Join the BMW Car Club of America. It's $40 a year, gets you a $500 discount
on any new/certified BMW purchase (alas, after one year of membership), and
comes with a subscription to The Roundel, their superb magazine that is
every bit as good as Road & Track, Car and Driver, Automobile, and so on.
The magazine has excellent articles about new BMW's and the care and feeding
of BMW's. There is an excellent technical support column. They tell it like
it is about BMW's and that means you hear about the good, the bad, and the
really stupid things BMW does. Once you are out of warranty, you really do
need a support group if you are going to own a BMW and BMWCCA is a great
I always wanted a BMW and bought an E46 330i zhp a few years ago. It is a
good sports sedan and I still own it/like it, but it is not the sports sedan
nirvana I thought it would be.
I also own a 1992 Lexus LS400 that we have had for almost 14 years. While
not a sports sedan like the zhp and it gets much worse mileage, to boot, it
is, overall, a significantly better car than the BMW. I never regret getting
the LS. I occasionally regret getting the 330i instead of an STI or EVO, for
the same money.
All that is by way of saying BMW hype can overwhelm BMW ownership reality.