Friday, June 12, 2015

10k: The Right Stuff: 2003 BMW 540iT Wagon E39

On the list of cars that BMW should have built/sold in the US market, it goes like this.  BMW Bavaria Turbo, BMW M7 (e32), BMW M-Compact (E46), and BMW M5-Touring (E39).  It wouldn't have been that hard to make a touring (wagon) version of the M5, and many folks have done it by themselves.  At least BMW was kind enough to sell us the wagon version with the M62 V8, but it was only available with a slushbox. If you want the 6-speed you'll have to go searching for a cheap sedan where a seller is going to be desperate soon.  Find this 2003 BMW 540iT Wagon here on eBay, bidding for $7,100 with less than one day to go, located in Montebello, CA.

The E39 generation BMW 5-series was introduced in 1996 and was the last BMW untainted by Chris Bangle's Picasso-meets-KimKardashian styling.  It shared inline-6 engines with the BMW 3 Series, but was also available with BMW's high strung V8 in 540i and M5 trim.

By 2003 the 4.4 liter V8 was equipped with BMW's VANOS (variable NockenwellenSteuerung) and was rated at 291 horsepower and 340 ft-lbs of torque.

See a better BMW for the family man or woman?


  1. Sweeeeeeeet. As an avid cyclist, this would arguably be my favorite ride to haul bikes and gear in euro cool fashion. Of course, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter diesel van is my first pick, but it's a VAN. 10k a year aint bad considering. Nice ride!

  2. Very sweet, this is the super rare 2003 model too with the one year only M sport package. They ultimately sold less than 100 tourings in the US with this option, so I won't be surprised to see bidding spike a bit still..

    Jeff, you are correct---I had a 2000 528i touring with a manual transmission and sport package (another rare duck), and I have yet to have a vehicle look as appropriate with Thule racks and a roof full of bikes.

    One correction, I believe the e46 would qualify as the last "non-Bangleized" BMW sold correct, since it was sold until 2006 (in coupe/vert form) and the e39's only went until 2003.

    1. And probably later in design origination as well. I happen to think the E46 sedans are a little fussy but the wagon's gorgeous, the larger shape does a better job of distracting the eye from the excess of lower-body character lines.

      My personal list of truly attractive BMWs over the past couple decades is notable for one factor - over half were penned by Joji Nagashima.

    2. The only real Nagashima design that I thought was notable was the e39....I'm probably less original in my preferences, but I'm more of a Bracq/Luthe kinda guy.

  3. Here's another one that we didn't get (if I'm not mistaken). E30 325ix Touring with no listed price.




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