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Discussion Starter #1
My three month journey is coming to an happy end, I'm getting ready to pull the trigger:) - I'm looking at three 2003 M5's:
1. Jet Black / Black / wood trim
2. Carbon Black / Black / aluminum trim
3. Carbon Black / Caramel / wood trim

All three vehicles are out-of-state, so todate I've only inspected pictures. All three vehicles are non-BMW dealers so I plan on having a BMW Buyer Inspection performed. To help narrow the field before I have them inpected and get on a plane, I was hoping someone could help me out with some option / color questions.

- what is the difference betwen Jet Black and Carbon Black? I can't really tell from the pictures.
- the black seats in the aluminum trim M5 look different than the black seats in the wood trim M5's. Both wood trim seats, caramel and black, have seams while the aluminum trim black seats appear to be smooth. Am I seeing this right?
- are there other interior differences between the wood and aluminum trim options
 

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Jet black is as the name implies just a normal jet black color. Pretty standard there.
Carbon black is a black that has been mixed with some blue, so in direct light there is a blue hue to the car. Gorgeous color IMO, but from what I hear it is a pain to keep looking nice (read no swril marks). My E39 was jet black, and it was easy to keep it looking good. Carbon black is a great color, try to find a CB M5 in the Phoenix area to look at. It would be my color of choice.
Not sure on the interior questions. I do love wood though.
:cheers:
 

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MikeLa said:
My three month journey is coming to an happy end, I'm getting ready to pull the trigger:) - I'm looking at three 2003 M5's:
1. Jet Black / Black / wood trim
2. Carbon Black / Black / aluminum trim
3. Carbon Black / Caramel / wood trim

All three vehicles are out-of-state, so todate I've only inspected pictures. All three vehicles are non-BMW dealers so I plan on having a BMW Buyer Inspection performed. To help narrow the field before I have them inpected and get on a plane, I was hoping someone could help me out with some option / color questions.

- what is the difference betwen Jet Black and Carbon Black? I can't really tell from the pictures.
- the black seats in the aluminum trim M5 look different than the black seats in the wood trim M5's. Both wood trim seats, caramel and black, have seams while the aluminum trim black seats appear to be smooth. Am I seeing this right?
- are there other interior differences between the wood and aluminum trim options
Your observation is correct. The car with the aluminum trim has the sport seats and are "napa" leather which are seamless. The cars with the wood trim interiors have the "luxury" leather seats which have seams.
 

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The seats are only different in the leather and stitch pattern- no shape or functional differences.

The sport seat can come in all black, or can have colored panel in the middle of the seat surfaces. The sport also has a bit of a different texture in those middle panels.

The 'luxury' interior has more stitched panels in the middle section. The are also either all caramel or all black.

A car with the luxury interior cannot have rear sunshades.

The trim can be changed. Cost is around $900 I think (?) BUT, every once in a while someone here is looking for trim to trade.

You might consider asking the board to see if someone will check the cars out for you- generally members are a fantastic, unbiased resource to get an idea of condition.

DO NOT rely on a "BMW Buyer Inspection" from the dealer selling the car. Find a local member to recommend a local mechanic when it gets 'serious'.

Try to get a cpo.

Exciting....

Good luck

A

PS Black?, in Phoenix?... I know, they look outrageous when detailed. :)
 

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You also get full leather dash panels on the luxury interior. Of those 3 choices I would go with the Carbon Black/Caramel. It's the classiest combo.
 

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ard said:
The seats are only different in the leather and stitch pattern- no shape or functional differences.

The sport seat can come in all black, or can have colored panel in the middle of the seat surfaces. The sport also has a bit of a different texture in those middle panels.

The 'luxury' interior has more stitched panels in the middle section. The are also either all caramel or all black.

A car with the luxury interior cannot have rear sunshades.

The trim can be changed. Cost is around $900 I think (?) BUT, every once in a while someone here is looking for trim to trade.

You might consider asking the board to see if someone will check the cars out for you- generally members are a fantastic, unbiased resource to get an idea of condition.

DO NOT rely on a "BMW Buyer Inspection" from the dealer selling the car. Find a local member to recommend a local mechanic when it gets 'serious'.

Try to get a cpo.

Exciting....

Good luck

A

PS Black?, in Phoenix?... I know, they look outrageous when detailed. :)
not positive But I thought the luxury seats had active seating surfaces which were suppossed to reduce driver fatigue? with an active gel bladder?
 

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dmz said:
You also get full leather dash panels on the luxury interior. Of those 3 choices I would go with the Carbon Black/Caramel. It's the classiest combo.
Pretty sure no... all the same in 2003 USA models.
 

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bmwusa said:
not positive But I thought the luxury seats had active seating surfaces which were suppossed to reduce driver fatigue? with an active gel bladder?
That's a new one for me. Active gel- like the old classic move the Blob?

IIRC, there is an option outside the US for some kind of active seat (and there is a switch space on our E39s under the climate for it) that periodically moves or kneads to reduce fatigue.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=49954&highlight=active+seat

As this link shows, if something comes up it has likely been turned inside out in a thread already... :)
 

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MikeLA -


Let us know the names and locations of the dealers, I am sure many of us have had experiences or as mentioned earlier would be willing to check out the cars in person.

I bought mine from a private dealer in Dallas, TX and have nothing but great things to say about them.

I have the Sterling Grey/Black luxury and there is an option of the active seats, but not sure if that was only in Europe...check the threads.

