Our 2.4 159 is built like a tank, not a squeak or rattle at 42k miles.
Your perception of a car can be massively influenced by the replacement of a few parts. The 159 was bought for Mrs Rxe, and I inherited her 156, veteran of a million school runs, and hundreds of speed bump "takeoffs". When I drove it, I literally thought the front subframe had cracked, it felt awful. Vague handling, loads of rattles and clonks. All of the banging from the suspension transmitted into the cabin, making bits rattle. Performance and fuel consumption were atrocious. With an overhaul of the suspension, new driveshaft CVs, and a new thermostat, the car is transformed into a quiet "hewn from solid" ride.
I've been in BMW 3 series that are 3 years old and utterly knackered. If a car is hammered, and bits are not replaced, it will feel awful, whoever made it.