Had owned 2 previous BMWs. After the warranty expired, within a couple of years it cost me $12,000 in repairs. Had to replace transmission, control arm, and power steering. This all from someone who drives once a week with a max. of 5000 kms a year. Wished I would have read all the driver reviews before buying it almost brand new from a distant cousin. Low mileage, looks brand new inside and out but do not trust driving it on the highway. Give your money to a panhandler instead. Sits handsomely in the garage. Looking for a new car.
Over 140,000 and still drives great! I have been diligent about maintenance and have spent around 1000/yr after warranty expired. Biggest disappointment: Replaced transmission at 120,000 miles.($4500). The handling is excellent. A car wash makes it look new. Purchased a 2006 convertible and I prefer to drive the 2000 Beemer. The car has not left me stranded. It has had minor repairs every year. I expect to drive it another 100,000.
My favorite features is the handling, brakes, and style.
I originally owned this car. With Sport Package. I gave it Michelin Pilot sport tires. Do oil change every 7k miles and had the engine opened up to seal a leak, the repair man said it is darn clean engine at 130k miles now. Learn to fix and replace some parts yourself and the car is reliably solid.
The cars loves high RPM. At 5rpm, it feels hungry for more.
We all have our priorities and I like to spend my money on cars. You won't find another car which has this level of luxury & handling combined. The resale value is low which is why people like me can afford it. M52 engines have one big problem, around 100k kms you will need to replace all the parts used by the cooling system. Otherwise you'll be making lots of trips over the next year or 10k kms. If you love BMWs' combination of luxury & handling then you wouldn't mind spending money on cars.
Great car to drive fast & hard. Standard Ci springs are hard but they handle potholes good. What I love the most is the sound of the high revving M52 engine and how it's made to accelerate fast at high rpm & speed.
When cornering fast the front outside corner hops up & down. The interior has lots of squeaks around the bottom of door or the back. Road & tyre noise is louder than expected, would try better tyres. Not enough torque at low end ie 0kph to 50kph or under 3000rpm.
When you look at all around build quality, style, and joy in driving the 3 series is king. 15 gallons of gas got me 400 miles, not bad for a quick car!
Driving dynamics and the style (interior and exterior)
Fold down rear seats should be standard to improve versatility over its X3 and wagon counterparts. Most people would find the rare times they need to stuff junk in the trunk, fold down rear seats do the trick, no need for SUV!