I have a 1998 E36 328i as well. I have 188,000km and its still going strong.For 8 years old its a very nice ride. People have told me they thought it was alot newer.
Ive had to have the water pump replaced (under $100CAD) not because the metal impeller failed but because one of the seals was starting to go. I also had to replace the clutch fan cause that had failed so the car started over heating. Also ive replaced 2 ball joints since ive owned it. The right front one was replaced when i bought it but i dunno why but it started to go and i had to replace it recently. But thats basiclly the extent of major stuff ive had to replace. I do need to replace the cabin air filter soon. So basiclly as long as u look after it, itll last for a long as time.
Also ive left it out in -40C weather before for 8 hours while i was at work and it started normally when i got into it. Ive set cruise control for 200kmh and it just goes, it has no problem doing those speeds. Ive driven from Banff to Calgary (140km) in 45 mins at speeds exeding 155kmh the entire way. I can go to Edmonton (300km away) and back no problem.
I live in Canada and out winters kinda suck.Its awesome in the winter cause it has ASC traction control so with a good set of snow tires like the Nokian Hakapalittia RSi's ull make it any kind of road condition. I can get up small icy hills in one try which ive seen some cars try for 10+ mins to get up to no avail. Ive had no problems in the winter with it (exept its cold when i leave it outside for hours).
If you do buy it or buy any car i do reccomend for winter the Nokian Hakapalittia RSi's. They are pretty much the best snow tire on the market right now for your money. And a set for stock BMW 15" rims its about $800 CAD.