Friday, April 12, 2013

10k: High 5Miles: 2000 BMW M5 E39

The BMW M5 is one of those uber expensive luxury sedans that depreciates to ultra cheap a few years after it is released.  DT top tip: always look for an example that is one or two generations old to get the best M5 for your buck.  The E39 M5 is now two generations old and prices are nearing the bottom - which is great for the used car junkie.  Find this 2000 BMW M5 for sale in Bakersfield, CA for $9,800 via craigslist.

This M5 has been around the block a few times, 212,000 times around the 1-mile block...or so the odometer cluster says, but the seller claims it had 71k miles on it last February, so either this car has been driving 335 miles a day since then or something is screwy.  Chances are it is 212k miles and that is ok because the price is dirt cheap.

All E39 M5s are powered by the S62, a 4.9 liter screaming DOHC all-alloy V8 that puts out 394 horsepower and revs to 7000 rpm.  The big brutish V8 succeeded a series of sweet singing M5 inline sixes and honestly only a few purists complained because the new engine was better in every possible way to the old.  The V8 was more powerful, lighter, more reliable and more compact - it was a knockout formula that BMW finally transferred to the M3 lineup in 2007.

The inside of this BMW looks remarkably well preserved for 212k miles, so it has either been through some significant restoration or was towed for most of those miles.

This M5 cost nearly $70,000 when new and the latest version will run you $90,000 new today.  For 1/10th the cost we think this just makes more sense especially when you consider that you won't pay much in deprecation - at most $9,800...  You may have to pay some maintenance if the big V8 goes pop...but it is a risk we'd take.

See a better big brute Bimmer?  email us here:


  1. I've been told the rule of thumb when comparing these to a non-M E39 (540?) is 25% more performance for double the maintenance cost. Or if you turn it around, that's 80% of the performance for half the maintenance cost. Can anyone validate that? I get to babysit one of these occasionally and it takes a couple days recalibrating ankle sensitivity to keep from ramming what suddenly seem to be oxcarts in normal traffic.

  2. Exhibit A: 2002 E39 540 6-speed, 115k miles, $8000.


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.