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Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by paulie_b, Feb 10, 2004.
Anyone out there own one of the new 2004 BMW 5 series? If so, what are your thoughts.
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I drove the 545 with 6sp manual. The car is really nice. The active steering takes some time to get used to, but the active suspension is great. It has plenty of power, but the clutch is a bit light for my liking. I only wish the car was better looking.
Thanks Paul. I drove a 530 automatic and liked it. That is what I would consider. Still trying to like the physical look of the car.
The new 5 series looks fine to me....but if you like the older ones, why not just find a nice 2003 540ia M-sport? It is a bit faster than the new 530ia.
Mine is a 2001 Canadian model, but they offered the exact same car in the USA in 2003, the only difference is the USA model has 18" wheels versus the 17" on my car.
dave nice car!
can you just go up to canada and buy a car, and register it in the usa?
there are rules (speedo swap and a couple of others) but Used cars can transit back and forth pretty freely (Check NAFTA)
Thanks. I was just curious why dave got the 540 in canada and registered in WA..instead of buying it in WA in the first place.
And if there were any up or downsides to what he did.
anyone with a 2004 5 series? I am tossed between the BMW or the Mercedes E class 320/500.
It's an ugly car 'till the M5 comes out.
Klint, what will be the differences in appearance?
My brother just went through the decision making process you are. He is a dedicated MB fan, and has two already. After carefully considering another MB, he ended up liking the new 530ia better.
Buying a recent production car in Canada and bringing it into the States is not as complicated as one would think. I did this exercise because the only way to find a 540ia with the M-sport (M5 bodywork) package, was to buy a new 2003.
The following applies to more recently manufactured cars; older cars, or something not generally available in the States, would require the assistance of a "registered importer". Newer cars you can DIY:
All that is required to bring the car in, is a letter from the manufacturer stating the car meets USA EPA and DOT regs (BMW Canada was very helpful in the process)(I have been told that most manufacturers will do this on a car less than 10 years old, and said car is generally available in the USA, and basically the same car). The letter may (or may not) state that the speedo needs to be changed. BMW in their infinite wisdom, do NOT put mph in smaller lettering below the kph, so I had to go for the full USA speedo swap at the local dealer in Vancouver, BC ($850 usd)(if it did read mph (even in the smaller script) then the swap is NOT required, even though the mileage will be recorded in kilometers. If you resell the car, then you MUST convert the speedo (by federal law), though I imagine most cars never are. Then you drive to the US border, go to Canada Customs first and get your sales receipt stamped (that the car is leaving the country) so you can get the federal GST tax rebated back (you mail in the request), I also got the receipt stamped for the speedo conversion. (BTW, yes, the dealer converts the original kilometers over to miles, so you do NOT start at zero). At US Customs, they will verify the speedometer compliance (I hear some customs guys will not check, mine did, just luck of the draw), then review your reciepts and figure out your duties owed. Remember, if you stay 48 hours in the country, then you qualify for an $800 exemption off the value of the car.
Neat thing about the gov't run auto insurance program in British Columbia(ICBC): you can go on-line and for a small fee, run the VIN on a car and get the entire claims history on a car.
The four year factory warranty and roadside assistance program is fully transferable to the USA. You just make a phone call to BMW North America and fax them your registration. I recently made a claim when the radio started having poor reception on the AM band, and the local dealer in Seattle handled it without incident.
The three year free maintanence agreement does NOT transfer. It is still valid in Canada though, so I will time the next free service with a trip up there.
Bottom line, I probably spent a couple thousand more than if I bought a similarly equipped and mileage car in the States(the exchange rate really sucks). If I had timed this a year and a half earlier, then I would have saved big, as the exchange rate was much better. The big difference is the cosmetics, which was important to me.
Email me if you want more info. email@example.com
PS. the link provided by Writerguy is not very useful (mistake maybe?) The one I found pretty helpful (but still a bit confusing) is this: http://www.bmwworld.com/bmw/importing.htm
The information listed here is mostly correct, but a bit daunting, as it is NOT as difficult as they make it out to be. Also, they stated that the USA arm of BMW provides the letter of compliance (BMW NA), I found out that BMW Canada, must do it. A "google" search will probably find you many more web links to useful information.
Paulie, (the name reminds me of Pualie from the sopranos)
The usual ///M Trademarks will appear on the E60, such as the oval mirrors, quad exhaust pipes, bigger and nicer wheels, with sharper, more focused bumpers and side sills. Don't forget that 550bhp V10 engine with 50:50 weight distribution.
"It's an ugly car 'till the M5 comes out. "
Anything other than a M5 as a 5-series isn't right.