What is the Most Reliable BMW 5 Series You Can Buy? 5 Reliable BMWs

What is the Most Reliable BMW 5 Series You Can Buy? 5 Reliable BMWs

Welcome back everybody. It’s Mark with
Exotic Car Play Place. Thanks for coming back everybody, great to see you here, and today we’re gonna have another little treat for you
in a long series of reliable BMWs. You guys have been asking for the best cars
available on the used car market, well today we’re going to talk about the best,
most reliable 5 Series BMWs available today. The focus today is not the fastest
car, it’s not the cheapest car, it’s the most reliable BMW car. Now let’s get started. The first one happens to be the 2010 to
2011 f10, but it’s the 528i specifically, because if you go a year newer, all of a
sudden, BMW switched things up and they use the turbocharged four-cylinder motor,
but in these particular cars, in these two generation, in this generation those
2 years, still feature the inline 6 engine. This still features the n52 or
n53 inline 6, normally aspirated motor, depending on if you’re talking the
European version, or the Canadian/US version, they are very close in design.
The European version produces 255 horsepower at 229 pound-feet of torque,
while the Canadian or US market version produces 240 horsepower, with about 221
pound-feet of torque. Both engines either way create a very
lively driving experience, so performance isn’t necessarily something you’ve given
up, but these engines have a long record of reliability associated with them.
While they’re not flawless, they are a very, very sturdy design. The second most
reliable vehicle in the 5 Series models goes to the e39 525i. Now why is that
such a great car, well again we talk about it’s the good old fashioned inline
six, the two and a half litre inline-six engine that’s been known for its
reliability. This is actually the m54 b25 engine that has been around for a while and if I can make a recommendation, I would say stick with the 2001 to 2003 model years, because that car also went through the
lifecycle impulse, or the LCI updates, so it was a little bit updated in terms of
the overall styling. It was a prettier car, but it went through all the more
recent changes, but it still maintained that overall reliable two and a half
litre inline-six engine that produced 189 horsepower and a hundred and
eighty-one foot-pounds of torque, which was more than enough to light up your
day. It had a revised intake, used a fully electronic throttle with no mechanical
backup, an aluminum block, and aluminum heads, which was very important as these
cars developed, they become a little bit lighter, and a little bit more reliable,
it also had a 6,500 rpm red light, and the dual Vanos. Now the Vanos of course
variable valve timing creates a more drivable car through the rev range
because you’re varying the timing of the ca.rTthat would be the only part of the
engine that is a little bit more maintenance intensive, but again overall
this two and a half litre inline-six is a very very reliable machine. Now my
third choice goes to a little bit older car. It’s the e34 525 IX, and why is
this car so special? Well firstly, understand it is the two and a half
litre, inline-six engine, this one did not use the double vanos yet, but what’s
special is this car was produced in relatively low numbers, and around
the tune of under 10,000 cars for the year, but it was the first car and only
model in that five series that utilized all-wheel-drive, which was a great thing to have for those people that wanted the extra
traction for poor road conditions. Maybe living further in the north they found
this very, very practical, it wasn’t an intrusive setup, it wasn’t a particularly
unreliable setup, and overall if I can suggest the 92 to 96 model years for
this car is where you want to be. So this was the M50 b25 engine, so that’s B25 being the two and a half liters, but the m50 motor, which was in I
block single overhead cam engine, two and a half litre inline-six, that utilize
knock sensing plastic intake, with ten and a half to one compression ratio and
a 6,500 rpm redline. It was still able to muster up a hundred
