Exterior photo of 1990 BMW 525i

1990 BMW 525i



Price: SOLD

Mileage: 158,600 Miles

Engine: M20B25 Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual Transmission

Exterior color: Black (Schwarz) Exterior (086)

Interior: Black Leather Interior (0203)

Additional features:

Cold Weather Package

  • Heated Front Seats
  • Heated Windshield Washer Nozzles
  • Heated Mirrors
  • Ski Pass Through

Limited Slip Differential

Leather Steering Wheel

Power Front Seats

Center Arm Rests

BMW HiFi Sound System

On Board Computer

Tinted Windows

15” BMW Style 5 Wheels

Michelin Primacy A/S Tires

1 Owner / Colorado Car

Excellent Condition


1990 BMW 525i exterior photo

The E34 (3rd Generation) BMW 5 Series was the most advanced of the traditional BMWs, both in form and function. Its form is made up of the iconic BMW 3-box design language, square kidney grills, double circular headlights, and sleek tidy lines. It was more refined than its E28 predecessor, yet still traditional compared to its E39 successor. At its release, BMW accurately described it as “Sophisticated styling that is aerodynamic while in motion, and admired when parked.” It also said, “Two more cars the world makes, the more desirable the BMW 5 Series becomes.” Two successive decades have revealed those words to be true, as modern cars have become bloated, numb, infotainment-centric appliances. Simply put, the E34 is one of the best looking and best driving 5 Series of all time. The tried and true M20B25 engine—one of BMW’s most reliable power plants—powered the 1989 through 1991 525i. The M20 suffered none of the mechanical issues later E34 engines did. It is also lighter than the later M50 engines that followed, resulting in a less than one second 0 to 60 mph difference. The E34 was good—very good. As a result many were driven thoroughly, making clean, originally kept examples rare—very rare.


 exterior photo

This 1990 525i is one of those examples. It’s a 1-owner car that was originally purchased in January of 1990 for $35,615—that’s $65,000 in today’s money! It has always lived in Colorado and is rust-free as a result. It is completely stock and original down to the KE-837BM Hi-Fi factory stereo. It comes with the original window sticker, factory tool kit, sunshade, and all owners manuals. It’s clear at a glance that the owner was very meticulous in his stewardship. Compared to most E34s, which are usually knackered by this mileage, this example is exceptionally clean inside and out. The paint presents fantastically with no glaring defects and the interior is in time-capsule condition. Amazingly, everything works and almost none of the common E34 maladies are present. The Carfax shows the owner purchased a factory extended warranty, followed by regular services at BMW specialist Scandiatek in Lakewood, Colorado. There are little notes written under the hood documenting routine maintenance intervals. In preparation for sale we resealed all common M20 leak areas including the cam seal and oil pan gasket, then we updated all routine maintenance including the timing belt, water pump, valve adjustment and more. The result is a turn-key E34 ready to be enjoyed for several hundred thousand more miles by its new owner. Early E34’s are often overlooked for later production models, but this example stands out due to its excellent condition. Highly desirable options like the limited slip differential allow a proper BMW driving experience, which combined with the long wheelbase and communicative chassis make it a formidable machine in the snow.


