I've already posted my view on this back on page 1, but after now being an owner of BMW 1 series (135i), bought second hand at 119'000km, I am very pleased to note how impeccable the car is, still, now already having added 30'000km to it.
The car still has this "rock and solid" feel to it I only ever get in new cars (that typically lasts a few years before fading away). There are no vibrating noises, no annoying niggles. If it wasn't for the digital counter showing its age and mileage, I would assume the car was still in its first year.
Now I am aware a BMW within this price range shouldn't be compared to a [french] car that cost about a quarter of it, but I can't help but notice that the Citroen was literally falling apart after similar amount of usage and mileage.
For the record, I've also driven many different Lotus's. Now these are obviously very different cars with a very different audience, but you can definitely tell Lotus do not come close in the quality department either. I love my Exige to bits for what it is, but if I ever sold or replaced it with something of similar spec, I'm not sure I could bring myself to get another one (and yes, I've driven the latest models). Probably would head for a Porsche this time, although many would fail to reach the agility and perhaps sheer fun of driving of the Lotus.
Anyway, back to french cars; Can't speak for Renault and Peugeot, but I'm definitely never buying a Citroen again. I myself and too many people that I know had massive amounts of problems with those cars. Everything from electrics down to the A/C, but also brakes, the power-steering, even the goddamn by-passenger seat broke within the first 4 years of ownership. Funnily enough, I know many people who had similar problems. A friend who owned a later C4 model (2008 or something) had the bonnet break after doing close to 180km/h on the German autobahn. From what we could tell, too much air went through the gap between the opening of the bonnet, causing it to bend to the point it looked like it was half open and damaged the lock/release there in the process. Suffice to say, the dealership was stumped and refused to believe it happened just by driving on the Autobahn at high speeds.
On a different note: My sister owns a little Ford Fiesta ST (MY2014 I think) and after 3 years of driving, I'm quite positively surprised at the quality, performance and running costs of the car.
Not for nothing, Rosberg's Championship is the only thing that lends credibility to Hamilton's recent success. Otherwise, he'd just be the guy who's had the best car. — bhall II