This is probably the least compromised vehicle I have ever had. There is a lot of internal space, and the car is put together well. Perhaps I have just been luckier than some other reviewers, but the car has been faultless over the 13,000 miles I have covered so far. It handles incredibly well for a vehicle of this size, always feeling agile and ready to respond. Driver feedback is also very good; it's easy to know what the car is doing and when limits are being reached.
However, special praise must be reserved for the engine and the performance it gives. This car is incredibly quick, both off the line and when overtaking power is needed. This towering performance is delivered with an 'I can't believe it's not petrol' smoothness, and overall economy that I cannot push below 30mpg - and I have tried!
I ran an 528i SE Touring for 120,000 miles before ordering a new 535d Touring. What a piece of uncompromised quality the E39 is/was.
It was never beaten in its entire life by any car in any British motoring magazine, and is still considered to be better than the new car. So I had high expectations of the new version, and particularly the twin-turbo 535d.
My car had issues from day one, with strange engine noises and rattles from the load bay. The car spent 20 days off the road trying to fix these faults. Despite this, I do think it's a great car, but when you spend £40,000 of your own hard-earned cash, you expect better quality.
I now have an E class Mercedes Benz estate with the new V6 diesel - so far so good.
A great car to drive and own. Its fuel economy is excellent for such a large, heavy auto estate, as I've averaged 38mpg over 116,000 miles.
Its reliability at high mileage has been disappointing. Once the car had done 100,000 miles, the turbo blew, all the injectors had to be replaced and the engine rewired. BMW's excellent extended warranty picked up the bills thank goodness, but surely a large-engined car should be good for 200k miles, especially as it's always been serviced by them.
I've had the car for three years now from new and I'll probably change it next spring for a late model latest version. The auto box is great and provides seemless changes.
I have a BMW 525i SE auto with leather, sat-nav, heated seats, 17-inch run flats, a sunroof, air-con and metallic paint.
The quality of ride on London roads with run-flat tyres is not particularly good, although on good smooth roads the ride is excellent.
This is more a criticism of the quality of the roads than the run-flats, although I was not as much aware of this deficiency in my last car.
I have owned this vehicle since March 2005, and I have still to master all the controls. The sat-nav system is excellent once mastered.
I do not have any problems in using the iDrive system. It is quite logical but needs constant use to become second nature.
Its performance and fuel economy is good but not as good as the Mercedes C270 CDI auto that I part-exchanged.
I prefer the driving characteristics of the Mercedes, particularly the power boots when overtaking.
The manual operation to be remembered for 'closing' luggage area fabric cover is most annoying as its up position is often registered when glancing at the rear-view mirror before driving off.
An alarm when closing the boot lid would overcome this annoying feature.
The air-con and sound system are good but tuning the pre-sets has defeated me so far.
My three-star rating for ownership is based on fuel bills because so far I have not had to face any repair bills. A five-year service inclusive was taken out.
Whether this is more economical is uncertain as I generally cover only 6000 to 7000 miles
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