The key to reliability (with ANY car) is maintenance. BMWs are better than most in comparison. They can take alot more abuse than your typical Toyota, Honda and god forbid an american car. BMWs get a bad "rap" because they are driven harder, they are more expensive to buy (initially) and people who move up to a BMW from a "low - to no maintenance" vehicle have to develope a maintenance schedule/habit. It's like a house, it's an investment - if you don't take care of it - it will deteriorate, I'm on my 4th one and none of the previous were "dogs" they've been good to me & I'll ALWAYS have one.