and eighty nine horsepower and about a hundred and eighty pound feet of torque.
Now the fourth one on my selection or on my list happens to be the e39 540i now
who said every car that has to be reliable also has to be slow, and this is
a great example of that, because the 540 was built between 1995 and 2003, and
actually utilized the 4.4 liter v8 engine that produced 282 horsepower ,and
about 320 pound-feet of torque. Now if you coupled this with a manual
gearbox, you had a car that was very, very comparable to the m5 of the e39
generation, some of the other reliability concerns that you would have
with the m5, the 540, was a more practical version of an m5, and was how we say
de-tuned, possibly it was an entirely different engine, but it really it was
largely a performance car. That being said, other than typical things like
water pumps, and the oddly key item, you know it was actually a very reliable car.
Yeah now because they’re getting older, you’re gonna find more issues in the
suspension, and bushings, and struts, and water pumps, and leaky valve cover
gaskets, pretty routine stuff, typical BMW, but overall for a performance car,
it was very reliable. Now you have to understand some of these e39 cars were
built in Germany, some were built in Russia, and some were built in Mexico, so
take that for what it’s worth, but anyway, either way, my recommendation for number four is the 540i with a manual transmission. And so my fifth choice goes out to a 2007 E60 528i. While generally speaking the E60s
weren’t the most reliable generation of all the five series cars that BMW has
ever produced, the 528 brings back a touch of practicality as well as
reliability to the whole line. If you want reliability my recommendation is
stay away from the diesels, stay away from the m5, and even stay away from
anything of the larger V8s. or the 535, with the wonderful n54 motor,
that had a host of issues for reliability. Stay away from those. If you
want reliability, you like the Chris Bengal era, by the 528i,
it was very straightforward engine that produced 240 horsepower and about 230
pound feet of torque. Of course it was a normally aspirated inline 6, but it was
so far refined already, it was a great crisp performing engine with large
amounts of reliability still associated with it. Now understand the early
generations, the reason I would say go with the later the better 2007 to 2010
of the m-52 B30 engines, the reason I say go with the later stuff, is because
the earlier ones, there were some lifts or related issues in the engine due to
the head design in the engine. It basically had some lifts or problems and
you don’t want engine for issues of any sort. Outside of that, the later models of
this engine design we’re improved and overall this car, the 528i in the E60 was a very reliable late model BMW that you can enjoy and not have to worry
about a lot of issues along the way. So everybody, I really hope you enjoyed that
latest list, that is my top 5 rounding off of the most reliable 5 Series cars
that you can find on the used car market today. If in fact you realize that maybe
the 5 series isn’t for you, because of course some people like the smaller
sportier cars, of course I created videos for the most and least reliable 3
series cars available as well, but hey if you guys have any other ideas or any
other recommendations, love to hear it below in the comment section below.
Please share that with me, so all the other readers and Watchers can certainly
capitalize on some of those benefits. Thanks again everybody. I hope you
enjoyed that. We’ll talk to you real soon. See you then. Bye-bye.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. E39 are bulletproof if you do some preventive maintenance. Do a cooling system overhaul once it hits 100k and you'll have the car for many years. I have a 03 540 m sport, previous owner did cooling overhaul and timing chain guides before I purchased it at 105k. Had it for 5 years now and nothing gone wrong so far (except window regulators lol, which is a diy). Over 200k. Hard to let go of it cause it just never dies and still looks good and fun to drive.

