I put together a short video review of the build quality problems in the 2006 BMW 235i sport sedan. These are things like:
- Rotting or loose rubber seams on the outside
- Easily scratched/worn door handles
- Faulty cup holders
- Flimsy, easily melted cigarette lighters
- Soft plastic finishes that disintegrate and scuff right away
- Broken window shades
- Plasticky, snap-together feel of ceiling consoles
- Fading radio display
- Various cockpit noises
As one of the commenters in a BMW forum puts it, it comes down to “BMW’s choice of low quality materials in high wear areas“. That is a wonderfully succinct explanation of the problem.
These things keep breaking down, they get replaced, then they break down again. If BMW would bother to add up all the service costs they incur for repeat repairs to the cockpit, they would realize it would be cheaper to make them better in the first place. This is my plea to them: start building better cars — a bad cockpit ruins the driver experience and takes away from the wonderful handling and performance of a BMW.