Bought the car used with 115k. Driving impressions: the car is like a tank in the city: huge turn radius, horrible mpg (14/city), poor rear visibility makes it hard to park. Performance is ok for 230hp. I come from 97 528i, and some minor features are missing, and interior quality is not as great. HID lights are all fogged out by now and barely illuminate the road. However, over 2 years I only had the following issues: replaced ECU and defective idle control valve ($500), power steering hose ($300). Oxygen sensor fault popped up once in a while - replaced spark plugs and now it's gone (at least for now). That's all! Now the pros - read them in the favorite features below.
Purchased new 2001. After some O2 and Mass Airflow sensor failures during 60K warranty period, no repairs until 148,000 miles (starter) and 160K m (radiator). Now at 178Km and car drives like it has 50K on it. I could not be happier with it. My 21 yr old son wants me to replace it (with G37) and retire the I30 to him! This car has been a 10+ on a 10 point scale.
Bought this car after my SC400 was totaled. Had about 100K on it or so. Performance is decent but coming from a RWD V8 to a FWD V6 was a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong I love my I30, but its conditional love. This car has been an absolute nightmare. The VSS was replaced twice, MAF sensor is prone to replacement, ECM burned up due to sudden fault in the Idle Control. Suspension is very soft even for a sedan. Besides this long list of expensive i mean very expensive repairs, I enjoy driving this car. It has a very responsive throttle and gets attention where ever it goes.
Purchased this vehicle two model-years old with 28,000 miles, currently has 105,000 miles. It has been a stellar performer! Very comfortable and refined interior and classic exterior body styling. This car has clearly spoiled me. It is going to be difficult to replace this level of refinement and trouble-free driving, and do it with a reasonable price tag. Mileage has been better than expected for this size vehicle, combined driving consistently averaging 25. Only complaint is the underbody design puts stress on the exhaust system; I have had to replace it three times. Other than that, just routine maintenance.
This car started out as my mom's, she drove it for six years and then passed it down to me when my car bit the dust. It just feels like an all around great ride, smooth, classy, and reliable. Very few trips to the shop each year, usually one thing at a time, the kind of problems that come with an aging auto. At best I've been able to squeeze 29 or 30 mpg on long highway drives, of which I've been doing a lot of. My favorite part about reading other I-30 reviews is how long everyone intends to keep theirs until 300,000 miles. I'm passing mine down to my younger brother, in favor of a newer car. No doubt it'll keep running.