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Thread: Looking for the most reliable BMW model out there

  1. #1
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    Looking for the most reliable BMW model out there

    I currently own a 1991 Toyota MR2, and love it, but it's not the best car to take 90 miles on the highway in the wintertime - which is exactly what I'll be forced to do every day very soon for my job. The duece has been a wonderful car - great gas mileage, almost no reliability issues, fun in the summer. Now I need something that will be a little more stable at high speeds on the highway for a daily 90 mile commute. Since I'll probably get about $4-5k for the duece, I'm keeping my budget on the Bimmer to $7500.

    Autotrader has presented many options even within this price range, but I don't know which Bimmer is the most solid of them all. My sister had an '87 325is that ran like a top until she sold it at 245k miles. THAT's the kind of reliability I want. Should I go 525i? 535i? 740iL? 325is? Obviously newer would be better (within price range), but reliability is the primary concern.

    Any advice is appreciated.
    Chris

    '09 335i Coupe | Black Sapphire/Coral Red/Aluminum
    OEM aero lip | AluFelgen CSL Reps | 235/265 F1 Asymmetrics

  2. #2
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    you're looking in the wrong direction for your needs.

    get a 5 year old honda accord for the commute.

    Originally Posted by m3fuz:The sock represents all that is OT - filthy, sweaty, smelly, a bit retarded, but you just want to envelop yourself in it. Beware the sock.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftCoastBias
    you're looking in the wrong direction for your needs.

    get a 5 year old honda accord for the commute.
    Not interested. The question remains: which is the most reliable BMW. My wife has a Honda Accord ('04), and I'm not looking for an accord. I want a drivers car, even if its just for commuting. You can't tell me those old Bimmers weren't reliable; BMW built it's reputation on just that.

    Please all - no recommendations for other car makes. It's a BMW or I'm keeping the duece.
    Chris

    '09 335i Coupe | Black Sapphire/Coral Red/Aluminum
    OEM aero lip | AluFelgen CSL Reps | 235/265 F1 Asymmetrics

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neon01
    Not interested. The question remains: which is the most reliable BMW. My wife has a Honda Accord ('04), and I'm not looking for an accord. I want a drivers car, even if its just for commuting. You can't tell me those old Bimmers weren't reliable; BMW built it's reputation on just that.

    Please all - no recommendations for other car makes. It's a BMW or I'm keeping the duece.



    bmw built it's reputation on performance, NOT reliability.


    well, if you're a glutton for punishment, and that's all you want- just get an e36 318. good gas mileage and it has the roundel you're looking for.


    your sister's e30 ran forever, cause thats what they do. they still need a lot of TLC and more maintanance than anything japanese ever will, but there's not a lot of electronics to gum stuff up- so you can fix a lot yourself.

    Originally Posted by m3fuz:The sock represents all that is OT - filthy, sweaty, smelly, a bit retarded, but you just want to envelop yourself in it. Beware the sock.

  5. #5
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    I use my 318i for my daily driver and it been very reliable and easy to maintain. If you find a 318i 5 speed you'll be OK. The 6 clyinders are great cars too, the up keep is just a little more. If you find an enthusist owned 325i it may have had the cooling systmes upgrades done and you'll have great car.

  6. #6
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    535i's are nice and last forever, try to find a stick.

    How about a nice e30 they are fairly cheap and easy to work on

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftCoastBias
    you're looking in the wrong direction for your needs.

    get a 5 year old honda accord for the commute.

    Agreed.

    If you want a reliable used bmw look at an e30 that's recently had a major service with all records. They're old but reliable cars, and relatively easy on the gas mileage so it's a good commuter car.

    2000 Ferrari 360
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  8. #8
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    I had a $2500 2002, 1975 model. It was still running with 350,000 miles. Biggest expense was a driveshaft, and I rebuilt the manual trans once.
    No complaints about that one!

  9. #9
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    My 1996 318ti has been absolutely wonderful from a reliability standpoint.

