Originally Posted by nwvalleyjock
Here's my two cents. based on my recent experience. I'm interested in trading up to an X3 from my loaded 2007 328xi in excellent condition with only 32K miles on it. I was shocked at the low trade-in value that the dealer quoted (around $20K) for a vehicle I paid $45K for, has low mileage, and is in mint condition. So much for the "high resale value" that was sold to me along with the car! Doing the math, I've had the car 54 months and lost $25K in value, equating to $463/month. The leases I've seen advertised over the past couple of years for a 3-series were about $100/month cheaper than that. I would think it should be more expensive to lease than buy, but it sure worked the opposite way in my case! I knew when I started seeing 3's all over the place a couple of years ago that it seemed BMW was just cranking them out like crazy, devaluing my car ...
My opinion: there are two ways to go. (1) Lease or (2) buy and drive 'til it goes no more and when you trade it in, you're happy they're paying you for it.