The information below is based on my own experience, almost 5 years (at time of writing this document), the owner of a BMW 5 series E28 535i. We preferred to present their own conclusions, but to synthesize materials that already exist on the Web - to find a lot of information in this regard.
Relevant comments and corrections are welcome.
BUYER PROFILE OF BMW E28
The first recommendation that I can start: do not buy an E28, if you are in the unlikely situation of having a passion for BMWs 80s.
E28 BMW 5 Series is not the kind of car for the general public. It was in the '80s and early '90s. Unfortunately, when not everyone could afford it. But now is the time a car exceeded, only the passionate search.
If you want to buy a second hand car and respond positively to at least one of the following situations:
- Want a family car, reliable and relatively economical;
- The only car in the family;
- Machine to be run, currently, by a lady or lady;
- Attaches great importance to comfort, passive safety systems, driver assistance electronic systems;
- Do not have, family, anyone to make the maintenance of a car a passion (and also have enough time for that);
- The car is a means of travel in itself and not an object of sentimental value;
- Along with the necessary amount of purchase, yet not already have min. 1000 EUR in next 2-3 months after purchase, on which I spent only to restore the technical condition of the car;
- Will not allow current maintenance costs (parts, service and fuel) at least double that of a Dacia;
- Intend to keep the car max. 2-3 years, then you can hope to resell;
then we urge you to NOT buy a BMW 5 series E28, however attractive as its price.
BMW 5 Series platform coded "E28" took place between 1981 and 1988. Is a second-generation 5 series, 5 series is preceded by code "E12" and followed by the 5 Series code "E34".
Full list of BMW E28, offered in Europe is available at this link. There were other market specific models (for example: 533i in the U.S.).
In terms of design, BMW E28 chassis was very conservative, being practically a restyling of the previous generation, E12. Easily noticed some differences: the E28, hood not "cover" wings, as the E12. Seen from the front, the car looks more aggressive. Of the four lights, two outside larger in diameter (as in E23 7 series). The boot is taller and tail lights are different. Different key pillar vent the "C" of the body. At E12, the column "B" (the doors) is visible, while the E28, no. Obviously, the interior is much different (especially the dashboard). However, the windows fit from E12 to E28 and vice versa. Otherwise, however, there are very few common parts between E12 and E28. In terms of mechanics, E28 was a modern platform when it was launched. Very modern.
E28 mechanics is taken and the E24 6 Series since late 1982. That's why BMW E24 platform is the only code that, under the same name, includes two totally different mechanical variants: E24-powered E12 - until 1982, then-powered E24 E28 until the end of production. Setting aside the particular body, then talk about what E28 is perfectly valid and E24 models based on the E28.
Mechanical E28 was so successful that one be found almost unchanged on the next generation 5 Series E34 (certainly damped springs adapted to a heavier body) and the 7 Series E32 (same, with the necessary adaptations). So mechanics designed in the early '80s was used on BMW upper classes (series 5 and 7) until 1995.
Pros and Cons - Overview