Roadfly Home | Features | Car Review Videos | Car Reviews | Cars For Sale | Used Car Parts Classifieds | Forum | Car Review Archives | Forum Archives Index


02-01-2004, 12:29 AM
to see if the "new" designs, i.e. the 7,5 and Z4 have scared away others besides me. If yes, how do you feel MB stacks up?

02-01-2004, 04:46 AM

I'm in a halfway house at the moment. I cancelled my longstanding E60 order when I got to see it in real life. I did not immediately fall in love with the exterior but instantly hated the interior. My main gripe was the impression of quality or lack thereof. I thought the interior pictures looked not bad. But when I actually sat in the car I can't describe my disappointment. The materials give the impression of being cheap. The plastic on the dash has a very large "leather type grain" that just looks awful. I found it to be all bery hard and unappealing. Like many have said, just no luxury feel.

I have orderd an E Class E320 CDI Avantgarde. I pick it up on March 1st. I'll be sorry to see my E39 go, but I have no regrets about letting the E60 go by.

<img src="" height=160 width=214>

2001 E39 530SE

02-01-2004, 11:21 AM
deeply disappointed w/ the interior. The odd assortment of misshapen and distorted curves combined with an exceptionally bland, stark and cheap feeling dash were just too much. The disasterous iDrive made things even worse. I simply cannot believe that BMW could actually expect anyone to like it, as it would be too cheap for a Kia or a Hyundai. I have yet to give an E500 a full test drive, but am hoping that, if properly equipped, it will handle well enough. Still, I've always hesitated to consider an MB due to the snob perception, etc. Something tells me that my next car (my current is an '02 530i) will be an MB.

02-01-2004, 05:43 PM
I just traded my '97 E39 for a '00 E320. Have to say that I loved the driving charteristics of the BMW, but the fit and finish of the MB is superior. I still have a '90 E30 and several BMW bikes, and love them, but the newer body styles of the 5 and 7 just don't do it for me.
97 528i
90 325i
96 R1100RT
72 CT90 Honda

02-01-2004, 06:05 PM
I presently own a 99 E39. I love everything about my present car, its interior and exterior looks and styling, ride and handling. I always assumed my next car would be an E60, and was eagerly awaiting the new body style. When I first saw the official pictures of the E60, I was disappointed with the look of the rear end, but still interested. After seeing one in person, hated the rear end styling even more. I feel, as others have mentioned, that the interior is horribly designed. The dash and door handles are bland, odd shaped, and just not appealing to me. The window switches are positioned at a very weird angle and uncomfortable to operate. The over all quality of materials just doesn't seem to fit the ~$50K price tag. There is also a lack of luxury look and feel to the car. BMW did do something right, which was to improve upon the handling and ride. Unfortunately this alone is not enough to make me want to buy one.

I am seriously considering a Mercedes E320 as my next car. I believe that Mercedes was very smart in making an evolutionary change to the E-class instead of the revolutionary change BMW chose to make.


02-02-2004, 08:37 PM
go pick up the new Car & Driver and read about it.

02-03-2004, 02:48 AM
Yes .... coming from a long time BMW owner.

I currently have a 325i as well as X5. Had planned to trade my 325i for an E60 545i.

The E60 5 series is down right disappointing. IMHO, the interior and the pesky iDrive (inverse bottle cap) control are the deal breakers.

Performance is great, the exterior is very retro ... will take time for me to adjust but what BMW failed miserably is the interior of the E60. It is CHEAP. Hard plastics everywhere. Even my Honda Odyssey has more style then the E60 (sorry BMW)

Because of the letdown (after waiting for 4 yrs for the E60), I got myself a E500. Though it has its first year gremlins, overall, I love it.

I hope BMW doesn't mess up the upcoming E46 replacement. This time, I will be replacing my 325i and if the E46 replacement is anything like the current 5 or 7 series, I will be looking elsewhere too.

Hope this helps in your decision.

02-03-2004, 09:42 AM
how do you find the handling? The lack of a manual tranny is a bummer, but after 20+ years of a stick I admit to getting a little tired of it.

02-03-2004, 06:21 PM
I guess I must be getting older and don't miss the stick as much.

If I had a 911 or other similar high performance pocket rocket, I may reconsider and want manual tranny.

The E500 is comparable with the E60 without the sport package. It handles very well but it does feel like a bigger car. You can adjust the suspension ride (from hard to soft) through a button next to the shifter. With the stiffer adjustment, you do get closer to the BMW feel.

For the E60 with sport pkg (active steering and stiffer suspension), it is definitely more sporty handling compared to the E500. But for the money you are paying for the 545i, the E500 is a more complete package.

Hope this helps

02-04-2004, 03:26 PM
I haven't seen any posts so far on this board regarding issues with the W211. Can you give us some details on the first year gremlins you experienced with your E500.


02-05-2004, 12:08 PM
Hi Jeff

I have been more fortunate with the first year gremlins. I had a few of them

1) groaning and whining of the SBC (Sensatronic Braking Control)
2) intermittent failure of the easy entry/exit feature
3) occasional hangup with the integrated phone system

Other than item (1), the others I encountered where just mere inconvenience. I had my SBC worked on to fix the irritating groaning and the technician must have skipped steps during the repair. When I got my car from the dealership, the brakes failed completed. Almost got into an accident.

As for other first year gremlins, I have heard or seen from others regarding Navi-command failure, static on radio, inconsistent alignment issues that cause vehicle to pull right, battery failure (appears to happen on fully optioned cars) and so on.

I think you can do a search on the internet and some of these problems will surface.

Hope this helps

02-05-2004, 12:41 PM
One comment to add to this thread ....

