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  #51  
Old 06-26-2015, 03:16 PM
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They sound great!
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1996 e36 ///M3 Coupe 5 Speed
Cosmos Black over Black Nappa Leather

2008 e82 135i 6 Speed ///M Sport
Sedona Red over Black Boston Leather

2000 e39 528i Steptronic
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  #52  
Old 09-19-2015, 03:18 PM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #53  
Old 11-29-2015, 03:33 PM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #54  
Old 01-27-2016, 04:21 PM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #55  
Old 03-24-2016, 12:41 PM
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When do we get to appreciate your E39 again?
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  #56  
Old 03-25-2016, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikolaiD View Post
When do we get to appreciate your E39 again?
Hopefully for the April Cruise.
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #57  
Old 04-25-2016, 08:40 PM
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Why Top Gear’s greatest ever car was a 1,500 BMW banger



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The fourth-generation BMW 5-series was one of the company's greats

What’s the best car Clarkson, Hammond and May ever featured on their iteration of Top Gear? Go on, rack your brains. Have a ponder. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, perhaps, in which James May hit 259mph? One of the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari or Porsche 918 Spyder, the “holy trinity” of hybrid supercars, maybe?

Or perhaps it’s the Eagle Speedster, a car of which Clarkson said: “I have never ever driven a car that I have wanted more than this one.”
Nope, you’re wrong. The best car ever featured on Top Gear was none of these. In fact, the best car ever featured on Top Gear also happens to be the car I’d put forward as the best car ever made. In the world.





Even in entry-level form, the E39 was a delight

It’s an old BMW. Yes, of the type you used to see up your chuff on the M4 quite frequently, and yes, one which you can buy nowadays for banger money. To be precise, it’s the fourth-generation BMW 5-series; known to devotees by its model development code, E39, and produced between 1995 and 2003.

Clarkson drove one – a 528i Touring, to be exact – when he and his co-hosts trekked to find the source of the Nile. It was, of course, hopeless for the task – but despite the abuse levelled at it, the BMW made it to journey’s end, which is just what I’d expect given my experience of the model.


You see, I used to own a 528i myself – a saloon which I bought in 2011, with 120,000 miles on the clock and finished in a dubious shade of pale metallic green known by BMW as Glacier Green.
It had a difficult task on its hand when it arrived. A lifelong BMW sceptic, I’d been persuaded into buying one by some BMW-loving colleagues who’d touted its various merits and described the E39 as “the best car in the world”.






Alex's own 5-series, in which he covered 30,000 happy miles Credit: Tom Begley


Well, blow me down if they weren’t right. Even with its considerable mileage, my 528i still felt tight as a button. It was spacious, comfortable, fast, smooth, rode beautifully, handled deftly, and looked great. It even managed deeply respectable fuel economy, bettering a friend’s 1.6-litre Volkswagen Golf on a long run.

“When the model was launched in 1995, it was given a rapturous welcome by journalists and buyers alike”

I drove it everywhere. I put 30,000 miles on it in the two years I had it, and those miles included a trip across to Austria in the depths of January, shod with winter tyres. It crossed a mountain pass in a blizzard; the temperature outside was -20C, but the BMW pressed on without breaking stride, all the while warming our posteriors with its heated seats.





The M5 was the pinnacle of E39-dom


But it wasn’t just my 5-series that was a peach. Every model was a gem; even the entry-level 520i, also endowed with a creamy-smooth six-cylinder engine. Elsewhere in the range you could find the lusty 530d, one of the first truly desirable diesels; the throbbing, V8-powered 540i, and of course the rampant M5 super saloon, a car whose purity and balance have yet to be emulated by its successors.


“Little has come along since to challenge the E39’s unique blend of talents. As an all-rounder, it still stands at the top of the tree”


When the model was launched in 1995, it was given a rapturous welcome by journalists and buyers alike. Instantly, the Mercedes E-class was made to look wooden; the Jaguar XJ to look cramped and dated; the Audi A6 to look deeply humdrum.


Fast-forward to 2003, and the E39 was bowing out, supposedly overtaken by the newer, more advanced rivals that had come into being during its life. Yet even then, it was still winning group tests, beating the rivals that should have walked all over it almost without exception.
Indeed, the 5-series which replaced it was viewed by many – myself included – as inferior, endowed with cheaper-feeling plastics, more finicky styling and slightly blunted dynamics.






The 540i, meanwhile, provided effortless mile-munching ability


And little has come along since to challenge the E39’s unique blend of talents. As an all-rounder, it still stands at the top of the tree; an automotive high-water mark. It’s not as though we haven’t had some truly fantastic cars since then, of course, but in my estimation, none has quite ticked all the boxes so comprehensively, or been so many things to so many people.
Whether you want an economical diesel estate car, a smooth luxury saloon, or a tactile yet muscle-bound supercar, you’ll find one in the range. And the best news of all is that E39s – with the exception of the M5 and a few of the top-end models – are available for banger money.




Later models pioneered the use of LED lighting


Clarkson spent 1,500 on his, and as I write this, there’s low-mileage, late-model 525i in the classifieds for exactly that sum. A respectable early 523i, meanwhile, can be had for as little as 700. A better car for less money, you will not find.
It couldn’t quite hit 259mph, I’ll grant you, but the E39 5-series could pull off most of the other stunts Top Gear asked of its cars. The M5 could powerslide with the best of them, while a 540i with comfort seats would make light work of a cross-continental race. And if you wanted to deck out its interior with stone flooring and a wood-burning stove, well, it’d probably be OK with that too.
So yes, you can keep your Bugattis and Paganis, your Koenigseggs and your Ariels. For me, there’s only one car that can truly lay claim to having been the best car ever to feature on Top Gear – and it’s the E39 BMW 5-series.
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #58  
Old 06-02-2016, 10:18 AM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #59  
Old 06-22-2016, 01:14 PM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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  #60  
Old 11-17-2016, 11:32 AM
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"The fourth-generation (E39) 5-series and the V-8 powered M5 set a standard that may never be equaled, with handsome appointments and spot-on driving dynamics.
This generation earned Automobile Magazine All-Star awards every year from 1998 to 2003" - Automobile Magazine Feb 2012
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