This car is great to drive, lets make that one clear. It's just powerful enough to snap your neck back, but not so much so that it gets you noticed. It's handling is amazing, acceleration robust, and braking solid. If you love to drive this is your car. I take it out multiple times a week on local hilly and curvy roads and it eats them up. What they say about its maintenance costs are true - if you decide to make the plunge you better have spare cash. I bought mine with 130k for $4k and have dumped in 6k, EASILY over the past six months. If you're looking for a commuter car that just happens to be fun look elsewhere. This car is for those who want the rush and are willing to pay for it.
It revs to the moon and back (and you're going to want to in order to extract the most performance). Windows with auto up/down function. Sports seats are great (a little narrow maybe, but I'm not exactly small). Electrically adjustable front seats. Sunroof. 50/50 split-folding rear seats. Stock sound is pretty decent. Remote locks/alarm with chirp that sound like MONEY. Manual transmission (these gears BEG to be rowed).
The interior space on the e36 is tight (I have plenty of space as a 6'3'' driver, however my rear passengers often grumble). The headlights are dim (I'm not sure if it's the fact that mine are old or they're just not as bright as modern setups). I wish the sunroof had an auto open/close feature. The rear folding seats don't have a lock on them so the trunk isn't especially secure. Adjustable steering column would be nice.
Bought my 1995 318i in 2005 with 165,000 km (about 102,000 miles) on it - it now has 217000km (about 135000 miles) on it. It also has rusted out rockers and right rear fender, cracked windshield, the cluster (mph,tach etc) no longer works, lower control arms are shot, struts shot, won't idle, and the drivers seat (it's cloth) is worn out. I have replaced the alternator, starter, O2 sensors 3 times, MAF (twice) and innumerable other smaller items for a total repair bill of about $3000 I paid $5000 for the car in 2005...it's now worth about $500. BMWs are fine...if you're willing to spend upwards of $1500 a year on repair and maintenance.
I received the car in high school from my dad with 56,000 miles on it. I wish I would have taken care of it better while I was in high school because this car would have lasted another 100,000 miles. The car has 178,000 miles on it now and I need new tires, but I am going to upgrade to a newer 2004 BMW 330xi. I love this car because it is fun to drive and has classic looks to it. Still till this day I love looking at the car - it is beautiful.
5 speed manual (original) and handling.
the fog lights, interior materials (the interior ceiling cloth is starting to become unglued), and electronics (windows dont work sometimes and the ignition switch went a year ago ($800).
Bought the car with 105,000 miles, now it has 248,000 miles. It gave me some minor problems like key (spent $ 600) to fix that at the dealer), gasket leak (but fixed by a private mechanic). The cost of repairing BMW is too much, hut the fun of driving is always great. Even after driving 8 years, it drives like the same.
Good handling, smoothy and sporty feeling. Gets 24 miles/gl.
how to reduce the high cost of repairing at the dealer and the high cost of parts. Most of them are not made in Germany, but in some other former Soviet republic or in Mexico, but for the name BMW, the customers have to pay very dearly.
This car has been and still is absolutely reliable! The last thousand miles averaged 24.3 MPG. My 1991 750iL averages 9.2 MPG - a bit crippling with today's fuel price.
It still gets looks around town and going down the highway! The body has held up fantastically as has the mechanical end of things! The power from this 6 cylinder is also amazing - it's just fun to drive!