BMW Buying Guide

Get the best online car shopping experience with expert reviews of BMW Read more to learn about the most important features and important factors to consider when researching BMW.

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BMW Overview

BMW first rose to prominence in the U.S. during the 1980s, when its nimble sports sedans became desirable status symbols. Since then, the luxury German automaker has expanded its range significantly to include coupes, convertibles, SUVs, and electric vehicles, including one of the first all-electric cars to be offered for sale in America, the i3. All the while, BMW has kept its focus primarily on creating performance-oriented models, marketed with its longtime slogan, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Its biggest sellers include the X3, a compact SUV, and the 3-Series, a compact sport sedan.

Noteworthy Features

Product Diversity
One of the main reasons why people buy BMWs is that there are so many different options to fit nearly all budgets. For the current model year, there are over 30 different models to choose from, at many different price points. The choices span sports cars, luxury sedans and SUVs. The X1 and 2 Series allow people who want luxury to find a BMW at an affordable price.

Many Options
The BMW name is associated with luxury, and their models come with numerous details and in-car features. The features include infotaintment options such as iDrive, which was one of the first in-car communications and entertainment systems and can be found in models dating back to 2001. BMW has been increasing the size of its infotainment screens in recent years, and the X5 has a 12.3-inch screen. Many of these features are optional, but when you buy a used BMW, you will be getting the benefit of these options that people have already paid extra for.

BMW's focus on luxury across all its product lines, manifests itself in the interior of the vehicles. BMWs have leather seats and feature high-quality materials in the interior. The seats inside most BMWs have intricate details in the stitching.

Additional Considerations

Maintenance Costs
BMWs are German cars, so some of the parts and necessary repairs may not be readily available. BMWs are regarded as some of the more expensive cars to maintain, with higher costs of repairs over the life of the vehicle. This does not mean that the car is not reliable or breaks down more often. It just means that repairs are more expensive to execute for the car.

While BMW does offer models that are lower on the price spectrum, they will be on the upper end of the pricing scale within their class. In each of its individual classes, there are numerous rivals that have cheaper offerings with equivalent features to BMW's models. However, the luxury of BMW often makes the car's extra costs worthwhile since BMWs generally hold their value well.

Rear Legroom
Several of the BMW models have lower than average legroom and passenger space in the backseat. Even the midsize X6 has been reported to have a smaller backseat. The subcompact 2-Series cars are also not the largest in terms of roominess compared to other cars in the class.