if you want reliability, stay away from germany. imho, nothing made there can equal japan (or marysville ohio, or some us factory they make ricemobiles at). you just have to put up with the fact that you are driving an appliance, not a car. i had a nissan for 7 years (refridgirator white), added oil and gas. NOTHING broke, ever.
i had a vw passat (2000), which went to crap in 3 years. had a number of benzes (83 240d, 88 190 etc etc), same stuff.
of course, bmw will deliver unparallelled driving experience, way superior to the tl. the c class is a piece of bat guano, do not even consider it.