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Produced from 1997-2003, the E39 5 Series is one of the most successful and lauded model series in BMW's history. The awards the E39 has won over its seven-year run include four AutoWeek "America's Best" awards, seven "Most Wanted" awards, six Car and Driver 10Best awards, and a total of twelve Automobile Magazine All-Star awards. In its last full calendar year of sales, the 5 Series set an all-time sales record of nearly 41,000 units in the U.S.

BMW's 5 Series' innovative lightweight chassis set new standards for ride, comfort and handling. Most parts are made from aluminum, giving precise and responsive handling for more rewarding driving. Additional innovations include ASC+T, on-board diagnostics, and the option of an on-board monitor with TV, navigation system and computer.

The E39 was BMW's successor to the E34 five series. The car was introduced in 1996 but was out almost a year later in the USA and mainland Europe.

The E39 is more streamlined than the E34. The E39 is only slightly heavier than the E34 due to aluminum suspension components. The E39 was introduced as a four door coupe, with the touring model appearing a year later. Unlike the E34, there is no four wheel drive model.

The E39 diesels (not available in the USA) use the same proven engine as the E34. The new direct injection 530d is a very powerful engine. The E38 730d has the same M57 engine but produces slightly more torque.

BMW E39 cupholder
E39 Cupholder

The six cylinder cars use rack and pinion steering, while the V8's use a re-circulating ball system. The six cylinder cars handle better than the V8's due to the steering differences and lighter weight. All models have about a 50/50 weight distribution, although the V8s are heavier in the front.

The M5 has 400 hp and does 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. The car is available with a manual six speed gearbox. The M5 is the first M car to have traction control.



BMW Sites

Click on these links to go to BMW factory sites to experience the new 5 series Sedan, Touring, M5 and other models!

BMW Canada. Features the 528 and 540 models, Sedan and Touring.

BMW Mexico. Features the 528iA and 540iA Berlina models. In Spanish.

BMW Brazil. Has a 540i Protection model. In Portuguese. 

BMW Ireland. Showcases the 520i, 520iA, 523i, 523iA, 528i, 528iA, 535i, 535iA, 540i, 540iA, 530d, and 530dA models.

BMW Norway. Showcases the 520d, 520i, 520iA, 523i, 523iA, 525d, 525dA, 528i, 528iA, 530d, 530dA, 535iA, 540iA, and M5 models. Has data on all models. In Norwegian.

BMW UK. Covers all models. Has specifications and equipment lists. M5 is on a separate page.

BMW Taiwan. Lists awards and highlights technical features. In Chinese.



Featured Sites

5 Generations of BMW 5 Series cars.

The E39 Garage is all about making your 5-Series BMW faster in all directions. Has a Dinan modified 540iA. 

BMW 540i 6 speed sport has specs, reviews, photos and links. 

Tim's 540i has pictures, links, and upgrade info. Watch a cool slide show! 

Ultimate BMW 540i has Dinan mods, pictures, and links. 

The E39 Forum exists to provide all 1996-current BMW E39 5-series owners and enthusiasts an open forum to discuss this series of BMWs.

A/D/S Audio presents three different upgrades for the the sound on your BMW E39 5 Series.

Boston M3's 540 has a full AC Schnitzer Body Kit and wheels.

RacerX's 540 has a page of 540 pictures.

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