BMW has been an icon for performance and sheer driving pleasure over the years, but there has been a stigma around BMW drivers for ages, and major prejudice that the brand breaks more easily than others. Is there truth to this? Yes, to a degree.
One of the most important reasons not to purchase a BMW is ownership costs, along with oil leaks, and all the malfunctioning sensors BMW has installed in newer models. BMWs are expensive to buy and expensive to maintain.
Top reasons not to purchase a BMW
BMWs aren’t for people who stick with their cars for long
If you are a person who likes driving the same car for years and if nothing is wrong with it to keep it for as long as it runs, BMW is certainly not for you. There is a reason why BMW puts a warranty cover of just 4 years or 50,000 miles, which is barely enough for most drivers since you can cover 50,000 miles in less than two years if you are on the road every day. BMW cars are notorious for breaking once they’re out of warranty.
New BMW cars aren’t what the brand once was
BMW has lost the majority of the old school car enthusiasts that lead to its success in the old days. BMW used to be about sheer performance on the road and has slightly shifted towards luxury over the years.
BMW’s steering has gone numb, and there are more assistance features than actual driving that happen on the road. Regardless of a wide range of models, only a couple still carry the old spirit of BMW. Unfortunately, they aren’t as massively produced and are harder to come by.
If you wish to purchase a better upgrade for your car’s radio, you’ll need to pay a large sum for it. And for BMW to allow that to happen, you’ll also need to pre-purchase a whole complete package. The package is unrelated to the feature you want, but is required by their system for you to unlock the option to purchase what you desired in the first place.
In the end, you might end up paying over $2,000 in an additional cost for the radio you wanted to get in your car.
BMW has one of the highest ownership costs
The average 10-year cost of owning a BMW is estimated to be slightly over $18,000. It’s not at all uncommon to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per repair at your local mechanic every few months, especially if you’ve purchased a pre-owned BMW vehicle.
Some BMW models average $1,000 annual repair costs, which makes them a bit less expensive to maintain but it’s still a big deal for most people.
Many car reliability ranking services rank BMW in 30th out of 32 car brands in terms of reliability on the road. There are many common issues that arise in most BMWs. BMW might not exactly stand for breaking my wallet, but this is the scenario in some cases. Most 3 and 5 Series cars that are equipped with six-cylinder engines are somewhat infamous for their failing cooling systems that leak and burst open quite commonly.
Depreciation and gas costs
BMW depreciates faster than any other vehicle on the road. There might be more than one reason for that, but it is a fact that after purchasing a BMW, it loses a large portion of its initial value right away. You can find second-hand BMWs that have been driven just for a few miles that cost 60 percent of the vehicle’s original price.
There is a stigma around these cars, and nobody is willing to pay the full amount for a second-hand BMW. Maybe potential customers are affected by the reputation around BMW drivers – aggressive driving and little to no maintenance.
Whether this is true or not, it has definitely given a hit to the price of second-hand BMWs since there are many new drivers eager to hop on the road on a powerful vehicle, and they choose BMW. Inexperienced drivers mean bad maintenance.
What is a good average mile per gallon (mpg) to look for when purchasing a vehicle? That’s a debatable question, but most experts would say 50 – 60 mpg is great. Well, the average for BMW is 36 with the newer vehicles, according to their official documents. However, in reality, most BMWs would give you an average mpg of 28-29 in the city and up to 32 on the highway.
Electrical issues – sensors and windows
Newer model BMWs are notorious for their electrical sensor malfunctions as well as windows and LEDs failing. The malfunctions are not limited to fancy sensors, gadgets, and electronics. Sometimes simple things like doors, windows, and handles refuse to function on some models.
Buying a used BMW
How long does a BMW take to reach the point of no repair?
Most older BMW models can last at least 20 years until reaching the point of being beyond repair. The 1990s and 2000 – 2006 BMW 3 Series are equipped with very reliable engines and undoubtedly with proper maintenance, these vehicles can last more than 20 years, even more than 30 on some occasions.
On the other hand, if you are driving a BMW X5 with a 330D 3.0 diesel engine, you would most likely experience turbo failure both in warranty and outside of it.
After how many miles do BMW cars start having issues?
The biggest issue with BMW cars from the past few years has been their coolant systems. Although it is comprised of several parts, all of them might break, ending up in a need of replacement.
Generally, most BMW models can last between 80,000 and 120,000 miles before you need a major repair, but of course, that greatly depends on the level of servicing and regular maintenance.
What mileage should I look for when purchasing a second-hand BMW?
When purchasing a second-hand BMW, make sure to have a good idea of how well-maintained the vehicle is. If it has reached more than 100,000 miles without any major issues, expect one soon, but that also might be a sign of good maintenance. On a general note, try to purchase a vehicle with below 80,000 miles on it.