The Executive Decision

Found: Why Not Own Every Generation BMW 5-Series?


Later this year, the seventh generation of the BMW 5-Series will hit the road. As far as sedans go, the 5-Series has one of the best track records in terms of performance and looks, so consider us excited. To that end, and in the spirit of BMW releasing a few video reminiscing the Five’s family tree, a collection of excellently priced 5-series was in order. Take your pick; there’s one from each generation.

1979 E12 M535i

What we like: The 3.0 CSL and M1 may be the forefathers of the BMW M division, but the M535i is the car that made the German skunkworks what it is today. The M535i was the first sensible sedan infused with motorsport tech, becoming the originator of the packed “sports sedan” segment we know today. Plus, those M-Sport racing strips sit gorgeously on that beautiful Arktisblau-Metallic factory paint job.
From the seller: This is a German delivered E12 M535i. with the famous “M90” engine. A 3.5–liter with 218 Horsepower. A five-speed Dogleg gearbox and, of course, a 25 percent limited-slip diff. Sheer driving pleasure, guaranteed.

Mileage: 123,494
Location: Oldenzaal, Netherlands

1981 E28 528i

What we like: As high-mileage as it may be, this ’81 528i looks to be masterfully maintained by its one and only owner. For the most part, you could only dream of finding a 30-plus-year-old car in this condition.
From the seller: I bought it new from Rallye Motors in Glen Cove, New York. The sticker price was $24,000. I have had it since then, and it was always garaged and maintained to perfection.

Mileage: 300,000
Location: Greenwich, Connecticut

1994 E34 525i

What we like: The seller notes that the engine was completely replaced by BMW, under warranty, at 50,000 miles, and there are 94,000 miles on the current one. That said, for the most part, the E34 5-Series was actually considered one of the most reliable cars of its time.
From the seller: It has leather, moon roof, heated seats and automatic transmission. Has not been involved in any accidents. I have a title for the car free and clear. Also, I have documentation from NJ Motor Vehicles that this car never has to pass through inspection again in the state of New Jersey.

Mileage: 143,800
Location: Raritan, New Jersey

2000 E39 M5, Supercharged

What we like: This list has been kept relatively sane, so far, so a supercharged M5 wild chid felt necessary.
From the seller: This 2000 BMW M5 is a highly modified example with 42k miles that is powered by a supercharged 4.9–liter V8 paired to a six-speed manual transmission. The car is finished in Avus Blue over two-tone leather and was recently acquired by the selling dealer from the original owner, who reportedly invested over $100k between the purchase and build.

Mileage: 42,000
Location: Oyster Bay, New York

2006 E60 M5

What we like: The E60 generation is hands down the ugliest of the family (blame Chris Bangle), but stick a 500 horsepower, 5.0–liter V10 up front, and all is forgiven.
From the seller: This Beautiful 2006 BMW M5 is finished in Interlagos Blue and Silverstone Full Leather. This M5 has a powerful 5.0–liter V10 engine delivering 507 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.

Mileage: 76,317
Location: Chantilly, Virginia

2013 F10 535i M Sport

What we like: Yes, it has a rebuilt title, but based on the damage report, minor front-end damage and an airbag deployment seem to be the only reason and no real cause for concern.
From the seller: Has a rebuilt title due to a minor frond-end collision, and only the front bumper has been painted; everything else has original paint and no body panels have been replaced.

Mileage: 42,000
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota