After owning my 2010 BMW 328i X-Drive coupe for six months now, and getting several questions along the way I thought I would do a short write up on my experience and what goes into to owning one of these cars. Before we get started I need to provide a few basic facts. First off I don't have the time, nor the patience to learn to work on my own car. Yes, I could probably save a boatload of money in maintenance (which we will get into later) but I simply enjoy driving cars and prefer not to go past that. Second, I did not want to buy this car mid-college, however, after my car was totaled (not my fault, and totally screwed up situation) the price of this car versus something like a Honda Accord wasn't much more and I had always wanted a BMW 3-Series coupe. Third, I had exactly four Infiniti G-37 coupes sold out from under me in the span of a month. And to finish it out at number four, I had a very limited amount of time to find a new car, and the majority of my research was focused on other cars. So now that you have some context let's get into my experience.
From the second I got into the car to test drive it I was sold. The heavy, direct feel of the steering, the beautiful hum of the flat-six german engine all had such a euphoric effect on me. I had been looking for a car for almost a month and a half, and with no luck and this felt like the one. So in that moment, I made my first big car buying mistake; I bought it. Like actually just bought it on the spot an hour after the test drive. It had a clean carfax report (remember this) so I just went for it. With 39K miles on it and just under $20K it seemed like a great deal. I purchased the car from a reputable dealer (who will go unnamed). So things started to hit the fan a week later when I realized there was a crack on the front drivers-side fender. I had it inspected by my local BMW dealership and they confirmed that it had been in a wreck at one point. I took it back to the Honda dealership I bought it from and over the course of three months the entire fender was replaced, wheels straightened, front brakes and rotors replaced (they were warped), and the front grill had to be realigned (and still isn't perfect). In total it cost me nothing extra as the dealer had basically lied about the condition of the car and gotten around reporting it on the car facts. It's a common dealer trick and pretty easy to do quite honestly. Now onto the actual ownership part.
Ok, so to recap the car was purchased in late October 2016 and now finally at the end of January 2017 I now had a fully repaired car. Everything else aside it really has been a very fun car with all the issues fixed. It isn't the fastest of cars but for an entry-level luxury coupe (not a sports car, let's be honest about that) I have loved owning it. In terms of maintenance if you can find a good third-party shop to work on it will save you a lot of money. In February I had a cylinder coil blow which through the dealership cost me around $400 to fix, I also had the spark plugs replaced which cost $135. An oil change will run you around $75-100 which isn't the end of the world by any means. I also had the brake fluid serviced which ran around $125.
As for the car itself I have been nothing but happy with the driving experience. As mentioned before it is the X-drive version which is BMW's all-wheel drive system so it feels incredibly planted to the ground when going through corners at high speed. The design of the car itself doesn't scream 7 years old, and the car still has a modern look to it. The car gets pretty average gas milage at around 16-20mpg city and 26-30 highway. The downside of having the AWD system however is once you start to drive it more "spirited" (semi-reckless) it sucks down that premium gas like a runner who just did a 5k in mid-August. The cabin is reasonably quite, and comfortable. Being a bit more sport oriented coupe it isn't the most fluid ride in the world but it is comfortable overall. It comes with no spare tire, and I ran run-flat tires for quite sometime but gave up after they became noisy after a few thousand miles. I currently run Michelin A/S 3+ tires on it and have liked them far more.
So now knowing all of that, you may ask if I would buy it again. The short(and annoying answer) is yes I would in a heartbeat. The car puts a smile on my face still when I walk up to it in a parking deck. Hold down the unlock button for a few seconds and all the windows lower and the sunroof opens up inviting you in. The smooth sound of the engine as you accelerate calms you, and brings you into the moment and out of whatever is happening around you. The all-wheel drive system makes the best use of the torque and horsepower available making the car seem much faster than it really is. While I only plan to keep the car for another year before upgrading, it has been such a pleasure to drive. While I regret the amount of stressed caused by the dealership I have truly loved the car ever since. It isn't the fastest, or best looking of the BMW line-up but it has a certain lovable nature about it when it isn't draining your pockets. It is well balanced and turns into corners hard enough to scare my girlfriend. Overall it is a phenomenal car, and owning any car comes with an amount of risk, so you might as well get one that brings you a little bit of happines every once in awhile.