I don't know whether other E Class owners have experienced, I have an Alabaster White E500 and I have noticed that due to the classy lines and maybe the color combination, I do attract alot more attention. I have observed whether driving on streets or freeway, noticed more drivers staring at my car. When I drive my other cars, I seem to be less 'noticed'.

Maybe my imagination ....

02-05-2004, 11:08 PM
Just curious.

02-06-2004, 03:02 AM
No, Avantgarde is the European equivalent of the US Appearance/Sport package. In Europe there are 3 trim levels. Classic, Elegance and Avantgarde. All three are available in either Saloon or Touring models.<img src="" height=160 width=214>

2001 E39 530SE

02-06-2004, 04:17 PM
I own a 04 E320 and have the same issue. I read on mbworld that this was normal?! Did the noisy SBC get completely fixed in your car? I am taking mine in for inspection.

Other than that, the car is awesome. Nice ride, and handles quite well.

02-06-2004, 08:08 PM
After installing dampling system, the groaning and whining had subsided. You can still feel the recharging of the SBC on the brake pedal but in general, I have been happy with the fix (so far)

Word of caution, please make sure, MAKE SURE that the bleeding of the brakes are done completely for the brake job. My dealership's technician must have skipped steps and the brakes were not bled completely and I lost brake controls after I got my car back.

Good luck .....

02-06-2004, 08:29 PM
and the fact that is has gobs of torque and an I-6!!

02-11-2004, 11:12 AM
Yes I am currently X5 owner and was looking for a midsized sedan for wife with AWD. Choices are only Audi A6 or MB Eclass. Went with E320 4Matic. Would have gone with the new 5 but wife needs something with AWD so no choice but to go with the MB. I have no problems with current BMW directions at all, having said that, we love our new E320. Beautiful car!

02-14-2004, 12:33 PM
My lease ends in April on blk/blk '01 740il and the problems with all nearby dealers are about more than I have time & energy to deal with. No real trouble with my car, just the annoyances that everyone seems to experience. I'm looking at the E500 and appreciate all of the comments here and on the other boards that compare the 2 cars. Thanks, Ken ps. also very sad that the nearest MB dealer is also the BMW dealer ...

02-19-2004, 04:43 PM
I just got rid of my 99 528i, and I was looking forward to moving on to the new 5, but after seeing it in person, I ran to the MB without hesitation

02-19-2004, 10:19 PM
you considering? I am (was??) a die hard BMW fan, but the new 5 is just awful looking and waaay overpriced for what it offers. How have you found the driving experience as compared to BMW??

02-19-2004, 10:28 PM

02-20-2004, 01:48 PM

02-23-2004, 06:05 PM
I currently have an 03 M5, just sold an 00 M5 and have had several 5 series. I'm not sold on the new 5 body, and the 7 took some time to get used to as well. My wife loves her 03 E320 over the Bimmers. I bought my Mom an 02 745 and she was the victim of the 745 comp problems. Beyond that now that the problem is pretty much gone is: Ride is the best out of any Bimmer on Market or of late, and the host Mercedes that I have driven, with exception of S600. The Idrive is a simple system given a few hours of use quickly becomes second nature. The same can be said with the braking system of the E320 vs. BMW. I drive the Benz like a first week driving student when i come to a stop. Just have to get used to it.

My home is split BMW / Benz....But my money goes to BMW, Although I give MBZ thumbs up on latest design lines over BMW. BMW has made a radical change, and people were, and are still shocked by the included, but the 7 has won me over. We'll see when the M5 comes out. So far i'm not running down to XYZ dealership to plunk down a deposit. The E46 is by far today the better looking of any of the 2004's.
<img src="">SinisterM5
Dinan S2 - Carbon Black Sport
5/03 Build
ACS Type 2 Wheels - Color Matched Carbon Black
Alcantara Steering Wheel
Upgraded to Wood Trim
35% Tint

02-25-2004, 07:28 PM
You mentioned you went with E320 because wife needed AWD. Why did you rule out the Audi?

03-01-2004, 09:04 AM
and is being redesigned plus we could'nt wait for the new model to come out.<img src=http:/"height=200 width=300>

03-13-2004, 11:32 AM
Currently own 00 540, on order 04 X5 4.4. Still need some time to get used to the new BMW models. However, I choose BMW over MB.

03-15-2004, 10:27 PM
....The new BMWs aren't built for the same demographic they were before. Now (imo) they are built for people who are signing on because of some pre-conceived notion of "coolness" along with some left over yuppyism from the eighties. I'm going to take a pass on the new 5 and get a MB 4matic wagon. Better looking, more versatile-what more be said?

03-18-2004, 11:34 PM

03-20-2004, 05:34 AM
I just lost my 2002 M5 due to an accident resulting in a total loss, and was either going to replace it with a 2003 M5 or a new 545. I test drove the 545 and decided that it handled so much better and the active steering was so much more precise (and the iDrive was a snap to learn, much better than the version previously in the 7) that the 545 was it! So I ordered a 545i, I'll lease it for 2 years and then get a new M5 (perhaps M6). And anyone who thinks the iDrive sucks should try to show me just how easy the non-iDrive controls are, the E39 nav system is a piece of junk.

I think you're full of isht if you think the interior is cheap. It's solid, just as solid as the E39. The seats are even better, the stereo is better, the Nav is better, it's bigger, lighter, stiffer chassis, more power, more stable, quieter, faster...

I think the exterior looks are great. The back is a little funky, but it grows on you fast.

Whatever. Enjoy your Chrysler E500.

