So today I picked up my '99 523i auto......and Oh my freaking pants, it's a wonderful car!!!! It still hasn't sunk in as yet, but I'm sure it will in the up coming days! It's unbelievably quiet, comfortable, spacious and effortless especially at +-193k miles compared to the e36 316i. I don't know if I'm getting old, but i actually prefer that! I find it surprising that people actually drift e39s. You might as well be drifting your living room especially if it is equipped with wood trim (mom calls it furniture lol) and leather seats the size of sofas. The auto box is brilliant too...so smooth! If you are cruising and need to accelerate, just put your foot down and the car will kickdown and Boooom! you're away! The car also holds corners well especially for it's size. Only down side so far is the turning circle. It's larger than the e36 I'm used to
Bottom line: Totally love it!
EDIT: Trains are fucking expensive. It cost £30 for a SINGLE journey from Portsmouth to Thatcham. The 523i was cheaper on fuel and quicker lol