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2003 540

Consumer Reviews

2003 BMW 540

2003 BMW 540

Review Score

4.9 out of 5 stars

4.9

15 Reviews
93% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.7 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.8 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.6 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.4 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.9 out of 5 stars Performance
4.9 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 15 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

#3

by mgattmch from on Tue Nov 18 2008

This is my 3rd 540iA, I obviously like them! Probably the best car I have ever driven, even flat out at 155mph (on the autobahn of course) the car is rock solid. Fit and finish are exemplary, as is performance and ergonomics. My only complaint is the car does not have Lexus reliability and the DSP sound system is not that good.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

540i M-Sport

by GT3 Driver from Paradise Valley on Mon Nov 24 2008

This is my first BMW. I have owned 3 Porsches, 2 Infinities, 1 Merc, a Z06, and several Japanese luxo/sport sedans. This 540i is my choice for a daily driver yet can deliver enough performance on regular US roads to make me wonder why I even bother with my other cars. The ride is unbelievable when you consider the handling, and it so tight and quiet. Just a solid car. BMW also offers such great service - buy an extended warranty and it pays for itself. Only downside is you will go through tires in 40K miles as you can't rotate them due to the fatter rears. Jump into a 5 series and you won't even look at a working class 3 series... even with M badges.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

A fine car that gets better (but pricier) with age

by Sport Sedan from Midwest on Fri Dec 19 2014

The manufacturer's body designation for a 540 between 1997 and 2003 is E39. I've just purchased my third E39 (used w/ 100k miles), and the second with stick shift, which my wife hates. Stick or automatic, however, the car is classic old-style BMW, before Chris Bangle became the lead designer for the marque and changed the look altogether. Whether you're a Bangle fan or not, the E39 is both elegantly proportioned and beautifully understated. On the highway or the twisties, the E39 is powerful, nimble, and a real joy to drive. The E39 is relatively reliable, too, with the exception of a very few known maintenance issues (e.g., I had three replacement radiators over 10 years with my last 540). Even if infrequent, repairs and maintenance are expensive when they do come due, so be prepared to spend +$500 for relatively routine maintenance costs, and north of $2500-$3000 for bigger ticket repairs / replacement. Inside the car, the controls and dials are well-laid out for the driver, and the back seats are roomy and plush; third and fourth passengers (with back seat temp controls) can ride in substantial comfort, even on long journeys. The interior of the car is beautifully manufactured and quiet, the ride is stable, and the handling inspires confidence, even at speed. It's a fine car.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best BMW I've Owned

by BB from Florida on Sun Feb 13 2011

Fourth BMW I have owned and by far the best. Quick, smooth and powerful. Great style and quality in and out.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

My third 540

by BMW Fan from Wilmington, NC on Tue Sep 27 2011

The best car I've ever owned! Comfortable with all amenities. Good looking too! 8 cylinders under the hood and a tiptronic transmission make for quick and fun driving!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The Best Car I've Owned

by BMW Enthusiast from Phoenix, AZ on Tue May 06 2008

Looks great The performance and handling is amazing The sport package is a MUST The Automatic Rear Sun Shade is also a MUST Im going to buy another one

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

2003 540i 6 speed sport ROCKS!!!

by Achtung Baby! from Boston MA on Sun Mar 09 2008

This car is 75% of an M5 of the same year. And that means a lot....The 2003 Sport Package is so close to an M5 (sans the engine) that one cannot go wrong if getting one of these instead of an M5.....the 540i is better suited to daily driving than an M5...one will have a hard time tapping the M5 potential on US metro area roads. I have had the car for 500 miles and it is an unbelievable ride......I don't realize that I am going 110MPH until I look down at the speedo...This car will get me in trouble!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Most Fun Car I've Owned

by Fun in the sun from Phoenix, Arizona on Sat Jul 26 2008

Wow, what an awesome car to hit the road with! Tons of power and handles like a dream. Great car worth picking up.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

2003 540i Excellence

by wjb from on Tue Feb 08 2011

Bought it as 2nd owner with 18k miles. Added about 30k miles of trouble free miles. Love the car and regret selling it. Bought a 2009 535i, which I really like, but I'm not sure the quality is the same as the 2003 540i. Anyway, once you own a BMW, it is hard to switch.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

what a sports sedan!!!

by esus from charlotte nc on Wed Aug 30 2006

The first impression you get is that this is a high quality vehicle. All interior materials are first class. The seats are very comfortable. It is very easy to drive the car for long distances without feeling worn out. This car is very quick and handles extremely well. No complaints so far whatsoever. I have owned mine for a year and I still enjoy the craftmanship used to build this car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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