I own my first BMW (other than a 2002 that I bought for my 16 year old daughter over ten years ago) right now. It is a 97 540i.
I agree! There are things I like better about a 210 MB but none of them are involved with driving.
I can't say whether the car you saw was bad, but I sure can agree that the BMW is one comfortable, driving machine.
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician