Only if you do the work yourself. BMW's appallingly low quality parts (especially the plastic ones) will require constant replacement, costing thousands of dollars. It is just not worth it. The 88 was a much higher quality product compared to today's junk. I have replaced dozens of parts myself, and I have had it, I will never own another BMW. Don't fall for the hype.
What did you expect, repairs and maintenance were going to be cheap? Most people who own these buy new, and sell at a loss a few years later before serious problems occur.
There is a reason the market is flooded with inexpensive used BMW, Benz, Range Rover, etc... Once they are used and have significant mileage on them, no one will touch them with a 10 foot pole; huge money pits.
I was considering buying a BMW used car, but I think it will cost me a lot in the long run due to the high maintenance cost of German cars. Thanks for your valuable advice.
A Subaru Impreza WRX is an econobox with an excellent AWD system, upgraded suspension and a turbo... that is what you pay for on a Subaru, and it's also where all the money goes in terms of design, so almost everything else is lacking when compared to a BMW, which is more about balance.
Regardless of how well an unrefined factory tuned Impreza handles, there is no standard sedan that connects you to the road like a 3 Series in terms of road feel, driving dynamics, safety innovation, and luxury. Really a WRX is not a standard Impreza like the "standard" 328i being reviewed here. The standard 328i is considered an entry level BMW and is a complete package; not great at any one thing, they are a jack of all trades.
Bimmer parts are not really any more expensive than Japanese parts, no matter the year... I work on both. ALWAYS buy major parts independently and NEVER through a dealership. Purchase the parts and install them yourself, or have your shop do the labor. Even independent shops over-charge on parts. The only "plastic" parts on a BMW are radiator and water-pump components, however these are the only common failure on these cars, and coincidentally they are technically a maintenance item that EVERY car should have replaced after 100k miles. Since they are considered a serviceable part that most people would avoid doing on their Camry, they are manufactured with a service life, which also saves cost when purchasing the car. If you are considering a BMW, give yourself a budget of about $5-$700 for these items every 100k miles roughly (which is every 3 to 5 years depending on driving). This is also a good time to replace the control arm bushings up front, which take a lot of abuse over the years.
It's true there are specific BMW codes that can only be read by certain scan tools, but this shouldn't scare you away from purchasing one. Head over to the Camry/Accord reviews and see what kinds of issues those folks are having... although, the 3 Series is rear wheel drive and costs more to manufacture than a Cam-Accord, which are all front wheel drive to keep costs down... Any dealership will charge the maximum amount for parts and labor for any car.