I bought this car at 150,000km's and I'm now approaching 250,000km's. I expect the bimmer to last much longer - car is in excellent condition. Although not as quick as its 6-cyclinder counterparts its an economical bimmer with enough juice for spirited driving and great handling. Overtime I've replaced many parts which are known to be weak in this model including: water pump, head gasket, strut tower mounts, ball joints...(all preventative maintenance, not broken) otherwise car has run with few problems over the years. Only failures: bolt in clutch linkage broke at 224,000km's ($10 part, $300 tow to garage); fog light connection a little loose... the bracket broke off in cooler weather.
Excellent handling car. Great transmission. Reliable. Stiff solid Chassis. Nice tough steel body instead of import tin or plastic.
It's nice to have the fuel economy of the 4-cyclinder, but the raw power of the v6 is missed. The stiff body and chassis is hard on suspensions parts. Need more durable parts, which are around now - but not invented at the time. Like the new OE ball joints are steel not rubber.