Used BMW 3 series - 328i is not bad on gas, 230 hp 6 cyl in base engine from 2006-11, 18/28 mpg - I get over 30 on highway and when it's mostly city, about 25. I'm easy on the gas around the city, I mean, what's the sense of speeding to the next stop light, although I will give it to 5500 rpms from 1st to 2nd - one must flog the beast to keep it trained. The 2012 + versions have a turbo 4 banger with 240 hp, and it gets better mpg.
Check your driver shaft lengths - I have no issues with 45 inch drivers, but above that, I pull the driver out of the bag and place it on top. With two bags, you'll need to take out the drivers and lay them on top.
You will have the typical issues associate with German cars - at least BMW gives you 4 yrs, 50k bumper-bumper, and you can buy a 6 yr maintenance plan. If a CPO, have them check carefully to see if owner purchased the extended plan - you never know until the finance guy checks because he's trying to sell you wheel warranty, dent warranty, windshield warranty, etc.
I owned an old 3 Series, and once you get over 100k mi, you can count on 1500 per year on maintenance (sometimes much more, sometimes a little less), plus tires, and that's going to a private service guy. But once it's paid off, it's a nice car to flog.
I've owned Audis, and I should tell the story about the flaming brakes on my last wedding day... but everyone has stories, and that was the dealer's fault. I owned an A4 A6, TT up to 60k - turned them/traded in because of the horror stories, but who knows, it might have been okay. But turning them back in was a nightmare, so I will avoid Audi-VW again...
Edited by Mr. Desmond - 2/7/14 at 7:34am