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Get out the beer steins and lederhosen: the Bavarians are celebrating! Yesterday the 5,000,000th BMW 5-Series rolled off the production line at its factory in Dingolfing (yes, Dingolfing) less than an hour's blitz down the autobahn from Munich. The original E12 5-Series was launched in 1972 with a design penned by Marcello Gandini and was inspired by the BMW Garmisch 2002ti, which Bertone unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Auto Show. The top-of-the-line model then was the M535i, powered by a 3.5-liter six producing 218hp. Five generations later, the E60 M5 produces more than twice that from its 5-liter V10, while versions of the 5-Series are available in Touring wagon bodystyle, with diesel engines and with all-wheel-drive.

The five millionth car, pictured above, is an oil-burning 530d sedan in Carbon Black Metallic (though it looks very blue in the picture).

[Source: BMW via Carscoop]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      FThorn, exactly.

      The first thing I thought was 'there are that many people that can afford a car like this?'
      • 7 Years Ago
      As an owner of two E39 5-Series (a 528iT and an M5) I personally feel that they're the best cars in their segment. I love my Touring as a daily driver and stuff-hauler, and the M5 is just unparalleled as a super-sedan. Yes, they have their issues as some other posters have kindly pointed out above, but the feedback and feeling they communicate to the driver are second to none in the 4-door sedan category.

      One problem not mentioned above is the often-broken climate control panel buttons used in the E39 5-Series as well as the E53 (1999-2006) X5. BMW only sells them as a set, which doesn't make sense since just a few of them will generally break. I had this problem on my Touring and started a little business to help other 5er and X5 owners get the replacement buttons they need without going to BMW for the whole $100+ set of buttons.

      The actual site should be up soon...

      Semi-gratuitous link:

        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh yea, I forgot about the falling off climate control buttons. Had that problem as well. And the center vents broke. The power steering pump had a nasty leak too but I fixed that with a $2 hose clamp from Pep Boys. The dealer wanted about $500. That BMW was about like trying to keep a 70's era Chevy on the road - constant problems and constant repairs. I'm sure there are more, just too many problems to remember them all. In contrast I also had a 2001 Suburban and the reliability and durability of that ran circles around my crummy BMW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "beer steins"----> what does that mean?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I own my second 5-series (E34 and E39), but bought them both used at 10 years old. That may sound old, but on a well maintained car and one of this quality, it's a heck of a bargain.

      I'd spend a quarter of the price of a new Camry for a 10 year old 5-series any day. And I highly recommend it!
        • 7 Years Ago
        I've bought 2 'bimmers used and also have nothing but good things to say. They really hold up well long term.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're braver than I. I bought an e39 new in 2000 and it was OK (had the sport/premium pkg) but when it broke, which was all the time, man did it break expensive. Cracked A/C condenser, bad rear control arm bushings, blown abs module and a bad thermostat that took 2 weeks to replace, all by 65k miles. That thing ate brake pads like there was no tomorrow, the memory functions were schizophrenic, the auto temp control never could get it right and the stereo was shamed by what was standard on a Pontiac Sunfire. It drove pretty nice but after all that there was no way I'd EVER own one used and out of warranty.
      • 7 Years Ago

      What an icon. In a couple of years many of the critics will realize how much of an impact the "F├╝nfer" had.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Obviously the older Bimmers were total tanks (e12, e21, e28, e30, e34 on the 3- and 5-series side). My '88 535is (alpine white, lots of circa 1996 bolt on mods) is humming along a-ok on the original motor at 230k miles, give or take 10k (admittedly, the odometer is busted).

      I dunno if you can say the same thing about the new ones...they're just sooooo much more complex that I can't imagine keeping them on the road is going to be easy when they're 20 years old. Even an e36 is a nightmare compared to older cars. Troubleshooting the electronics on a circa 2005+ 5- or 6-series is going to be a complete nightmare when all those tiny wires start to fray a couple decades from now. *shudders*
      • 7 Years Ago
      As a BMW enthusiast, that's probably the ugliest iteration of the 5 Series ever produced (and I actually like some of the Bangle cars), but I still give you props 5 Series, you are a german institution.
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