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.
This car is a mixed bag. It is extremely comfortable in front but cramped in back. It gets fairly poor gas mileage, about 19 mpg in mixed driving. OTOH it is fast even by today's standards; the engine is a joy, and it handles amazingly well for such a big car. The steering is perfect, the brakes are excellent, and the controls are generally within easy reach. One exception is the window controls, which inexplicably take up most of the area between the front seats, where a console should be instead.
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!