This is the first car I have actually owned myself, and my first review.
This BMW is a 25 year old West German design, built in Apartheid-era South Africa ca 1989, bought with 155000 km on the clock. This review takes this into account; I don't expect the car to either perform as it did when it was new or to compete against modern technology. My air filter is also overdue for servicing, so this may affect performance.
PERFORMANCE: I find acceleration and speed to be passable; I can overtake other vehicles when going up hill, for example, though overall acceleration itself is still slow. On the other hand, I drive over the Rimutaka Mountain Ranges frequently - a narrow, windy mountain road - and braking and cornering ability are excellent, despite the lack of ABS. This car handles wonderfully and is very stable. Petrol consumption is perhaps what you'd expect from an 80s car; I get about 9L/100km motorway, a bit more around town. For a compact car, this is thirstier than I'd like, but then the 80s were a different time.
RELIABILITY: This car has been almost perfect since I bought it. The engine is about 1/2 to 2/3 through its life, but I've experienced no problems with that. Have had no issues with rust; the car has been kept in unsheltered conditions. All that's gone wrong is in the electrics - the heater sometimes cuts in and out when I switch it on, and my indicator flashes double-time. One piece of stainless steel exterior has come off, I think in a carwash, but this seems mainly cosmetic. I've been happy with this car's reliability, given its age.
COMFORT: I often travel around 1-2 hours in this car. I'm about 6ft in height and admittedly a bit overweight. The car has enough legroom; the ceiling could be a little higher, but generally this is not a problem. The steering wheel is not adjustable, but fortunately is about the right height and distance from my arms regardless. This car loses points in this aspect for its front seats, which are unfortunately the 'sports' version. If by sports BMW meant narrow seats with hard sides that cut into the sides of your legs, well then I think I'll get these changed to regular ones sometime soon, which are simply flat. They are a pain in the butt as is. Also, I deduct a point for lack of cupholders, which you really miss. Otherwise, the car is roomy enough with a large boot. Road noise is also a little on the loud side.
My overall impression of this car is good, and I would give it an 8/10. If you get one, you'll probably want to avoid or change the 'sports' seats though, especially if you plan on going any length of time in this vehicle. Reliability is excellent; performance is a mix between superb handling and not-so-good acceleration; comfort is generally good, but particularly let down by the 'sports' seats, so look for one with regular seats, or install them or aftermarket seats.