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      11-04-2019, 06:58 PM   #1
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BMW E39 M5 | Ghosts From The 90s by savagegeese

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Take a moment to enjoy this review of the BMW E39 M5 from savagegeese.
Those familiar with the channel will be delighted to see a review of an older BMW in true savagegeese fashion and those unfamiliar will find out soon enough the brutal honesty, straightforwardness, and in-depth analysis that have come to define the reviews from this channel.

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      11-04-2019, 07:42 PM   #2
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Still one of my favorite BMW's. I think that video kind of downplayed the volume of the exhaust. The startup often gave me goose bumps.
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      11-04-2019, 08:48 PM   #3
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Sometimes he talks out of his ass.

"The steering is not good."

Says who? Only you. Everybody else has said it's some of BMW's best work.
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      11-05-2019, 01:40 PM   #4
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why would he complain about the "electronics", imagine all those tuning were hard buttons, dash would be a mess...
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      11-05-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clee1982 View Post
why would he complain about the "electronics", imagine all those tuning were hard buttons, dash would be a mess...
His point is that when everything is dumped into the infotainment screens, when that goes bad you're SOL. At least hard buttons (as unsightly as they may be to you) have a much greater life expectancy.
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      11-06-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
Sometimes he talks out of his ass.

"The steering is not good."

Says who? Only you. Everybody else has said it's some of BMW's best work.
Didn't the E39 have the controversial recirculating ball setup on specific models that some criticized the feel of? I'm not sure if the M5 had it, but I remember some of the non-M models had it.
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      11-06-2019, 11:40 AM   #7
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Usually his reviews are better than this. Not really much discussion about the driving experience. I get that its an older vehicle, and not a press vehicle, so it can't be pushed hard, but he's usually much more descriptive with how the cars drive and feel.
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      11-06-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Didn't the E39 have the controversial recirculating ball setup on specific models that some criticized the feel of? I'm not sure if the M5 had it, but I remember some of the non-M models had it.
540i and M5 had recirculating ball steering, whereas lower models featured rack and pinion.
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      11-06-2019, 11:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watermelon3878 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Didn't the E39 have the controversial recirculating ball setup on specific models that some criticized the feel of? I'm not sure if the M5 had it, but I remember some of the non-M models had it.
540i and M5 had recirculating ball steering, whereas lower models featured rack and pinion.
He mentions this in the video, something about not enough space due to the V8 engine.
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      11-06-2019, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
Sometimes he talks out of his ass.

"The steering is not good."

Says who? Only you. Everybody else has said it's some of BMW's best work.
A lot of the reviews agree that the steering isn't great on the E39 because of the recirculating ball setup. As an owner of a 2002 E39 M5, I would agree.

The steering in my E36 M3 (which I still drive regularly) offers a lot more feel and is a lot sharper than the E39 M5, as was the steering in my E90 328 (from what I remember, the car was totaled a few years ago)

The E36 is much more raw and more fun than the E39 M5, so it's more enjoyable in the canyons on the weekend, but the E39 is a much better car and incredible overall package...much better daily driver and great grand tourer, but its way more of a luxury car than a sports car.

Steering in the E39 M5 was certainly was not BMWs best work. It's precise, but slightly numb...not as numb as the new stuff though. I've also got a 2017 530i, so I can compare them directly. The 2017 is a little bit more numb but a hell of a lot lighter and the ratio is slower on the 2017 which drives me nuts.

Aside from the steering on the E39 M5, it really has no other weak spots. My 2017 530i was my daily driver, but it's going away and the M5 will be my daily. Will not miss the G30 at all. The E39 absolutely stands the test of time and does not feel like a 17 year old car (aside from the Nav system)

Last edited by wknddrivr; 11-06-2019 at 12:05 PM..
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      11-06-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Usually his reviews are better than this. Not really much discussion about the driving experience. I get that its an older vehicle, and not a press vehicle, so it can't be pushed hard, but he's usually much more descriptive with how the cars drive and feel.
His explanation of the driving experience is spot on....the car is not as exciting as you would expect, much more luxurious and supple. When you're driving along, you have no idea what its capable of until you throw the car into a corner or really get on the gas. Even the exhaust is extremely quiet on the inside (yes the startup is amazing but it quiets down once you get going and barely hear anything while you're cruising)

