I've owned my BWM for 6 years and have been disappointed with the reliability and the quality of the interior.
The cupholders broke early on because they are cheap plastic.
There are controls on the panel that are falling apart.
The LCD panel is almost completely burned out and I can't see what radio station or time it is.
Even the odometer and gas mileage readout is starting to burn out.
BMW told me it would be about $2000 to fix it.
I am so surprised that a $50,000 car doesn't have better quality materials.
I have also been disappointed with the reliability.
Last year I spent about $4,000 on repairs.
I won't buy another BWM.
Sounds to me like you either purchased the car from someone that didn't care for it properly, or didn't care for it properly yourself. The M54 engine is bulletproof and will last 300k miles with ease of maintained properly. You posted this in 2012, at the time the car was 10 years old. I'm curious as to how many miles it has? Any 10 year old car is going to have issues with plastic and minor cosmetics. If you're savvy you can replace the LCD readouts dirt cheap with brand new parts purchased online. I've owned about 10 different BMW's, some with as high as 270k miles on them. All of them were rock solid.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.