I have owned 5 BMW's and currently own 2 and a Porsche. Not one is cheap to own or drive, but boy do they drive! The comments and smiles you get are nice. How many people are excited about seeing another Honda? I have owned plenty of those too and the answer is none! My father passed down my love for cars and drove some of the coolest cars ever built! He told me owning an expensive car was like marrying a beautiful women, they are beautiful to look at, expensive to keep up and everyone will be jealous of you! He was right, my wife is as beautiful as my cars and not cheap to keep! But man, do I love all four, and HOW!
I bought my 323i about 4 months ago. It's an automatic with the option to drive manually. I love driving it, but I have had to replace two window regulators and the battery so far. The sunroof cover has come all to pieces and I need to replace my windshield fluid container. I have taken it to a couple of different people to figure out why my abs, brake, and traction control lights stay on and they can't figure it out. Other than that I really do like my car.
This is hands down one of the best driving experiences you'll ever have. Words really can not describe the "emotions" you feel when driving a BMW, you really should just drive one. I own 3 BMWs (one 5 Series and two 3 Series) and have had no major problems with them. My 323i is my project car and has been nothing but a pleasure to work on. Actually BMW's are the easiest car I have ever worked on. I completely rebuilt the front end, including struts, on my 323i for less than $400 and about 4 hrs. I replaced all 4 brake rotors, pads and sensors for less than $200 and a COMPLETE brake job took less than an hour!!! NEVER take the car to the Stealership, you will [violative content deleted] in parts & labor cost.
Handling, styling and the stock sound system is great.
Can't think of any when compaired to previous cars I have owned. My 323i has over 190,000 miles on it and it still runs like new, so there is not much to complain about.
Most everyone here complaints about the car being unreliable. Most of them also claims that they have replaced major things on their 10 yr old cars. I have been a BMW owner since 1994 and have driven nothing but BMW's ever since. Here's the real deal: Yes they have their quirks (window regulators, etc.) but most of the complaints I've read here involves just basic maintenance. Yes the cooling system are not 100% but with a little TLC one can update all the issues and drive a Bimmer for 600,000+km for a lot less than a Civic! Don't be taken in by the hype, these cars are great and don't cost a lot to maintain! Stick with a manual transmission, the autos WILL fail if not maintained properly!
The performance package! The seats are more comfy than the regular seats and looks very racy! The 3 spoke steering is great too!
Picked up with European Delivery Program (still frustrates me everyday that American drivers do not have the competence and courtesy of the Germans on the road). As with any car, maintenance will be required. Due to volume production of the e46, parts are very reasonable and you can save $$ if you have some mechanical inclination. Everything on the car is easy to work with and finely engineered. Now with 150k miles since new, the car still feels tight and solid, even after front end collision caused by erroneous driver. Airbag deployed, very little damage. The larger Ford excursion SUV didn't fare as well. I still trust the car to protect my family--no other make will suffice for me.
BMW has always been ahead in their tech . Even for 10 yrs old, homelink, memory seats, rt mirror fold down, bluetooth/ipod upgradeable, xenon lights, traction ctrl, 5spd auto,remote window roll down--some of these just now appearing in mainstream cars. No substitute for the sublime inline 6 engine.
As with any car, there will be some issues prevalent for certain years. Respect that and you will enjoy the drive experience. There is no comparison. That's why the 3-series tops on all comparison tests. Proper maintenance is most important. Newer models-very nice, but I am still thrilled w/mine.