I'm surprised that I've said most things in this video already. So, why an E39? At first I wanted an E36 but the rear shock mount issue was always gonna bug me. Why not an E30? Because they're crazy expensive here now. An equivalent of $9,000 gets you a 318i. Oddly enough, I chose an E39 because of Top Gear's River Nile challenge. If it can handle that, I'm sure the mean streets of Manila wouldn't be a problem. Also, I play golf (don't judge!) and the bigger trunk space was very much appreciated.
A big car that handles well, a Camry this isn't
I first picked mine up with just over 60,000 kms. A 16 year old car with mileage that low was bound to run into a few problems. It was on Yokohama Geolanders for crying out loud
Now for some reason, 225/6R15's are difficult to find. Instead, I replaced them with 205/65R15's
In a country like the Philippines, these things are rarely brought out. This leads to a huge amount of people saying these things are unreliable. The simple solution? Drive them and use them! People here normally do about 10,000 kms a year. Me? I've now done 17,000 already. So what have I learned?
Doug DeMuro once said that when you own a used luxury car, people think you are rich. It's true that people will always ask you about cost and stuff how maintenance will always be a problem, etc. In the span of a year, I'm surprised that it was no more than my old CR-V. Hell, even my old car had a nastier habit of eating its bushings every 4-6 months. I was really happy if I made it a year without dealing with the undercarriage and I'm glad to report that the E39 delivered. Yes, things get expensive but they take another eternity to replace. You don't need to be rich to own one.
In the span of a year, have I been called an asshat? Of course I have but it has something to do more with the brand's reputation rather than my driving. Yes, I still use my turn signals. Yes, I still follow the two second rule. Yes, I still obey traffic laws and road rules. Hell, some people have even called me out as not a true BMW driver for using my turn signals. Honestly, the asshat jokes get old and you eventually get used to it. Owning one of these make other people feel like you own the road they tend to think that you are an ass the moment you screw up. Try it,drive a BMW carefully and you will still attract the attention of these automotive racists.
Treat your car like a daily and bumps and scrapes are really bound to happen. Just because own a German car doesn't mean that people will respect your car. Some people just don't care although for some reason, your blood boils a little bit earlier when you see hit and run dents from a parking lot.
Ah yes, the long life oils. What's your stand on this?
I get asked this a lot. Is it fast? It isn't. It's a humble 523i and no, it's not an M5. I would best describe its power as "confident enough for overtaking".
A year into European car ownership and I'm a happy camper. Go, take Doug's advice. Get yourself a W210 Mercedes or an E39 BMW. They're great on fun runs, road trips and de-stressing you after a tiring day at work. These things will put a smile on my face.
Trust me. They're bloody brilliant