I've had this car for 5 years and if I can have things my way, I'll never buy anything BUT a BMW. It's a joy to drive, styling is sporty without being gaudy, and after a car wash, I could swear I was looking at a brand new Beemer. Maintenance costs are high after the warranty has run out. Be smart, and DON'T go to the dealer to fix every little thing. I recently had my brakes repaired (new rotors, pads and sensors) for $700, the dealer wanted $1900. Do yourself a favor and hunt around your city to find a reliable BMW certified mechanic. If you do this, long maintenance will be much more managable.
Styling. I swapped out the orange turn signals for clear housing and this car looks ever better. I love my aluminum trim with black leather. Tight steering, I feel like I'll never spin out. Stability is impressive, even in the desert at 135mph en route to Las Vegas. Nightime interior orange glow.
The stock speakers for this car are impressively weak. I've wanted to change them out for a long, long time. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the Harmon-Kardon system. I recommend a manual transmisson on any BMW, but the clutch is tricky; the engage range is very small and the gears have long throws
I had wanted a BMW since I was little and I got a 323i for my 16th birthday. I love this car! It has everything you could want. Handle like a dream. Has all the speed you need, with very good gas mileage. After owning it for about 3 months though things started to go wrong, and the repair can be VERY costly! The car is very safe too. I was in a rear end collision and the other car was total but hardly any damage was done it my car. I would recommend this car to everyone, but have it inspected FIRST!
I bought it used with 75k miles and warranty until 100k. Have had only 1 minor problem with O2 sensor, covered by warranty. Very fun to drive, especially with top down. Didn't spend much on it, but everyone thinks I'm loaded because I drive a Beamer. No neck snapping acceleration, but slowing down for curves is a thing of the past. People still ooh and ahh over my 8 year old BMW.
Road handling, fit and finish and luxury touches. Truly an "Ultimate Driving Machine".
I was in love with this car. It corners like a dream and you can park it anywhere. Unfortunately, the steptronic transmission has a MAJOR design flaw (some say it was an engineering compromise made to meet EPA mileage requirements, but I don't know this to be fact). The reverse clutch drum has a C clip that holds the gears down under pressure. After 50-75k miles the clip breaks off and you suddenly lose reverse. It can't be repaired - you have to completely rebuild the transmission. It cost us $4700. So, if you MUST buy, I would either get one w/ an already rebuilt transmission or invest in an extended warranty.
Bought this vehicle for travel. It looks great, but wow, for a high rated vehicle, i wouldn't buy another BMW. The windows fall into the doors (BMW dealer says thats normal) and cost to fix $$$$. Heater doesn't work well, air doesn't work well. The heated seats they work. Wouldn't recommend a used BMW or keep one past 3 years. Not worth the extra money!
Improve the quality of the windows, shouldn't be an acceptable problem!