Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get average or better mpg, have average or better reliability, good crash-test ratings, and our experts' recommendations.
By Rick Popely
January 4, 2000
Vehicle Overview A high-performance M5 sedan joins the 5 Series lineup, giving BMW a direct rival for the Mercedes-Benz E55, a muscle-car version of the E-Class sedan. The M5 returns to the United States after a seven-year hiatus.
Besides the M5, the 5 Series lineup includes the six-cylinder 528i and V-8 540i, both of which come as sedans and station wagons.
Exterior The M5's visual distinctions from other 5 Series sedans include a larger air scoop and oval fog lamps in the front air dam, four exhaust pipes at the rear and 18-inch tires mounted on wheels with a chrome satin finish.
At 188 inches overall, the 5 Series sedan is about an inch shorter than the E-Class and nearly 9 inches shorter than the Lexus LS400. All three have rear-wheel drive.
Interior All models come with front bucket seats with 10-way power adjustments, automatic climate control and a power tilt/telescopic steering column. Leather upholstery is standard on the 540i and M5 and optional on the 528i. A split, folding rear seatback is optional on all.
Under the Hood The M5 comes with a 400-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission only. To help owners manage all that power, BMW throws in a free driver-training course at its new Performance Center next to the Spartanburg, S.C., plant where the Z3 and X5 are built.
A 193-horsepower 2.8-liter inline six-cylinder powers the 528i and is available with a five-speed manual or new five-speed automatic transmission. The 540i has a 4.4-liter V-8 with 282 horsepower and comes with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. In a switch from usual pricing practices, the 540i costs more with manual than automatic ($54,470 versus $51,670).
Safety All models have two-stage front airbags whose deployment force depends on crash severity and whether the occupants are buckled, side-impact airbags for the front seats, and the Head Protection system a tubular side airbag that deploys from the roof liner to protect front-seat occupants. Rear side-impact airbags are optional.
BMW's Head Protection System uses a tubular airbag to protect a front-seat occupant from hitting the side window.
Traction control, an anti-skid system called Dynamic Stability Control and anti-lock brakes are standard.
Performance The six-cylinder 528i offers most of the features and the same quality as the 540i at a considerably lower price but lacks the spirited performance one might expect from a $40,000 luxury car.