Seeing as you already have a BMW, I’m sure you already have a close relationship with a BMW mechanic They would be a good one to ask as they may be able to advise on expected reliability of the different choices.
Several disjointed thoughts:
Why is the 2010 so much cheaper? That’s a huge difference and something is missing from the comparison. You should find out what that something is.
xDrive is nice if you live in snow country. I certainly made good use of mine. Now living here in the tropics it just means twice as many moving parts to need expensive replacement. My next BMW won’t have it. Where do you live?
If you drive lots of miles per year then paying extra to buy low mileage is worth it and you don’t care as much which year it is. If you drive few miles per year then paying extra for newer is worth it and you don’t care as much how many miles it already has. Which scenario is you?
Speaking just for me, I would not buy a black car except on a massive discount. Too hot in the sun. Your preference?
Thanks for the input (everyone). After doing some shopping I’ve made the tentative decision to keep the '02 beast for another year or two then look into leasing a 5 Series with X drive, as I tend to change cars every three years or so and a warranty would be nice!
I really didn’t like the 328s I test drove, they seemed a bit small and under-powered. My friendly mechanic also said the 3 Series tend to develop odd problems.
Upthreads: I love black exteriors, not so much the black leather interior of my 530i in the summer, but it’s cozy in cooler weather. What I really dislike are the dark exterior cars with the tan interiors. They look weird to me (as does the brown plasti-wood trim in my car – WTF?)
On the backseat leak: I did automotive caulking around spots in the doorframe that seemed worn. It worked through a few rain episodes, but I had damp again after our big NJ snowstorm. I think it’s the moisture barrier, which is not something I want to attempt on my own.
Yeah, if I were getting a 3 Series, I’d have to go for the 335i over the 328i any day. The N54/55 motor is so great, I’ve now bought it three times. My wife’s 335i, my 135i, and the X3 that replaced the 335i. Never thought I’d love a turbo motor, but there you go.