A Satisfied Discerning Customer
February 1, 2014
I purchased my 2006 530xi wagon from a private party through cars.com. I was a little apprehensive about flying out and driving the car back 1,000 miles home, but was overall an excellent and memorable trip (for good reasons).
A must for a purchase like this were a clean Carfax records, detailed service history, and great communication with the seller. All of these requirements were met, and I feel like I bought an exceptional car. If you are okay with working on your car yourself, a BMW is well-worth the money. Parts are more expensive, but higher quality. Paying for labor at dealerships is where most people begin to lose value with these cars (not that a qualified technician isn't worth it if you don't know what you're doing or have trouble). Little details with the car have been the nicest surprise. The passenger mirror rotates down to the curb for you in reverse, to aid in parallel parking. Cruise control allows you to bump your speed in either 5 mph increments or 1 mph. There is hill descent control. There is a built in cargo net partition (great for my dog) that can be used with the back seats up or down. The moon roof is huge and a great feature. It has a powered back hatch and the window also lifts on the hatch for easy access to groceries or cargo without opening up the hatch. Adaptive HID lights are a handsome and useful option (they turn with your steering and automatically adjust). The all-wheel drive system is a must for snow. Heated seats and steering wheel are great for cold climates as well. My purchase price (less than book) for a car that originally had a msrp north of 50,000 is an exceptional value. There are drawbacks to the car as well (iDrive is a little clunky with no Bluetooth streaming for 06', all-wheel drive changes the steering feel a little, and it takes a bit to learn the controls by feel as cruise control and the blinkers are right next to each other on the left side of the column). Gas mileage is as reported or better and it takes premium fuel. Recommended oil change intervals are 15,000 miles, and they take a lot of oil. Pay attention to figures by year, as gas mileage went down and power went up when they added bi-turbo in the newer models.
Overall, if you want some luxury, power, utility, safety, and better gas mileage than an SUV you can't beat this very solid car.