03-21-2004, 04:28 PM
you might have had when you called the MB a "Chrysler". Would you call a Lamborghini an Audi simply because Audi owns part (all??) of it? Enjoy your fine handling, but utterly bizarre and ugly looking car with one of the cheapest and misshapen interiors ever designed. Maybe it will "grow on you", much like a mold. As for iDrive--- good luck. You'll need it.

03-22-2004, 07:31 PM
Wow ... these are strong fighting words

Please explain, if one has to spend $60K+ for a luxury car and the interior is full of plastic, I mean hard plastic on arm rest, console, steering wheel controls, and even seat backs, I think one can say that the interior is cheap. The last time when I saw, I recalled even the headliner was a vinyl type of material.

As for the iDrive, simple phone controls (entering numbers) require click and scrolling. Audio controls and many very common features require clicking with the Inverse Bottle Cap. I am a techie and I hate it. IDrive has it please but the current implementation is flawed.

Last and not least, I do agree that certain designs (like the E60) will take time to grow BUT for God sake, this is a VERY EXPENSIVE car and I am not suppose to compromise by letting my 'affection' grow in time. For that kind of money, I should fall in love at first sight.

BMWAG design studio is on a polarizing trend. I like BMWs (have 2 of them) but have not found any liking for the current Bangle designs. There are many others like me who have been disappointed and definitely others who think the world of the designs. Good Luck with your decision.

03-22-2004, 08:36 PM

03-26-2004, 05:06 PM

04-07-2004, 10:52 PM

04-12-2004, 09:32 PM
Well, I got the SMG 545 this weekend and I'm extremely satisfied. Having previously owned a 2002 M5 I can honestly say the interior doesn't have quite all the extra leather my M5 had, but it's better than the E39 540 (my colleage at the office has a loaded '04 540 sport and we parked them side by side). The doors feel more solid when they close. The trunk is bigger, stereo is better (I had the M audio on the M5).

I'm going to talk a bit about the interface controls on the two systems because Im really sick of all you whiners out there on this I-drive, especially the one in the new 5-series. Frankly, the nav enabled E39 totally sucked [Oops!] and was way worse than the i-drive ever was.

The iDrive was really quite easy (i stand firm on this that anyone who thinks the NEW i-drive is a pain is just moronic). the M5's Nav console was a frigging joke. Just lots of details in the E39 system that sucked tha nobody complains abount that buged me: The fact that I couldn't ever see the mm:ss on the CD, the AM radio reception sucked, dialing the integrated phone was impossible because you had to turn the tiny radio knob to the right number, then press it in, and the delay was so bad that buy the time you thought you had the right digit and pressed the button in, you were wrong and this is NO GOOD for checking voice mail, forget it! Piece of crap $1500 invested in this feature. (did I mention the CD cartridge is now in the glove box? way better dont you agree?).

In general the E39 nav/stereo system was very slow, hard to use and impossible to input an address while driving. Pull over and turn the map on and you'll sometimes get a "Generating Map, please wait" that never reappears until you move the car a few dozen feet).

The menu system made no sense. Try getting the friggin voice narration to shut up once it was turned on. Menu's change as you scroll through them (anyone who has this knows Im right when you see the "Terminate Guidance" menu doesn't say "Terminate Guidance" until you are highlighting it on the menu which you wouldn't think to select because it says something else). And I just Love (hate) the scrolling map menu where you can pick you X/Y coordinates to chose a destination... you have to roll the dial to the right arrow (Up/down/left/right) then push the button in and hold, then 2-3 seconds later ir responds... then when you get where you want to be you release and it keeps scrolling overshooting the selected point by 20%... FORGET ABOUT IT. Piece of crap.

The voice narration was useless for verbal instructions. Slow and error prone and the woman's voice sounded like a [Oops!]. They fixed this in the 545. It's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than the E39 system.

I could go on and on.

As far as Mercedes (aka Chrysler) goes:

I'll give some credit to Mercedes on their E-class, but E500 doesn't compare to the 545 and we all know whats going to happen when the new M5 goes against the E55. Same ol, same ol.

Mercedes has always had "prettier" lines than BMW, and BMW has always had more masculine, gnarly, agressive lines than a Mercedes. So for styling, if you prefer pretty over bad-[Oops!], go with a Mercedes, your wife will be happier. But frankly I'd rather have the ominous, fck-you looking machine car than the pretty powder puff. Real drivers don't do automatics anyway. With the SMG option you get the best of both worlds for no extra $.

Bottom line and this is really the bottom line: (I've owned a dozen BMWs and even more MB's):

The new 5-series over the old:
If you don't like the exterior styling, fine, but you need to admit that the machine functions BETTER than it's predeessor. Specifically: Better, faster, bigger, quicker, more nimble, more room, stiffer and easier to use (even with the i-drive). The active steering is AWESOME, espcially in a parking lot.

So until you drive a 545, just quit whining about the way it looks.


04-13-2004, 10:54 PM
Congrats on your new 545i

Per my other reply to your earlier posting, BMW has created a Love/Hate relationship with their new models.

You love it and we hate it. The Banglized Bimmers with it's cheapified interior is something that I cannot justified unloading my money on.

No doubt the performance is superb (test drove it a few times) but I cannot justify paying $60K+ for that kind of interior. If it was $10K cheaper, maybe we can talk. For goodness sake, my $25K Honda Odyssey has better interior.

In closing, may you have years of enjoyment your new 545i.

p.s. No one is whining about the idrive. Just don't believe in BMW's implementation of it.

