While the BMW 3 series wears the crown as the premier sports compact, the 5 series is the executive muscle car, a sporting sedan that delivers the Ultimate Driving experience for people who want a sophisticated, well balanced and powerful car that makes a statement. Once again, as in the popular 3 series, Car & Driver selected the E39 5 series, including the 530i as one of the 10 Best Cars for six years straight, from its introduction through 2002. It was the ‘What Car?' Executive Car of the Year from 1997 through 2002. Even Consumer Reports named it as its Best Car Tested in 2001-2002.
The North American market imported the upmarket and more powerful versions of the 5 series, Subsequently, in 2001 the 528i was upgraded to the 530i on the fourth generation E39 platform, the engine put out 228 hp, and a choice of a 5 speed manual, a 4 speed automatic, or a 5 speed Steptronic. These configurations were carried over onto the fifth generation 530i in 2003, now with 268 hp and 6 speed manual or automatic.
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