Originally Posted by pseto
I never understood why people say this and don't consider myself to be lucky at all. I've had one of the first 99 e46 and 07 e92 models produced and both were were extremely reliable. I've had more problems with the cars made in the middle of the lifecycle than early on (11 M3 and 02 X5).
BMW usually tests all new technology in the more expensive 5 & 7 series before it hits the 3 series. And with the 3 series being the cash cow, BMW can't afford large scale quality issues and usually gets it right the first time.
Engineers can do all the testing they want in different conditions, but when it comes down to it, they can never hope to replicate the millions of miles and varied conditions that all of the owners of a new model combined will put a car through. It's just a fact that owners of a brand new car are beta testers of sorts. There are always kinks in a new design that only present themselves with thousands of users. I don't hold it against others who decide to get the new hotness, but I'd just prefer to let others find early issues.
I agree that they can't afford quality issues, but this doesn't mean problems can't get past their tests. Just look at the Dreamliner debacle...