The 1997 328i was my first German car and well, they've made a convert of me. My experience with this car, despite its age was extraordinary. The handling was like nothing I had experienced until then, even surpassing cars 10 years younger. Mechanically, I never once had a problem with anything, save a brake replacement, but that was due to my driving more than anything else. My praises for this car are too many to list, but it does come with a few warnings. 1. The car is very reliable, but expensive to maintain and repair. 2. The cup holders are useless. 3. The car handles very poorly in snow and ice, as is to be expected from any RWD car. Do not be mistaken though, the BMW is amazing.
Handling, performance, balance of luxury and sportiness
Cup holders (dealt with later), handling of snow and ice (dealt with in later "x" models) Note: While it is expensive to repair and maintain, I would not suggest changing that, because that would reduce quality, and it is because of quality and the low frequency of issues you buy such a car.