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Published on July 18th, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Used 2005 BMW 5 Series Review

When the fifth generation of the popular BMW 5 Series arrived in Malaysia just months after its global launch, the initial demand surge was thought to be just a ‘flash in the pan’ reaction, but for the last 5 years its demand has kept rising and even with a recent simplified facelift, buyers are still looking to buy one with no hesitation. With leading design cues and a technology filled interior, the E60 5 Series has also become a used car favorite for many upcoming executives on a tight budget. Not really knowing the pitfalls of this product in the used car market, 2nd and 3rd hand buyers have been hit with high repair bills and even worse unidentifiable electronic issues.

At launch BMW showrooms in Malaysia offered a 520i, 525i, 530i petrol versions and an impressive diesel the 530d. Sadly the high torque diesel was designed to sip a minimum Euro2 diesel and at launch time Malaysia only sold EURO1 diesel.

During its warranty period these cars had their diesel particle filters changed at every service interval but after the warranty period, owners were surprised at its servicing costs and saw increased diesel smog on acceleration and less power delivery over time.

These cars then fell into the used car market and today even with EURO2M diesel in the market, the BMW diesel injectors will not last and this alone can cost between RM7,000 and RM9,000 to change.

On the road the E60 BMW 5-series stakes a strong claim to being the ultimate driving machine. With cabin nois well suppressed and a supremely well-balanced chassis, it can make deceptively rapid progress, particularly on back roads.

There is a host of optional driver aids: adaptive headlights with xenon beams illuminate corners, the instrument display advises drivers of speed and onboard computer functions, while the adaptive steering system delivers perfect weight, dependent on speed. However used units need to have their electronic checked as they somewhat issue false warnings on the dashboard meter display which means constant returns to workshops for resetting.

There are many reconditioned units coming in from United Kingdom and also Japan. Many have little mileage on them and these seem to be better buys than the local assembled versions. Reasons starts with the common issue of oil sludge build up in engines which result in stagnate cars that will only work to its best when engines are replaced which is a very expensive affair. Many have been rectified at local workshops with little long-term possibilities where owners keep returning for problem solving. So when looking to buy a unit, a complete service record is needed.

An independent report from a BMW specialist is also needed to avoid expensive repairs. Local units have interiors that start rattling earlier than imported units. Best to test drive and check the squeaks and rattles with a rough and bumpy road, which is available all over Klang Valley. Prices for an early locally assembled 520i model starts from RM140,000. An imported 520i with more specifications will cost RM165,000. A 525i Sport some RM195,000, the all admired M5 loses value to a low RM350,000 today and the best of the lot the 530 diesel, can be your for RM180,000. Even more surprising was the used value of a 2 year old locally assembled 520i which was asking just RM235,000 in the local classifieds which shows a RM75,000 plus depreciation in less than 2 years.

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