In Reply to: nice joke, but.............. posted by axx on October 09, 1999 at 11:33:39:
BMW owners could just be a bit more selective than the rest. Not to start a Computer Wars debate, but compare it against the amount of maintenance that goes into Windows or DOS systems vs. the Mac. Windows/DOS users do stuff on a regular basis that would drive Mac users up the wall. When Mac users have to deal with a minute fraction of some of the regular headaches encountered by other users, they *howl* about it.
Similarly, other car owners may just view a car as a car--a complex collection of parts that, hey, isn't perfect, and they just deal with it.
It's hard to get the truth, but if you go to third-party sources, such as the JD Powers report, you do find that the BMWs rank way up there, slightly better than Saturn in terms of overall reliability. The chart at my salesman's office had the 3-series at something like $1500 in out-of-pocket expenses over 5 years, with the Saturn at $1600 and the Passat at something like $4500. There were dozens of other cars, and the TL wasn't on my radar (IMHO, it's nowhere near the 3-series' class from a handling and quality perspective; the A4 is much closer), so I don't remember the number, but you might want to approach the problem that way.
Also, look at other forums, like alt.autos.bmw on USENET. There isn't that much complaining there, though it's difficult to pick out E46 posts. Conspicuously, much of the complaining tends to use this board as a reference, which is kind of suspicious. :-)
You also need to look at cost. Particularly if it's the person's first upscale car, this can trigger some deep buyer's remorse. $30K could well be the magic limit which sets this off. So when it comes down to $30K for a 3-series or $25K for a TL or a Passat or whatever, hey, maybe I should have bought the other car.
I have a Y2K 323i. I have no problems, other than those introduced by my learning to drive a manual on it, and even then, the car's far more forgiving than I have any right to expect. :-) The sole weak link in MY research was the abysmal reputation of BMW service centers, both locally and nationwide (not so much in technical proficiency but more in terms of bad customer service). But there I go whining--nothing I've heard of has been any worse than what I've encountered at Ford or Lincoln-Mercury.
I all boils down to setting accurate expectations.
: /i>just visited the tl forum, searched post over the last ten days, in the hundreds of post i searched, only two complaints about problems. and both are insignificant compared to the problems bmw owners have been complaining about. There is no question that tl is a much more reliable car. just read comsumer report.
: E46 is an exellent car, probably the best engineered in its class; we all agree on that. However, for those who dont drive very aggressively/ push their car to the limit, there really is little differece in performace between tl and e46. In fact, the tl is faster and handles better compared to automatic 323i without sports package.
: i love E46. the styling, the availability of manual transmission, the great handling with sports. But i have to have the most reliable car available because of my profession and where i live. if you have similar concerns as i do, i urge you to seriously consider other cars.