Rear wheel drive sucks in winter big time. I have a 2004 Lexus IS300; it's a rear wheel drive and comes with winter mode, but it's no good. You need good winter tires, not all season, only winter :) Which can help by 30% and put some weight in the trunk (salt bags); all these tricks help. This is one of the reason all companies are coming up with AWD and special winter features. My friends dad has a 2006 BMW 745li, and even on a slight up hill he gets stuck during winter time.
Oil changes are expensive compared to regular cars, because this car takes synthetic oil and it is more expensive compare to regular oil. Also an oil filter is $15-20 more compared to regular filters.
The reason people say high end cars like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus etc are hard to maintain is because most of them take synthetic oil and premium gas. It all adds up in the end. Some people somehow buy these cars and start using regular gas and oil to save some money, and then complain about car performance in the end.
So just keep all these things in mind before you buy one. I still recommend BMW xi AWD version; those cars are good in winter.
Premium gas is not maintenance item. Synthetic oil should be rated for your cold weather. If you live in a heavy snowfall area you should buy a 4 Wheel Drive (SUV?).
Original poster here... as far as the rear wheel drive in the snow, it's not too good. The oil changes cost more on the BMW initially, but the oil change intervals come approx every 10000 miles or so, depending on your driving habits. So that in itself balances with the standard 3k oil change. Other routine maintenance is more expensive than other vehicles, but it's those quality parts that make it such a great car, so you have to replace quality with quality. Premium gas, if you want all you can get out of the inline 6 with no knock occurring... then premium it is.
This is my first 2006 BMW, with leather seats. My 1995, BMW 318i, had leatherette and all you had to do was get Windex and clean it off. Very well made and the plastic was thick and wore well. Still looks brand new today, and I love the old 1990's leatherette. Now the leatherette in the 2006 and beyond series is thin and cracks, so I have had to go to leather. How do you keep it supple and new? I have seen so many older BMWs with leather and they're cracked, and out of shape. I am funny about my seats, so anything is helpful. Thanks.
To keep leather upholstery in any car supple, you will have to do maintenance twice a year.
This involves giving the seats a good clean with a good upholstery cleaner that is made for leather trim, drying off and then buffing saddle cream into the trim itself. Let the saddle cream set for about an hour before sitting in the seats, and you will have trim that will resist the effects of age for some time.
The leatherette (PVC) used on most modern cars is not a patch on their predecessors, as the green movement has made the use of certain chemicals that went into the manufacturing process no longer legal, hence the shortened life span.
I am the person with the leather concerns. I purchased the special BMW leather treatment from the dealer that cost $20.00 a bottle. I don't mind the price, because I will do what it takes to maintain the quality of the leather; but how do I know if I am getting a quality product, or is it just a gimmick? BMW states to only use their product on their leather, because it has been tested with the best results. I have tried it, and the leather does not feel softer or treated in any way. I know I sound like a complainer, but I am apt to try the saddle cream. May I ask where do you buy the saddle cream, and would you forgo the BMW leather treatment?
Any good car care shop should have a kit for maintaining leather seating.
Alternatively, you could try a shop dealing in equestrian goods.
Does anyone like a car, your 2006 BMW 330i, telling you to change the fluid in your radiator? I don't like having a car telling me what to do. You can become downright scared to start the car up, due to the fear of caution lights. I have a brain, and let me decide BMW, when to change the oil, fluids, and misc. I feel this is the dumbing down of America, and we gotta have gadgets telling us what to do. I hate this whole concept.
Is this car going to break my bank constantly getting things fixed or maintained? Will I go broke owning this car? It is under warranty for two more years, thank GOD above. I am nervous about the money.
What do you mean about the car telling you when to change the radiator fluid? It's a service interval indicator. As much as you don't like being told, BMWs will calculate based on how you drive, when to get the oil changed - so it might even mean that if you use the right oil, you may NOT need to get it serviced when YOU think it might be needed. It can SAVE you on maintenance costs.
Cars these days are not as forgiving of neglect, and trust me, I know a fair few people who forget to do their warrants of fitness (periodic general safety check required by law) every six months, let alone changing oil on a car that is purring.
I am going on my 1995 BMW 318i, which had intervals of 50,000, 75,000, and 100,000, miles to have all the maintenance performed. I treat my cars like babies, and if one burps, off to the shop it goes.
My 2006 330i BMW, has way too many gadgets to break, and having the fear of a big RED EXCLAMATION POINT scares me. I know we don't have the intervals any longer to take the car in; we have alarms to tell us what to do, and in my opinion, I don't like it. BMW has gone way down in my opinion, and that's why they have gone with warranties. Good cars that are made well don't need extended warranties, thus I see BMW is sacrificing their reputation by offering extended warranties. This car could cost you an arm and a leg to maintain.
The 1995 BMWs were quality cars, built like a tank with minimal problems, and would go to 300,000 miles or more, and I do not see it in these 2006 models. I do love the way they drive though!