04-14-2004, 08:44 AM
handling or power. Both are exemplary. Its the interior that I find utterly unaccepable. Stark, drab, bizarre and filled with misshapen and dischordant swoops and curves, all culminating in a feeling of extreme cheapness and tackiness. There is not way I can shell out $60K for a powerful, yet odd looking car. If power/handling was all that mattered I'd buy a Subaru WRX and pocket the other 30K-and I'd still give you a MAJOR run for your $$ and leave you with your dcik in your hands as soon as the weather turns slippery.
Most of your compliants seem to center over Nav-something I do not have and don't really care about as 99.9% of the time I know where I am going. As for iDrive- you confuse ability to use it w/ DESIRE to use it. I find it silly and annoying-you don't. Makes the dash look as plain as a 75 Buick. Yeah, thats worth 65K!
One more note- calling MB a "Chyrsler" dilutes your position and severely cheapens your argument. MB bought Chrysler, not the other way around. Should we label your car an overpriced Mini because BMW makes them?
Enjoy your car, but remember that for better or worse BMW created a deliberately polarizing design. There are just as many who hate it than like it--something that could not be said for the E39.

04-26-2004, 11:42 PM
you guys look like [Oops!] talking all the time about the design of these two cars. you buy a 50k car so that YOU (personally) can enjoy it, not to have heads turn. u'(mercedes fans) always have the same arguments: the design (in and out) and idrive... get over it. a real bmw lover (like many of u used to be) will NOT change overnight their feelings on BMW just because of the design. that cars keep being the very best. it looks like many of u are very superficial, its like love towards a person. there isn't such a thing as love at first sight, the same is with cars. great cars are like great lovers, u may have hated them when you first met it, but then people will love them.

BTW... i wouldn't want my 50k e500 to have shared parts with any vulgar 20k Sebring.
--> ohh and let me point out that MINI is a PREMIUM brand.. MINI's are expensive for what they are (they are the BMW's between the Golfs and the Astras).. that cannot be said about Chyrsler, which makes cars to compete with pontiacs and chevys...

ALSO, i know that even if a do a great argument, i will never have crediblity in a MB message board...

thanks for actually listening...

04-27-2004, 01:20 AM
I'm sorry here ... tried very hard to understand your argument but in the end .... huh ???? What are you trying to say?

I don't know about others but I can speak for myself. I am not part of the Quandt family (majority owner of BMWAG) and don't own stocks in DaimlerChrysler or even BMW and with that said, have no affiation to either brand. Therefore, in order for MB or BMW to win my hard earned money, they have to build a fantastic product to convince me to part with it.

In the past, BMW strived in having a great balance of driving pleasure and classy design. Whereas, MBs were solid but more boring vehicles. Therefore, BMW won me over with their last few generations of 3 and 5 series and even 6 series.

After Bangle and his design team established more cloud over BMW management, their designs have taken a sharp turn. Sure, they are entitle to create extreme designs and I can buy that, but what I cannot deal with is that with the despite of the increase in price tag, BMW decided to decrease the quality of the interior. I don't think spending $60+ K warrants the kind of interior BMW is dishing out to her customers.

There are a lot of superficial car owners and many of them drive Bimmers and MBs. Some of us buy them because of bang for the buck. This W211 is my very first MB because IMHO, I think it has secured a great balance between design and performance(achieved by Bimmers of yester years). Yes, there are other cars that outperforms it but side by side comparison, I think it has achieved greater results over the E60. If MB continues to build exciting cars with great lines, yes, they have me as a customer. If BMW wise up with their design and stop throwing cheapy interiors at her customer, I will be more than happy to look into another BMW. BMW and MB and another other makes out there, all have to work hard to earn my money. I am not superficial and will want to spend my dollars on a product that I believe in.

In conclusion, there are some of us, lovers of previous generations of BMWs have been disappointed. BMW has to work harder to win us back. For the rest of you, I applaud your undying loyalty to BMW, good luck, I hope BMW is paying you good money to stick with them.

p.s. MINI is NOT premium brand. Anyone who believes that has been suckered by BMW's advertising. If MINI brand was so desirable, that company would not have been sold and sold so many times.

04-27-2004, 12:27 PM

04-27-2004, 04:35 PM
I used to own a 1995 M3 and now own a BMW X5. I sold my Boxster and bought my wife a 2004 E320 in white. Great looking car.

I didn't really like the E60 (5 series BMW) when it first came out, but I'm thinking seriously about getting one. I'm not scared off from the current BMW's, in fact, I think the 645 is one of the best looking cars on the road. . .just the lack of a usable back seat makes it very impractical for me. Besides at that price, I might as well go with the E55, which is what I'm considering along with the M5.

05-16-2004, 05:04 PM

05-25-2004, 12:41 AM
Well now I've owned this 545 for a couple/few months now and I've had the gas-pump conversations enough now to see what's happening. People that hated the design are converting, just as they did with the seven. When I first got this car (After owning an M5 for a couple years) I really liked it, now I love it.


Just for fun, I made the mistake of test driving a 2003 M5. And even though the swede headliner was beautiful and absent from my 545, I felt like I was stepping back 10 years in the interior. Pleasantly notalgic, but regressive. The handling felt clumsy compared to the tight active suspension in my 545. So where's the mistake? The 400 horsepower wide powerband torque monger reminded me of the 'M' badge that's missing on my 545. Danm I missed throwing the backend around!

But still, everyone that hops in my car really likes it. "WOW" I hear a lot. Even my hard core BMW buddies like it. Only my 850csi friend is modestly impressed. But the fact he drives his < 300 miles a year explains that too.

05-26-2004, 12:25 AM
Congrats and may you have years of enjoyment with the performance of your 545i

I never doubted the 545's handling prowess especially if it is equipped with the sport pkg.

What I have trouble with is the E60's exterior. Time may heal my feelings towards it but for a $60K+ vehicle, I cannot deal with is the interior (material, layout, Idrive and so on). Among my Bimmers, IMHO, my X5 and 325 has better interior than the E60.

