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I'm considering a used BMW...am I nuts?


Replies to: I'm considering a used BMW...am I nuts?

  • jasmomjasmom Registered User Posts: 1,150 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    My husband, a car guy, says " There's nothing cheaper to drive than a Honda; there's nothing more fun to drive than BMW, except a Porsche. If you want to have fun in a Honda, you have to get a Civic-R, best of both worlds(?)."
    An edit. "If the BMW is a 4 cylinder, don't count on getting 120,000 miles."
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 3,322 Senior Member
    As a long term BMW owner, a good Indy will be expensive (and busy) too. But just below dealer pricing. Parts are parts. If they’re from BMW, then get ready to spend big bucks. As an example, I had to replace a catalytic converter once, low miles in CA (not rusty area) and the new converter was $2,000 without labor.

    They’re wonderful cars to drive, extremely sporty, when they’re not in the shop. But I just wouldn’t buy a newer BMW, unless you will only keep it short term. If you keep cars a long time like I do, then I just wouldn’t buy the BMW, unless: a) you have lots of money and b) the shop will rent or comp a rental for you or you have another car in the driveway.

    BTW, the x-drive has a terrible reputation for reliability according to Consumer Reports. Buy a Lexus!
  • anomanderanomander Registered User Posts: 1,648 Senior Member
    I’ve owned a couple BMWs past the 10 yr / 100k mark. They’re not particularly expensive until around the 6-8 year, 60-80k range. Around that point maintenance items and wear starts to kick in. If you figure about $500-$1000 per year on average from 60k to 100k, you’ll be in the ballpark. From 100k - 120k figure closer to 1k - 1.5k per year in maintenance. You’ll definitely want to find a good independent BMW mechanic, and if you DIY there are BMW enthusiast forums out there to help out.

    They’re awesome cars IMHO well worth the maintenance cost relative to the value of the car. That is, when I sold my 12 year old, 120k miles, 330i for 5k, it was an amazing car relative to what you could get for 5k or even 15k.

    Anyway all that said, I think you should take a look at dealer CPO 2015 320i’s (yeah incorrect use of apostrophe there, but 320is just looks weird). I’ve seen those listed on dealer sites for around 20k or less and you get the balance of the factory 4/50 warranty plus another year of unlimited mileage CPO warranty. The 320i is a nice car, just a bit slower than the 328i. Also unless you live in the snow belt, RWD is a much better choice than AWD.

    Finally, be aware that the AWD version of the 3-series has a taller (softer) suspension than the RWD models. The optional adjustable shocks help, but otherwise the stock AWD models have a reputation for being a bit soft and bouncy.
  • lamomlamom Registered User Posts: 1,385 Senior Member
    H loves BMWs. I never wanted one till I fell for my 135i convertible, which I exchanged for a Mazda Miata RF when BMW repairs /maintenance would be 1/2 the car was worth. I drove son’s Honda Fit, it’s ok but not fun and my bottom hurts after 2 hrs. BMWs are fun and sturdy.
  • Bromfield2Bromfield2 Registered User Posts: 3,529 Senior Member
    I had a BMW X5 that was a total lemon. It lived in the shop. The last straw was when the handle that opened the driver’s side door came apart. I bought a Mercedes ML350 (SUV). It is now 8 years old and has 160K—I will keep it until it hits 200K. We take this car for regular maintenance to an independent shop that works almost exclusively on Mercedes autos.
  • ollie113ollie113 Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    You’ll always want a BMW until you have one. Then you’ll know where you fall on the fun/reliability line. I loved mine, still wish I had one, but just can’t take the hassle of trips to the dealer.

    So buy it, and just set a limit for maintenance, when it’s too much, sell.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,664 Senior Member
    surfcity wrote:
    Clearly @ucbalumnus is not a car person

    Do car people assume that people with a limited budget can afford luxury-priced cars that come with luxury-priced maintenance and repairs? There are also fun-to-drive cars that do not have the luxury-prices.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,813 Senior Member
    There's nothing cheaper to drive than a Honda; there's nothing more fun to drive than BMW...
    Very true. I own one of each. Because of my irrational frugality I put a lot more miles on the Honda (currently at 205,000) but I much prefer the BMW. Compared to the BMW the Honda seems like a go-kart.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 3,322 Senior Member
    Porsche. There is no substitute.
  • WellspringWellspring Registered User Posts: 1,452 Senior Member
    I think if cars make you happy and this car makes you happiest, then do it.
  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 2,760 Senior Member
    We don’t have any information on your financial situation, as to whether you can afford such status symbols. From purely a driving standpoint, it seems pointless to own a race car, if 95% of your driving is going 25mph in city traffic.
  • pishicacapishicaca Registered User Posts: 246 Junior Member
    edited February 2018
    Oh boy. This one is near and dear to my heart. Owning a German vehicle vs. a Japanese vehicle. Driving experience vs. hassle-feee ownership.

    If you are willing to accept constant and expensive maintenance for a potentially more enjoyable driving experience, German may be the way to go. Also be prepared to continually worry what is going to need to be replaced next and how much it is going to cost. You already know what it’s typically like to own a Japanese car...minimal and inexpensive maintenance, largely worry-free usage with little fear of reliability issues or catastrophic failure.

    I know where I ultimately landed...I no longer have any German vehicles and would hesitate to purchase another one. There ARE sporty and fun to drive Japanese vehicles that also deliver reliability and relatively low maintenance. That’s what I own now and I wouldn’t go back. I just got tired of having my car be one more thing to continually worry about. And I am a car person. :)

    Oh, and if you have to go German, CPO or a quality extended warranty will be your best friend. Really, the best way to own a German car is to lease a new one so you can turn it back in before the warranties expire. But if used is on your radar, are sure you have some sort of extended coverage. You will likely need it.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,665 Senior Member
    @rocket88 said:
    A car is an appliance ...
    If my kids said that to me, I would stop paying their college tuition.
  • sahmkcsahmkc Registered User Posts: 600 Member
    I second @pishicaca We own Japanese luxury brands - Lexus and Infiniti.We have owned a Mercedes and it was our least favorite car. Currently, our son drives my husband's old 2004 FX45 - it still looks brand new and has given us 0 problems. It has over 130,000 miles on it and is still going strong. We had another Infinity sedan that we passed to my mom and then my mom passed it to my niece. It had close to 300,000 miles on it when my niece slid on an icy patch and put it in a ditch. The repairs were more than the car was worth at that point. So my vote for a luxury car is Infiniti.A side funny story - My DH was discussing cars for kids with a neighbor and they were talking about the Ford Escape his DD had. My DH said that they were nice SUVs for teens and that we looked at those for DS, but decided to hand him down my car. Friend says I don't think you can compare a $30,000 used car to our used Escape. DH laughed because the FX had a $12,000 blue book value when we handed it down. Everyone just thought it was so expensive because they hold up so well. Freind was shocked the car was a 2004 and only worth $12,000.
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