Used BMW Reliability

2020 BMW X1


BMW vehicles have been known to be high-performing, luxury vehicles that are elegant yet powerful masterpieces, but what about if you’re considering used models near Bellevue? How long do used BMWs last? Are used BMWs good cars? Just like with any brand, a pre-owned vehicle can be a worthwhile investment mainly depending on its history and how you will take care of it. Whether you want to try out the BMW lineup or you want to enjoy what this lineup has to offer at a fraction of the original price, a pre-owned model is your best bet. Learn more about used BMW reliability below.

How Long Do Used BMWs Last?

According to a Consumer Reports article, “almost any car can make it well into six-figure territory with proper care.” Is that also true for new-to-you BMW models? How many miles do BMW models last? A BMW can last 150-200,000 miles with proper care and if you drive the national average of 13,500 miles per year, you can expect to drive your BMW for 10-15 years according to MotorAsk. While 10-15 years of driving on the Seattle roads is a lot, keep in mind you’ll need to be extremely diligent about maintenance and any repairs when needed!

Is a BMW a Good Used Car?

There are two sides to this question. On one hand, each pre-owned car can vary a lot to the next, so there’s no definite answer that every single pre-owned BMW you come across is a good buy. On the other hand, if you find a model that has been taken care of properly by previous owners and is in the right age range for how many miles you’re trying to get out of it, then it can definitely be a good used car!

Since BMW is a luxury brand, you can expect repairs to be more costly compared to other non-luxury brands. However, you are getting genuine high-quality, precise imported parts for that price that should translate to less frequent repairs. Partner up with BMW Seattle for all of your maintenance and repairs and you can enjoy our service and parts specials!

Used BMW Reliability Ratings

If you want some solid stats that speak to the BMW reliability overall instead of looking at each model separately, you should take a look at these sources that are highly regarded in the industry:

  • Consumer Reports: A 2018 reliability study was conducted on over 500,000 vehicles to determine which vehicles can rack their mileage up with minimal issues. In a list consisting of 29 brands, BMW earned the place as the 8th most reliable brand. They beat other luxury competitors like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, and Lincoln.
  • J.D. Power: A 2019 study (which has been conducted every year since 1989) measured problems experienced by original owners over a 12-month period in three-year-old vehicles. BMW was above the industry average in this study, attesting to the used BMW reliability compared to other brands.
  • iSeeCars: Interested in a used BMW M6? The BMW M6 is on a top 10 list from iSeeCars of the Longest-Lasting Sports Cars, with some of them lasting over 200,000 miles. Whether you want a pre-owned BMW 3 Series model or a BMW X3, you should research the used BMW reliability ratings for that specific model!

What are Some of the Most Reliable BMW Models?

If you’re interested in a pre-owned BMW vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that there are several reliable options for you to pick from. The range includes models back from the early 2000’s to the 2010’s as well as various body types, such as hatchbacks, sports cars, sedans, and more. Check out just a handful of the BMW models that we would recommend you to look for if you want to get into a used BMW that is durable! We have included some highlights and expert ratings that will give you a starting point to work off from:

BMW E83 X3

  • First-generation of the BMW 3 Series introduced back in 2003
  • Rated 4 out of 5 stars for adult and child occupancy by European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP)
  • Ideal for families

BMW 318i

  • Earned a four out of five as a reliability score by the AA Cars
  • Timeless entry-level sedan for those who want an affordable option that will last long

BMW 750i

  • Got an expert review score of 8.4 out of 10 from The Car Connection with high praises for luxuriousness
  • A full-size sedan that exceeds in comfort, safety, and performance


  • A luxury sports convertible that can stand up to other dependable sports cars, like the 2012 Audi TT
  • Awarded a performance rating of 8.3 out of 10 by U.S. News & World Report


  • A stellar compact hatchback model that won’t need minimal maintenance
  • Earned a shining 5-star overall rating on the Euro NCAP test, which makes this hatchback safe for passengers of all size and pedestrians

BMW i3

  • Swooped an overall score of 8 out of 10 when considering performance, reliability, safety, and ease-of-handling by expert reviewers from Carwow
  • The first mass-produced zero-emission electric vehicle from BMW that will be gentle on your wallet, visits to service centers, and the environment