GL and have fun with your 545

p.s. I sincerely hope that BMWAG wakes up soon and stop making polarizing designs.

07-18-2004, 01:07 AM
I had to answer this one. You talk about real drivers only drive a stick, well then buy a real machine named PORSCHE. To establish some credibility up front you should know I currently have 2 BMW's, (a 1981 528i and 1988 325-This is the wifes car ), a brand new 2004 E500, and a 1988 Porsche 911. I have owned 4 previous MBZ models, 5 different BMW's and this is my third Porsche. The ONLY car that makes sense to have a stick in it is the 911. Anybody that wants to drive a 4 door sedan with a stick needs to really understand what automobile is for what purpose.

Get a real machine that is made to drive like a sports car and quit arguing about BMW versus Benz. And BTW, any mechanic that works on these 3 makes of cars will tell you that the new beamers (2000 and up), have about a 50,000 mile life span before it begins to fall apart. My 528 has 204,000+ miles on it and keeps on tickin. BMW has not done very many models justice since then. Benz's are good for about 100,000 then get expensive to keep. Porsche, well now there is a car. They will run forever if the owner knows how to drive it and take care of it. But then again, PORSCHE is a real sports car.

07-18-2004, 02:14 PM
I still own an X3 and 330i (FS), sold my 540i to get the X. Was going to lease a 545i but couldn't locate a car to my liking; instead leased a E320CDI. Cost me about half what the BMW would have cost (due to peculiarities of the company lease car program), fuel economy and fuel cost are great (fuel is on me in this deal).

My parents and in-laws are long-time (back to 1960s) MBZ owners, so I'm pretty familiar with the line. I know the AMGs are out there, but I still think of MBZ as a luxury cruiser and not a sports car, so I shop them differently than the BMW. In BMW I want the power, sports ride, etc. In MBZ I want the creature comforts, cruise-ride feel, etc. Both have that great German feel (Audi lacks it IMHO).

I like the new styling. The old 7 is starting to look long in the tooth compared the the new, which has really grown on me. The E39 is starting to do the same (both older BMWs still have classic lines). Love the Z4. Not sure the new designs will stand the test of time, but I like them for now.

I love iDrive, BTW. Think the journalists are stubborn in their reluctance to get to know it. MBZ Comand programming also is pretty easy, neither is really a "vehicle in motion" system except in a pinch. Too many buttons on the MBZ (and Audi), looks like a jukebox to me. But logical and functional.

Where is bluetooth on MBZ -- at least BMW keeps promising it (LOL)!


08-04-2004, 01:47 PM

08-11-2004, 04:19 AM
As a 2003 530i SP PP owner, I cried (literally) when my car was totalled by the flooding in NJ. I tried long and hard to decide between the new E60 and several other cars. After alot of thought, and trying to get over interior and exterior styling that was pushing me further away from the '04 530i, I took both the '04 530i and the '04 E320 on extended test drives. The cheap generic feel of the interior styling of the 530i was harder to get over than anything, and made the decision for me. However, without the addition of the sport package on the E320, I am not sure if I would have bought this car.

I miss my 2003 530i.

08-16-2004, 10:28 PM
E39s (a 1997 528i built in May 96 and delivered in June 96), which I have loved through 110K miles. My plan had been to eventually trade it in for a new E60, but I was so turned off by the styling and interior (including I drive), that I decided to hold on to my E39 and will wait until all of the 05/early 06 models are out - there are many new and intriguing ones - to decide what to do. I think that Bangle has wrecked BMW, along with his bosses who let him perpetrate that crap on the world. I am looking long and hard at a new E class, and that may well end up as my next car. I haven't driven one yet, and am somewhat dismayed at all of the negative "reliability" posts on various internet sites, but it will certainly get a look.

08-16-2004, 10:39 PM
bility posts w/ BMW. MB had many issues for the '03 year, mostly software. I recall reading that a high level exec @ Bosch got canned because of it.

08-16-2004, 10:40 PM
whatever it is that made you post this piece. Don't lecture people on whether or not "they truly love BMWs". I certainly do BUT the E60 simply SUCKS in terms of exterior and interior styling and techo babble that we neither need nor want. As Car and Driver said in concluding their story on the E60: "BMW is drifting off mission".

08-16-2004, 10:45 PM
Thanks. While I have had an exceptionally reliable E39, I have heard similar stories about BMWs as well as Mercs.

08-23-2004, 09:49 PM
Bought a Z4 last Nov. and an E class months before the Z4 purchase. Boils down to preference, and design wise i'm up for some MB's(c and e class especially the sl but we can't afford that, but not the slk, or the old models like s, ml etc.) and some BMW's(Z4, X5, 5 series but not for the 7, X3)

Jens T.M.745
10-05-2004, 09:33 PM
1995 S420 Does any one know how exaclly the Radio antenna work
I/E constant power, get power to plug when Ignition turned,
should it not be only when I turn on Radio.

Any advise is apreciated.

Sincerely Jens

10-07-2004, 11:40 PM

10-13-2004, 09:00 PM

10-18-2004, 06:16 PM

Frank Shaffer
11-02-2004, 11:10 AM
On April 17, 2004 I took delivery on E320 CDI. I have just over 6000 miles on it and have averaged 38.04 MPG thus far. I just made a trip and got 41 MPG on the first fill-up. It goes far on a tank so the 2nd. fill I don't know what it will show. It is a great car so far and a big improvement over my 2.5 turbo (1992) It's so much fun to drive....

11-04-2004, 01:03 PM
I have been somewhat scared off by the recent designs, I still cant buy a 745, but the interior of the MB turns me off. The handling is not on par with BMW, it is average, and for the price, I want more than average in driving experience.

