Originally Posted by adamt
Thanks for all the feedback!
Finding the $20K - $24K for a newer '07 323i or even 328, and possibly a Certified Series, isn't out of the question, but obviously at some point it becomes a case of diminishing returns.
Do you think the potential savings from a newer vehicle with a CS warrantee might come close to justifying the extra price? Or at that point would I be potentially spending a lot extra for not much gain? With that $5K - $10K price difference, it seems like I could afford a lot of repairs and still come out ahead in that sense.
And when the E90 did eventually start needing the repairs that all cars need sooner or later, would those tend to be pricier (and/or more numerous!) than what an E46 or E36 would need?
Absolutely, you could be spending more in the long run on the new car. You can buy a MINT like-new e36 328 for 6-8k (mileage is irrelevant for a looked-after car). That's 14-12k you have left on repairs if overall your budget was 20k. Rest assured that with a mint 328i you will not even be spending 1k/year of ownership.