I bought this car in 2004 and drove it as daily driver until I switched over to a Porsche 993. Since then she is my backup, but I just can't part from her. She has been very reliable as a daily driver as well as on long multi-state drives in any weather conditions. This car is very practical as a convertible, it has a decent trunk space and can chauffeur 4 adults, for a BMW cheap to repair and (when washed/waxed) gets a lot of looks and questions. The car is very responsive, reacts quickly with a slight understeer. Get it as a manual with a manual top. This is a GREAT package of beauty, driving fun, high reliability and practicality and the convertible is guaranteed to become a classic.
It has all the benefits AND downsides of being a convertible: the good... so nice to have an open sky, to hear and smell your surroundings, driving over bridges (in NYC!) through the streets of Dumbo and the canyons of buildings, then out in the countryside to hear the birds and smell the greenery... so nice. The funny benefit? It's like a pickup truck if you don't mind the weird geometry I've fit full sheets of plywood, and helped a friend get 6 chairs home (and she fit in the shotgun seat to boot!) The bad?: very loud top up or down so the stereo barely registered... but most importantly, even after changing the seals and top, it still leaked during heavy downpours. It was hard to figure out exactly where it leaked but the gauges all fogged up, the carpet got wet, and even in the trunk there was always the hint of water. Endless. The car was a pleasure to drive: very predictable, very solid, and gripped the road very well. Curves at speed (on the Taconic, which is a windy highway) was fun and easy to keep it centered in the lane though it meant that you really had to watch for the sloppy SUV drivers. Acceleration best from about 50-80, but really could power up at speed.
I put 60 (interstate) miles per day.. Wonderful to drive.. Maintenance expensive. Lots of power & performance, biggest problem is staying within the speed limit.. Nothing is more eligant with the top down.. What a ride !!
Owned this car for 11 years. No major repairs. As reliable as they come.Looks great if cared for. This car has been a beast. Hate to part with it but after 273,000 miles afraid it is only a matter of time. Could not have asked more from this car. Exceeded my expectations.