Just thought I would give my perspective on almost 7 years with my 2002 M5. It has over 100K miles now… I picked up the car brand new in October 2001 (after almost a year on one waiting list, then getting on another). The car had less than 25 miles on it when I picked it up! This was my dream car. The price tag came to just over $80,000 when sales taxes, gas guzzler and luxury taxes were added. So the question many people ask me are: 1.) Was it worth the $80K you paid? 2.) Would you buy another BMW, M5 or M series again? Here is my take:


• Never lacking power. Even to this day, I still get goose bumps when I push down the gas hard. It’s the 1st car I ever have had where the acceleration that seemed fast didn’t wear off over time.
• Head-turning styling. I still get comments today on the looks of the car. Never goes out of style.
• Technology and features still solid. The navigation, sensors, seat controls, etc. are still just as good as most cars today. In 2001 these were way ahead, and now are still on-par.
• Solid Feel – The car still has that solid BMW feel, handling and road-presence.


• Electrical quirks. I have had the looming problems that I see most mention on this board – The Radio cuts out every 3 months for a day, Power Seat Controls Fuses Blow, Final Stage Resistors Blow, random AC issues, etc. Nothing earth-shattering, but definitely some engineering issues on the electronics.
• Power Steering Fluid leaks. Have had a lot of this even after the first couple of years. Ongoing work to keep up with this.
• Horrible Dealer in Maryland – VOB. Took my car to VOB in Rockville during warranty. I had 10 visits there to fix issues and on 8 of those visits, their work was sub-standard and I had to return 1,2 or even 4 times! I had to take one problem back there 4 times (simply replacing a seat cover). First they forgot to bolt the seat back into the floor!, Then to hook up the power seat controls on and on. On another visit they replaced the rear-differential seals, and forgot to tighten up the bolts on the cross-bar brace. I had an oil change where they didn’t tighten the drain nut, and I had oil all over my floor. Simple stuff – but a sign of lack of quality and attention. Really horrible customer experience there. Most recently I called VOB and 2 other dealers in the DC area to ask about where the fuse was for the Climate control. All 3 couldn’t tell me even after putting techs on the phone! Really disappointing.

So to summarize – I love this car and have enjoyed it. I think if BMW could fix (and hopefully they have in new models) some of these simple things, it would be huge. I also urge them to audit their dealerships and particularly VOB. My experience over the years was really embarrassing and I have heard similar. I’m surprised nobody from BMW corporate has called me on this….

I’m on the fence about getting another M5, M3 or BMW. I still love the cars, but question the attention to details and service. I intend to write some larger articles in publications this summer on these issues and hopefully will get some insights from BMW corporate.

Appreciate to hear your thoughts?