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.
I'm a 60 year-old high performance car guy. I've had Hot Rods, sports cars, Mercedes (500SL), BMWs & Porsches (including a wicked 914 w/a 400 HP 350 Chevy V8), you get the picture. Our 2000 528i is the most reliable & fun to drive sedan I've ever owned. I'm 6'4" & 220 lbs & this is so much more comfortable than any of our past Mercedes or BMWs. Excellent handling; quick & nimble; great gas mileage; ideal for long trips. Never get tired of driving it. Huge trunk & way more practical than a cumbersome 7 series. My wife, kids & grandkids are tall & there's plenty of room in back for 3 passengers. This is a fantastic car. In a 100K miles I've only replaced tires, brakes & an alternator!
Extension "wings" on the sun-visors. I'm over six feet tall and have the seat all the way back... and the sun- visor does not help when you're as tall as I am. An aftermarket "extension" from Pep Boys solved this minor problem.
Bought the car used, unfortunately it had rear axle problems so we went through 3 sets of tires before it was found but after that problem was fixed everything is running perfectly. The car originally had 70k miles on it and there is now 111k miles on it and we have not had to do anything but routine maintenance on her. I plan to drive her until she dies. Mom has an '86 3.25es and it still runs like it did the day she bought it, so I'm hoping for a long life.
Wonderful car, looks great, drives better. V8 thirsty around town but not bad (25mpg) on hwy, 19mpg avg over 40k mi. I'll dare to say 6-spd manual has long-ish throws & clutch delay valve (CDV) makes smooth driving tough. Bought used w/80k, now have 117k. Repairs: Final stage unit (FSU) for climate control (installed myself), coolant reservoir (recently; cooling system had been gone through before I bought). Now needs brakes (again--they were replaced just before I purchased), some clunking from front end (but steers/rides fine). What other car can one find for under $10k w/this much gravitas, ability & quality? Much prefer to newer 5-series. Still stylish/impressive to clients. A classic.
build quality interior materials and design ride/handling compromise is just about perfect quiet interior fold-down rear seats (optional, VERY desirable)
cupholders (of course) cooling system components (but not too $$ and can replace yourself) valley pan gaskets on V8 remove CDV on manual trans cars (easy/cheap fix)
Remember the '80s movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long-The Money Pit...it was like that. Great car to drive when it ran. Electrical problems caused the battery to drain leading to 3 new batteries and 20 jumps/charges over the course of a year. Add new tires, brakes, water pump, antifreeze and oil leaks, control arms, sway bars, brake/abs/traction control sensors, etc and no repairs are affordable.
Body style, leather heated seats, stereo, engine performance.