From Wikipedia

The BMW E39 is the fourth generation of BMW 5 Series, which was sold from 1995 to 2003. It was launched in the sedan body style, with the wagon/estate body style (marketed as “Touring”) introduced in 1996. The E39 was replaced by the E60 in 2003, however E39 Touring models remained in production until December 2003.

The proportion of chassis components using aluminium significantly increased for the E39, and it was the first 5 Series to use aluminium components in the front suspension. It was also the first 5 Series where a four-cylinder diesel engine was available. Rack and pinion steering was used for the first time in a 5 Series, being fitted to the E39 four-cylinder and six-cylinder models. Unlike its E34 predecessor and E60 successor, the E39 was not available with all-wheel drive.