In Reply to: Re: Pondering E34 purchase vs. Passat. Help with ? posted by Mick on September 24, 2001 at 13:05:00:
Depends on the year and condition of the car. Beamers have personality, something the Japanese cars lack. Personality isn't always a good thing. I spend about $1K per year on my 89 525i, but its starting to get old. If you want low maintenance and few headaches, get another Honda. If you want a car with personality that can give you a real rise when they run right, get a BMW. Its like owning a boat.
I'm looking at the E34 and really like the styling and luxury from the car, but I don't think I'm ready to pay for expensive repair costs.
Right now I have a Prelude and haven't had to spend any money on repairs (except for oil changes and timing belt-preventative though). I really like that reliability factor but I really want to put myself into a 4 dr BMW, eventually.
I have an E 34, 535i, 1991. It is magnificent to drive and the power is awsome. However, this week end I spent the good part of a day to replace the Oxygen sensor. The car has 110K miles and runs like a champ. My other car is a 2000 740iL, I enjoy it also but not as much in cornering. My mother in Law just bought a Passat, she loves it, it handles well but it is not a BMW! it feels tinny. however, the gas mileage in the 535i is 19 MPG, the 740iL; 23 MPG and the Passat; 34 MPG! take your pick.
I love the price range of the E34s and I was currently looking at the 540i. Now, I've never driven this car so I'm not sure what the weight of the car feels like, and how the steering feels, but I was looking for some words of encouragement and warning from experienced owners. Epinions has 1 good and 1 discouraging report on the E34.
I'm also looking at a Passat V6 4 Motion and I know that although they initially cost more, the repairs won't cost nearly as much.
PS-I don't plan on doing the repairs myself, maybe just the oil and fluid changes if they're relatively easy.
What do you all think? Thanks for your opinions. I'm in the 15K to 20K price range.