  2. What about the 2004 545i? Really considering buying one. It wasn't on your unreliable or this video of 5 series BMW's. Don't want to regret getting it.

  3. I had a new 520 ise flat 6 in 1996. I didn't change it until 2016 when it needed new fuel lines. It was ultra reliable to the extent I expected it to fail at any time and it wouldn't. Never let me down over 270,000 miles

  4. Thanks for your video. I have a 2008 528i with just 57k miles on it. Recently, as preventive maintenance I got replace the Water Pump (Pierburg) and the Thermostat (Behr-Hella) and I love it! N52 probably is not the most MPG-friendly but definitely won't suffer carbon build up because they are NOT direct injection. I'd rather spend some more in gas at the pump and not more and the shop for carbon build up. Just to share my experience, recently my cooling fan failed Orange message on iDrive – Engine Hot followed by Red Message – Turn off engine. I got replace my cooling fan (300USD for the part plus + 150USD labor) and problem solved!

    Perfect engine, smooth driving, full confort.

    Keep up the good work man and thanks for your videos!

  5. 525i 98-2000 ? With miles around 100K I want to daily it but I’m unsure if I want to buy it due to the unknowing issues that I would have to pay someone to fix it thanks .

  6. 99' E39 528i with the m52tu seems to be a relatively reliable engine after vanos seals, guide rails, and regular maintenance

  7. Hi! I love the show and I watch it with great enthusiasm every time a new episode comes out. However, I would like to make a small correction regarding to what you said about the M50B25 engine. It is a 24V DOHC (even though it does not have VANOS on it). The SOHC is a 12V and is the M20B25. Even if you get mad at me for this comment, I still look forward to your next episode. 🙂

  8. I have an E39 525i MotorSport 2002…I love it…it has no sunroof or rear curtain…these two items seem to be some of the things that start to break after 10-15 years…mine is super reliable and around the city still gets 25-29 MPG and on the open road can get 35-39 MPG…not at all bad for a 15 year old car…

  9. Ive had my 2007 bmw 530xi for 3 years now the only two things ive had done to it was the alternator and new tires other then that its been crazy reliable.I avg 800kms a tank on the highway which is amazing. Let me know what you think about it. Great videos my friend keep up the good work!

  10. Not sure if I would recommend the E39 540i as one of the most reliable 5-series. It's true that earlier 540i (up to 9/98) were more robust than the later M62 cars (which received vanos). They still suffer from timing chain guide wear, lose oil pump bolts and cooling system related issues though, all that will prematurely lead to the risk of complete engine failure. I just bought a very early '96 540i 6-speed and the list of preemptive maintenance items is long. I'm also not sure why the E39 525i was mentioned. The pre-fl 528i (especially as single vanos up to 9/98) is superior in reliability (more robust single vanos, no disa valve, no oil burning problems so common with M54s) while giving slightly better real world performance. The 530i has an identical engine to the 525i with higher displacement and significantly better performance, while having exactly the same weaknesses the 525i has. Buy the cleanest manual 528i or 530i you can find, those are the most reliable ones I would recommend. To the diesel guys: Enjoy you high pressure fuel pump, injector and turbo failures.

  11. Would the 2011 f10 528i be A good first car? I really really want one, but reliability is A really big factor for me…

  12. Single over head cam? M50b25. You are wrong about that sir, not sure if you misspoke or you actually thought that but being you being a bimmer fan you should know just by looking at the engine that it is clearly dual over head cam. It’s practically an m54 just with no vanos

  13. 535d e60 is reliable as well, of course many parts will cost you more than 530d, but its definatly worth it.
    Nice car, have it for three years now
    540i was crap. Owned it for half year, but maybe I was unluckey with it. That day when I sold it, was one of my happiest days:D

  14. I have a 2003 BMW 530i with 203,000 that I've owned since it had 100,000. Normally do preventive maintenance and it shows on the car it drives like a champ. This is the most reliable car I have own and the best looking 5 series in my opinion.

  15. I love the video!
    I am 43 years old I loved my e28 and my e30. Now I can't find any. I have moved on to a 2000 e39 528iA. It's PERFECT for my 6'3" 220 pound body. It still feels comfortable like my e28 was! I love the car…the world just makes more sense when I am behind the wheel of my BMW.

  16. Any info on the m30's? I have a '90 535i with a m30b35. It has issues here and there but she seems like a rock solid motor

  17. Very helpful, thanks! I've been driving a 06 323i for about a year now, I'm ready to upgrade to either an 08 530i M sport or 550i. Are the V8 engines that problematic? These cars go for around the same price in New Zealand. It's hard to not go for the 362hp that comes with the V8 engine. Any advice would be great. Cheers!