Even though it doesn't have a hardcore sports feel, its probably the most satisfying car I've driven because it blends sport and luxury so damn well. The ride is A LOT better than my 2017 530i m-sport...and yet the handling is much better too. It does everything in a satisfying way. It's not raw like an E36 M3, which I drive on the weekend, but its more satisfying overall because it feels so much more expensive/luxurious than even the modern 5 series, does everything so well, and still gets you completely enveloped in the driving experience
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      11-06-2019, 12:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Usually his reviews are better than this. Not really much discussion about the driving experience. I get that its an older vehicle, and not a press vehicle, so it can't be pushed hard, but he's usually much more descriptive with how the cars drive and feel.
His explanation of the driving experience is spot on....the car is not as exciting as you would expect, much more luxurious and supple. When you're driving along, you have no idea what its capable of until you throw the car into a corner or really get on the gas. Even the exhaust is extremely quiet on the inside (yes the startup is amazing but it quiets down once you get going and barely hear anything while you're cruising)

Even though it doesn't have a hardcore sports feel, its probably the most satisfying car I've driven because it blends sport and luxury so damn well. The ride is A LOT better than my 2017 530i m-sport...and yet the handling is much better too. It does everything in a satisfying way. It's not raw like an E36 M3, which I drive on the weekend, but its more satisfying overall because it feels so much more expensive/luxurious than even the modern 5 series, does everything so well, and still gets you completely enveloped in the driving experience
Oh I don't mind what he said about the car, and I agree with his conclusions, I just wish he went into more depth, about certain aspects, this review just felt a little lacking in comparison to others of his.
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      11-06-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
Sometimes he talks out of his ass.

"The steering is not good."

Says who? Only you. Everybody else has said it's some of BMW's best work.
Didn't the E39 have the controversial recirculating ball setup on specific models that some criticized the feel of? I'm not sure if the M5 had it, but I remember some of the non-M models had it.
Yes it did. One of the few downsides.

I LOVED that car! Sound was intoxicating...especially after headers and Dinan exhaust.
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      11-06-2019, 01:29 PM   #14
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A huge reason the car looks as good as it does is due to the owner, which should be self explanatory. Take care of your toys gentlemen.
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      11-06-2019, 02:28 PM   #15
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That video isn't really helping my financial situation. I catch myself searching local websites for clean E39 M5's more often than I'd like to admit...
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      11-06-2019, 02:46 PM   #16
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My favorite sounding BMW engine. One day I will own another one.
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      11-06-2019, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Usually his reviews are better than this. Not really much discussion about the driving experience. I get that its an older vehicle, and not a press vehicle, so it can't be pushed hard, but he's usually much more descriptive with how the cars drive and feel.
His explanation of the driving experience is spot on....the car is not as exciting as you would expect, much more luxurious and supple. When you're driving along, you have no idea what its capable of until you throw the car into a corner or really get on the gas. Even the exhaust is extremely quiet on the inside (yes the startup is amazing but it quiets down once you get going and barely hear anything while you're cruising)

Even though it doesn't have a hardcore sports feel, its probably the most satisfying car I've driven because it blends sport and luxury so damn well. The ride is A LOT better than my 2017 530i m-sport...and yet the handling is much better too. It does everything in a satisfying way. It's not raw like an E36 M3, which I drive on the weekend, but its more satisfying overall because it feels so much more expensive/luxurious than even the modern 5 series, does everything so well, and still gets you completely enveloped in the driving experience
Is your m sport passive suspension or adaptive?
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      11-06-2019, 04:02 PM   #18
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The E39 M5 has certainly stood the test of time. When the F80 was launched I noticed some similarities and started to compare more closely their dimensions which led me to believe the F80 is a spiritual successor to the E39 in terms of size, output, and function.
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      11-06-2019, 04:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
His explanation of the driving experience is spot on....the car is not as exciting as you would expect, much more luxurious and supple. When you're driving along, you have no idea what its capable of until you throw the car into a corner or really get on the gas. Even the exhaust is extremely quiet on the inside (yes the startup is amazing but it quiets down once you get going and barely hear anything while you're cruising)

