In Reply to: Impressions posted by Sam on December 12, 1999 at 08:18:46:
The sport suspension question is easy, it is not harsh at all, just lowers the car and handles much better. I think the wider tires actually help smooth the ride by widening the contact patch. Tire technology has come so far that suspensions are much easier to design to get the best of both worlds.
The E39 is much roomier than the E36, but the E46 is better.
The 328 and 540 are much peppier IMO than their smaller engine brothers.
There is more isolation from the road in an E39 than the E36, but the 5 series still handles better. There is not nearly as much road feedback, sort of like a video game sometimes. The 540 steering exacerbates this problem, it is not as lively as the 528. You really need to drive them all, there are too many subtle differences to try to do this on paper. Paper analysis often results in people getting Lexus GS400 or something like that. BMW must be driven to appreciate, but my final warning:
:Be prepared to buy anything you drive!
: I welcome comments about the 5 series. Is the 540ia really worth its cost premium over 528ia as a daily commuter? Also is the sport package a good tradeoff - handling versus harsher ride?
: As far as comfort, roominess, and connection to the road how would you compare the 3 & 5 series?