The 540i M-Sport we posted this week posed some interesting questions in regards to the E39s available on the market. The 540i has a good engine and lots of choice bits, but the E39 M5 has the engine and even more choice performance parts. I asked why you wouldn’t just spend a little more to get the Big Daddy, and today we have an example of just how attainable the E39 M5 is these days. Originally owned by the CEO of the Tire Rack, this M5 has just about everything you’d want when looking for a used car – huge Autocheck score, not that many miles (but enough to bring the price down a little), well-informed owners, and overall great condition. Is it worth $16,500? In my eyes, hell yes.
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The E39 M5 gets all the press as the best E39, and often as the best M5 ever. Sitting in its shadows is the highly capable 540i. The M-sport came with 6 speeds, M Suspension, and the desirable Style 37 M-Parallels. Today’s has been further upgraded with an M5′s LSD and Dinan chip, helping to up performance levels a little more. Ideally this would be a less-expensive alternative to the king of all supersedans, but the price is dangerously close to decent E39 M5 money. Can the low mileage and choice add-ons make up for missing 100 horsepower and ///M cachet?
Click for more details: 2003 BMW 540i M-Sport on Southern California’s Craigslist
Want a M5? There aren’t many that don’t right now. And if the E39 wasn’t already appealing enough, pricing on them is quickly becoming more affordable for the everyday Joe. But for some folks, it’s still too much, and let’s be honest – while M5s are pretty special beasties there are plenty of them out there. So perhaps if today’s no reserve RS6 wasn’t enough to have you looking at the grass on the other side of the fence, then maybe this listing will be enough to peak your interest – the claimed development car for the Racing Dynamics R48, this early build 1997 540i is prime for the driving at a very easy to swallow pricetag and is certainly unique:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 540i 6-speed Racing Dynamics R48 on eBay
I think it’s safe to say that the E39 M5 might be viewed in the coming decades as a high water mark for BMW. This car had the right stuff. A powerful V8, tuned chassis and any transmission you wanted as long as it was a 6-speed manual. With the quest for fuel economy and ever tightening emissions standards, it seems a formula like this is endangered. For the power hungry, however, now is a great time to pick up one of these modern classics. Those on a quest for a like new example will be intrigued by this example for sale in Pennsylvania.
Click for more details: 2002 BMW M5 on Hemmings Motor News
In the world of five-door haulers, two of my favorites are the E34 and E39 5 series Tourings. If you didn’t go the Audi Quattro route, these were the estates for the sporting person, with available manual transmissions and smooth inline-6 and V8 powerplants. This 525i Touring for sale in Miami comes not only with a full service but the almighty third pedal, sure to grab the attention of parents out there who shy away from the thought of a minivan or SUV.