how is on the snow
It's a front engine RWD, but it is balanced well. Depends on your driving style as to how well you will think it performs. Steep inclines and icy conditions are not a recipe for success, but driven with care, car could be used to get to & from mountain fun. In my experience, when the car begins to break adhesion, it is very predictable and controlled and the DSC is pretty good about keeping things together (not sure if the '97 you are looking at has DSC).
Just don't drive like a moron: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khk-CfwUeHs ;-)
I have the 530d m sport auto (2002) (dsc), drives like a dream, in the snow go steady and it'll get most places, it even has the 255 section rear tyres, which is wide for snow but still is perfectly driveable in the snow.
Looking for a Used 5 Series in your area?
CarGurus has 15,459 nationwide 5 Series listings starting at $2,495.
Search BMW 5 Series Questions
Are you a UK consumer? CarGurus now has a discussion forum in the UK.
BMW 5 Series Experts