to counter the reliablity issues they spoke of, I agree. If the car was not well taken care of it will have issues. However, I purchased mine with just under a few k under 100, and I havent had anything break yet (now at 119). However, I also keep up my maintainence. Perform the regular inspection tasks and the car will last. With the audi, the turbo issue they adressed could pose more problems for you. You may have to replace it, or it could be worn. Also, becasue a turbo is FI, it will inevitably put more wear on the engine, leading to reduced longevity. Taking care of the car is the key. While mine had no problems, my stepbrother had tremendous problems with his 95 ti that had half the amount of miles mine had. Regardless of which car you get, make sure you have a thorough inspection done.
Now, based on what I read and my first had experience with BMWs, these are my reccomendations. You should get the BMW for the following reasons:
the BMW is more reliable, based on the Audi board's posts about problems and repairs you will face and the fact only trained audi techs can do some repairs VS occasional and minor problems you may face with the bimmer that you can usually fix yourself.
the BMW will handle better overall. Yes, as was stated on the audi board if you lower, chip, and do some other stuff it will eat the bimmer on the track. That is true. However, should one do the same to the bimmer, then again the bimmer comes out ahead. On the issue of RWD VS AWD in the winter. I have driven mine on snow and ice and a compotnent driver can control it well enough. Further, My father owned a z3 and porsche boxter when we lived in Connecticut in the leate 90s. Both are RWD cars and were driven in heavy winter conditions without much problems.
The bimmer does not have a cheap interior. The Audi member who spake that probably road in a 318ti. The 3 series interior is nicer than that of the audi, and includes good vynal dash, leather, and real wood.
<span style='color:gray'><span style='font-family:Courier'>1995 e36 3 Series RIP
1999 e46 3 Series BURN IN HELL
2000 MR-S Roadster= Current</span></span>