The E39 continued and expanded the 5-series wagon’s popularity by bringing bigger wheels, more power and updated looks to the mid-range Audi-challenger. Like the first generation, these were only available in rear-wheel drive in the U.S., so matching the all-wheel drive variants available from…well, everyone else, required a very good looking and potent package. BMW pulled that off, with the Sport versions of both the 528i and 540i wagons thoroughly encapsulating the ethos of the great Euro five doors.
But there was a catch.
If you wanted a manual gearbox, you had to select the lower output 528i model. For all its shouty V8-ness, the 282 horsepower 4.4 liter M62-equipped 540i only came with BMW’s Steptronic if you needed to haul ass and a family. Still, they’re highly sought packages and this has to be one of the nicer examples left out in the wild, or so it would seem at first glance:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 540i Sport Wagon on eBay
Model: 540i Sport Wagon
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 29,200 mi
Location: Hollywood, Florida
Price: $24,500 Buy It Now
2001 BMW 540i E-39 E39 touring 5-series wagon 540ia with only 29K miles! not a misprint! only 29,232 miles from new! super color combo, 2 sets of keys and all the books, Xenon headlights, Custom suede headliner, DINAN exhaust system, self-leveling rear suspension and the list go’s on and on NO accidents or paint work. $24,500 gets to drive her home
So this one looks great in Topaz Blue Metallic over Sand Beige leather, and it’s got the standard assortment of options you’d expect in a luxury wagon. It doesn’t have the Sport Package, but that could be overcome by the rest in the right situation. Mileage is incredibly low at under 30k, and from a glance, it looks to be in great condition. What’s the catch? It’s history. This car was declared a flood victim in 2014, and it was subsequently rebuilt. Now, the E39 is not like the following generations of BMWs in terms of electric complexity; but they are known to rust a lot more. So between electrical and potential rust issues, this one’s got some big warning signs.
That makes the $24,500 asking price pretty laughable. Who would pay that for a branded title E39? Sure, it looks nice, boy does it seem overpriced for the history. Truth told, the 540i isn’t my dream wagon either, so I definitely would not pay double the bidding on yesterday’s Euro S6 Avant for an automatic 540i. Perhaps if this had been redone with an S62, a 6-speed, and M5 bits one could overlook the flood history. But without? I think this one will be floating around the internet for a while longer.