This is a fun car to drive just about anywhere. Great on-road grip, handling, breaking and steering. Could use a few more horses but around town it's plenty fast enough. The main drawbacks are durability of the trim and reliability. When mine was 5 years old it started becoming expensive with radiator, gearbox and other issues. The rubber seals around the windows also started to wear at which point I sold it. Great car but needs some $$$ and TLC to maintain.
Handling, engine, breaks, styling and HK sound system.
This car is so much fun to drive. For a small six cylinder, it really moves. There have been a few minor problems, but if you are handy enough, most can befixed without going to the dealership. There are a number of online forums that you can join and ask questions of other owners that are more than willing to help. You'll find there is almost always someone who has experienced your problem or something like it and they will go out of their way to help you because BMW owners love their cars and people who drive the same ones! The car's handling is legendary and doesn't really need to be elaborated on. Truly the ultimate driving machine.
Excellent handling. Solidly built. Cleanly designed exterior. Long list of standard features. Not bad gas mileage
Not much power in lower rpms. No intermittent wiper setting. Cupholders are terrible: recommend aftermarket
I bought this car new in 1999 and have averaged 15000 miles per year. The car is great to drive, but has had numerous reliability issues - air conditioner replaced, all four power window motors / actuators replaced (2 replaced twice), minor fluid leaks, front suspension components replaced, thermostat replaced twice, four sets of headlights, etc. In addition to reliabilty issues - maintenance is exorbitant. The dealer wanted $1,200 for brakes, $250 for a new battery, $600 for inspections, etc. Parts are special, so you can't just go out and buy them at Pep Boys. As a car, the BMW is only marginally better than the G35 and TL, but the ownership experience is worse than the Japanese.
I bought the BMW 3 series new in 1999. The car drives incredibly well; however, the reliability is far below competing japanese makes and maintenance costs border on the obscene. In the 84k I've had the car, I've replaced all of the window motors, changed the AC compressor (twice), replaced parts of the front suspension, repaired several fluid leaks and replaced the thermostat (twice). In addition, a new battery was $250, since you can't go to WalMart and buy a battery. The dealer wanted $1,200 for a normal brake service and over $1,000 to change the belts (I went elsewhere, but still expensive).
Interior materials- the cabin looks and feels rich. Drive - it is one of the best cars to drive (but only marginally better than other cars such as the G35, Cadillac CTS or Acura TL).
I've been driving this thing for 3 years now and I don't plan to switch! It's easy to take this car for granted until you've driven something else. BMW's handling is amazing.. it gives me so much confidence on the road. You get an excellent feel for the road and the steering is firm. Handles great in the dry but I've had some problems in the wet. Then again, my tires were old. Although this car is pretty quick, it doesn't have as much power as I'd like. Next car will be more performance oriented (Probably an M3). It's almost 2005 and this car is still better than most cars on the streets. Excellent ballance of performance, comfort, and functionaly
Handling, acceleration, reliability, fuel economy, sexy fog lights
In-dash 6 CD changer, standard CD player, stronger premium sound system