11-23-2004, 04:40 PM
I just bought a BMW 545 after looking at the E320 and E500. The new BMW designs are more sporty than MB, and bimmers drive much better. I wasn't crazy about IDrive at first simply because I was afraid it would be too cumbersome, but it is very easy to use and leaves a clean looking dash.

I'm somewhat of a "MB legacy" since my parents and one of my siblings all own Benz. But after driving and comparing, BMW wins hands down. The 545 is sportier looking, sportier driving, and is just a cool machine. MB has some catching up to do.

11-23-2004, 05:05 PM
JamesS3 has been trolling all of the new BMW boards for quite some time. He says he owns an E39, and does nothing but post the same bashing comments over and over.

He's been saying now for 2 years that he was buying an E-Class because he can't stand the new BMW designs. Fair enough I suppose, but instead of leaving it at that, he continues to troll the board getting in arguments with anyone who disagrees. JamesS3 is more than discontent with styling issues, he has a serious axe to grind for some reason.

Now, here he is on this board getting in arguments with you because you disagree with his ridiculous posts.

Just consider the source and move on so he doesn't hijack this board like he's tried to with the BMW boards. There are other boards like ******** that will not let him join, so he feasts on unmoderated boards like this one.

Good luck.

11-23-2004, 05:16 PM
Why don't you go back to the BMW boards if you are going to show your a*s*s. NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO AGREE WITH YOU, OK???

Good Lord, no wonder everyone on the BMW boards wants you banned.

11-24-2004, 12:31 AM
SEVEN MONTH old post which you know NOTHING about and then insult me? GFY.....

11-24-2004, 12:56 PM

Performance Monger
11-24-2004, 08:44 PM

12-01-2004, 10:55 AM
on 11/23/04. That looks like a 7 month old post to me.

12-29-2004, 03:44 PM
I had a 04 M3 before. Just picked up my 05 E500.

doggy G
01-24-2005, 08:05 PM

02-20-2005, 09:40 PM

02-20-2005, 09:57 PM
I'd seen a cartoon some time back comparing the new 5-series to Dame Edna, and found the resemblance spot on. Your Halle Berry vs. Dame Edna was pretty inspired, and oh so true!

03-07-2005, 03:10 PM
and bought a new E55 AMG. Not quite the same as my old E39 M5, but a lot nicer than the idrive infested 645

I have a new M3 cab arriving next week, and will keep it for a long, long time.

03-08-2005, 01:14 PM
hear? except for a relative few rabid banglophiles I havn't heard much good about it. My few forays into resulted in confusion and frustration. Sure, I could figure it out, but it just seemed clumsy and an awkward way to substitute several overlapping steps for the simple push of a button.
Also, why did you get rid of the 645? Trade or sell? How does the class compare in handling to a BMW? With an E55 you've certainly got power. Its the handling I am curious about.

03-08-2005, 07:06 PM
Traded this morning for the e55, actually (freekin Bangle just lost another one!). Don't have too much feedback to report just yet, but I really love the Benz. Spent two weeks driving my mom's sl500 and was hooked. It does NOT handle like my M5. Or like my (ex)'01 740i. Or my (ex)'00 540i, for that matter. Don't try to convince yourself that it does, cause it does not. Nor will it ever...BUT, if I wanted a car to "throw around", I would have bought a 997. That said, this is a GREAT car that gives me everything I need - a bit more size, style, great appointments, loads of neck-snapping torque, fantastic braking, and has a bit more of a 'touring' feel than does the M. And while I was captivated at first by the whole Manny/Tranny thing (a whole different debate), my needs now call for a Slushbox, albeit a nice Slushbox. I'd be happy to give some more detailed handling analysis once the NY weather improves, as it sounds like you are contemplating a switch and handling seems to be your biggest concern...

R. L. Gumm
03-10-2005, 03:30 PM
I was a BMW Z3 owner 1997 1.9L convertible. I loved the car it was fun to drive great gas milage and awesome looks. However it had a minor (or major) problem depending on how you look at it. I bought it used right off the BMW lot in Memphis it was even on display as an attraction. Great car but it developed a problem with the seats moving or shifting in the tracks. Everytime I put on the brakes or excelerated it would shift and slide forward a little. I took it back to the dealer and they said it would be $1200.00 per seat! to fix the problem which I felt was a design flaw. Nobody in my town would even touch it!

03-17-2005, 12:21 AM
BMW hired on this American guy Chris Bangle a while back. He's slowly been screwing up the models, from the top of the line down. This year the 3 series will undergo a heavy beating with Bangle's ugly stick.

These new BMW's are harder to work on yourself, as more and more is becoming computerized and requires proprietary tools owned by BMW dealerships. In addition, BMW is starting to head towards the Benz market (plush luxury cars) -- and shoot, Benz has been doing that for almost a century. I don't think the new BMW's are trashy cars, they deserve respect as they're still a BMW. However, Benz wins on looks at this point, and possibly mechanical reliability as well.

If you want a BMW, get a pre-Bangle model. In my opinion, their fun-to-drive and easy-to-work-on qualities apexed in the late 80's and early 90's.<br>Get yourself a <a href="">free Mac Mini</a>. Sign up for eFax then cancel -- you won't pay a cent.<br>My Mac Mini will be sold/bartered for a 4.10 LSD. Help a broke college student corner faster/safer. :-)

03-17-2005, 01:18 AM
I sold the 645 - there is still quite a solid market for coupes in SoCal. You're quite right, the i-drive is comprehensible, but is really a poor interface. I am a rabid BMW fan, but the 645 just didn't do it for me. At the risk of offending Merc drivers here, just about any BMW handles (subjectively) better than the E55. The E55 can produce good numbers on the skid pad and slalonm, but simply isn't as precise and tidy. That said, I enjoy the E55 a lot more than my 645. Also, ny 2005 M3 cabriolet arrives this weekend, and I can go play with it when I need a fix of hair-shirt driving.


