Déjà vu? 2010 BMW 535xi Touring M-Sport

Just the other day, I wondered what kind of large wagon you could still buy. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and recently introduced Volvo V90 seem to be the last two holdouts in what was once a robust market of longroof models. Back up a decade, and you could add the Audi A6 Avant and 5-series Touring/Sport Wagon to the mix, and both are still quite desirable in their last form.

With forced induction and plenty of technology as well as a sport ride, both the Audi and BMW entrants into the marketplace were expensive alternatives to the rest of the now traditional “Sport Utility” lineups. And both sold in very small numbers, giving enthusiasts precious few options to choose from when it comes to the used market. In the case of the BMW, the most desirable models are the M-Sport models offered late in the run, and they’re not frequently seen. So much so, that when this one popped up I was certain it was the same 2010 I looked at recently. The color combination of Tiefseeblau Metallic and Natural Brown Dakota combined with the M-Sport package seemed too unlikely to immediately come across again; yet, here we are, with a VIN only about 100 after the recent example. Is this one a winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 BMW 535xi Touring on Seattle Craigstlist

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1983 BMW 533i

Yesterday, a reader suggested that 2016 might be the year of the E28. It’s not a bad prophecy to make, after all, since we’ve seen all 1980s cars increasing in value, and the E28 is certainly a fan favorite. Handsome styling, good build quality, more than adequate performance and classic tail-out BMW handling make it a practical choice for a classic BMW. Over the past few weeks, we’ve looked at some neat options outside of the natural choice M5; there was the Euro-bumpered Dinan 3.9 1988 535i that everyone seems to think is overpriced. Yesterday I also checked out a 1983 Alpina B9 3.5, one of my favorite unsung heros of the E28 lineup. Nate looked at a ultra-clean all-original 1985 535i that just sold for $12,000. Paul considered a lightly modified 1988 535is that everyone loved but failed to find a buyer. And even last month we looked at a rare option, when Nate checked out a right hand drive M535i. When this 533i popped up, I was almost certain we’d seen it before; it was a near clone of a car we looked at back in 2012, but it’s not the same car. Is this a good potential candidate to express your E28 love, then?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 BMW 533i on eBay

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Euro-looker: 1987 BMW 535is

When people think “E28”, they immediately think “M5” – those two combinations of letters and numbers are both magical and intertwined in the history of performance sedans. Indeed, like the original GTi defined the hot hatch segment and has always been at the forefront since, the M5 has similarly defined fast executive sedans. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret – 20 years on, it’s pretty expensive to own and run the S38 motor in the M5. There is no doubt it’s a screamer, but for most people, a warmed over 535is is probably a better option; they look nearly identical to the M5, they get better fuel mileage, around town they’re practically as fast as the M5, and critically they’re usually had in good condition for less than half the asking price of the M5 and are cheaper to run, to boot. On top of that, you could get them in colors other than black – not something everyone wants, but for those not really into the Model T scene it’s a welcome addition. Today’s 535 is a excellent case in point; looking quite catching in red with Euro bits complementing the original shape of the E28 and with a very inviting looking black sport interior, this 1987 535is sure is a looker:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 BMW 535is on eBay

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1988 BMW 535is

$_57 (6)

As I find myself knee deep in an expensive bout of repairs for my E28 M5, I’m reminded of the appeal in the flexibility and relative ease of replacement/improvement with the 535is. While I feel beholden (and am often required) to buy M5-specific parts, if it were a 535 it’s much easier to rationalize replacement seats in a new color, or using repairs as an opportunity for some OEM+ modification. The description of today’s 535is leaves some details to be desired, it appears to be a good-looking E28 that could be the basis for a beautiful car.

Click here for details: 1988 BMW 535is on eBay

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