I've owned my 325 do convertible for more than 10 years and I've kept up with the maintenance. I've rarely had to make repairs on the car. As I've gotten older it's hard to get in and out of, but other than that, it's been the best car ever!
I've owned a 2002 330Ci Convertible with 88K miles since new. It's definitely a fun car to drive, especially with the top down in good weather. Having said that, it does need some repairs which I thought was more than expected for the mileage or age: - Replaced lower control arm (LCA) bushings - Replaced both LCAs due to one bad ball joint - The dome of the strut towers deformed, common for the E46. Added a $10 reinforcement plate for each - Replaced both broken rear springs, common for the E46 - Passenger seat occupancy sensor broke Update: turns out the airbag control module has fried itself for no apparent reason. A replacement module needs to be reprogrammed for the specific model (to accommodate for the different number and position of airbags) - Convertible top inner lining torn due to warped plastic inserts If I weren't my own mechanic, these items could be expensive.
I recently traded in my perfectly fine 2006 Honda Civic EX coupe for this car, and I absolutely love it. I was looking for a little more fun than the Honda provided, and also something the family would enjoy. This car is all that you read about and more. It offers the perfect blend of fun, performance, and practicality. This is my first venture into BMW-land, and I'm hooked so far. I was looking for a used model with low miles, and I came across my 2002 330 CiC with just 38,400 miles and a clean Carfax. The beauty of BMWs is that they often look much younger than they actually are. I walked away with my "almost new" car for just $25k, down from $46k new. Very happy so far.
There is always something wrong with this car. The top quit working, the trunk lid won't catch properly, the all-window switch broke, the auto door locks stick, the brake rotors are wear items(!!), the covering has worn off the center console, the glove box won't open. I will admit it drives great, but I cannot accept the constant stream of annoyances. BMW customer care couldn't care less. I'll NEVER own another BMW.
I bought the car when it was 8 months old w/ 3500 miles and have enjoyed it ever since. I bought snow tires for the winter, and use the summer tires at other times for performance. In 6 years of ownership, I've had the muffler replaced twice for noise (worked fine), the cd changer replaced for skipping, a tension pulley replaced for recall, and the control arms replaced once. This car is still a lot of fun to drive and it's never left me stranded. Occasionally the front headlight doesn't come on right away, but it always does eventually. I think it's a great mix of performance and value, and I've been extremely satisfied. I'm 6'4", and it's tough to find a comfortable car - this is one!