I purchased my 330Ci as a European Delivery vehicle in 2004. Great deal from BMW where they give you a discount and two months of driving in Europe. All you pay is gas. 90K miles later and I still love this car. It is fast, luxurious and comfortable. The only upgrades were winter snow wheels and tires and a high end aftermarket sound system. I have driven many vehicles since 2004 and none have this perfect blend of sport and luxury. On top of that I have zero reliability issues. Changed the fluids, filters, brakes, tires and wiper blades...that's it.
My 2nd e46. I love them. Great steering feel and handling. Aside from a few weak links these cars are the total package. The perfect blend of luxury and performance. If you're not capable of working on it yourself you will need a good mechanic you trust to not charge you double just because of a name. A lot of the parts don't cost any more than other vehicles. Just keep it maintained. Mileage isn't great but that all depends on the weight of your right foot. I can manage 28 but usually average 20-21mpg. The car is very driver oriented. Not a lot of frills for this day and age but not lacking either. The proportions feel just right. The rear seats are cramped but this is a compact car, not a full size sedan. Tires go fast with the sport package because of the inability to rotate due to staggered sizes. The grip is worth it. Large capable brakes hold up well under heavy use. The engine is asleep before 3k but after that it's hard not to go to the limiter. Sport seats are great, good amount of bolstering and lumbar support. Overall, great looking cars that if maintained well will last forever. Great driver's car though this isn't a miata, it's still a blast to drive.
Got it with 63k (74k now) and it's been excellent. The handling, quality, drivability is impressive. There really is a difference from other cars. Very solid feeling. Very roomy as I'm 6'-2", excellent legroom, good headroom. Not the most powerful but has it's moments (generally adequate unless you race). 24-25 mpg highway in the 80s.
I bought this car with only 56K miles on the odo in Feb of 2011.
I've since added a good 24K and this car still runs and feels like new!
I've bought new vehicles before, including a new 1999 Ford Windstar and a 2006 Mazda 5 and I have to tell you the BMW runs way smoother than either of those vehicles did brand new!
This car has the most comfortable seats I've ever encoutered and has the smoothese ride I've ever experienced.
Sure there are some downsides like the expensive oil changes due to requiring synthetic oil and gassing up costs a bit more as it requires 91 or higher octane.
I was never a BMW fan but owning one has put me on top of the fan list!
I bought my car from its first owner in Sept. 2010, and the only regret that I have had is that I did not buy it sooner. I'm a first time BMW owner, and I now know what they mean by the Ultimate Driving Machine. With the 6-speed, the car is more than quick enough to maneuver through traffic. For some terrible reason, this car becomes even more fun as the speeds climb. At 100+ MPH it still feels like it's on rails. Mechanically this car seems immaculate, I love the perfect mechanical sound the gear box maxes as you change a gear at low speeds. Both exterior and interior build quality is fantastic; and I love the driving position/feel despite being 6'2" and 225 lbs.