Bought my 1995 318i in 2005 with 165,000 km (about 102,000 miles) on it - it now has 217000km (about 135000 miles) on it. It also has rusted out rockers and right rear fender, cracked windshield, the cluster (mph,tach etc) no longer works, lower control arms are shot, struts shot, won't idle, and the drivers seat (it's cloth) is worn out. I have replaced the alternator, starter, O2 sensors 3 times, MAF (twice) and innumerable other smaller items for a total repair bill of about $3000 I paid $5000 for the car in 2005...it's now worth about $500. BMWs are fine...if you're willing to spend upwards of $1500 a year on repair and maintenance.
Bought mine with 120k on it. Needed tires and belts. Still driving with 151k on it. No probs. - everything works and works well. No rust in Ohio which is rare and all equipment still works. Turns heads and no one can tell it's a 1995 except for older tail lights. Got it at a Ford dealer for $3000 three years ago (2005). Fun to drive with good gas mileage to boot! Rare to find one, but all sources tell me it will run until 350k miles.
large power moonroof, low profile tires, quality leather seats and trim, sleek styling
blower fan for A/C and heat does not circulate enough air
144,000k and still runs strong and tight. This is a car that makes driving fun again. It's 14yrs old and rides better than some domestic brands that are only a few yrs old! The 5spd manual is smooth and crisp, the suspension lets you know what's going on and BMW must under-rate their horsepower ratings because I have blown away many V6's with my M42 engine. I run exclusively 5w30 Royal Purple and SHELL V-Power Gasoline. I also updated the factory plastic headlamps with a set of EURO 4300k HID Depo Glass Headlamps with angel eyes. Now I can finally see at night!
Orange back lit dash, seats that fit like a glove, the vault like feeling when driving, the low rumble exhaust note when it's idling, the on center feel of the steering, the positive feel of the door handles and switches inside the cabin, and just the way it drives, solid and tight.
To add a higher 5th gear so its not a 1/1 ratio. When cruising @ 70mph in 5th your rpms hover around 3200rpms. I'd like to see it hover in the 2500rpm or less range.
Excellent handling. Solid body and smooth ride. Great gas mileage. Used more as a pleasure car than daily driver. Never owned a BMW, so went with a cheaper model to test the waters. Very much not disappointed.
95 318i sport package. I was lucky. I was owner #2 and the first owner by coincidence lived in the same city as me and took excellent care of the car. I bought it from a used car dealer with 78,000+ mi in 02/2003. I now have about 117000 mi on it and have had 0 problems. I replaced the original alternator, batt. and belts at 100K mi, but everything else (brakes, timing chain, etc. are still in good condition after 10 years). Replaced the belts myself actually. I found a remarkable performance boost after switching to Castrol Syntec 15W-50--instead of Mobil 1. I love this car and when/if I get another car it will be a 3-series.
Leather seats--I just hate static shocks I get from cloth/velour. The car is inexpensive but high quality! Has both CD Changer & cassette so I can practice my voice tapes. Like the sound of the door closing--built very solid. Like the short shifter. Cornering is so boss!
What's up with the tail light bulbs in German cars always acting funky? Burning out, dimming? Brake dust on wheels--my front wheels get about 1-2 days of clean before they are black again. The shop manuals (Bentley) are not as comprehensive as Honda shop manuals. Repair costs are not too bad.