i drove the 324ci for close to 2 years. The repair bills emptied my bank account. I replaced timing belt, brakes, rotors, tune up air conditioner, misfiring twice, radiator, tie rod... The list keeps growing. I finally had to draw the line when the trunk started flooding and I had to vacuum over a foot of water out from under the spare tire. I "traded "it for another car. The value was next to nothing and I spend my savings fixing this awful car. Huge regret and now broke.
I've had the car for 5 years and 75,000 miles. In terms of maintenance and parts failures this car has been very very easy. Total invested in non routine maint: not more than $1,000, and considering what the AZ heat does to rubber components, that isn't bad! I love this little car, and based on the really low trade in value, I'm probably going to keep it for fun and get a new sedan. If you're looking for fun at a low cost, and the pricing on Edmunds is accurate, this is a great deal! My only complaint is this is a very heavy car for only 175hp under the hood. It doesn't accelerate fast, but handles great and feels comfortable even at excessive speeds (with the top down or up).
It's a convertible in a very sunny place, need I say more?
I must say that the reliability is not as bad as some reviewers are saying. I bought my 2000 convertible in 2006 with 45000 miles. I now have 137000 miles and have only changed the oil regularly and just did the rear brake pads. I commute 100 miles a day for work and feel confidant this will get me there and home again in style. The car is fun to drive! Take care of it, and it should take care of you.
Styling, handling, good gas mileage around 28 combined.
Rear tires wear heavily on the inside. I hear this is normal for BMW.
I bought it used with 75k miles and warranty until 100k. Have had only 1 minor problem with O2 sensor, covered by warranty. Very fun to drive, especially with top down. Didn't spend much on it, but everyone thinks I'm loaded because I drive a Beamer. No neck snapping acceleration, but slowing down for curves is a thing of the past. People still ooh and ahh over my 8 year old BMW.
Road handling, fit and finish and luxury touches. Truly an "Ultimate Driving Machine".