A couple of weeks ago I wrote up aÂ 1995Â 530i.Â I notedÂ that despite classically handsome styling and a spot-on chassis, the E34Â 5-series has remained curiouslyÂ under appreciated, with the exception perhaps of the M5 variant. Â At the time, IÂ admitted that theÂ particular example I postedÂ (anÂ automatic with the relatively underpowered 3.0 V8) wasn’t exactly the best of the range. ThisÂ 525i probably offers a better all round package than the 530i, and is more likely to beÂ attractive to those looking for a cheap but dynamic daily driver.Â While it’s not in quite the sameÂ condition as that other car, this oneÂ arguably has a better engine and comes in a better color,Â with aÂ more competitive asking price. ItÂ also featuresÂ that all important thirdÂ pedal.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 BMW 525i on eBay
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 84,186 mi
Price: $4,500 or Make Offer
1994 BMW 5 Series 525i
*** 1994 BMW 525I SEDAN *** 5 SPEED MANUAL *** CLEAN CARFAX REPORT *** LEATHER INTERIOR *** POWER SUNROOF *** POWER LOCKS *** ALLOY WHEELS ***
The 525i is poweredÂ by BMW’s M50B25 engine, aÂ 2.5 liter, straight six unit making 189 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Â When specifiedÂ with theÂ manual gearbox, as it is here, the entry level E34Â is a peppy and fun car to drive. It’s not all that fast in a straight line, but does invite being driven eagerly around twists and bends, where it remains composed, spritely and willing. The M50 engine is highly regardedÂ for its long term reliability and thisÂ car carriesÂ theÂ M50B25TUÂ (“Technical Update”) version, which addedÂ VANOS, BMW’s variable valve timing system.Â I currently drive the same car butÂ with aÂ non-VANOS engine, and I’ll admit that in the lower rev ranges the motor can sometimes feel a little lazy; itÂ doesn’t really wake up until pushed. ButÂ when it does wake up, it’s a gem.Â So I assume that the variable valve timing onÂ thisÂ example,Â which helps to distribute torqueÂ more broadly across the rev band, isÂ aÂ welcome addition.
BlackÂ on black suits this car very well. The darkÂ interior, which looks nice and tidy on this one, makesÂ theÂ cabinÂ shrink around the driver, reinforcing the impression that you’reÂ drivingÂ aÂ sport sedan, not just a sedan with sporting pretensions. There’s not a lot of information in the ad, but aÂ VIN check reveals that this car is equipped with ASC (traction control), heated front seats and front passenger airbag, which are all nice features to have. The leather seats look like they are in good condition (as they should beÂ for a car that hasÂ covered only 84k miles) and the woodÂ trim on the dash and doors looks to be in good repair. Vinyl door cards, usually a weak spot as the glue weakens and they begin to unpeel, look okay in the pictures. Unfortunately,Â the front bumper shows some fairly sizable rock chips, a piece of the plastic grille near the kidneys appears to broken, and there is some discoloration on both sides of the car along the lower door sills. It’s hard to tell what this is from the photos, but itÂ could be evidence of rust, or a poorly performed paint job to cover it up. The moldings along the doorÂ sills trap moisture and debris, leading to rust along the bottom of the doors, a common problem on E34s.
These are not necessarily fatal flaws, but could well be grounds for negotiationÂ on the price. While the E34 may not turn out to be a collectible, ifÂ you manage to knock the seller down a bit at the very least you’ll walk away with a cheap, funÂ and rewarding little daily driver.