By the way, if you are going to buy the car, it's Bimmer. The other spelling is for motorcycles. I've read the negative reviews. High maintenance costs, rock hard RFTs, suspension issues, blah, blah.....Here's my story. Bought my 328xi black beauty with 34K for about half of the original cost. Have now owned it for 2 yrs. No major repair issues. I have a local BMW (not dealership) do most of my maintenance well below the dealer prices. I do the oil changes and plan to replace the front brakes next month. Most of what I learned about how to work on my Bimmer I got off YouTube. Trust me, you can do some of the basics or more if you care to. RFTs? I want them. Won't see me changing a tire on the Interstate one late night. And I had a flat with one, drove it 50 miles going 50 MPH to a Costco, no damage to the rim. I replaced the OEMs with Bridgestone DriveGuard RFTs and they have been great. Much better than the OEMs. Got 25K miles on them and plenty of tread left. Suspension issues? Yeah, it does on occasion "boom" when I hit a med sized pothole, but no damage to the car. I figure you given up something for the superior handling and overall driving experience. I see one coming, I go around it. No problem. There is nothing like driving a well-cared for BMW, black-on-black, on a bright summer day. It's artwork in motion.
After much deliberation, I took delivery of a gently used 2009 BMW 328i a couple of days ago. Like many BMW owners, I bought it for its driving dynamics. The reviews from every publication are glowing, and there's good reason. You get the feeling that every single tactile element in the car has been calibrated for your enjoyment. The driving position, the seats, the contours of the steering wheel, the linear and predictable responses, the hefty brakes, and the buttery smooth engine all make for an inimitable driving experience. If you're in the market for a visceral ride but need to be practical, look no further. I've driven an S2000 and an Aston Martin and the 328 still feels magical.
Car has been reliable, has just needed regular maintenance. Run-flat tires are awful - have replaced several and now have Continentals. No space for spare tire, but have taken long road trips over 800 miles. Performance and dynamics are excellent - brake feel, steering, acceleration are all top notch. Interior - though good for this class. Excellent ergonomics and materials. Maintenance and repair are expensive out of warranty but that's ok for this level of luxury and performance (it is a BMW). No rattles or shakes and road noise is minimal, though it is a sports sedan - ride is stiff and choppy with larger wheel size. Overall top notch sedan, few compromises.
Bought a 2009 328xi with certified warranty. Under warranty the engine fan needing replacement, the rear light assembly and the air conditioning unit. My warranty expired in March 2015. It is now September 2015 and I took my car in for an oil change and front brakes and they are now telling me my front differential needs repaired and I have a cracked valve cover. Mind you my car just turned 60k. These are all major repairs for a car that is basically 5 years old and very low miles. I am so beside myself that 6 mos after the warranty I have more large ticket items at the tune of $3k. to repair? I will probably never buy another BMW as I have vehicles over 15 years old at home that have never had to have major work or major repair bills. I took the car down to see what the trade in value is and its only $12k after paying $32k for it 5 years ago. Wow!
This is the most fun car to drive since my '73 Porsche. Whether on a freeway or (better yet) a twisting country road, this car is flat out fun to drive. No matter how hard I put it into a turn, it looks over its shoulder and asks, "is that all you got?" On a recent Los Angeles to San Francisco freeway trip, I got just over 30 mpg. Pros: Road hugging performance, good mileage, styling and finish. Cons: This car is essentially the same size as the Accord and Avalon. Where did all the interior room go ? I am 5'11" and it is hard to get in and out. Headroom is scarce and there is no legroom in the rear seat. The trunk is tiny. There is also a very annoying throttle lag off the line.
Sport Package ($2,150 -- includes 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, shadowline trim, sport-tuned suspension, sport steering wheel, sport seats); Beige Dakota Leather ($1,450); Satellite Radio ($595); Heated Front Seats ($500); Comfort Access System ($500); Fold-Down Rear Seats ($475); iPod/USB Adapter ($400); Sport Steering Wheel With Paddles ($100).
All those glowing reviews from overseas praising the diesel-powered 3 Series were right. This car will change your mind about diesels. Low-end torque but it also revs to 5,000, gearchanges are a bit slow compared to the gasoline-powered 3, but the map and gears are spot-on for this engine. I don?t think the novelty of a high-performance diesel will ever wear off. You must drive this car.
Typical, excellent BMW brakes that are (artificially) fade-free but always trustworthy. Feels like it could do 109s all day long.
Skid pad: Again, typical 3 Series goodness with a whiff of understeer on the tires' limits. Good steering feedback and predictable responses. Slalom: I never tire of slalom testing in a BMW (or Porsche) because they do what they're told to do -- just be sure your intent is clear and you stay ahead of it. Moderate turn-in and slowish steering ratio are hallmarks of a non-M, but are still sportier than most. Interesting wheelspin on the exit from all the torque that is still available at 70 mph.