For July 25, 2020, our used car find is this 53k mile 1999 BMW 528i sedan, which is listed on craigslist by a small specialty dealer in the Tampa area for $12,500.
Here’s what makes this car special.
Introduced in the US in 1996 (as a 1997 model), the fourth generation 5 Series, dubbed E39, is arguably the peak of the model, with a near perfect balance of style, function, and performance.
It was slightly larger than its predecessor (E34), as well as more powerful — and notably not any heavier, with aluminum used widely throughout the chassis. At its launch, Edmunds wrote, “A gorgeous new shape, wonderfully redesigned engine, and superbly balanced chassis guarantees that you’ll be spending plenty of time at the wheel.”
Though more powerful versions were available — the V8-equipped 540i, plus of course the legendary M5 — we think a BMW is best with an inline six under the hood. Here that means the excellent M52, putting out 193 smooth hp along with 206 ft-lbs of torque. Paired with the must-have 5-speed manual gearbox, it isn’t going to be a drag race champ, but it will provide the driver with unparalleled levels of engagement for a luxury sedan.
It’s hard to find fault with the car from the pictures or description. It presents essentially as new, and the seller reports that everything, down to the sometimes fussy gauge cluster (which can suffer from failed pixels), is in perfect working order. Plus it has a documented service history from new.
The asking price of $12,500 is certainly not cheap, especially when nice ones can go for half that much. But if you’re looking for a near-perfect example, it might be worth paying a little extra, especially considering that you’d be getting one of the purest machines BMW ever made.
Still, if you pursue this one, we’d suggest using a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) as part of your negotiation process, just to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.
- 1999 BMW 528i
- 53k miles
- 2.8 liter inline 6 cylinder engine (193 hp)
- 5-speed manual transmission
- Jet Black on grey leather
- for sale by owner for $12,500
- Clearwater, Florida
- link to craigslist listing HERE
For more used car finds — or to submit your own — please visit our Used Car community pages.