I’d like to consider myself a practical person. This could partly be the reasoning behind my aversion to the SUV. Sure, these vehicles can go anywhere, but how much of the time do you really need a car like that? Then we have the crossover. Don’t want the whole hog when it comes to four-wheel drive capability? Cool. We’ll slap some plastic fender flares in a contrasting color on an otherwise decent looking estate vehicle, jack it up a bit, add all-wheel drive and call it a day. A car like this might be a bit more fuel efficient and realistic for everyday use than a purpose built truck, but let’s face it, wouldn’t a regular estate vehicle suffice for most? Looking over this low mileage 2001 BMW 325i Touring for sale in Florida brings that question to the forefront.
All posts tagged 5 series
Tavarish’s recent Jalopnik post regarding the performance bargain available in the E39 540i solidified many of my car-brain’s transient thoughts. The 540i is a serious looker, with the E39’s grace and nearly all of the M5’s aggression. They are plentiful around the interwebs, but this example caught my eye with a host of Dinan upgrades, low mileage, and a 6-speed transmission. The Dinan supercharger pushes power slightly above the S62’s with plenty of drivetrain and chassis modifications to keep up. It may not quite trigger that special ///M response, but it will get you 99% of the way there while costing half of what a similar M5 would. At just over $10k, you’ll be hard pressed to find more performance per dollar, let alone in a car that looks this good.
Click for details: 1998 BMW 540i Dinan on Craigslist SF Bay Area
We try to refrain from writing up total dumpster dives here on GCFSB, but sometimes it’s worth it to examine a car with potential – even if that potential ends up being parting out. This particular ruffian hits close to home, as my E28 M5 isn’t perfect but I will turn in my car-guy card if it ever gets anywhere close to this condition. The worst bits are the paint, lurking rust, and awful trunk that is minus one spare wheel/tire and carpet set but plus one hideous subwoofer. The seller claims it starts and runs cleanly, which is promising but not enough to dive in head first. I bought my 200k+ mile M5 to have a solid base that I could feel good about keeping on the road. If you are a BMW mechanic, this could be a cheap M5 for a long term project. Otherwise, it may end up as nothing more than a moneypit or a parts car.
Click for details: 1988 BMW M5 on eBay
We’re raised in the US to think that all BMWs are all full-leather, optioned-out, powerful luxury machines. Then we ‘Mericans set one foot in Europe and see BMW cabs and dented city cars running around on steel wheels and get thoroughly confused. Unfortunately for us, BMWs standard of engineering and handling extends much further than just catering to yuppies. Fortunately for us, some zealous souls bring these oddities over, like today’s diesel E39 wagon. Sure, I’d love a 540iT or even a 528iT, but wouldn’t it be sweet to get Prius gas mileage with the good looks and handling of the E39 longroof? Today’s your chance with this double-import, first to Canada and then officially to the US. Cloth seats and celsius temperature readings mean this is no American Bimmer, and that makes it an interesting proposition indeed.
Click for details: 1997 BMW 525tds Touring on eBay
When friends and associates come to me and ask for my advice on large SUVs, I can’t help think that if I’m going to have a utility oriented vehicle with a large engine, why not make it fun? This is exactly where the E39 BMW 540i Touring comes in. Sure, it doesn’t have all-wheel drive, but it does everything else a mid to large sized SUV can, and rather well. Under the hood is the familiar 4.4 liter V8, coupled to a 5-speed automatic gearbox. Add to that cornering abilities that no truck could match and you have a recipe for family fun. As BMW’s commercial for the E39 stated when it debuted “why float through life, when you can drive?”