Asked by Nov 09, 2008 at 11:29 PM about the 1999 BMW 5 Series 530i

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

Differences between 3 series and 5 series?  Which is best to buy used??

3 Answers


3-Series BMWs are smaller, sportier, and are cheaper to maintain. They come in 2 and 4 door and, unlike the 5-series, have convertible models. If you're buying a Bimmer used and are looking for a manual transmission, it's a bit easier to find one in the 3-Series category. As the Fiver is the more luxurious, it's owners tend to lean toward an automatic transmission. Cargo room and leg room are better in the 5-Series, which will generally be more comfortable for passengers. This would be the one to get if you're looking for a family car. If, however, you want more driving pleasure and less luxury, aim for the 3. It's smaller, lighter body is more fun to drive and, again, is easier to find in manual. The Kelly Blue Book Value of a '99 5-Series is around $12-14,000. A '99 3-Series will be around $8-10,000. Pricing is usually determined by the miles on the car and it's overall condition. When it comes to making a decision between the two, it just depends on what better suits your needs and wants. The '99 530i also comes in a wagon...A plus for space and a minus for fun. I think around 2000-2001, BMW started putting navigation systems in their 5-Series. You can't find this in a 3 until really recently. As far as which is best to buy used...5-Series are much more expensive to maintain...Especially recent ones that might not be under warranty. It would be best to find a low mileage 530i if that turns out to be your choice and you don't have much in your "automobile repair fund." Personally, I'd go for a 3-Series, but that's just based on my needs and wants. One last thing to consider would be that I think that insurance for the 5 would be more than for the 3...Maybe not by too much, but it's still something to look into. That's really all I can think of right now. If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

it really depends on what you want in your car. there loads of 3 series about wich is good for finding a bargain. but offers less exclusivity. and 3s are a really common sight on the roads. 3s are smaller, less boot space , but more nimble than the 5 , tho not by much. and a little cheaper to run and live with as there loads about, but in my oppinion, after owning a e36 320i e46 325i e39 530 also e39 m5. i prefer the e36 for driving plaesure there very rore. e46 toned down from e36 . e39 feel front heavy but with sport suspension there very good , m5 a real blast but fuel economy is the issue so it only gets used on weekend and nice sunny days. e39 is more luxery if you do loads of miles get a 5 series as it can drive it self. 5s have more toys and higher spec standard,more comftable, much classy looking, good road presence, mean and moody.its very swift and pratical, quiter inside less road noise and the e39 was rated one of the best cars for 7 years straight . but after owning 3 series then went to the 5 series i fell in love with the 5 . in a nut shell if you want a fast bmw to race round the streets in get a 3 series. if you want a fast luxery car get a 5. if you have a family get a 5. inshurace costs on both cars bout same depending on spec of car. i prefer the 5 series as it a classy luxery car. yet can blow most other cars away and can miss behave wen wanted. 3 series very good but there so common there booring and lack exclusivity. but wen it comes to buying you will find a 3 series you want to your spec list. 5s much harder as there not as many so finding a bargain is less likley. but i would test drive em both see wich you prefer , as it personal prefernce .

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have had my e39 528i with shadow trim M-tech suspension 17 in. deep dish basket wheels for a long time and other than the oxygen sensor problem from time to time it's perfect. It also is a 5-speed manual with Dinnan soft wear. 25 city 35 hwy mpg (75 mph on the hwy) I have had M3,325is,525i. At present besides the 528i I have a 2008 6 cyl. coupe and a M235i. All were great but there is something about that E-39. Steve

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