I have had my 528 since July of this year, and love it!! It has 101k on it and is a blast to drive. Everyday I look forward to the commute to and from work as it is my unwind mobile! I average around 26-28mpg combined, yet it has snappy off the line and low end torque. Mine has the 5-speeds which is what I was looking for. Only maintenance problem was a broken motor mount ($40) done myself, relatively simple repair, and a rear window regulator ($95), again, did it in 1hr!! The fit and finish of BMW's has always impressed me, and the 528 does not disappoint!! People gripe about the cost of parts, but that's a fair trade off for a quality, well-engineered car that is designed to perform!!
Though it's 11 years old, does not look or behave like it!! Classy interior, 5-speed, performance, handles like it's on rails.
Best trip mileage ever 39.49, with return mileage on same trip 38.86 - I PROMISE THIS IS THE TRUTH!! Worst gas mileage ever - 23.0 ONE time, first year of ownership ONLY. Past winter avg commute/errand mileage 27. Current summer avg commute/errand mileage 29.5! I consider myself an "extra- miler", NOT a "hyper-miler". With that standard vacuum (gas mileage) gauge and using the trip computer, I have steadily improved my gas mileage even as my odometer reads over 150,000! Drives so elegantly when taking it easy, but accelerates and tracks so securely whenever desired. Drives like brand new, not like an 11+ year old car, because I ALWAYS drive her with respect!
The surprising gas mileage, performance, handling, comfort, and such a joy to pilot! A/C handles up to 100 degrees - and has NEVER been recharged in my 7 ownership years! I always wanted a BMW straight six. The engine's so smooth if not concentrating on mileage, sometimes forget to shift.
I have a 1998 BMW 528i . A reliable and safe car. I've only had it for a year and the only thing that went bad on me were the brakes, but overall it's an excellent vehicle and I strongly recommend one as a first car. The parts are expensive but I think it's worth it. The fuel is not so bad on it unless you floor it all the time, otherwise it's fuel economy.
This car is a blast to drive, but the cooling system and electronics leave much to be desired. Dash lights, cd player, window mechanisms, radiator, etc all had to be replaced in a car that had less than 100k.
Rock solid at 150K miles. Replaced all cooling components (pump, radiator, thermostat & housing, belts) as a precaution at 140K. Just replaced the struts (they didn't owe me a thing.) Great gas mileage (30+ on highway); having a manual tranny helps. Looks good, handles great, safe and comfortable. Best six cylinder on the market. Bullet-proof drive train. Mine is Canyon Red, which looks great on this car.
Engine/drive train and suspension. Handling. Fuel efficiency. Structural integrity. Reliability. Easy to work on (really!) Parts aren't too bad if you know where to shop.
Cupholders? The Germans didn't want us to have them anyway. Drive the car and have your coffee at the diner. Less plastic in critical cooling system components.