Used cars

BMW 5 Series E60 Used Car Review

We are looking at the possibility of a used E60 diesel which has taken a huge depreciation in the market this past year, for the simple reason that there are too many units of the E60 petrol in the market and there are many buyers who worry about diesel maintenance.

BMW E60 5 Series_2004

With leading design cues and a technology filled interior, this E60 BMW 5 Series continues to be 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, some 3rd and 4th hand buyers have been hit with high repair bills and even worse unidentifiable electronic issues.

Used Diesel Power

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 which only really became better a few years ago.

BMW E60 5 Series_2004 engine

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.

BMW E60 5 Series_2004 instruments

These cars then fell into the used car market and even when EURO2M diesel came into the market, the BMW diesel injectors did not last and this alone at the time could cost the owner a hefty RM7,000 to RM9,000 to change. Today, we have had quality Euro5 Diesel in Malaysia, thanks to BHPetrol at all their 110 stations nationwide.

BMW E60 5 Series_2004 nose

On the road all versions, including the diesel E60 BMW 5-series stakes a strong claim to being the ultimate driving machine. With cabin noise 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 were many reconditioned units imported in from United Kingdom and also Japan. Many arrived with little mileage on them and at the time 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 of these E60 diesel powered BMWs have been rectified at local workshops over the years by previous owners 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.

Best to test drive and check the squeaks and rattles with a rough and bumpy road, which is available all over Klang Valley.

What To Look Out For

Well, the good news is the E60 did not come with rust issues like with the E39. Check the steering and suspension arms for wear and do not worry about parts, plenty available. The gearbox is a ZF supplied unit and this ZF 6HP gearbox is relatively reliable (unless the previous owners abused it). Check for oil leaks and after purchase just change the gearbox oil and all other lubricants to be sure. Always use the correct manufacturer specified lubricants.

BMW E60 5 Series_2004 classifieds

Initially this E60 came with numerous electronic issues. The previous owner would have addressed all the issues over the past 16 years but will not harm to get your trusted mechanic to check if all working well and make sure some troubled warning lights have not been unplugged to secure the sale. Yes, some dealers will unplug the warning lights from under the dash so that you will see a clean instrument cluster.

Make sure the original stereo is still in use as aftermarket units have been known to cause electric issues by unprofessional ICE installers.

How Much To Pay

Prices for an early locally assembled 520i model starts from RM28,000. An imported 520i with more specifications will cost RM32,000. A 525i Sport some RM35,000, the all admired M5 loses value to a low RM70,000 today and the best of the lot the fully imported BMW E60 530 diesel, can be yours for just RM29,000 (even before you start bargaining). With 218 horsepower at 4,000rpm and available 500Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, this performance diesel powered sedan will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.1 seconds and it has all the luxury appointments you need.

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