BMW E90 330i

  • Sold over 330,000 units as one of the best-selling luxury car in the 3 Series and in the United States
  • Awarded the Top Safety Pick in the midszie luxury car category in 2006 by IIHS

Beyond BMW Reliability Ratings: Make Your Used BMW Last Longer

When thinking about the question “How long do used BMW lasts?” you’ll need to consider how you are planning to keep up the best condition of your vehicle. A vehicle can built to last, but a huge part of how long it last will depend on the extent you take care of it in Redmond. Here are some tips you should be doing:

  1. Routine maintenance. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  2. Genuine BMW Parts. Use OEM parts for maintenance and repairs no matter what. When you bring your BMW to our service center, we will always use genuine OEM parts!
  3. Inspections between service intervals. Inspect your vehicle about once a month, so you can be proactive about any issues.
  4. Regular cleaning. Regularly washing and waxing your BMW exterior can help prevent chipping, rust, and salt damage, and regularly cleaning the inside can reduce excess wear to the upholstery and carpets. Not the best fan of cleaning your car yourself? Come by BMW Seattle for detail services and we will get your vehicle sparkling clean!

What is the BMW Resale Value?

What about BMW value over time? BMW depreciation rate is high, so after just a few years, the resale value will be much lower than the original price. While this is bad news for Seattle shoppers who are looking to buy a brand-new model, this is great news for those who want a pre-owned model. What this means is that if you’re shopping for a pre-owned BMW X3 or BMW 2 Series model, you will be paying way less than the original price– for some models, you can get your hands on one for only 40% of the value after just a few years! See some of the BMW model’s value over time below:

  • Pre-owned BMW X3: Around 40% of its full value will be retained after 5 years and its resale value by then will be $32,323.
  • Pre-owned BMW M235i Gran Coupe: Around 48% of its full value will be retained after 5 years.
  • Pre-owned BMW 2 Series: Around 38% of its full value will be retained after 5 years and its resale value by then will be $27,388.
  • Pre-owned BMW X5: Around 46% of its full value will be retained after 5 years and its resale value by then will be $39,625.
  • Pre-owned BMW X1: Around 35% of its full value will be retained after 5 years and its resale value will be $27,039.
  • Pre-owned BMW M3: Around 56.5% of its full value will be retained after 5 years, which is one of the best resale values among luxury vehicles.

Given the BMW depreciation, 2017 is the best model year value for BMW vehicles according to When you shop for a 2017 model, you can expect to pay 59% of the original price on average. If you want a model newer, then we recommend you to browse the certified pre-owned models whether it is a certified pre-owned BMW X5 or X1 you’re after. You can expect to pay a bit more though you will also get to enjoy more guarantees and newer features on your Bellevue commutes!

Which Used BMW Should I Get Near Seattle?

Because pre-owned models come in such a large variety, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know what you should be looking for exactly. Depending on what you are trying to get out of your next vehicle, you might find the mileage, age, maintenance history, and other related factors to be important. For example, you might be looking specifically within these pre-owned BMW vehicles if:

  • Certified pre-owned BMW: If you want a like-new, low-mileage model with relevant and fairly recent upgrades, then you would be more willing to pay a bit extra for a certified model. These models also come with more guarantee, including warranty, roadside assistance, and more perks!
  • CARFAX One-Owner Vehicles: Planning to get many miles out of your next car? While you won’t get the same benefits as a CPO BMW, you can still find many low-mileage models in this selection. Plus, when a car has only been owned by one driver, there’s a higher chance that you can know all about the previous history if that previous owner was consistent about documenting.
  • Used BMW Priced Under $20K: If you only want to drive your new-to-you BMW for a few years, you might find a cheaper model with higher mileage to be a better buy.

As you can see, there’s no one right model that you should buy, but you should still buy models that has been taken care of consistently and don’t have any major repairs or issues that you will need to fix.

Get Into Your Favorite New-To-You BMW at BMW Seattle!

After learning more about used BMW reliability, discover all of our pre-owned BMW cars in our Seattle dealership today! We have a wide variety and we can get you into the model that is most suitable for your lifestyle. Contact us when you are ready for a test drive and be sure to browse our used specials as well!

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