The E39 generation BMW 5-series officially started production in 1995 (station wagon/touring models were released shortly after in 1996) and continued to be produced until 2004 as the E60 replacement models began production.
It was available with multiple petrol and diesel powerplants, ranging from a 2-litre straight-six to a 4.9-litre V8 and was combined with either a four- or five-speed automatic, or a five- or six-speed manual transmission.
The E39 5-series featured a list of luxury and safety features which made it one of the most practical and safest vehicles on the road at the time. One such feature was curtain airbags; the E39 was one of the first vehicles to have airbags located in that area to protect the occupant’s head from a side impact. Other safety features include anti-lock brakes, traction control and front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
The E39 5-series was the first 5-series to utilize aluminum for most of its front suspension components such as the steering knuckles and the front subframe for the six-cylinder models. The Touring variant of the E39 was the first BMW model to feature air-suspension, which gives the 5-series the ability to utilise its self-levelling system when the rear side is under heavy weight.