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What is the most reliable BMW model in terms of problems in used vehicles


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Is it a Car or a Crossover you are after? The E90 series is generally a solid platform. The drive-line is quite reliable as far as i know, though the N46 4 cylinder (found in 320i) is arguably one of the crappiest engines BMW ever made. All 6 cylinder (straight 6) engines found in E90 series are absolute gems. I`ve driven cars with over 250k km`s in the clock, still running perfect with a smooth, linear torque curve which is quite unique to BMW (they may have minor issues with plastic bits breaking with time, coil pack issues, etc... , but no major design issues with internals).  I dont think there are many 6 cylinder E90`s in SL though. I may have mentioned this elsewhere before, but unlike what many generally believe, 'most' BMW`s up to the E90 series are extremely easy to work on and maintain due to the rear drive platform and engine layout. with the 3 series, anything after the E90 is when the electronics got more complicated. 

If you are after a cross-over, I think there are plenty of X1`s around. Diesel engines are generally more reliable in the long-run over petrol,  I dont find the build quality of both X1 and X3 as good as the 3 series (all generations). 

Someone with a better understanding of the local market will hopefully comment, good luck.!

 

 

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Left field suggestion:

The E70 X5. The 2009 & 2010 model years are very solid, well equipped as well. The ones that came before 2009 had engine head problems (I cant seem to remember exactly but it has to do with the VANOS/Valve lifters and its expensive) and the ones after 2010 are facelift and complex. 

There was one for sale a few months back asking 6 mil. White car, rwd and having the N52 3L inline 6 engine which is the most reliable engine option available for that generation of X5. But it had a shot out TC module and a leaking rad which the owner had trouble sorting out due to the restricted imports and financial situation. Last I checked he got a customer so not sure if its still there. 

Good car but rare to find in lanka. 

But I hope you have already acknowledged, "Most reliable BMW" is a relative term and doesn't mean it will be simple and reliable like a jap vehicle. It still has issues like interior trims peeling off, breaking, suspension parts taking a hike, sensors giving out, seals giving up and letting oil leak from every orifice. 

I say, get an E46. Keep a minimum of 150 - 200k for any nasty surprises during initial ownership. Look for a car with service records. Get a professional inspection from car checks or the agents (Prestige). Do some preventive maintenance with a good specialist shop like Milroy or Ultimate Motor works (I think Berlin Motor works is also good) after buying (mainly seals related and try to sort out major electronic issues if any, also be mindful of rust).

Nice looking car, holds value really well, great to drive, easy to work on and alot of information is available on the internet about fixing, modifying and maintaining them. A guy I know got lucky, sold his E36 318i and got himself an E46 328i last month and I think he might end up forgetting his girlfriend judging by the amount of pictures he uploads daily. 

You will still get that BMW prestige and also, you can keep the remaining 2 - 3 million in the bank. Buy a suit, a nice pair of shades, a good detailing session for the car, a nice set of exhausts and some M-tech accessories, some yoga classes, a night out with the wife or family, an investment maybe? After all, who doesn't like saving a bit of money? :D

Edited by AVANTE
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one of my friend bought e46 for like 2 year ago and so far he has spent over 300k in repairs. He have rebuilt the engine as well since these N series engines starts burning oil every 100k most of the time (in my aspect this is a money pit, unless you don't concern about it very much. Interior bits cracks and melts down if you park it under hot sun for long hours.

If it's me i would not spend that much on a car for just putting 20-30k kms on the clock which is not worthy at all.

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1 hour ago, PerfMad said:

one of my friend bought e46 for like 2 year ago and so far he has spent over 300k in repairs. He have rebuilt the engine as well since these N series engines starts burning oil every 100k most of the time (in my aspect this is a money pit, unless you don't concern about it very much. Interior bits cracks and melts down if you park it under hot sun for long hours.

If it's me i would not spend that much on a car for just putting 20-30k kms on the clock which is not worthy at all.

N series engines are trash. I'd say OP should try a pre-facelift car with the M43 engine. But it would be better if he could find a 6 cyl model. Those are thirsty but reliable. 

E46 won't handle neglect. They need. maintenance and owners should learn about them and the common issues they come with (mainly the plastic cooling system components of the Mseries engines and things like rust and fuel pump giving up. 

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