This car is not a speedster. Gearing is for practicality (wagon and 'touring' version). This is a road car. A dream on the highway. Solid cornering. It is a GREAT car. I'm up over 212,000 miles on this car and it is still GREAT! Sample problems have been: Door latch had to be replaced. Brake light module failed. Fuel pump replaced. Got to fo the a BMW pro on this car. Parts are always from the dealer. You can feel nickel and dimed (dollar and fived?). I have had several excellent up-end Japanese cars. The power is with the Japanese but the car itself along with the driveability goes to the BMW. I NEVER expected to get hooked. I am.
This car has been all over the country, and has never let me down. I have put an insignificant amount of money into it for repairs, and it now has 240,000 miles on it and still going strong. I am planning another cross-country trip with this car in a few months!
Got this car in 1997 from a guy who babied it. Had 68k miles and was perfect and maintained on schedule. This car rides so nice, I hate to part with it. I have 138K miles on it and it still drives like new. Down side is it is so fricking expensive to maintain. I only have it serviced by BMW. However, it will do 200K easily and I intend to keep it for at least another 2 years. Some rust on the doors but nothing serious. I have spent at least $10,000 on repairs over 5 years. But, it was worth it.
I bought this car as a dealer demo with about 3,000 miles on it. I've had it for 11 years and it is still a great car. The only major repair I've had to do on this car was to replace the onboard computer, but I replace my desktop computers about every 3 years! I also had to replace the fuel pump which seems to have been a problem with this particular model. The last major service cost $400.00. I may keep it another 5 years!
The car handles curves and cruising on the highway like no other car I have ever owned, but on acceleration the car lacks any real power. It is the slowest BMW I have ever driven. You might be 0 to 60 in half a minute. The car eats cash. Minor repairs are still in the hundreds of dollars. The smallest of plastic parts are expensive and when you include labor at ANY BMW dealer, you can count on even a dashboard light replacement costing you about $200. I have owned this car for 2 years and have spent nearly $4000 in repairs and upkeep. In addition, I have had three dead stops and had to be towed to the dealer.