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


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

  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,655 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    Porsche Carrera is my dream car.
    Porsche is surprisingly reliable, very likely the most reliable German automaker. They seem to work best when driven regularly and pushed hard, but not abused.

    But their service costs are also the most expensive.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 3,294 Senior Member
    Some people are car people and others are not. It would be hard to convince someone who sees a vehicle as a means from point A to point B that a German car is worth the money.

    Completely accurate. It's either in your blood or not.

    However, if I were buying a German car and looking for "sportiness," then I'd opt for the used Porsche (Carrera, Cayman, Macan, Cayenne, etc.). I'd look for a used Boxster or Carrera, since I love convertibles.

    Google the Bimmer forums and BMW's X-drive, it's supposedly a maintenance and usage headache.

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,613 Senior Member
    Someone who cannot afford a Porsche could get sportiness in a Miata at a lower price.
  • pishicacapishicaca Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    I’ve been trying to stay out of a discussion of brands, but I have seen Mazda mentioned a few times in this thread now. A nice compromise of sporty handling and low cost maintanence are the new Mazdas (2016 and newer, the ones they have been completely designing themselves after their long-term dreadful collaboration with Ford). Every single model in the line up is lauded by the enthusiast car magazines as Germanic handling at an affordable price point. They have just figured out how to set up a car to handle and drive well without it having to cost so much. They have been surprising a lot of people in the automotive industry with their new formula.

    I went from a Mercedes C300 Sport 4MATIC to a Mazda6 Grand Touring. The only things I miss about the Mercedes are the straight-line acceleration and the AWD. The Mazda may be just a hair less sharp than the Mercedes (which had an aggressive suspension set up, staggered wheels, etc.) but it will carve the curves and is easy and fun to toss around. Not to mention it does it with a 20% MPG gain, regular vs. premium fuel and bare minimum maintenance expense. If you wanted to keep it around $20K you could get a CPO 2016 6 right around that or even less (depending on the trim level). I opted for the 2016 Grand Touring (highest trim and feature package) one year ago, only 4 thousand miles, CPO extended warranty, for $24K. With it being a year older and with slightly higher mileage, $20K is about right. Every person who gets into my car now says they had no idea how nice Mazda’s were...they are aiming up market and doing it well. And if I had to go back to an AWD sedan, the Acura TL SH-AWD does the trick with regard to handling and acceleration in a very reliable package. Just some non-Germanic options for your consideration. :) Good luck with your decision!
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,613 Senior Member
    pishicaca wrote:
    I’ve been trying to stay out of a discussion of brands, but I have seen Mazda mentioned a few times in this thread now. A nice compromise of sporty handling and low cost maintanence are the new Mazdas (2016 and newer, the ones they have been completely designing themselves after their long-term dreadful collaboration with Ford).

    Actually, Mazda got some good things out of the Ford association, such as the second generation Focus platform for the Mazda 3 and 5. Both Mazda and Ford have tended to be on the sportier side of less expensive mainstream cars, so many of their offerings are worth looking at by those who want a sportier drive but do not want to pay the brand prestige premium of BMW and Audi.
  • sushirittosushiritto Registered User Posts: 3,294 Senior Member
    Both the Miata and Porsche are great cars, used and/or new. However, there's a huge difference in feel between the two. I mentioned it on another thread here on CC, but I own an original series 1990-1997 Miata. Purist here.

    I think the OP's interest was partially due to the convenience of knowing someone with a BMW for sale. And I apologize for getting the OP a bit off topic. Honda, Toyota and Subaru all have fantastic used sporty options for around $20,000 or less. Knowing BMW's, the maintenance and depreciation isn't worth it for me.

