The Ford was an okay car; I didn't want to make it sound unreliable. The biggest fault we had with it was the cylinder head failing twice. This is a common problem on the 1.8 diesel engine. In comparison my old 318i never let me down or gave any trouble from new, it was a superb car and I can honestly say whoever owns it now has a very good car. You get what you pay for. The Ford is a brilliant workloader and A to B car. BMW's are something else, in my opinion the quality and whole feeling is something else. It's an experience, not just something from A to B. the Escort has now gone and we have a Ford Focus. This is again great for work, but so dam boring and cheapo! So far apart from a central locking fault it has been okay. It is used and abused by my employees so fairs okay.
I disagree to a certain extent on running and repair costs. In the finish on the 318i I was using an independent specialist for servicing and buying parts from the German and Swedish Car Company. Disks are a tenner a piece; oil filters 3 quid, etc.
Incidentally the 330i now has 56k on the clock and is still running great and I've had no problems. Servicing can be a bit expensive, but everything bar service items is still under warranty. This expires next year, but I've already got a 535i sport on order :-)
I'm hoping I can continue to praise BMW, only time will tell...
Sour grapes from the Ford owner? My 330 Ci Sport does NOT cost THREE times the Escort to service. Based on comparative quotes from our local Ford dealer, they are about on par... and my BMW needs servicing less because it only has a service when it needs it, not at regular servicing intervals, whether it needs it or not!
Interesting people talking about servicing costs.. I know 3 people that own a BMW 3 series. 1) 318i SE 2) 323i 3) 330 club sport.
None of my mates have said servicing is cheap. my friend with the new-ish 330 said the first service (inspection 1?) was £110, the next was £280.. he is worried about how much the next service will be! I said the servicing seems quite reasonable considering the cars performance. my other mate with the 323 (4 years old) always complains about the servicing costs. not sure how much he pays though.
But the biggest suprise was my mate with his 318. the usual servicing costs tends to around £125-£250. his last service 5th (service) was £500+. quite funny really, as I was complaining about the servicing on my 5 year old fiesta being £124 and that was a major! the first time ever I paid more than £100 for any service on my fiesta! put my cheap servicing in context!
"Focus is so damn boring and cheapo"
Yeah, and the 318i is known for being a serious adrenaline rush to drive. All 140 throbbing horsepower and tonne and a half kerbweight of the thing. It's common knowledge that any good RWD chassis needs a bit of grunt to make it come alive, and the 318i simply hasn't got it.
If you were to put a 1.8 engined Focus against a 318i around a track or good B-road, I wouldn't bet against the Ford, despite it costing half as much. Viewed purely as a drivers car, take it from me, the Focus is quite capable of handing out a black eye or two to the lower end 3-series, especially on more challenging roads. Of course the BMW is a better finished machine, but at nearly twice the price, it really should be.