I purchase my 525i last October and it was the best decision I ever made. I had the transmission rebuilt, to ensure the reliability of purschasing a used car. I hadn't had any problem with the car. My car is in mint condition, nice paint job and the interior is flawless. I enjoy driving it and in the near future hope to have M5 upgrades done to it.
On dash computer, heated seats, the design of the car inside and out.
This was my first BMW and I love it. I spent 3 months/12 test drives before I found it. I got the 5-speed manual, vinyl seats (still look brand new), and no traction control. So despite the smaller engine, it's a sporty ride. Nothing mechanical has ever broken. I just replaced the clutch at 125k, and the synchros on the tranny are starting to wear, but that's it. I would highly recommend this car to anyone, just make sure it is in excellent condition. Try to find a 1995 model - they're the best. The 5-speed is rare but well worth the extra time finding one. Everyone that gets in this car compliments it. The paint still looks new. My dad has always had a Volvo, but now wants a 5er.
5-speed, vinyl seats, RWD, smooth inline 6, steering feel, amazing brakes, near-perfect weight distribution for awesome handling, terrific headlights, sound system (Alpine deck sounds fantastic), manual vent controls, no traction control, close windows by holding in the lock button on remote control.
Power mirrors should have a neutral position so I don't accidentally move them; power window circuitry only allows certain operations to take place at one time. 2.5 liter engine isn't strong enough for me, but a good ECU chip should help with that.
I purchased my 525i ~3 yrs. ago with 75000 miles on it. I currently have 138000 miles on it and its running strong. I love it so much that I plan to keep it to keep the miles down on the 1999 bmw 528i that I just purchased on eBay. It only has 31,000 miles and is like a time warp...showroom new. I only paid $7600.00 for the 1994 model and haven't had a payment for 3 yrs. Only routine maintenance except water pump at 105000 miles. Still a good looker despite the harsh coal country driving conditions here in SW Virginia. I still get excited when my foot hits the gas and the inline 6 just keeps pulling...90, 100, 110, 120, 128 before I finally pulled back on the reins. WOW!!
Design, black with taupe leather, comfortable seats with power adjustments, got 30 mpg on one trip to maryland, city is 21 or so. TIGHT, responsive, The Ultimate Driving Machine!!
No cup holders... are you kidding? Material on interior doors has come loose in places. But it is 14 years old and 138000 miles. Wood trim with some cracks also.
I purchased my 1994 BMW 540i 6/2005. The car is rock solid, with no rattles or noises. Seat comfort is very good, ride quality, while dependent on tires, is excellent. Maintenance can be expensive, but not often. Average MPG is about 19.5, not bad for 282 hp. The car accelerates like a rocket, and the brakes are superb. With over 100K miles on the odometer, it's a great car. Records from the previous owner do show a transmission rebuild at 60K miles which cost $4800.00 But since then only minor repairs. The paint has held up well, and the leather interior is in excellent condition, showing no wear to speak of. The only replacement was the factory radio to gain MP3 playback.
After loads of research, I narrowed the field to a 94 or 95 BMW 525it. Found a white '94 525it from a 2nd owner private party with 117K and newer transmission with receipts and warranty (for 2 1/2 more years or 30K more miles). Bought it for about $6K. This thing is SOLID. I went from an Altima to this. Talk about enormous difference in all aspects of build quality, performance, handling, braking, everything. I have 2 small kids and feel very safe driving this fairly heavy wagon around. I think this series looks better tan the new wagons. And the 2.5L V6 is bulletproof - tried and true. I've done some preventive maintenance but other than that this thing has been problem-free since I got it.
Styling, ride, safety, leather, status
Radio is pretty wimpy but I'm not complaining since it has a 6-disc changer in the back. Be prepared to spend a little $$$ for upkeep and PM. I expect 8-10 years faithful service from this vehicle.