The BMW 5-series was well established as the upper end luxury/sports sedan to have when the e39 series was introduced in 1995. Most were ordered with automatic transmissions but a few lucky individuals picked up the 540i V8 model mated to a 6-spd manual transmission – basically a poor man’s M5. These are still somewhat desirable today – although with prices of e39 M5s still dropping, its hard to justify the 540i-6spd unless it is in fantastic shape and a great deal. This 1997 BMW 540i 6spd is for sale in the SF Bay area for $8500 via Craigslist (thanks to tip from Kaibeezy T)
This 540i is offered with 111k miles on the odometer and in good condition – cosmetically it looks better than most other e39s for sale.
This 540i is powered by the M62B44 – a 4.4 liter all-alloy V8 pushing out 282 horsepower and mated to a slick 6 spd manual transmission. Unfortunately only the M5 was available with a limited slip differential – so you will have to live with a peg leg in this car, unless you swap in a diff from the M5 or optional 750iL diff.
The inside looks decent condition – but the leather is showing some signs of fading/weather. We also aren’t big fans of the wood trim, but its hard to avoid in the non-M e39 5-series.
Overall this car offers a lot of speed/luxury for the price tag and while it could cost some big bucks if you have major issues, we still think you could do a lot worse.
See a better luxury sedan with 6spd? email us: email@example.com