Anyways, let us know so we can help and when you do get your Beast be ready, 'cuz I'll see if we all can't get together for a Phoenix/Tucson meet!
 

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i was in a similar position when purchasing an out of state vechile, and i went to the 2 local bmw dealerships and looked at vechiles on the used car lot to see what the colors / interiors look like. i ended up choosing a jet black as my favorite, but also decided that i my first priority was a mechanically sound relatively unabused vehicle. however, i did not like the carmel interior because of the stark contrast between the black dash and the carmel under the dash, i found it a big enough turn off that i would have not purchased the car.

best of luck - and mike did you ever talk on of the local dealerships into letting you test drive one?

bryon :cheers:
 

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Mine is #2. I had two dealer choices, Jet Black/Wood or CB/Aluminum. I felt the Aluminum interior is sportier and it gets me away from that (sorry to say) old manish wood trim (no offense meant). Just fit me better (I am 50 by the way ;-) and previously had a LS430 with the wood thing going on.

Anyway, as for CB paint, yes it is a ***** to keep really polished. Need the right soap, wax with Zymol each time if possible. Do NOT let the dealer wash it! Their soap is too harsh.

As for an out of state purchase, I have no suggestions. Sort of scary as if you need to go after the seller for any misrepresentation, forget about it.
Best of luck!
D/
 

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Hmmm...I think there are a bit more differences between the luxury vs. sport interiors. The luxury has more leather (or leatherette) on the dash, center console, and doors. The nappa leather I believe is smoother textured and more supple than the montana leather in the sport...Carbon black is a unique color in that it does look pretty black at night or on overcast days...but then when the light is just right, it's blue! But it definitely requires work to keep the swirl demons away just as has been mentioned here.
 

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ard said:
That's a new one for me. Active gel- like the old classic move the Blob?

IIRC, there is an option outside the US for some kind of active seat (and there is a switch space on our E39s under the climate for it) that periodically moves or kneads to reduce fatigue.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=49954&highlight=active+seat

As this link shows, if something comes up it has likely been turned inside out in a thread already... :)
ahh, I see now I thought it was available in the US, I had remebered reading about it in my owners manual and just assumed, thanks for the link, I am now wise to the way of seating surfaces:byebye: , Josh
 

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buymenow00 said:
Hmmm...I think there are a bit more differences between the luxury vs. sport interiors. The luxury has more leather (or leatherette) on the dash, center console, and doors.
The leather in the sport interior cars is called "nappa point" according to my window sticker. Additionally, my sport also has leather on the doors and center consold. The dash was optionally available in real leather with the sport (at least in 00) which seems like a maintanance nightmare. I'm speaking of a US spec car, of course. In europe there were several different variations. What we in the US get was called "extended leather" which is essentially leather on the door pannels and console (and seats, of course). The lux cars do have some imitation leather on the dash for later model cars.

the active seats were not a US option on the m5. You could get them in europe with the comfort seat package.

I don't think the sunshades were available with the lux interior either.
 

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ard said:
That's a new one for me. Active gel- like the old classic move the Blob?

IIRC, there is an option outside the US for some kind of active seat (and there is a switch space on our E39s under the climate for it) that periodically moves or kneads to reduce fatigue.

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=49954&highlight=active+seat

As this link shows, if something comes up it has likely been turned inside out in a thread already... :)
I was looking at an '01 740i sport with the active seat option, I believe the new 7's have active seats as a standard option:typing:
 

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Beamer_usa said:
I was looking at an '01 740i sport with the active seat option, I believe the new 7's have active seats as a standard option:typing:
Yep, it is optional on 7's, my inlaw's 745li has it.
they've been a big hassel for them. One of the bladders developed a leak, and leaked on the electronics below. First causing all kinds of electrical gremlins that the dealer couldn't track down, then finally causing an electrical short and a bunch of goo under the seat. They were an extra cost option.
I think ard was refering to the point that they were never available on a US spec e39 m5, as we all have 'sports seats' rather than the comfort seats.
Mike
 

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the luxury interior has quite a bit more leather (although not the dash) and is a softer leather which feels good (i have it) but may not wear as well

the carmel look great but is a real pain to keep looking great
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You guys are great. Thanks for all the info. I've narrowed it down to two, the third M5 (Black/Black/Aluminum 12K miles) had two owners. The private dealership purchased the M5 from a BMW dealership and didn't know anything about the previous owners. I gave up on the CPO requirement and decide to purchase an United Auto aftermarket when the factory 4/50K is up.

The 03 Black/Caramel/Wood 19K miles, is at Lundgren Honda in Auburn MA. It is the owners car. They had to repaint the hood because of chips etc... from the MA winter. I wouldn't know about that winter stuff living in AZ. A forum member test drove the car, that's how I found out about it.

The 03 Carbon Black / Black / Wood 17K miles, is at Jaguar LandRover of Bellevue WA. It was a trade on a Land Rover. They sprayed a few chips and removed one door ding.

I plan on having a Buyer Inspection at their local BMW delearships.

Does the Caramel interior have a black dash, I can't tell from the pictures. The 530 I sat in didn't have a black dash, it was the same color as my Audi A4 Beige/tan.
 

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MikeLa said:
I plan on having a Buyer Inspection at their local BMW delearships.

Does the Caramel interior have a black dash,
What is a "Buyer Inspection"?

Yes, they all have blk dash- light colors impact visual acuity due to reflections on the windshield.

They use road salt in MA... not in Seattle...

A
 
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