Even though it doesn't have a hardcore sports feel, its probably the most satisfying car I've driven because it blends sport and luxury so damn well. The ride is A LOT better than my 2017 530i m-sport...and yet the handling is much better too. It does everything in a satisfying way. It's not raw like an E36 M3, which I drive on the weekend, but its more satisfying overall because it feels so much more expensive/luxurious than even the modern 5 series, does everything so well, and still gets you completely enveloped in the driving experience
It's funny how we wear rose-tinted glasses with the old BMWs. Obviously they are great cars, but sometimes people will talk about how hardcore the E39 M5 and E46 M3 used to be, to make a point on how soft the new ones are. I was watching Tiff Needell's original E46 M3 review and he says "It's no longer a sports saloon, not even a sports coupe, it's moved the 3 series into the GT category." I know everything is relative, but it's still funny how these same things have been said for almost 20 years.
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      11-06-2019, 04:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
A lot of the reviews agree that the steering isn't great on the E39 because of the recirculating ball setup. As an owner of a 2002 E39 M5, I would agree.

The steering in my E36 M3 (which I still drive regularly) offers a lot more feel and is a lot sharper than the E39 M5, as was the steering in my E90 328 (from what I remember, the car was totaled a few years ago)

The E36 is much more raw and more fun than the E39 M5, so it's more enjoyable in the canyons on the weekend, but the E39 is a much better car and incredible overall package...much better daily driver and great grand tourer, but its way more of a luxury car than a sports car.

Steering in the E39 M5 was certainly was not BMWs best work. It's precise, but slightly numb...not as numb as the new stuff though. I've also got a 2017 530i, so I can compare them directly. The 2017 is a little bit more numb but a hell of a lot lighter and the ratio is slower on the 2017 which drives me nuts.

Aside from the steering on the E39 M5, it really has no other weak spots. My 2017 530i was my daily driver, but it's going away and the M5 will be my daily. Will not miss the G30 at all. The E39 absolutely stands the test of time and does not feel like a 17 year old car (aside from the Nav system)
I've driven the 540i/M5 and I agree about the steering. You get some communication, but what he fails to mention is how great the steering was on the inline 6 E39 models (525i,528i, and 530i). That rack and pinion setup is famous for being one of the best steering setups on any car. While the M5 steering isn't as good as those, it's still much better than the G30 steering.
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      11-06-2019, 04:32 PM   #21
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The E39 M5 stands the test of time because of how well put the cabin is, how great the styling is, and the involving driving experience. Yes, the steering isn't BMW's best work, but at least it doesn't feel like the current M5 where you feel like you're just along for the ride. The 6 cylinder E39 models are some of my favorite cars on the road. They're involving to drive and very comfortable. They have such a nice ride. While the G30 is more capable, it doesn't ride as well and it's numb in comparison. G30's a great cruiser and it has great engines, but it's not a sports sedan in my mind.
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      11-06-2019, 08:46 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobloblaw View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wknddrivr View Post
His explanation of the driving experience is spot on....the car is not as exciting as you would expect, much more luxurious and supple. When you're driving along, you have no idea what its capable of until you throw the car into a corner or really get on the gas. Even the exhaust is extremely quiet on the inside (yes the startup is amazing but it quiets down once you get going and barely hear anything while you're cruising)

Even though it doesn't have a hardcore sports feel, its probably the most satisfying car I've driven because it blends sport and luxury so damn well. The ride is A LOT better than my 2017 530i m-sport...and yet the handling is much better too. It does everything in a satisfying way. It's not raw like an E36 M3, which I drive on the weekend, but its more satisfying overall because it feels so much more expensive/luxurious than even the modern 5 series, does everything so well, and still gets you completely enveloped in the driving experience
It's funny how we wear rose-tinted glasses with the old BMWs. Obviously they are great cars, but sometimes people will talk about how hardcore the E39 M5 and E46 M3 used to be, to make a point on how soft the new ones are. I was watching Tiff Needell's original E46 M3 review and he says "It's no longer a sports saloon, not even a sports coupe, it's moved the 3 series into the GT category." I know everything is relative, but it's still funny how these same things have been said for almost 20 years.
Agreed. I would not give up my G30 for a 20 year old E39.
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