I bought my '98 323is in September of '11 with 55,400 original miles.
It has been about 90 days and the car has been a pure joy to drive and own.
The M52 is the least powerful of the 2.5 I6 engines available but is still reasonably quick with a wonderful smooth character and a good amount of torque.
The balanced feel and handling put a huge smile on my face in every corner.
It is also comfortable and reasonably quiet on the highway inspite of its tight, sporty character.
This car was well maintained by its previous two owners and it shows.
I now understand why BMW calls their cars the "Ultimate Driving Machine".
Extremely high quality feel.
Brilliant to drive.
Components designed to be DIY friendly in regards to repair and maintenance.
Highway driving at 75-80 mph nets 25-30 mpg and a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds...what's not to like?
Cup holders were a distant afterthought, the Germans take their driving very seriously and don't understand our desire to consume refreshments while we drive.
Glove box design not terribly robust.