I've had my Max for 4 years and have enjoyed nearly every minute. Few options exist for those needing midsize room but enjoy rowing through the gears in the twisties. With the 5-speed the Max is an economical solution for those craving a 5-Series. The engine is strong and reliable, even 8 years after it was born. The handling was sloppy and ride height unnaturally tall. Replacing the stock suspension with Koni shocks and Eibach springs, and later a short throw shifter, made the Max an exciting car to drive. Comfortable on long commutes and thrilling through the turns, I love this car. She has it all, performance, fit & finish, reliability, and enduring good looks.
The engine and transmission. 190 HP doesn't sound like much, but this car is light and the 5-speed allows you to pull every ounce of performance out of it. Even with 168,000 miles, this car still puts a smile on my face (especially that 2nd gear pull).
The "sport suspension" on the SE was devoid of sport. Softly sprung and awkwardly tall, it detracts from an otherwise four-door sports car. However, aftermarket solutions abound.