Wagon Wednesday: BMW 535i Touring: Is the last 5er longroof the best 5er longroof?

Few weeks back we asked if a $7000 E39 540i Touring was worth its price. The consensus was that it is the kind of a car which, at least in theory, many of us would love to own. The honest truth however, is that it E39s have a lot of issues, many of which are often costly and many of which are just annoying.

Today we look at a similar, yet very different wagon, 2008 535i xDrive. With only 30,000 miles on the clock and a remainder of factory CPO warranty this not the sort of vehicle we usually discuss here, but perhaps we should. The $40,000 asking price is on the of a high side but perhaps there is a case for this enthusiast owned, if slightly pimped, ride.

[Source: M3post.com]

The E60 series of BMWs were not always known for their good looks, but with time we got used to them. While the V10-powered M5, arguably the best looking of the line, never came in the wagon form to our side of the Atlantic, it was available in Europe. It would be a fair bet that, like the Mercedes E63 AMG wagon and the Cadillac CTS-V wagon, if it did came here it would have been desired by many and purchased by the very few.  

The owner of this 535i Touring liked the idea of an M5 Touring so much that he decided to make his wagon look like the M5. He replaced the front fenders, mirrors, and bumper cover with M5 versions (OEM parts), lowered it, and slapped some dubs on it. It should be noted that there is no M5 quad-pipe exhaust stuffed in the back and no M5 badges to be found. While mods such as those are not to everyone tastes (I’d skip on the fenders), the OEM bits and paint say quality, while the suspension and wheels can easily be swapped for something more snow-belt friendly if desiered.

So, what we have here is a unique-looking wagon with proper OEM modifications; let’s call them retrofits. The twin-turbo six-cylinder engine is more powerful than the E39 540i, and with some light tuning can push 400 ponies. On the down side is the automatic transmission (good luck finding stick) and, in my opinion, the xDrive AWD system which I think takes away much from the proper BMW steering feel.

Some will bitch and moan about the iDrive system, but once you get used to is you’ll find that it’s intuitive to use; sorry, the automotive media is wrong on the iDrive. The common problem on the BMW turbo engines is the high-pressure fuel pump which BMW has recalled. In case you’re really worried, the CPO warranty will carry you through December of 2013. Assuming that the seller drops a few grand off his asking price, would you have this over a new Acura TSX Sportwagon?


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