  10. #10
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    I'v been thru this dilemma before. Thru the years i've owned a 86 325es, 87 535is, 91 325i, 01 530i, and 99 M3. The best out the bunch was my E30 1991 325i Sad thing is that i just sold the car and getting rid of it I now realize that i made the WORST MISTAKE EVER!!! That car was hardly ever in the shop compared to the others, and it aslo had the best all around compromise with having good power, got good gas mileage, and visited the shop the least out of any of em'.
    Many won't believe me when i say this but that 91 325i handled better than my M3 does, I have no idea how or why, but that car just feels like a go-cart!
    I regret selling it so bad, im looking for another one.

  11. #11
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    Buy something with an M42 or an M44.

    They're pretty much bulletproof and require very little maintenance, thanks to the timing chain and self adjusting valves. They also get great gas mileage (always 30+ in my experience) and are pretty peppy.
    '76 912E -- '90 Miata

  12. #12
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    BMW Isetta... good times.

    3.2 obd1 kenobi | built head | tubi exhaust | koni race coil-overs | gc race plates | ma shaw ltw wing | rieger ltw splitter | oem bmw roof rack | oem recaro gt3's | BBS RS...

  13. #13
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    Hands down, a /2.

    -Eff

    "This is the best thread ever!! This was my first time looking at it and it was like watching a movie. Eff, your car is an absolute masterpiece!" -E36Cruisin, on the shameless LTW thread

  14. #14
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    To tell you the truth, I've never seen an unreliable BMW

  15. #15
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    Exclamation if your intrested i have a 325is for sale

    i have a 325is 1993 with 159k on it. the body is in fair it has new brakes new tires im not to desperate to sell but will part for $4,950. umarfarooq86@gmail.com 630-908-9554

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andryuha
    To tell you the truth, I've never seen an unreliable BMW
    well, depends on what you mean.


    bmw's need more TLC and shop time than a japanese car does.


    i find that to be reliable... not ever taking it in except for the ocassional oil change.

    Originally Posted by m3fuz:The sock represents all that is OT - filthy, sweaty, smelly, a bit retarded, but you just want to envelop yourself in it. Beware the sock.

  17. #17
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    Can't beat anything with an M30 3.5 I6. The engine is totally bulletproof, can easily go 70k miles without even a tune up.

  18. #18
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    For that price I'd recommend a e36 328i or a e34 525i. The BMW I6 motor has proven to be pretty reliable with regular maintenance.

  19. #19
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    I agree with Dmz

    go with an I6, I've owned 4 bmws. 83 320i 89 525i 91 318is 95 318is... The e34 (89 525i) was the most reliable, I had 314k miles on it when I gave it to my sister, Rad/thermostat replaced at 180k... That was IT!!! no rebuilds, nothing.. Go with a car with the m20 motor. (2.5L) good gas mileage, decent power, and outstanding reliability. Find a 89-90 525i they are a nice ride...

  20. #20
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    E30 or E34. Don't trust people thaty say E36. Everything I've ever seen about the E36 has made it seem to me like it is the single worst BMW ever in terms of build quality. Everything from the plastic water pumps exploding, to the subframes TEARING OUT OF THE CAR, to random trim pieces falling off when they feel like it, sunroofs deciding not to close, etc...
    RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL

  21. #21
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    Get an E21.

  22. #22
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    Yea, I don't know much about the older BMWs, E21s and 2002s and all that stuff seem real good too. Rust is more of an issue then, obviously, so be careful.
    RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL

  23. #23
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    e21

    I would really consider an e21 for a commuter.. Great car. Very simple

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilia
    E30 or E34. Don't trust people thaty say E36. Everything I've ever seen about the E36 has made it seem to me like it is the single worst BMW ever in terms of build quality. Everything from the plastic water pumps exploding, to the subframes TEARING OUT OF THE CAR, to random trim pieces falling off when they feel like it, sunroofs deciding not to close, etc...
    These are all E36 6 clyinder issues, 318i's don't have those issues and the 1.8 is quite bulletproof, especially when used as just a commuter car.

  25. #25
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    I actually only named the water pump problem as an engine related issue.
    RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL RISKY DEVIL

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