I absolutely love this car
When I bought the car, the odometer didn't work and this was about $300 to fix.
The drive shaft went bad at about 161000 miles. It would hit the bottom of the car under hard acceleration. This cost over $350 to replace and as much in labor.
It started to rev from 500 rpm's to 2000 rpm's unexplainably. It had my mechanic baffled. He tried to blame it on the mass air flow sensor, that was another $300, then it was the O2 sensor which cost another $100 or so.
I didn't realize that the muffler was broken when I bought the car, but it was and required replacing. I don't regret this repair at all; my Ravin exhaust gives the car a growl that it didn't have before. However, I wasn't expecting to need a new muffler so soon. $200 wasn't too bad though for parts and labor.
The batteries went dead on the SI board before I owned it and the previous owner tried to replace them. This effectively fried the circuitry and this will be another $170 to replace. It doesn't bother me that much though because most of my gauges work. The gas gauge does do an interesting dance when it gets low.
The lights are out on the On Board Computer so the display is unreadable most of the time.
For some reason the speakers just quit working. When I bought the car the rear deck speakers didn't work and they had to be rewired. Recently the kick panel speakers quit working. BMW for some reason doesn't ground their speakers from the head unit either so hooking up my new head unit was interesting. It didn't help that the previous owner had cut the wiring and left a mess in the dash.
The power antenna broke and wouldn't stay up and had to be replaced. It wasn't bad to fix though. This was probably the cheapest repair at $50.
The seats are starting to wear out, however, this is to be expected with a car that is nearly as old as I am.
I had to replace the blinker housing on the front. This required taking off the air dam, which I found was held on only by zip ties, and taking off the bumper.
It has power to spare and has no problem reaching 130. (cops don't appreciate this though as I found out).
I have a love/hate relationship with my car. I hate to love it, and it loves to hate me.
I wish I had had a mechanic take a look at it when I bought it. Had I looked a little closer, I probably would have found another to buy. In the first year that I owned this car, it was in the shop for about 6 months; it wasn't too bad until I sold my extra car, then it got to be a real pain. This is by far the most expensive car I have had to maintain, perhaps if the previous owner had taken better care of the engine it wouldn't cost me so much.
I love the support of the front seats, and while I don't spend much time in the back it would be very comfortable if there was more leg room.
The trunk is surprisingly large for such a small car. It holds my two 12" subs very nicely and still has room for a good sized suit case.
I love the lines of the e30, BMWs didn't get nice again until the e46.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th February, 2005