It's a family car that's turned over to me. I have mixed emotions. Happy because it's a gift. Nervous because it's turning to be a money pit. I have a long list of things to fix: driveshaft replacement, oil pan gasket replacement, transmission service and selector shaft seal replacement, upper control arm bushings replacement, brake rotors, pads, water pump, thermostat and hoses replacement for preventive maintenance.
I have owned my 528i for almost five years and love it! Bought it with 43,000 miles on it and have driven it to 102,000 mostly commuting. Have had a few repairs ( radiator, nav system) but it has not been terrible as I use an indie shop. BMW even agreed to help me replace a bad nav unit and now that works great, and I saved about $3,000 dollars ( you read it right) installing a used part. As a road car it is really superb. Great ride and feels like a tank. Decent mpg overall ( 24).. Best of all mine is CLEAN. Looks new really and people are starting to comment as it is increasingly older. I took a risk buying a ten year old car, but it's worked out great for me and I really respect the brand. As an update, recently (end 2015) the ABS module failed, but the car is still driveable, just not with ABS if needed. The replacement cost is 1600 dollars-so the future ability to kep this car hinges on the number of such repairs that are needed. It still looks great and drives beautifully.
I bought this car new. Fun to drive, hugs the road, looks good. After 4 yrs problems: A/C blower, steering wheel return, coolant thermostat, exhaust sensor, pulse generator, broken bleeder screw, leaking P/S supply hose, plastic radiator split down side - replaced(big bucks). The car is now 10 yrs old but only 64,000 mi. Just spent $1728 for valve cover gasket leak, crank case vent valve, hoses. Repairs needed per BMW serv rep: fuel inj serv, all rad hose replacement, engine oil pan leak, engine drive belts, thrust arm bushings torn, engine mounts,alignment-cost $4642!! I'll never again buy a BMW. The car handles beautifully on the road. In the shop, bend over and hock your 1st born!!
Drink holders are flimsy, quickly break and will not retract- not worthy of BMW engineering. CD player needs to be inside the dash so you don't have to stop the car and go to the trunk the change CDs.
The maintenance record is very poor.
I have had Japanese cars before, drove them for 10 years with over 100,000mi with few problems.
The BMW oil leaks, gasket replacements, etc. mentioned above are excessive as well as the costs of repair are prohibitive.
I bought my wagon at 1.5 years old from a BMW dealer. It had 10,600 miles & was CPO. 9 years later it has just under 30K miles, & still looks & drives like new. I had 2 repairs under warranty; a brake sensor, & a broken door handle. At warranty end, I started taking it to an excellent indie bmw shop. During that time, the only repairs have been: the tailgate latch failed twice, costing $200-$300 each time. And now A/C needs recharge or repair, I'm a bit nervous about that. But all in all, to spend only around $1k in 9 years on maintenance & repairs on an expensive Euro car I consider amazing. (I owned a used Range Rover-under warranty!-it cost me that in one year).
Very very nice, solid car with 6 airbags. The wagon is great, you gain all the hauling capacity w/o giving up any performance. Very nice interior, clean looking, with fairly simple controls (pre-"i-drive"). Non run-flat tires (with a spare!). "Fit & finish", & build quality, are exemplary.
I'm amazed at the # of people here still taking their 10 y.o. bmw to a dealer for a repairs. Folks, do yourselves a favor, find the best indie bmw shop in your area, even if the closest one is an hour away.