I am trying to see if I want to get into an E39 M5 for my E39 540iWagon.

After owning a wagon for more than a year, I realized that I dont necessarily need a wagon if I have a sedan with fold-down rear seats.

The 540 I have also is an automatic and I miss the shifting in my previous M3.

Since I need a bigger car than the M3, I am looking in to the M5.

Here are some questions that I think you guys should be able to answer easily:

- Does the M5 have the same cooling system issues as the 540?
- Were split-folding rear seats standard or an option? If this was an option, how common was this?
- How does the car do in snow with snow tires? I live in Chicago, so the snow thing is key for about half a dozen days in a year.
- What size wheels will fit for the snow tires?
- Any significant model year changes? I am looking to spend around $30k for this, so I am looking at a 2000-2002 car. Is there anything that I will be missing in the later years that might be worth the extra money. Obviously, I am looking for a car out of warranty, so that is not in play here.

Any other advice will be helpful. I have owned numerous BMWs in the past including a couple of E36 M3s, a E34 Wagon, a E38 and a slew of E36s. I have two kids right now, so a "family-size" car is what I am looking for.

Thanks all

Vijay
00 740iL
99 540iT