How is your BMW reliability experience?

I’ve owned an X1 2.0i xLine for three years and never had a problem.
Prior to this the only car my wife said I never broke was a Subaru Forester mk II. Pity they went over to the full SUV model and ruined the handling.

I am on my 4th 5 series. Overall it’s all been good except the 3rd one was recalled. I started getting a few odd occurrences around the 70k mark - nano second loss of power and occasional smell when returning mainly from short journeys. Got a recall letter from BMW - if you have any of these symptoms call us, which I did and within an hour the car was towed away not to be seen for another two months. This was an EGR recall that affected many models a couple of years ago. BMW could not get the parts quick enough and had car parks full of motors awaiting the fix. My dealer had 50 cars in front of me awaiting the repair and BMW would not let you drive the car due to a fire hazard. It was eventually returned, I went and put 4 new tyres on it next day and then a couple of days after I was side shunted and the whole thing written off. Hence BMW number 4.

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BMW reliability for us has been a bit variable over 15 years of ownership, .but I suspect that is the same with many makes.

My Z4 Coupe got through two fuel pumps in the 4 years I owned it otherwise no problems. Mrs n’s Z4 Roadster had continual issues with the roof mechanism until they replace the whole roof. My 123D was trouble free for 10 years. The only failed item was a new front alloy, tyre and shock thanks to Surrey CC road upkeep (or lack of !). At 94k if was still as strong as ever but the rear diff was starting to get noisy. Its replacement, a M140i, has been trouble free over the year I’ve owned it apart from one issue. A low coolant level warning turned out to be a common issue with the caps on the expansion tanks for the coolant and chargecooler circuits. Easily sorted with a top up of coolant levels and a tiny dab of Silicon grease on the the threads to stop the O rings on the caps binding and not sealing properly.

I have a (bmw mechanic ) friend who says the best engines are the ( dying breed) petrol 6 cilinders . ( statistics confirm this).

If I had the money , the only one I would buy, is (was) the 2002tii from the 70’s.

Otherwise, I prefer Mercedes. :clown_face:

BMW reliability? Shocking, appalling, simply awful.

My early 2002 (sold late 2013) 320d had only covered 150,000 miles & yet required 2 major services.

It also went wrong twice. Broke a rear coil spring at 80,000 miles & cost £77 to replace. Recklessly I had both done at a total cost of £154. At the time a senior writer for the one of the UKs leading car mags was complaining that the rear coil spring had gone on his Citroen Berlingo & a single replacement was £350!

Early on in its’ life it was recalled for a seatbelt tensioner adjustment which had been set incorrectly during manufacture. The garage, aware of my interest in cars, asked if I wanted to see them reset it. I wasn’t really wanting to watch a bloke with a torque wrench make the simple adjustment but agreed to do so just to humour them & keep them on my side.

I was a bit surprised when they plugged the car into a computer, tapped a couple of keys & pronounced the work done!

When I bought my current 320d in 2013, I sold my old one to the main dealers service manager for £3,500 when Glasses Guide said it was worth £1,500. He had looked after it from new & thought it a great buy.

My current car is now 7 years old & has been totally problem free after 45,000 miles (my mileage being much reduced since retirement).

This is my fifth 5th new 3 Series since 1992 (all paid from my own pocket) & the other three were just as reliable.

Whichever make you buy, if you follow my golden rule you will probably have very few problems. The Rule? Simple:-

Get the car serviced when it or the manual tell you to. Don’t ignore the service schedule because “it’s running so well” &, if you hear a strange noise that shouldn’t be there get it looked at straight away. Don’t just turn the radio up, it will not cure itself, will only get worse & probably end up as an expensive repair.

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A dying breed they certainly are. Everything seemed to be moving to 4 cylinders and now of course the move to electric.

After reading this I’m happy to wait a good while yet…

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Indeed, the infrastructure is … poor.
Regarding bmw, I always liked the i3, but for some strange reason, they stop innovating/ making new electric since…

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Love my i3s. Genuine innovation but won’t be buying another BMW for a while.

With a few exceptions, the current range is as ugly as sin.




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Interesting. The i3 is the one many consider ugly. I do wonder about the rear passenger side dropped windows. That exists in Honda and is common belief Honda made the smaller shorter car by joining two ends of two models together but lines didn’t meet in the middle so they broke the golden rule of flowing lines at rear passenger door to merge them. This way much tooling can be reused.

It’s the Honda BRV.



Boring is good where care reliability is concerned.

I like boring, I like boring very much

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I like the 2 Series , very retro

The rest is pretty indifferent

Haha definitely. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

The i3 divides opinion but I really like it, despite the odd lines you describe. It also has a pinched C pillar, which has become really popular nowadays. A right mishmash of design features. I like quirky though and the i3 is definitely that.

Interesting about the Honda. We don’t get the BRV in the UK so haven’t seen that before. The drop is less pronounced so looks less controversial. There’s a Vauxhall/Opel that has a similar line but there aren’t many others.

Personally I like the current 3 and 5 series but can’t abide by the trend for enormous kidney grilles.

The M2 is also a favourite but is of the old style and due for the chop. I can’t imagine what the new M2 will look like, given the treatment on the M3/M4. The current 3 series is a good looking car IMHO so why whack a stupid grille on it.

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if you´re refering the 2 coupe, yes. i like it. its the direct descent of the 2002. (so was the 1 coupe).
But in general, the new design of the grill made to please the chinese market is horrendous

“Boring is good where care reliability is concerned.
I like boring, I like boring very much”

+1. Definitely

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Why does the Chinese market want a big grille ?

Yeah, personally I like the i3 as well. Good for bmw being very intentional about the c line improving visibility and making the back not feel so cramped. And of course the pillar-less doors maximising use of space. It’s so much fun! :man_dancing:t2:

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Omg, I didn’t know the ever-getting-bigger kidney grille is a trend driven by chinese! That said I am sure they want the brand to be as big and obvious as possible. Rest of the product is less important in that market.

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Yes, I like boringly reliable cars. That’s why the Honda ad was such a big hit for its intended market. I hated that ad for being so boring and I liked it all at the same time.

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I didn’t know about the Chinese market either but knew their appetite for German cars was growing.

I thought Lexus started it but admittedly it was years ago.

Either way I’m not a fan so am looking for something non-German when I buy another proper car (the Picanto doesn’t count :joy:).