Amid the favorable reviews I must interject some objective facts. We purchased our 525IA on a lease turn-in and spent $9,000 repairing and maintaining it over the course of 3.7 years. Reliability was awful, having stranded my family four times. Once each for fuel pump, A/C compressor seizure, self-destructing water pump, and seized belt idler pulley. When asking BMW of North America, they apologized for my model year being one of the "Dark Ages" vehicles where they outsourced the offending parts and/or labor. When the question of service came up, they sent me a standard form letter. Stay away.
Gorgeous design and interior for the period.
Upholstery poor due to use of "green" eco-friendly adhesives. Leather only good for 3 to 4 years before cracking even with Lexol and Pecard's treatment regularly. Paint gone even after regular Xymol regiment.