Bought the car with 140K and drove it home (eBay...1000 miles away) getting 28 MPG all the way. I thought I wanted a 540i till I saw the MPG. Kept it mainly as a road trip vehicle for a year, then started driving it daily. Here we are 2 years and 25000 miles later. My only monetary investment has been tires, brakes, a/c compressor, spark plugs and a radiator. Not bad for a car with 166,000 miles. Still runs very strong, corners like a dream, great curb appeal. My wife tries to trade vehicles with me on an almost daily basis (Grand Cherokee Overland). The valets all ask me to let them know when I may be selling it!
Driving comfort, timeless lines, MPG, road feel, brakes are awesome, cornering, durability, reliability, turbine smoothness, broad flat power curve, enough trunk space for several bodies (or so I am told), full size spare, factory sound system is pretty good, factory tool kit is actually useful!
A little more power would be good, as well as a little better support with parts for the older cars. I find some parts are easier to get from friends in Europe than through the dealer.
I have a red 5-speed and it is a blast to drive. Terrific at responding to the driver's intentions. Mirrors and car shape allow for very easy viewing of other cars around you which can really make a driving experience. Driver is truly in complete control. CLASSIC body style. Car looks incredible when clean. Very tight steering and VERY impressive handling for a sedan. Car loves to be pushed. Built to be driven. I average about 24 mpg and can go well over 400 mi on a tank. Trunk space is a-plenty. Back seat leg room a little tight. Nothing better than taking this baby out on a warm sunny day with the windows down and the music up.
I love the tight construction, and can't say enough about the body style. It just so good-looking! Love tracking my mpg on the on-board comp every time I fill up. I like the way the hood lifts up away from the windsheild. But the drive is what makes this car.
Cupholders, but don't take away my little area around the shifter!
Note: I own a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country, 1991 Patherfinder, 1993 Ford Escort and there are no comparisons to any of them. I bought this 10 year old BMW with 91000 miles on it. I must say that this car is the best car I ever drove. The car makes me feel that I have full control of every inch to the car. It gives me the feeling for ESP, because the response time is incredible.
After months of research and comparisons with MB and Lexus, I found my 525 5-speed. Considered a 98 but the 95 has the styling that won't look dated. After a year and 12000 miles no mechanical problems to speak of. Only gripe is brake light circuit warning light that has a mind of its own. Average overall MPG about 20 so far with the ability to get 28 or more on the highway if I can drive under 70 mph. Great car. Still under 100k so looking forward to many more ahead. Not a burner off the line, but better mileage than a v-8.