06-12-2005, 11:12 PM

07-06-2005, 10:49 AM
In any event, you are mistaken. MB "bought" Chrysler, not the other way around.

07-15-2005, 02:23 AM
I agree with a lot of your comments. My sister is an engineer for BMW and she let me drive her 545 with the sport package. Initially, I was thrown off with the new design but it has grown on me and I think you have to give BMW credit for taking a new direction especially when you're redesigning the E39 that looks great. The car drives amazing well especially for being a big car. The I-drive is easy once you get used to it (took me less than 30 mins). Now other companies are copying devices similar to I-drive (Audi has something similar in their A6 and A8.)

I currently have a E28 M5 and a 01 330i and I think the direction BMW has taken over the years with the 5 Series is only getting better.

In regards to the new E-class. IMHO, the design is great but I can't get the same type of excitement when I'm driving the BMW's.

07-17-2005, 07:01 PM
hello can any 1 help me i am looking speedometer,ecu,brake lights and headlights for my bmw 525i 2003 but used if any one know any scrapyard please give me the phone number and e mail address.

08-02-2005, 12:17 PM
I had a 2001 530i. Loved the car. Steering, handling, seats, transmission, and engine were all superior to my new E320.
I've had fewer problems in the E320 compared to the 530i. A big rig ran a light and totaled my 530i is the reason I got the MB. I didn't want to buy the first year of the new 5 series as I've heard they've had lots of problems. In the first year, my 530i had: Crank Sensor go bad, Air Conditioning went full blast and couldn't turn it off, the HID headlights could never adjust to the correct level ( took it to 3 different dealers, replaced 3 different things, still couldn't adjust! )
The first year I've had the E320: Transmission Computer Recall, Transmission Fluid Leak, a defect in a wheel ( had a small pin hole that had a leak, factory defect )
I love the way the German cars drive, but for comparison, my wife's Lexus, my brother's Lexus, Mom's Lexus, and Dad's Lexus have never been in the shop except for Oil Changes and Service!

08-02-2005, 12:22 PM
Why are you on a MB board?

08-18-2005, 01:39 PM
My wife got tired of geting beat up all the time in our 2000 528i Sport/Premium. I gave in and picked up a 2004 S500 w/10K miles.

I kind of like it too. Drove a new 750LI but I couldn't talk them down from that 83K number.

The S500 is smooth,quiet and you can make smooth starts and stops. I just couldn't do a Lexus.

08-30-2005, 11:37 PM
To the owner of the 545 BMW. Last year I purchased a E-500 4-Matic. In the past three months I have had the car towed to the shop three times for different electrical problems. I finally asked MB to give me a new car. They offered me a ridiculously low price for my car so I traded it in for a new BMW 545 which arrives tomorrow. I am glad to hear you are pleased with yours

09-07-2005, 03:03 PM
I have a 528i and had ongoing problems with it on a monthly basis but when I started using it for long distance travels I stoped having any difficulty. I only do oil change and regular service. This old one is 1996 model, the other one is 530i - 2003 but no problems at all. I even, by mistake, drove it over 90 miles with the radiator cap off and it hardly evaporated any liquid. Never tried it again for sure :)

11-21-2005, 10:35 AM
Waking up an old thread.....

Yes, I recently decided to go from having 2 cars to having 1. Traded my 04 G35 coupe for the E500 4Matic wagon, then sold my 01 X5 4.4. Unlike some folks whose troubles I read about here, my X5 was a good one. Very reliable and lacking most of the problems that seemed to affect the ealier X5s. I was using it mostly for winter driving - ski trips and rainy weather. It would sit idle in the garage so long I needed to charge the battery every now and then.

I decided a single car that could carry stuff, go to the mountains without chains, and still have some fun while driving was the right answer. Was shopping Audi until I drove the E, and was sold on it right away.

11-30-2005, 06:43 PM
ween new/old BMW styling continues. Even the the "new" 5 is not so new I STILL can't stand it. Goddam "fugly" in every sense of the word.

12-15-2005, 03:35 PM
Traded 2002 E46M3 for 2006 E500 in September. The E500 is no M3 in terms of speed or handling, but its quite good for a luxury sports sedan. I am impressed with the fit and finish of the E500 and the SBC which bothered me when I road tested a 2003 was not an issue with the 2006 model. My M3 was subject of 2 major recalls to replace connecting rod bearings -twice. The M3 was also towed to the dealer when the ignition coils failed. An annoying aside is BMW's roadside assistance which is merely a contract towing service. I called with a flat once and second time when the the low oil light flashed. BMW could only offer a tow to the dealer, and since it was a Friday afternoon both times the car would be at the dealer for a minimum of 3 days for a quart of oil or a flat. Having said all that I probably would have traded for a 2006 BMW 550 if not for the styling exterior& interior and Idrive.

12-29-2005, 08:57 PM
I still have my E46 M3 though

03-05-2006, 07:36 PM

Just bought a 2003 e320 this week. I don't like the new 5 series and thought I would try MB for achange. I like the way the MB cars look.

I had a 1997 Dinan 540 that I totalled refcently and needed a new daily driver. So far, so good; I bought an MB CPO car.

06-21-2006, 03:09 PM
This was a hard decision. I have owned BMWs for over 20 years, and loved my e39 540i, the best car I ever owned. But I bought the 540i as a reaction to the e60 pictures I saw when it launched in '03. I had hoped that I would eventually warm up to the 545i, but that has not happened. It is just not a car that I find desireable. The Mercedes is nice, but it will take some getting used to after all these years with BMW.

