I've been driving an '02 M3 for the last two years and love it. But as I'm getting married soon, I've been looking for more practical transportation at a lower price point.

A local dealer has a traded-in '00 M5 with 97k miles. I've test driven it and it seems to be in good condition. I will, of course, take it in for a pre-purchase inspection.

And, yes, I realize that there are many more reliable and financially responsible options, but I'd like to consider the option of staying in an "M" (without downgrading to an E36).

I've searched the archives and I'm aware of typical problems with this car. My question is: assuming a thorough inspection before purchase, how likely am I to encounter an absolutely catastrophic problem in the next two years or so? One that won't be caught early enough to fix and prevented by careful maintenance?

The dealer is asking for $28k, but I'm positive that the price can come down substantially. I'm willing to pay for the requisite maintenance of this high-mileage, high performance vehicle, but I don't want to take on too much risk in terms of complete engine/transmission replacement, etc.

Should I run away? Or could this be a viable "budget" M5?

Thanks in advance for your advice,
-Charles