I bought an '02 325i in August of last year from a retired Army officer. This car has a manual transmission and had 122k on it when I bought it. Base model no options except cold weather package & Harmon Kardon stereo.
I got all the service records they had to give me, but I suspect not all of them. The car had been garaged and maintained, but not obsessively so.
The engine looks brand new, very clean. The handling is taut and there are no rattles or squeaks. So I think I might have found a decent one.
What you need to realize is the most important thing about a used car is the previous owner.
I did have to replace the clutch. 122k I suppose is about average. VANOS needs seals as there is idle bouncing when cold and a bit of a flat spot in the power curve below 3500rpm. Cooling system I assume is original, as well as the CCV. Car runs great and returns 32mpg highway, seriously. Burns no oil either.
I'm going to have to address those things next spring but in the meantime it seems healthy.
Try to find a base model with a stick. The sport package may be overrated, as this car handles like its on rails anyway. And 325s are not slow, no way. 330s are faster, but this car is quite peppy and I expect some improvement once I get those VANOS seals replaced. 32mpg highway-->whut