In Reply to: My definition of a BMW: posted by Michael on October 10, 1999 at 12:07:52:
A 328 or even a 528 is all of those things. What stock bimmer needs to sit in a garage all wingter unless you just want to garage it to protect it and/or you have it setup for dry traction, ie low ground clearance and soft summer tires which you don't want to change or mess with in the winter. I drive my 325i all winter although if I had the money, i would upgrade my wheels and put summer rubber on them and run the stock wheels with winter rubber during the winter. But that is my choice because I want that level of performance. I know a lot of people who aren't enthusiats that own BMWs because they want the sporty luxury even though they aren't the kind of people to mod their car or take it on a track. It is a fun car for them and they daily drive it all year.
Now for point by point.
My car is definitely sporty and fun to drive.
I have taken it on several long trips (Missourit to Chicago, Missouri to Virginia) with no problems except I do wish I had sport seats. The non sport ones could use a little more lumbar support.
I have never had a reliability problem. The only problem was the water pump which died predictably at 60k miles.
I get groceries in it all the time. They fit even with my sub-box in the trunk. (one 12)
A tank usually gets me at least 300 miles with some spirited driving.
4-doors, 4 friends. Even 5 if one is small. No, not 4 6-footers comfortably on a long trip but it is not a large car.
I drive it all winter and if you can buy a house for under 20 thousand dollars then tell me where.
'94 325iA Dinan Chip/CAI