1997 BMW 540 Review
It's all too easy to let the adjectives flow when describing a BMW. Sophisticated engineering, attractive and understated design, jewel-like finish quality and road behavior matched only by a select few competitors can't help but make an impression on even the most jaded test driver.
The company's 5-Series sedans have long been favorites with automotive journalists and customers alike. From the beginning they have blended performance and luxury in a most appealing way. In effect, they have traditionally been slightly smaller versions of BMW's flagship 7-Series sedans, built to the same standards and carrying most of the same features, yet more maneuverable and less expensive.
Several manufacturers have compact luxury sedans in their catalogs: Audi offers the A6, Mercedes-Benz the E-Class, Lexus and Infiniti have the GS 300 and J30 respectively, Acura has the TL, and Cadillac has recently weighed in with the German-built Catera. There's a considerable price spread among these contenders, though the final price of any of them will depend on equipment level and/or the dealer's need to move cars out quickly.
Even among such high-class company, the 5-Series makes a strong case for itself. You may have to shell out a substantial chunk of money for one, but you'll get what you paid for, and more.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 1997 BMW 540, click here: 1997 BMW 540.