BMW's big selling executive saloon, the 5 series has been around since 1972 and is in its 6th incarnation. Engines are mostly straight 6s or V8s and the car has a reputation for being a great drivers car as well as BMW's most reliable car which is no mean feat.
Early generations are rarer now but the E34(1988-95) and E39(1996-2003) still appear to be plentiful and good value.
Our favourite generation is the early E60's (2003-2007) and a V8 550i example would make an impressive grand tourer, if you could afford the fuel bills of course. But if you are worried about fuel economy then there is always the impressive diesels to choose from.
We have below provided some power figures for the E60 range which includes the M5 though we aren't covering that model here.
See how many are left using our chart below.
540i 2005-2010 4,000 cc (240 cu in) V8 306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp)@6300, 390 N·m (288 lb·ft)@3500
545i 2003-2005 4,395 cc (268.2 cu in) V8 333 PS (245 kW; 328 hp)@6100, 450 N·m (332 lb·ft)@3600
550i 2005-2010 4,799 cc (292.9 cu in) V8 367 PS (270 kW; 362 hp)@6300, 490 N·m (361 lb·ft)@3400
M5 2005-2010 4,999 cc (305.1 cu in) V10 507 PS (373 kW; 500 hp)@7750, 520 N·m (384 lb·ft)@6100
530d 2003-2005 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) I6 turbo 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp)@4000, 500 N·m (369 lb·ft)@2000
530d 2007-2010 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) I6 turbo 235 PS (173 kW; 232 hp)@4000, 500 N·m (369 lb·ft)@1750-3000
535d 2007-2010 2,993 cc (182.6 cu in) I6 turbo twin turbo 286 PS (210 kW; 282 hp)@4400, 580 N·m (428 lb·ft)@1750-2250
Maximum # of Registrations = 228093
Latest # of Registrations = 228093
The BMW 535d, one of the first true diesel classics in my humble opinion. Of course everyone thinks of the M5 when talking about the classic status of any 5 series generation and obviously the E60 M5 is going to be a classic car, its the birth right of all M series BMW's after all!
But I decided to look at the rest of the range and immediately the 535d stands out, in fact its my favourite future classic and I'm not even sure if the future part of that tittle is correct (more on that in a minute), of course the 550i is an impressive bit of kit but somehow is slightly over shadowed by the M5, where as the 535d has a niche of its own.
Just take a look at the power figures opposite and you will see what I mean, you have to get into V8 petrol country before the BHP figures better that of the diesel and even the mighty M5 would lose out in the top trump stakes when it comes to torque. As for the 0-60 dash, well the M5 does it in 4.6 seconds and the 535d takes 6.3 though the measured 0-60 always favours revvy engines and in the real world I would expect the diesel to feel nearly as fast as the M5.
I am not going to more than touch on what these cars are like to drive as i'm sure anyone with a passing interest in cars will be aware of the high regard that all BMW's are held in for handling and general dynamics. All i would say is that the softer suspension of the 535d over the M5 would make it an easier car to live with.
Other reasons why the 535d should be a classic is it has the pedigree, motor sport heritage and general high status of the marquee. It also has innovation of design and styling with the introduce of things like the iDrive system that was the cause of bafflement for some many owners, and the flame surfacing styling that proved to be so controversial at the time but which I think most would agree, has aged very well. Also there is the technological innovation of the variable vain turbos giving it impressive power and torque.
On a last note and as I hinted at early, the 535d is actually quite rare and prices are reflecting that fact, so if finding a good one is proving to difficult or costly then the 530d is a much more achievable buy and only loses out to its bigger brother in its torque figures, so is well worth a look and I am sure will also be a collectable car before too long.