I've never owned a BMW before, but my everyday car is starting to show its age, so I've been doing some shopping. I'm primarily interested in the 325 or 330, and I definitely need a sedan. (We have a 2 year-old, so a car seat is a must.) I've contemplated a 5-Series, but I think I prefer the looks of the 3-Series. It also seems like a 3 will be a bit more sporty.
Another consideration is that I live in Cincinnati, where we get some snow in the winters. Also, my wife will drive our daughter in the car a day or so every week, so I'm thinking it may be a good idea to go with AWD, simply because she's not the greatest driver, and I think AWD will help in rain or snow. Lastly, since my wife will be driving the car, I'm going to have to get an automatic transmission. I tried to teach her how to drive a stick in a Porsche Turbo I used to own. But let's just say that didn't go well.
I'd appreciate some input as far as reliability of BMWs in general, as well as the reliability of the xi versus RWD. Are there any recurring problems with the later 3-Series cars? I think I'm going to concentrate on 2005 to 2007 models, so I don't take a huge depreciation hit.
Can you folks share some insight?