I'm the first and current owner of a 5 series BMW. The car has had the following failures - power train, tie rods, turbo charger, engine tune-up, oil filter housing, and coolant system. We've had the car towed twice and have had the car in the dealership a half dozen times for repairs. We've escalated to BMW USA but they have refused to provide any additional assistance. Save yourself the trouble...
I had a 2007 BMW 530i, a 2009 BMW 328i and now a 2012 BMW 528i. My favorite was the 2007. My second favorite is the 2012 528i. The 3 Series, which was a 2 door coupe, was nice, but way too small. I'm not a big guy...not over weight and i'm only 5-9. The 2007 was really sporty and in my opinion drove like it was a train on rails! The 328i drove the same, but again...too small. The 2012 528i is absolutely beautiful. It looks like a small 7 series. Only problem, is it just doesn't "feel" like a BMW to me. It is not the "ultimate driving machine" I'm used to. However, in sport mode, it feels much better and sportier, but it is bulky like a Lexus (which i have owned). Interior is nice.
My recent dealer experience was good as always. The background experience with BMW Corporate was unacceptable. My 2012 5 Series with EDC emits a crunching, groaning metal-on-metal sound that the dealer did a good job of diagnosing, but BMW would not authorize warranty repair for the reason that it is "characteristic." Exploding airbags that spray shrapnel, deadly ignition system failures, and self-accelerating cars are "characteristic" of other brands, so this does not give me comfort. It seems the ultimate driving machine is not backed up by the ultimate warranty. Since the defect is characteristic, I will find a class-action lawyer, who have their own unfortunate characteristics.
Got a 2012 528 M Sport, traded in my 2002 540i 200k miles later. The 540 was a 4 door sports car and I loved it. Negatives first - this one is a luxury car that tightens up in sport mode to be a great grand touring vehicle, but its not a sports car. Which is fine with me because it is my daily driver. Positives - WAY more comfortable and quiet, spectacular fuel economy (getting 34mpg hwy and 27.5 average). Love the interior (switches all in the same place as my E39) + large NAV screen. The turbo 4 takes a little getting used to coming from a V8 but it really goes if you push the pedal far enough.
My first BMW was a 328i which I got new back in 2007. I really liked that car in many ways. This time around I was looking for something bigger and faster that could handle a mid west winter and the crappy roads that such winters leave behind. I looked at various choices and settled on a CPO 2012 535xi with sport package, tech, premium, cold weather, sound. Although I've only had it a short time, I've been hugely impressed thus far. There's a lot of power on tap, but at the same time it gets great MPG. The ride is also spectacular, absorbing all but the most obnoxious of road imperfections.