recommendations for 5 series year / model - in UK

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I have just sold my 1995 E34 525TDS, and whilst it had a few problems which I sorted, I really liked the car. However, the replacement does not inspire confidence and so I am looking for
another 5 ? series and have the following wishlist. Diesel, Manual, reliable, age between 1997 and 2001 and a budget of around GBP 8K or a bit more if justified. I can do most work myself but do not have many "special" tools.
Can anyone point me to models to look for and those to avoid for ? whatever reasons ?
I guess it may/must be an E39, but don't know much model history / years to avoid / gadgets to go for etc..
Appreciate comments and suggestions
Thanks,
Nick
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E39 530d is well-regarded. Only significant weakness might be the plastic/aluminum radiator which can develop cracks in high-miles cars.
Not sure if diesel can be optioned with sport suspension, but it makes an already fine-handling machine even better. There are no "stay away from" options for the car., but the navigation system is notably inferior to that offered on Japanese luxury cars of the same era.
R / John

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John Carrier wrote:

You guys are lucky to get BMW diesels. If BMW ever offers it here in the US, I wouldn't hestitate to get one, especially if you can get it with the sport suspension. After all, once the cars gets kind of old, you can convert it to "bio-diesel" and drive around smelling like french fries (or are we still calling it "FREEDOM FRIES.")
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My neighbors car smells like won tons. I was behind a bus last week that smelled like curry.
If I'm not mistaken the lincoln diesels had bmw engines.
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John Carrier wrote:

You guys are lucky to get BMW diesels. If BMW ever offers it here in the US, I wouldn't hestitate to get one, especially if you can get it with the sport suspension. After all, once the cars gets kind of old, you can convert it to "bio-diesel" and drive around smelling like french fries (or are we still calling it "FREEDOM FRIES.")
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Can't you import them ?
Nick
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Nick wrote:

Not that I'm aware of. We have very strict emission laws, especially here in California. BMW would need to certify that a diesel engine meets all EPA/California emission requirement. BMW hasn't sold a diesel in the US since the E28 524td way back in 1986 or 87.
However, its my understanding that in either 2007 or 08, the US will be going to something called ultra clean diesel fuel and BMW is suppose to bring in the highly praised 535d.
One other thing, I would try to stay away from idrive and BMW navigation as soon as possible. In the US, only the E90 3 Series allows this option. I bet most people end up not getting either.
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OK - I thought the euro ones had to meet pretty tight laws nowadays as well though - but praps yours are tighter - however some of us Europeans have the ?misguided? opinion that the US seems to care less about emissions / fuel economy than the Europeans in their general lifestyle
Nick
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Nick wrote:

I think the problem is the disparity in the price of gas. In Europe, its my understanding that gasoline cost like $5-7 per gallon. In the US, people scream when it hits $3 per gallon or so. The difference in price appears to be taxes. You Europeans allow yourself to be taxed in this manner.
Further, California is stricter than any other state AND the federal government on emissions. For example, we were the first to require catalytic converters. Of course, we also have the most drivers.
For most Americans, when we think of diesel, there is this image of big, stinky diesel trucks/engines with tons of black smoke. With the new ultra clean diesel coming soon, that should change. Currently, the only diesel cars I can think of that are available in the US market are made by VW and Mercedes. Hopefully, this change in 2007 or 08. I'm looking forward to a 535d as possibly my next car.
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You guys in EU live in your own world. The fact of the matter is that the US has had stricter emissions requirements than EU for around 30 years, and our emissions laws have basically led the EU by 10 years during that period (exclusive of CO2.)
The emissions situation in the US is complicated *currently* by the fact that we haven't switched to low-sulfur diesel; that comes in next year and will allow PM/soot reduction to EU levels. However, NOx requirements that phase in next year are more stringent than EU standards: diesel autos have to meet the same NOx levels that gasoline autos meet.
FloydR
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Minor technical correction. The US has mandated and used low-sulfur diesel fuel for many years. The new, 2007 requirements are for "ultra-low sulfur" fuel.
Eisboch
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Don't different states have different requirements? And are pollutants measured as a percentage or absolute?
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wrote:

Current federal emission standards apply for every state. California has sometimes set emission standards that exceed those of the fed standards. For a few years some vehicles were known as "California" cars that were specifically built by the manufacturer to be sold there. Often they were (are) noted for having less engine performance and tend to be less desirable at resale to out of state buyers.
Eisboch
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Pollutants are an absolute measurement AFAIK .... so many parts per million for each type. At least that's what is printed on the emission test results after you have your vehicle inspected.
Eisboch
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wrote:

I keep thinking of things. The way it works in the US is that the federal government establishes the criteria for emission requirements and vehicle manufacturers must meet them in each model year in order to offer them for sale as new cars. The fed encourages each state to adopt the current criteria in their respective emission testing programs. Failure to do so by any state can cause that state to lose federal funding assistance for road repair and/or construction. Florida eliminated all vehicle inspections .... safety and emission.... a few years ago. I don't know what the rational was to do so.
Eisboch
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There are currently around 10 states signed up for the California emissions standards. All CA standards are stricter than the federal standards, which are at least as strict as EU standards. The diesel NOx requirement is a federal standard.
FloydR
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With America being so clean then, what's the problem with the Kyoto agreement ?
Serious question - I really would like to know......
Nick
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Nick wrote:

Ask the President....
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...and you'll get a blank stare, at best.
The person to ask is the Vice President...and I think we know who's been buttering his bread all these years....
/daytripper (only two more years of those two nitwits. thank god herself!)
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'Cause Kyoto is about CO2 emissions - and thirsty cars do nothing about this regardless of other emissions. Indeed, a 'cat' may actually increase CO2 emissions.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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