In Reply to: Pondering E34 purchase vs. Passat. Help with ???s posted by skya on September 24, 2001 at 11:26:16:
They are easy to maintain with a few tools. They are easy to repair with more tools, the assistance of this site and a Bentley manual ($65). My biggest costs have not come from maintenance, but from upgrades. You'll get caught in "gotta be something else to upgrade" phenomenom if you're not careful. I would stay with the inline 6(525i/535i) in lieu of the V8 (540i). Longer engine history and no block problem.
Buy the E34,525i or 535i, for a great daily driver with attitude and a nice weekend excursion throgh some twisties. Nothing drives better, remember "soul"? Be prepared to do some minor repairs and go a little bit beyond fluids.
There is never a day I step out of my 12 year old car with 130K on it and think, "man I wish I drove a new car". My next one will be a M5, E34.
Passat's look "Audi" like, are pretty cool designs and I'm sure a great daily commuter car. I carpool with a guy who has a 2000 A6. It's smooth and quite, but I'd rather drive mine any day than ride shotgun in his. Nothing looks or drives like the E34.
For vanity, there's nothing better:
"Wow, you drive a BMW 5 series!"
"Wow, you drive Passat VR6 4 motion!"
Which of those are you most likely to hear?
Economic decision - Passat
Driver's decision - E34 (Passat + 10% more effort)
'78 530i (sold to buy the 3)
'99 323i (sold to buy the E34)
130K driving it to 200K