07-30-2006, 02:17 PM
I have been faithful to BMW for many years but am considering the E320 CDI because I drive a lot and need something that's both efficient and comfortable. How do you like your CDI? I'm torn between buying the 06 or waiting for the Bluetec. Any thoughts on the new model?

08-12-2006, 11:24 PM
I love this car, esp. now since as gas prices go up and I am getting 37 mpg on the highway and 25-27 in town. I never thought I would be okay with not having a Bimmer, but this car has been flawless from day one. I don't know much about the Bluetec, but it is advertized to get the same gas mileage as the CDI. Just wish it had 4-matic.

08-20-2006, 03:27 AM
I liked the 545 a lot. It was a nice drivers car (SMG would've been nice - we have it in our 645) but still a very comfortable ride. Styling? Well, I think it's rather weak for a vehicle that is kinda the traditional mainstay of the BMW fleet (the 645 though is truly unique). Solid, lots of tech (HUD, radar cruise etc); a few software issues but nothing major. Great car overall.

BUT when we took the AMG wagon for a spin we fell deeply in love and the 545 was gone. The Wagon is probably the greatest car we've ever owned, and that covers a lot of territory.

02-20-2007, 03:48 PM
Just bought an 03 E500 sport in the Atlanta area. Until now we have always owned BMW's. 325e, 325is, 328is and a 525i. I still own the 525 and have put over a hundred thousand miles on it. All the bmw's we have had have been great cars, if you care for them properly.

Anyway, the E500 is a LOT of car relative to the BMW's I have owned. It has 32k on it and everything works fine. All the bugs have probably been worked out already. I love the car. Very comfortable, doesn't handle like a bimmer but it's not a bimmer. IMO, BMW's take the turns better, have less amenities, are not as comfortable, (unless your in a 7 series.) I think it's like comparing apples and oranges.

The E500 is our first Merc. I doubt it's our last. I doubt the 525 is our last BMW either.

03-01-2007, 05:00 PM

03-01-2007, 05:04 PM E350 sport package...awesome car. Still have 95 M3 cant replace that

04-09-2007, 11:44 AM
Just got 2007 E550 Sport
Obsidian Black/Cognac Brown

Wood Steerign Wheel

06-05-2007, 11:17 AM
went to replace my 03 540 Sport but could not stay with current BMW styling. Just got a Limited Edition E350 Sport. Terific vehicle! Glad we tried MB...
2001 TT Coupe
6 speed
Biarritz White/Graphite Grey

07-31-2007, 03:34 PM
All the bimmer cars have their charm eventually...with exception of that M know the one that looks like a mini station wagon?

05-25-2008, 10:13 PM
Everthing else got beated with a ugly stick.

10-21-2008, 05:19 PM

09-15-2009, 11:49 PM
In spite of curiosity killed the cat my love for BMWs lasted 20 years. Currently own a 2006 CLK and E350 plus in my garage there is an E31 [DINAN], and E38... which are the last of the real beasts...

"Keep Right, Pass Left. It's the Law."

<embed src="" width="200" height="200" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed>

<a href=""><img src="" border="0"></a><p><div style="font-family:Arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;">

10-03-2009, 01:52 PM
Would be most interested in more detailed comments from any who have moved from a BMW 5 series (6 cylinder) to the E 320 CDI. I currently have a 2000 528i with only 68K miles...and while I love it, I am also very attracted to MB diesels. Looks like the CDI is the last in-line 6 and also doesn't require that expensive urea additive or whatever. I test drove a CDI briefly and loved the quiet, responsive engine...but found the ride and handling to be a little soft and wallowy. Do you get over that as time passes or do you regreat giving up the BMW feel? Also, how is the CDI's reliability? I assume Mercedes, like BMW, recommends very little maintenance. I am old school...change the tranny fluid, diff, coolant, etc. every couple years or 30K miles. Is that pretty common? How tough a DIY job is the oil change on a CDI? (I guess the newest Bimmers require the computer to change oil; draining alone doesn't get it all. Yikes.) Any observations most welcome. Thanks in advance.

12-13-2009, 02:20 PM
We have owned 325I, 540I and x3, while we enjoyed the full maintenance programs, no local dealers were an inconvenience. We bought a e320 CDI in 2006 and absolutely love it. There is about 60K on the clock currently with no issues. I expect to get 400,000 miles out of this one. I was a Mercedes Truck Mechanic for years and just trust the German engineering. Downsides...Dealers think their customers are idiots and try to price themselves out of the maintenance end of the business. I know how to work on them, but am at a stage in my life where I don't have to anymore. I found a local shop in Fredericksburg that works on high end imports, is very trustworthy and reasonable relative to what we are paying for. This car gets 700 miles to a tank of fuel and has excellent road manners. It is not a road racer and certainly doesn't have the road manners of a BMW, but that is not what it is meant to be. Maintaining it yourself is very doable, oil filters are the cartridge type, so don't miss the "o" ring at the top!

Best of luck,


01-30-2010, 05:57 PM

08-30-2010, 06:47 PM
It's an interesting conversation. I'm at a point where I can afford to buy new but would like some value for my dollar and don't plan to dump the car after 4 years. BMW's have moved to an all inclusive fuel pump/fuel filter within the gas tank which requires a complete replacement when the filter needs to be changed which used to be a normal part of maintenance. Now it's become a nightmare cost - something between $3k-$8k (depending on the model) just because the fuel filter gets clogged. That's enough to scare me away. Suddenly my older cars seem like common sense.

Roadfly Home | Car Reviews | Forum Archives Index