I purchased the vehicle with over 230k and I personally have put about 90k mostly highway miles. The vehicle is in remarkable condition for its age (nicer than most 2 to 3 year old cars) and is very easy to work on. The automatic went out at 250k but I was able to purchase a rebuilt one for 1200 and installed it myself. Considering I purchased the car for 1300 this was not a bad deal. I perform all maintenance myself (including tires) and I have multiple connections across the country for parts. After installing a performance chip and tweaking the air intake system I am averaging 29 mpg highway and 25 in the city. Excellent car for the money for either the do it yourselfer or the avg driver.
Design style,reliability, and comfort. The 525i makes for an excellent communter car especially when you look at the cost. While I could afford a new BMW, why bother? When I can own 4 vinatge models that look as if they rolled of the showroom floor and not have to sale my kids.
Not a big fan of timing belts on the M20 engine. This has been the death of many an e34 due to owner neglect. (they must be changed every 60k miles) For the avg driver I reccomend either a 535i which comes with a timing chain, or a 91 and up 525i. electrical system pain to troubleshoot.