Digestible Collectible: 2000 BMW 540i

The kids have been getting on my nerves lately, with all of their, “Santa, please bring me this toy I’ll lose by Sunday” and “Daddy, don’t forget me at soccer practice again” and all that. I’ve decided to spite them, and that I need to spend their college fund on vehicle maintenance. So I’m looking at used, high performance, family sedans this week.

If I were so inclined to spend a public-school semester tuition every year on car repairs and general upkeep, an older BMW would be at the top of my list.

(For the nice folks at child protective services that may be reading, I never forget my children anywhere. I keep them safely chained in the basement at all times.)

I’ve always admired the styling of the E39 5-series; restrained, with just the slightest hint of aggression in the wheel arches and wide alloys. The M5 certainly appeals to me, but the asking price just seems a bit much. However, I’ve been told that the 540i with the M-Sport package is a great budget alternative to the M5, so I went shopping.

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  • Arthur Dailey The only TR-8 that I knew was a 'project' car that sat in the same driveway for many, many years. Did however have a friend with a TR-7. Can confirm that the instrument panel, interior materials such as fabric/upholstery, ergonomics and in particular the seats were superior to my Corvette of the same vintage. However in the first week that my friend had his TR-7 while pulling out of a shopping centre, his driver's side door 'fell off' the car. Quality control was to put it mildly, primarily just a 'rumour' at B.L. during that period.
  • Kcflyer Son has about 3000 miles on his ND now. I've only driven it a handful of times. Great car. I'm biased but I don't think it has the charm of my NB. Much quicker and that's always fun but not really the point of the Miata. If you want Miata goodness but are a little bigger check out the NC miata's. More room for people and a bit more room for stuff. Fuel mileage in the new one is around 38 mpg as compared to 30ish in the 05 nb.
  • Rick T. Apparently Marathon was a popular name because there is one similar here in Nashville.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_Motor_Works
  • Fahrvergnugen Boyo boyo we surely LOVE the 95M we bought sight unseen (hell, I'd never even been IN one much less DRIVEN one) last year. What a treat these cars are! As for infotainment, I think the cassette and maybe the CD work but neither compares to the feeling of enjoyment.Mrs. F and I are both around 5'9" and slender and you're right; you don't DRIVE a Miata as much as you WEAR it.
  • Dukeisduke Another article I read says this is all about defective fluid reservoir caps, which will be replaced. And also the software updates.