    About $20,000-ish:

    German sporty: Porsche Boxster or Cayman
    Japanese sporty: Mazda Miata or Toyota FRS/Subaru BRZ

    I'm sure there are a few possibilities that I missed in the Japanese category.
  • raclutraclut Registered User Posts: 3,899 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    They are fun to drive but expensive to maintain. After 80,000 miles you will be taking it for regular maintenance and spend lots of money which is no fun. After my BMW retired I went back to Honda. Having experienced both, low maintenance for me works out just fine. Do not miss the $1000's spent on maintenance on the BMW.
  • 1214mom1214mom Registered User Posts: 4,565 Senior Member
    I have no idea how old OP is, but at some points in life you need to consider the insurance cost as part of the total equation. I bought my son a used Scion TC, and assumed it was similar to Honda Civic or Mazda 3. NOPE, the insurance was close to 3K for my 18 yo driver with no issues on his license.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 76,613 Senior Member
    It does make sense to check insurance prices for all vehicles under consideration before buying one, in order to avoid surprise insurance expenses.

    In the past, when there were more rebadge variants of the same car, sometimes one of the rebadge variants would have a lower level of insurance losses and insurance pricing compared to the other, so it made sense to favor the rebadge variant with the lower insurance pricing if it were otherwise available for a similar purchase price with the same features.

    Body style variants (2 door versus 4 door, hatchback versus wagon versus sedan) could also have different levels of insurance losses.
  • MommertonsMommertons Registered User Posts: 277 Junior Member
    edited February 2018
    I bought a BMW X1 (AWD wagon) 4 years ago, and have 65K miles on it. It still looks and feels "new". There is no rattling, every stitch on the seats is tight, etc. Every mechanical feature works perfectly. Just like new.

    But what people are saying about the maintenance costs are absolutely true. I just took it in for scheduled maintenance yesterday. $800 for oil change, spark plugs, etc. And it eats tires! Time for yet another set of tires, another $800.
  • sherpasherpa Registered User Posts: 4,808 Senior Member
    @anomander (or anyone else who knows BMW's well) - Can you give me any advice on a prudent time frame to plan on keeping the BMW I mentioned upthread?

    Quick summary - 2006 330i, excellent condition, well maintained, only 40,000 miles.

    Because of the low miles I drive it sparingly, which sort of defeats the purpose of owning it. For everyday driving I tool around in my 2002 Honda Insight (200k miles/65 MPG), but I much prefer the BMW.

    On approach would be to try to let go of my innate frugality, and just drive the car I love to drive (and can afford to maintain), plan on putting another 50,000 him or so miles on it, and dump it when the maintenance costs start to compound.

    What would you do?
  • jasmomjasmom Registered User Posts: 1,150 Senior Member
    My husband would ask whether it's a 4 or 6 cylinder. Apparently makes a difference in terms of longevity.
  • AnthonyZAnthonyZ Registered User Posts: 158 Junior Member
    If you go with the BMW, definitely put a good chunk of money aside for maintenance. Is there a particular reason you want that specific model? There may be better and more reliable alternatives.
  • prezbuckyprezbucky Registered User Posts: 4,328 Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    I've been looking at 2015-16 low-mileage 328 X-drive, Audi A4 Quattro and Infiniti Q50 3.0 AWD cars.

    Having watched a lot of videos and read tons of reviews, here's my personal conclusion on the three:

    - The BMW has the best transmission, followed closely by the A4
    - The BMW and Audi have the best handling; probably a slight edge to Audi.
    - The Audi has the best interior quality and slightly more room (or seems to) in the back seat.
    - The Infiniti has the most power -- it's a turbo V6 with 300hp -- but the worst mileage. The Infiniti and BMW consistently throw down times of 5.4-5.5, while the A4 has a range of 5.1-5.7... maybe they're using launch control to get those lower times, or just a heavier foot.
    - All three are about equally fast, mid-5 seconds to 60 mph
    - The Infiniti is the sexiest

    I'm leaning towards the A4, but if I found a prime 328i X-drive for under $20k, like you have, I would run, not walk, to buy it. Even if it was white or black, my two least-favorite colors; you can always get a paint job. Assuming my boss would let me buy it...
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Registered User Posts: 38,635 Senior Member
    Sherpa - I approve of your plan. My husband never was into cars, but he now genuinely enjoys driving his Tesla. Depending on how long it last, it might be his last car. Life is too short to keep Beemer in the garage [or Louboutins in the box. ;) ] You can still be frugal by running this car into the ground before buying a new one. :)
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