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BMW used the same philosophy on most of its car lines: Design a sophisticated front-engine/rear-drive car, then fit it with a variety of drivelines to create different models across a broad price range. It had done this with the compact 3-series, the large 7-series and the midsize 5-series as well.

Competitors for these BMWs ranged from Chrysler's LHS to Mercedes' E420, including such mid-price luxury models as the Lexus GS 300 and the Infiniti J30.

At the beginning of the E28 generation (1983-1988), there were two engine sizes: 528e and 533i, the latter being replaced by a 535i in 1985, when a new 524td engine was also introduced for only two model years.

In 1987, a new 535is was released, followed by the M5 in 1988.

The E34 generation began in 1989. The 528e was replaced by a new 525i, while the 535i and 535is merged to one engine size (535i), and the M5 was dropped.

Year-to-year changesEdit

1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 Discontinued
525i 4DR Sedan 528i 4DR Sedan 2000
535i 4DR Sedan 530i 4DR Sedan
N/A 525i 4DR Wagon N/A 528i 4DR Wagon 2000
N/A 530i 4DR Wagon
M5 4DR Sedan 540i 4DR Sedan 2001
N/A 540i 4DR Wagon 1999

1991Edit

The entry-level 5-series, the 525i, shared its 189-hp 2.5-liter inline Six and 5-speed gearbox with the smaller 325i. The 535i had a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 208 horsepower. The M5 was brought back this model year with an even bigger 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower.

1993Edit

A station wagon version of the 525i was released, but BMW preferred to call it a "Touring" model.

1994Edit

In 1994, two new trim levels replaced the old 535i and M5. The 530i, available in both sedan and wagon body styles for the first time, had a torquey 215-hp 3.0-liter V8; while the top-line 540i, available only as a 4-door sedan, had a 282-hp 4.0-liter version of this same engine. A 6-speed manual transmission was optional on the 540i.

The 540i was a high-performance sport sedan in the $50,000 range. It was fast, had superb handling, excellent brakes and was as comfortable as any other midsize luxury sedan. Comfort is something you don't always get when a car's emphasis is on "sport" rather than "luxury."

BMW's AST computerized traction control was standard on the 530i Touring station wagon and available on all other 5-series models. The 530i Touring wagon also included a unique dual sunroof as standard, optional on the less expensive 525i Touring.

Retail pricesEdit

4DR SedanEdit

Model year(s) Engine size List price Effective date
1991 2.5L $34,500 February 10, 1991
1991 3.5L $42,600 February 10, 1991
1991 3.6L (M5) $56,600 February 10, 1991
1992 2.5L $35,600 October 13, 1991
1992 3.5L $44,350 October 13, 1991
1992 3.6L (M5) $58,600 March 1, 1992
1993 2.5L $37,100 December 1992
1993 3.5L $44,350 December 1992
1993 3.6L (M5) $60,700 December 1992
1994 2.5L $34,900 Q1 1994
1994 3.0L $41,500 Q1 1994
1994 4.0L $47,500 Q1 1994
1995 2.5L $35,300 October 1994
1995 3.0L $41,750 October 1994
1995 4.0L $47,950 October 1994
1995-1996 2.5L $36,500 May 22, 1995
1995-1996 3.0L $44,400 May 22, 1995
1995-1996 4.0L $49,000 May 22, 1995

As of 2017, a modern-day BMW 3-Series costs as much as an early 90's BMW 5-Series.

4DR WagonEdit

Model year(s) Engine size List price Effective date
1993 2.5L $39,800 December 1992
1994 2.5L $37,300 Q1 1994
1994 3.0L $45,800 Q1 1994
1995 2.5L $37,700 October 1994
1995 3.0L $47,050 October 1994
1995-1996 2.5L $38,900 May 22, 1995
1995-1996 3.0L $48,600 May 22, 1995

GalleryEdit

Video ClipsEdit

BMW 525i 4DR Wagon

BMW 525i 4DR Wagon

BMW 540i 4DR Sedan

BMW 540i 4DR Sedan