1999 E39 M5

1999 BMW m5 for saleWhen the e39 M5 was announced late in 1998, it was considered the hottest sedan ever to be produced by BMW.  Maybe even the hottest sedan in modern history.  The car wasn’t cheap, but it wasn’t super expensive either.  However, there were stories in 2000 where the car was selling for $25k OVER list – because it had created such a frenzy. Buying a used e39 1999 e39 M5 is probably one of the best excuses for not buying a new car.

Let’s face it, you get four hundred horsepower, xenon lights and impressive zero to 60 times – somewhere around four seconds.  The 1999 model year has the same tire footprint that all other model years have: 18 inches in the back…per side.

Keeping those steamrollers on the pavement is also another m5 engineering marvel: BMW’s DSC or Dynamic Stability control software.  As soon as it detects a slide, the throttle is retarded by some very aware and sensitive software.

Many drivers have said that the DSC feature in all model years is too sensitive and it should have increments from super safe to off.  In later model years (2000 and up) BMW M5 engineers included the ability for DSC to also provide braking input in the event of a more serious slide.  Either way you cut it, the e39 m5 has terrific handling characteristcs with or without the DSC button on.

For a real blast however, turn it off and go play with the M5 to really feel what those four hundred horses are all about.

Some have said on forums that the e39 is the strongest M5 ever built by BMW.  Better than the current design for its ‘hot-rod’ like qualities and manual shifting.

One of the greatest joys in buying and owning a used e39 1999 bmw m5 is the ability to manually transfer and control all that power with a clutch and stick.  There’s something primal about driving this highly refined car with complete manual control.


However, be forewarned, replacing a clutch in this car is not cheap.  At this point an e39 m5 clutch job will run you about $3,000 because you are replacing both flywheels.

Yes, this car is strong, but if you beat on it, it’s not going to be cheap to fix.  Front brakes on the e39 m5 require new rotors – thus creating a bill of around $800 or more if you get it serviced by BMW – which we wholeheartedly recommend.

Having said all this, it’s worth the cash it takes to keep these cars on the road.  Doing so will provide you a tremendous driving experience that can only be rivalled  by cars costing many times more.

Buying a used e39 m5 is a totally smart investment – these cars definitely hold their value better than comparable units from other German car makers.

The list of 1999 features in the m5 is impressive.  Electric steering column adjustments, a BMW Mobility tire repair kit and a luxury package that included fluted leather and walnut trim.   You’ll see lots of these with walnut trim.

Seat warmers were standard as were one of the best wheel designs BMW ever made for its performance M Powered cars.

Expect fuel economy somewhere around 20 miles to the gallon (combined city and highway) unless you drive it like you stole it – which is what usually happens in the first year.  In that case, fuel economy in the e39 m5 is usually somewhere around 5 miles to the gallon.  And worth every gallon.

With a top speed of about 155 miles per hour (electronically limited), you can get into all sorts of trouble.  But with the money you’ll save if you buy a used e39 1999 bmw m5, you can afford a few speeding tickets.

9 Responses to “1999 E39 M5”

  1. ken on February 2nd, 2010 5:47 pm

    I am thinking of buying an m5 2.8i and i think it is a 1997 model with a e39 body.
    The car seems to run fine but the brakes feel a bit firm.
    Also the windshield trim is badly damaged (front screen and back screen) are these complicated to replace

    Your comment will be most appreciated

  2. Mitch on February 23rd, 2010 9:50 am

    Just throwing this out there, I have never heard of an m5 2.8i

  3. LOG1Kpi on March 18th, 2010 3:40 pm

    I think this is an awesome site because I love this cars with all my heart.

    Ken, You’re probably talking about a 528i E39 with a “sport package”/”M package” which has the ///M symbol on the Shift stick, 3 spoke steering wheel, and sometimes on rims. The key point here is the suspension (Tuned just like the M5’s) and tieres. That’s probably why it feels rough. It might not be a 1999.

    A true M5 is very subtle, but aside it’s 5.0 V8 (528i/530i are all in-line 6 engines, which are a marvelous piece of enginnering…email me log1kpi@gmail.com and I’ll gladly explain it.) it has numerous distinguishable features. I’m sure this site covers it. But you can join a Forum to talk and learn about all this. Just google BMW 5 series/M5 forums.

  4. Lorenzo on March 29th, 2010 6:26 am

    Hi,i just purchase a m5 2000 and i am pretty handy
    (contractor)I want to be able to do some small repairs like brakes rotors oil change spark plugs etc.I would like to start purchasing some basic tools for by tool box.Can you please give be a insight on what tools should i buy first,

    Thank you

  5. juan gomez on April 18th, 2010 6:55 pm

    i have one of this babys and i luv it runs with new c5 vettes blows the hood stripes of the new camaro 645 vert smoked 745 smoked new 550 smoked audi 2.0t on and on this car is the beast 4 sure
    it burns a little oil castrol 10w 60 and sucks prem gas but worth evry penny !!!!

  6. Lorenzo on April 18th, 2010 11:11 pm

    Hello,I own a 11/99 m5 with 110k and dinan stage 1 it has software,intake and exaust.that i just purchase 6 weeks ago and i have’nt even got the title and someone offer 16k for it(i purchase it for 12,5)thats a bargain.and im lovin it.But i been shopping to see if i can a newer 02,03 with lower miles for 15 .ANY ADVANCE .ANY CARS OUT THERE

  7. juan on January 11th, 2011 9:50 pm

    I LOVE MY ///M

  8. matt on February 16th, 2011 6:39 am

    I am thinking about buying this car as my first car i have handled cars this fast before and i want one as my own to have in college.you know picking up the girls and driving it like i stole it .

  9. Bmw M5 1999 For Sale | BMW Photos Blog on March 31st, 2011 4:01 pm

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