<babble>The first car I ever drove, and the care I drive now, is my dad's '93 Volvo 940 sedan. I viewed it then as an older vehicle, appropriately with a more conservative look for older men, but, of course, with time I came to love "my" black 940 for all it has, even including it's reserved style. But, to get back on track, what I really loved about it was how it handled. An interest in drifting lead to me learning about the different drive systems which lead me to learning my Volvo was RWD which lead me to a Slate article which seemed to perfectly explain the pheneomenon behind the enjoyment I get out of driving my car: apparently I just love rear-wheel drive and apparently that system is somewhat of a rarity among cars now. (the Slate article's over here, BTW: http://slate.msn.com/id/2081194/
Anyway, fast-forward to today. I think I'm ready to get a new car ("new" to me, that is) and research has lead me to the position I'm in now: looking at Bimmers, more specifically '95-97 325/8is's. I'm currently looking at three offers, but the more interesting and financially comfortable purchase is a '96 328is w/ 175k miles on it! That's significantly more than our Volvo (133k mi.) and that's a '93! Now, to be honest, at this same time last year I wouldn't have even known how many miles I or the avg. driver make a year, but today, with word that BMW owners can end up spending a good deal of their money after the purchase, with maintenance & repair costs, this 175k has me concerned. Naturally, the dealer (not the actual owner) claims it feels like it has a fraction of the mileage (smooth, with no unusual noises or anything either), but I'd like more assurance than that. I plan to get the vehicle inspected, but even if it comes through relatively clean today, (assuming I take good care of the car, maintenance-wise from the time of purchase onward) what can I really expect from a car with such mileage? Will the types of repairs required be more expensive? Will the /rate/ of required repair increase significantly? Linearly? Exponentially, even? Or, perhaps, if the car is fine as I get it and proper respect is payed to it, the same maintenance & repair schedule that had applied to it 5 years ago can apply for the next five?
Clearly I have a lot of questions (or, moreso just variations on the same), but what I'm asking is: Is it unrealistic of me to think I could buy this car (or any 3-series with similar mileage), perform regular oil changes, get professional inspections every 25k miles and dish out similar cash to that spent on a car with half the miles? Is it even realistic to think I'll be able to keep the car for 5 years? I just want to know what the timeline is for a 3-series car. (please, if you mention something to be expensive or inexpensive, please try to come up with an actual figure, as rough an estimate as it might be, as expense is highly relative)
I'm sorry this got to be so long and also if some of the questions asked here are being or have been asked elsewhere. I've found so many semi-relevant threads here within the past two days and accumulated so many counter-questions to all of them I felt my overall message or question would be lost if I didn't just ball it into one thread. I'm greatly appreciative of anyone who might take the time to read through my concerns and try their best to set me straight. Thank you all, in advance.
- Corey (a newfound Bimmer-driver wannabe?)