1990 BMW 525i exterior photo

Black is the perfect color to accentuate the E34’s lines. It shows subtleties of the form that you just can’t see in other colors. The Black (Schwarz) paint is in great shape and presents fantastically, thanks to a complete respray at some point in its history. It is a quality paint job that has withstood the test of time. There are no glaring deficiencies, paint chips, or peeling clear coat. The leading edges of the hood, bumper, and valence are not pitted like some Colorado cars are. Below the surface there is no rust, including the lower door trim strips (a common area). All Vin tags are in place and all panels are original with the exception of a DOT-R hood and left front fender. I’m not sure why they were replaced, the Carfax is clean with no accidents and there is no evidence of underlying damage. The radiator support bracket and front subframe also appear to be original. Whatever the reason, it was superficial. All trim and black-work are intact and in good condition, except for a small crack above the left front maker light and a small scuff on the right rear bumper trim corner. The headlight and indicator lenses are clear and crack-free, except for a small hairline crack in the driver’s side low beam and a larger crack in the right fog light lens. The windshield glass has no cracks or excessive pitting. The side window and rear glass are lightly tinted and look great. The Style 2 wheels are in good shape with no bends or discernable curb rash; the center caps are present with good Roundel emblems. They are wrapped with Michelin Primacy A/S tires that have 70% tread remaining. I have a set of winter wheels and tires I will include for extra, and I have a set of Style 5 basket weave wheels I could also negotiate on.


 interior photo

The interior is where this E34 really shines. Interiors are a weak spot of E34s and this one is in exceptional shape. It has clearly lived the majority of its life indoors, being spared the UV exposure that cooks the interiors of cars that lived outside. Open the door and driver focused layout is unapologetically 1990s BMW, while the plush leather seats are the picture of comfort and luxury. It has that wonderful leather smell that all BMWs of this era have. There are no odors and it has never been smoked in. The carpets are clean and have been protected by factory floor mats. The seats have no scuffs, tears, or failed stitching. All power seat functions, including the power headrests work, as do the heating elements and arm rest locks (all common E34 issues). The dashboard is crack-free and the passenger airbag cover is not warped (another common issue). The shifter knob and boot are plush and crack-free. The instrument cluster LCD’s, on-board computer, and the KE-837BM radio have no blown out pixels. All interior functions work, the heat blows warm, the air condition blows cold, and the blower motor bearings do not chirp. The door cards are in good shape, except for a lifted center panel on the left rear door. The headliner does not sag and the rear deck fabric has only a few small wrinkles (more common issues). All owners manuals are present, along with the original window sticker.


 engine photo

When you buy a used BMW, you buy the previous owner’s stewardship. It was clear with our initial inspection that this E34 had always been exceptionally cared for. Common mechanical issues suffered by most E34s of this age and mileage are not present. The Carfax supports this, showing regular services at BMW specialist Scandiatek in Lakewood, CO. In preparation for sale we did a complete engine service including the timing belt, timing belt tensioner spring and pulley, water pump, valve adjustment, valve cover gasket, spark plugs, oil pan gasket, and an oil and filter change. The M20 engine starts on command, idles smoothly, and pulls strong to redline. The clutch take up feels like that of a recently replaced clutch and flywheel. The transmission shifts smoothly and the shifter bushings are tight. The suspension is firm and compliant and the brakes are strong with lots of pad thickness and rotor run out remaining. There are no driveline noises or vibrations. An M20 powered E34 is arguably one of the most reliable BMWs of all time, and this example’s condition cosmetic and mechanical condition will allow it to last a very long time. We would like to find a buyer who will continue to enjoy and care for years to come.

VIN Decode

 exterior photo

VIN Decode

  • VIN: WBAHC1315LBC91107
  • Type: HC13
  • Model: 525i – USA
  • Development Code: E34
  • Chassis: LIM
  • Steering: LL
  • Doors: 4
  • Engine: M20
  • Displacement: 2.50
  • Power: 168 Horsepower
  • Drivetrain: RWD
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Color: Black (Schwarz - 086)
  • Upholstery: Black Leather (Schwarz Leder - 0203)
  • Production Plant: Dingolfing
  • Production Date: 9/25/1989


  • 209 Limited Slip Differential (25%)
  • 240 Leather Steering Wheel
  • 458 Seat Adjustment, Electric Front Driver / Passenger
  • 464 Skibag
  • 472 Center Armrest Front Driver / Passenger
  • 494 Seat Heating Front Driver / Passenger
  • 640 Car Telephone Preparation
  • 694 Preparation for Cd Changer
  • 925 Shipping Protection Package