Used BMW 5 Series 1996 - 2003 review

Category: Executive car

Section: Our recommendations

1996 - 2003 review
BMW 5 Series (96 - 04)
  • BMW 5 Series (96 - 04)
  • BMW 5 Series (96 - 04)
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Our recommendations

Which used BMW 5 Series saloon should I buy?

The silky, fast V8 petrols can be pricey, but you certainly won't be short-changed in opting for one of the excellent six-cylinder motors, which span everything from 150 to 231bhp. In fact, the entry-level 150bhp 520i, uprated to 170bhp in September 2000, is our favourite.

An awesome 400bhp M5 performance saloon is on hand for those with a real thirst for thrills. And, all of the diesels are good, but the 530d is particularly peachy.

Equipment levels aren't too bad – all except the first entry-level cars come with a decent amount of airbags, air-con, alloys, remote locking and electric windows, but models with climate control, leather and an automatic gearbox are far more popular and easier to sell on. SE trim is the best place to start your hunt.

The car was updated in summer 2000 with a new grille and headlights, while two years later a smarter stability control system was fitted.

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