We just purchased our 2001 325xiT 5 speed. 136k We are going to do the cooling system overhaul here in the next week. Parts on order waiting for delivery. But judging from all of the postings here I am pretty excited on the lack of issues. We did need to replace an post cat o2 sensor right after we bought the car. We have an oil leak of some type but I think it is the power steering resevoir/hose. Every BMW (all E30s) I have purchased had that same issue. I'll replace the clamps when I do the cooling system overhaul. Previous owner had spen a bunch of money on the car in the last 18 months. Suspension bushings and brakes.
I think I am going to need to put a transmission in it as going down into first when moving causes a grind and it is sometimes hard to get it into first when stopped. Fluid had been changed before we bought it. I know this because I just changed it again and the fluid was pretty clean. There was a little bit of gold colored metal in the drain plug. Syncro I think. I'll baby it until it fails completely or a low mileage tranny comes up for sale on ebay or something. I guess it is possible the clutch is causing it but I doubt it.
My experience with subarus is they suck for engine reliability. I had a 2003 Legacy with 116k and the head gaskets went bad. And it is a common problem on the non turbo 2.5 flat four (EJ25). I paid about the same amount for the 01 325xiT and of course like it much better than the subaru. Subaru recognizes they have an issue with head gaskets as you are supposed to put Subaru branded stop leak in the coolant everytime you change it. However, my subaru was leaking oil. I bought the subaru to replace my 1991 325ix; I also have a 1991 325ix sedan with 327k miles. That has cost a bit of money in the last year but it runs pretty well. I'm going back to the old 325ix.