be, especially in the rear.
Some fittings and materials aren't up to the price that BMW ask. The standard front seats are horrible for long journeys. The last but not the least is the i-drive software, which after two ugrades from the local dealer still has a lot of bugs.
Despite all this, I think it is the best car in its class.
Whilst the new 5 is an improvement on the old model, which I also owned from new, I feel that BMW has gone too far in trying to improve for the sake of it.
The i-drive is a case in point. The stark interior is another. Call me old-fashioned but I thought the wood in my old model made it look cosy and expensive. There is a little too much plastic in the current 5's cabin - the door pulls are one example. Having said all that, the current car is a delight to drive, as, I have to say, was the old one and after a long journey you step out almost as fresh as you were when you started.
As I have only owned my present car since June 2004 I have not incurred any running costs apart from petrol but I shall assume they will be as reasonable as the previous model. In fact MPG is better on this model though insurance costs are up (1 rating higher than previous). The dealer experience has been good.
Despite my enthusiasm for the car there are two outstanding problems (or rather niggles) that the dealer could not resolve. One is a noisy fan (didn't do it when they were listening!!) and the other is a radio which does not keep itself tuned to a station (this may be owner trouble but the dealer, once again, couldn't replicate the problem). I would definitely recommend it.
I own a 520se 1998 and love this car and thanks to a lovely man on a motorbike who drove in to it causing me to contact the insurers for a loan car. Well they gave me a new 530d and wow this car goes. I have never been in anything so fast for a diesel.
This engine has killed petrols and inside of the car is super a part from I drive (confusing) also lots more leg room in the rear compared to the old 5 what more need be said?
A mavellous car to drive, superb low down pull all the way to 100 mph plus.
Cabin feels quality and very comfortable standard seats.
Six speed box joy to use and engine revs like a petrol
I'm currently getting around 30mpg.
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