Customizing a new BMW may be the closest any of us ever get to creating and owning a bespoke car. However, it’s easy to get lost in the options and build something you will pay through the nose for and never even use. Here are the things you should focus on to get the most bang for your buck.
Paint and Interior
How much money do you really want to spend on paint and upholstery? Usually, BMWs will come with a few standard colors that don’t cost you anything extra, and a range of options that will tack additional costs onto your price. For the 2020 BMW M4, for example, you’ve got one standard color — Alpine White. In addition, you’ve got 10 more shades to choose from, from Black Sapphire Metallic to Sakhir Orange II Metallic, and each will tack an additional $550 onto the cost of your M4.
The same goes for the interior. The M4 gets black leather/anthracite cloth as its standard upholstery. You can spend an extra $950 for extended merino leather, or a whopping $3,500 for full merino leather.
Wheels and Brakes
Most cars come with a couple of wheel options — one that’s included in the vehicle’s price, and the rest that cost extra. Let’s stick to that 2020 M4 as our example. Standard, it comes with a set of 19-inch wheels, but you’ve got the option to pay extra for 20-inch wheels. The M4 handles beautifully on both sizes, so opting for the larger ones just empties your wallet.
The M4 has a lot of options for brakes, as well. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the track, you might want to opt for the M carbon-ceramic brakes. It’ll add an astonishing $8,150 to your price tag, but it’s worth it if you’re regularly going to be putting the M4 through its paces.
Under the Hood
This is where you’re going to be tempted to spend a ton of money, but you need to be mindful. Big numbers sound great when it comes to horsepower and torque, but do you really need that much power if all you’re doing is commuting to and from work and driving to the grocery store once a week? More power can also mean less fuel efficiency, which can get expensive as gas prices fluctuate.
If you’re looking for a daily driver, don’t spend a ton of money on the most expensive engine, even if it sounds amazing. You’re not going to get the most out of it, and you’re just going to waste your money. Instead, test-drive a few different options and see which one will suit your needs best.
Safety features are becoming standard equipment on many new cars, so you might not have many things to choose from in this category. When it comes to keeping yourself and your family safe, you can never spend too much money. Take a close look at what comes standard on your BMW of choice. For the M4, that includes parking sensors, rearview cameras, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring.
That might not sound like much, but you can add the Active Driving bundle that includes things like lane departure warnings, collision warning, blind-spot detection, automatic high beams and more. Packages and bundles like this can make adding all the safety features you want a little more affordable.
There are a lot of options available when it comes to tech and infotainment. BMW uses its proprietary iDrive system, which includes Apple CarPlay, as well as USB and Bluetooth connections. Most of these options come standard with cars like the M4, though things like wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot are add-ons that will cost extra.
In addition to keeping you connected and entertained on long drives, you can sync your BMW’s system to things like your Wi-Fi-enabled garage door opener. This enables you to open and close your door with a screen tap, or even by proximity. With some systems, once the opener detects your car is in range, it opens the garage automatically for you.
Choose What You Need, Not What You Want
Don’t end up with a ton of features you’re never going to use just because they sounded good or your salesperson talked you into them. Be mindful of the options available, but make sure you’re choosing what you need, rather than what you want. It will save you a lot of money and help you build the BMW of your dreams without breaking the bank.