Hello all, first time poster here. I'm considering leasing a BMW-5 series
and was hoping to pick the brains of those of you who own one of these cars.
Anyone drove both the new 525i and 530i's? The 525i is really at the top of
my price range, but I'm curious if there's a major difference. In a
nutshell, would I not be happy with the 525i's performance?
Having never bought or haggled over a BMW before, I was curious how close to
sticker I would have to pay? I usually start at invoice and work from
there. I live in south Texas and we only have one dealer in town, so I may
have to drive a couple of hours for a better deal. I plan to finance the
lease through my bank and will do a pre-approval so I have some bargaining
power when I talk to the dealer.
Suggestions, comments, help??
There are several things you should know about the 5-series.
1) the 525i is not a particularly fast car - especially compared to a Camry
or Lexus ES330 or similar.
2) BMW will probably be dropping the new engines with the new
Valvetronic into the 5-series. You should wait for that, since the 2.5l is
actually a de-tuned 3.0l engine with 215hp (vs. the current 2.5l 180hp)
3) You will really notice a difference between any 2.5l and 3.0l engine.
4) The 530i has more standard equipment than the 525i.
Unfortunately, the 525i is the low model, and the invoice/msrp spread is
smaller so you won't be able to dicker too much. $1,000-2,000 off MSRP
is doable, perhaps more now with the soft car market. Choose a car
with enamel paint and leatherette to keep the car low-priced. Don't
buy the premium sound system - it's probably not worth it.
Reflecting on Floyd's cogent comments, is there a compelling reason not to
consider the 3 series? As there are major changes in the 2006 3 series
models, I would think that either a 2005 325i or 330i might turn out to be a
better choice for you.
I agree. Test drive a 2006 325i and 330i. Then drive a 525i. Ask yourself
which is better and is the 5-series higher price worth it (if any) the price
increase. Performance-wise, the 330i is all over the 525i. Also, later on
you may purchase it and could add things on to personalize it to your
I agree the stereo is not worth any upgrade from the dealer. Get the
standard radio and upgrade at a good stereo shop if you want more and are
willing to pay. Blauplunk make great upgrades.
-David in Sugar Land, TX
Upgrading in newer cars like this is much more difficult than the older cars
with standard DIN size radios. Beside the fact that you need a funky
plastic filler to fit the aftermarket radio, you'll also loose the steering
wheel controls. Also with all of the electronics in these cars, do you
really want to be cutting into any wires and potentially voiding the
As far as sound quality goes, you really need to listen to the upgraded
stereo in the new 3. Logic7 was created by Lexicon. Lexicon is primarily a
Pro audio company that makes the gear used in studios to record and master
music recordings. They happen to also make multi-thousand dollar home audio
gear. Most importantly, they have an actual engineering staff that has
years of research into acoustics and sound recording and reproduction. See
their website www.lexicon.com/logic7/index.asp for info and Dr David
Greisinger's (the primary creator of Logic7) website
http://www.world.std.com/%7Egriesngr/ for more info on sound recording and
multichannel reproduction than you ever wanted to know.
Basically, the L7 system in the new 3 is no Bose (no highs, no lows, it must
be Bose) upgrade that the other manufacturers try to rip you off with. It's
designed specifically for that car by an audio company with real credentials
and even an Emmy award. Make sure you give it a listen before writing it
Lexicon MC-1 home theater processor with L7 (among other toys)
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