First, the good things: the 528i drives like the 3 series and is larger and heavier. Corners like a dream and is solid as a rock. As much as I hate to say it, BMW really over-engineered this car in many respects. So many unnecessary saftety features used. My 3-series had one thing go bad in 3 years-the oxygen sensor, thats it. My 528i has 130,000 miles on it and here is a list of things on the car that don't work: cruise control, rear window, sunroof, e-brake, catalytic converter broke and o2 sensor went out. Yes, it is true parts for BMWs are expensive, probably 2-3 times that of even other luxury cars. I feel betrayed. I hope this travesty is never allowed by BMW again.
Handling, heated seats, 6 disc changer, memory and power seats, ASC, brakes, engine, essentially everything.
The seat setup is wrong, the pedals should be adjustable, steering wheel doesn't come out far enough, engine seems to be lacking torque, not going to mention cupholders, reliability of acessories and integrated systems is horrible. From what I've heard much of this was fixed after 1999 however.
All of the issues that you are talking about seem to be regular maintenance for a car at 130K. Sure the parts might be a little more expensive, but if you can look up a video on you tube with the exception of the cat (unless you have a welder) should be absolutely no problem to fix.
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