Why Top Gear’s greatest ever car was a £1500 BMW banger – Telegraph.co.uk

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2016

Clarkson spent £1,500 on his, and as I write this, there’s low-mileage, late-model 525i in the classifieds for exactly that sum. A respectable early 523i, meanwhile, can be had for as little as £700. A better car for less money, you will not find.

It couldn’t quite hit 259mph, I’ll grant you, but the E39 5-series could pull off most of the other stunts Top Gear asked of its cars. The M5 could powerslide with the best of them, while a 540i with comfort seats would make light work of a cross-continental race. And if you wanted to deck out its interior with stone flooring and a wood-burning stove, well, it’d probably be OK with that too.

So yes, you can keep your Bugattis and Paganis, your Koenigseggs and your Ariels. For me, there’s only one car that can truly lay claim to having been the best car ever to feature on Top Gear – and it’s the E39 BMW 5-series.

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