  18. An e60 on this list? I see less of them on the roads then e46s even e36s maybe. I just assume all of them have broken engines

  19. Good video my FriendMy biggest dream ever is to own a mint E39 528i and even the E39 540i as Ive heard from numerous owners that they are the best. Your Video is once again top-notch. I just love your previews!!!!!!! Now due to  previous personal set-backs we have very limited cash flow which resulted in us driving the cheapest vehicle currently (Hyundai Getz 1.3 European spec). I know this is no Dr Phil show where we talk about our personal s%itt but anyway. I want to own anyone of the these models (E38 740, E39 528i or even E39 540i) (Manual or even Auto) WE NEVER GIVE UP ON ANY DREAM……………………..

  20. Mark,
    What do you think about buying a 2013 BMW 528ix 4cyl, turbo, with approx. 70K miles on it, if it checks out at the PPI ? Thanks.

  21. Yes Sir, no doubt…. my e39 540i manual 2000 is the top since the M5 is way too strong, runs like a baby and never let me down for nearly 20 years!!!

  22. With regard to the N52/N53: the N53 is basically the same peace of hardware, but it has a lot of weak spots, the high pressure fuel pump, the injectors and the NOX-sensor. None of these apply to the N52 engine. So the N52 engine has the same performance but none of the weak spots. On the other hand, the N52 is not available in LCI cars. This stupid situation made me to stay away from the E60/E61 (the V8s suck, too) and look for M62TU E39 BWMs.

  23. I have sold thousands of 5 series, so I have some experience and would have to disagree with you on "Stay away from the diesel" comment. In my experience over the years, here is what I have to say was the most reliable engine in the 3/5/6/7/x series – "The M57D30" the diesel workhorse, the one that took a beating but never quit! I even came across some e39's and e60's with the M57 with a million kms.

  24. I have a 2003 BMW 530i e60. 350,000km. Runs solid, very reliable. Just general maintenance and it’s perfect 👌

  25. So I need some advice from everyone. Soooo would a 2008 bmw 528i be reliable? Would it be better compared to a 525 or 535 or 550 from 2007-2010?

  26. I love my 2000 E39 528i Msport, it’s comfortable, handles very well, it’s almost perfectly balanced. It’s not the fastest car I own but it is the perfect daily driver, a great combination of fuel economy, enough power to do what you need on the highway or around town, it’s been very reliable and has that classic BMW look, it’s a keeper and I will be very sad when our time together comes to an end.

  27. Do you have something like this nut newer 5 series? I'm looking to get a 2016 535i but I'm not familiar with them

  28. Years ago I saw a 1997 E39 540i 6 speed, I wanted that car SOO bad but I was stuck financing my Mazda Protege 5 then. I regret not getting it.
    I also was discouraged from getting it because it's a BMW lol.

  29. I purchased a used 2010 e60 for my wife about 2 years ago after looking, pricing and researching the newer F10. I was impressed by the F10's power but after owning other turbo cars went for the more reliable but slower e60 N52. It is the last of a generation of I6 normally aspirated cars. It has been perfect. I sometimes miss the punch of the turbo but the reliably is unbeatable. Even being almost 10 years old it has style, performance and an unbeatable ride.

  30. Bmw E39 530D was manufactured by Aliens, that is why this car is best, you can pass all Europe (from London to Russia) on one single full tank. Thanks for your attencione, now you can back to your work.

  31. Scotty reckons theyre near all junk..but then again hes probably mangled near all the plastic parts tryin to pull em out!
    Scottys me Ero..I know… I know…"F–K

  32. Must admit my e36 318i and 2003 540i were fun and only the PCV went ..but no big deal really they were great cars those and any e36 e46 325i ..the traction control in my former 540i took over wierd! And saved me from spinning out of a wet roundabout..very amazed!

  33. What would you recommend me buying fr my daughter as her first car: a 2008 525XI or 535I or 528I? The problem I am having is the HP. The 528XI is 230HP and the others are 300HP.

  34. I have a 1998 528i single vanos. I was under the impression I hit the sweet spot with the most reliable year when it comes to E39s

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