2004 BMW 5-series October 14, 2004 Description: Luxury midsize rear-wheel-drive sport sedan. Price range: MSRPs run from $39,800 for straight-six 525i model to $58,300 for V8-powered 545i. All prices exclude destination charges. Reality check: The best-selling model, the 530i, has a sticker price of $45,595 and actually sold for $44,055 in September, according to Edmunds.com. No incentives or rebates are available. The numbers: BMW sold 32,617 5-series cars through the first three quarters of 2004, down from 35,867 for the same period last year. That's well below what the automaker would have hoped for with the technically sophisticated all-new model that went on sale about a year ago. Bottom line: The 5-series has stumbled in a way uncharacteristic for a new BMW. Several factors might have contributed to its slow sales, including the new model's radical styling, its complicated iDrive control system and a parts problem that stalled shipments from the factory in Germany this summer. The 5-series is far short of the kind of roaring success BMW expected when it replaced the car that was widely considered the best sport sedan in the world. However, it's too early to call the car a failure. BMW has yet to introduce the new 5-series station wagon, and the 500-horsepower V10-powered M5 super sedan is certain to draw fresh attention when it debuts next year. looks like the "radical styling" change isn't all that effective!