BMW 5 Series E60, a model that is as much contested as it is loved by wide-necks-short-foreheads, as well as by businessmen or the top management of the corporate world. One of the most controversial BMWs in recent history, enters the Almost Car Reviews septic tank.

There were and still are many reasons to buy an BMW 5 Series E60. Launched in 2003 to retire the legendary BMW E39, the BMW 5 Series E60 came with a design as sporty as Boris Johnson, but as capable as Vinnie Jones. The BMW 5 Series E60 remains a middle-segment limousine, but also capable of sports. This attracted both people with legitimate ways to make alot of money and people who chose other paths in life in order to get money. In fact, the BMW 5 Series E60, along with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne were the official cars of the economic crisis of 2008. Douchebags flocked to these cars before the crisis, having money obtained through various, more or less legal methods. In fact, the BMW 5 Series E60 was so popular that BMW in the balkans used to insert a CD with Mahala Rai Banda or whatever was popular to in 2007, and then the CD was glued inside the radio so that you could listen on repeat without needing to push any buttons or do any sort of effort. Now that’s what I call listening to the client’s voice.

It’s hard to find a car that has attracted such a different clientele. From various dubious people who have as many knives as tattoos, to very strong and fiscally clean businessmen. I personally know a businessman, a millionaire in euros, who bought a new BMW E60 530i when it got launched. The BMW 5 Series E60 was indeed a status car, and it could still move as expected from an BMW (except for the 520d version).

BMW 5 Series E60 Engines

Petrol

  • 520i of 155 and 170 horsepower – An altogether robust engine, but suffering from the general problem of this generation engines. Pay attention instead to the fact that, despite the nomenclature, the engine has 2171 cc so you will pay more in taxes than for an microscopical 2 litre powerplant.
  • 523i of 177 and 190 horsepower – Code names N52 and N53, remember these two engine codes. Or rather, just forget them.
  • 525i of 192 and 218 horsepower  – The 192 horsepower version is codenamed M54 and is carried over from the BMW E39. An excellent engine, unlike the 218 horsepower N52 piece of @$!%.
  • 528i of 230 horsepower  – The new N52 is ready to kick the testicles of reliability and the bank account of the person uninspired enough to buy such a mechanical abortion worthy of the questionable intelligence late night shows. Back in my days, after 11 at night, only girls in really thin clothes were broadcasted on television, advertising telephone numbers that promised you strong sensations. Now I have to look at Midsommer Murders instead.
  • 530i of 258 and 272 horsepower – A spectacular engine, where the specific issues don’t even matter anymore. How much maintenance costs and how much it fuel it chuggs down, these questions fall under the “negligible” section, in comparison to what sort of cash you need to keep this thing running.
  • 535i of 306 horsepower – The very first BMW engine to have a turbo and run on petrol, the N54 engine has serious issues with the high-pressure fuel pump and the turbo.
  • 540i of 306 horsepower – The N62 code-named V8 suffers from the same usual problems that plague BMW petrol engines, and as a bonus it also receives coil packs as durable as 7th-grade relationships.
  • 540i of 333 horsepower – Down from motoring heaven itself, the legendary 4.4 V8 from BMW also reached the BMW 5 Series E60 propelling the sedan to the next dimension. It’s basically an enlarged 540i, so you have the same problems, higher costs and a serious jump in performance.
  • 550i of 367 horsepower – Final hurrah for the N62 engine. Comes with 4799 cubic centimeters of fun and specific issues are no longer relevant in this stratosphere of engines.
  • 5.0 V10 “M5” 507 horsepower – Bolted exclusively on the M5, the legendary S85 deserves its own article. An explosive engine, literally.

Diesel

  • 520d of 163 and 177 horsepower  – The 163 horsepower, codenamed M47, unit is taken from the BMW E39 and is an old but decent engine. But the post-2007 version, codenamed N47, is as good an idea as when you go into the bathroom, lock the door, throw the key in the toilet, and then flush.
  • 525d of 177 and 197 horsepower – No rest for the dead and neither for the old. As such, the legendary M57 is present once again on duty. Fortunately, the old and reliable M57 saves the BMW E60’s honor when it comes to high-capacity diesel engines.
  • 530d of 231 and 235 horsepower – Same good ol’ M57, in the 3 liter version guise. An engine as expensive as it is fun. Very reliable instead.
  • 535d of 272 and 286 horsepower – Even if it says 535d, the engine is still 3-liter unit. In fact, it’s the same M57TUD30 (Motorren 57 Technical Update Diesel 3.0), stretched to it’s upper power limit. A fantastic engine, for those who can afford it.

BMW 5 Series E60 General Issues

  • Attention to all petrol engines that have code N: N43, N46, N52, N53, N54 and N62 and N47 diesel have the following problems: Serious issues with the coil packs (for petrol ones), serious issues with the timing chain tensioner that jumps around and slaps your engine with the same speed with which a Mexican mother slaps her children. Moreover, the timing has been moved at the back of engine so to replace it you will have to remove the engine and you do not want to know how much it costs.
  • Furthermore, the engines mentioned above also suffer from huge oil consumption. This happens for 2 reasons: BMW used seals bought on aliexpress, seals that fail and the engine spills oil everywhere. The seals are cheap to buy but expensive to replace. The second cause is the construction of engines, which need oil specially approved by BMW. If an oil that is not on the official list approved by BMW is used, you will encounter all the issues listed above. Ah yes, I forgot: the injectors are equally affected, so do your best to use only oil officially approved by BMW.
  • For the old M47 and M57 diesel engines, the age old issue of swirl flaps remained. The swirl flaps come off and fall into the intake manifold, irreparably destroying the engine. The solutions are either to completely remove the flaps, or to replace them regularly.
  • The iDrive system has a habit of making bad decisions and resigning like a corporate woman who realized that there is more to life than Microsoft Excel, Skype and Concur.
  • Good ol’ classic issue of display pixelation lives on in the BMW E60. What to do about it, you have nothing to do about it. You can wait, you can think, you can roll, you can replace the display, you do 1 kilometer by car, you consume 2 liters of oil, you solve an equation, you do a survey… you don’t! You have nothing to do in this situation!
  • The BMW 5 Series E60 is part of the first generation of BMWs that came out with factory-fitted run-flat tires. Run-flat tires have an additional foam that allows the tires to be usable even after a puncture, with sufficient range to allow you to reach the nearest tire shop. A good idea in practice, but which cuts off points of comfort and sportiness. Make sure you’re okay with run-flat tires and road manners.
  • The automatic transmission was presented as “Sealed for life” and without the need for maintenance. However, if you do not want the car to have a life span identical to that of the gearbox, change the oil every 60,000km.

BMW 5 Series E60 Verdict

BMW 5 Series E60 – the official car of the shady people who are now getting into their first serious money. The BMW E60 remains a middle child in the 5 Series family, which will not remain in our memory like the BMW E39. Like the BMW E90, the BMW E60 marks the transition from mechanical to digital. A car that looks spectacular even today. Even though it was launched in 2003, it still looks fresh. I like the BMW 5 Series E60. It’s just that when I see a black BMW E60 with tinted windows, I don’t ask myself if it has a sword in the trunk, I just ask myself how many swords it has in the trunk.