Thread: buying a bimmer
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 2
buying a bimmer

Hi everybody,
I’m new to the forum, but was hoping that some of you experienced folks might be willing to help out a noob with a couple questions!

I’ve always had a real soft spot for BMWs and am just entering the market for a vehicle, so I’m seriously contemplating picking up a preowned 3 Series, either an E46 or a newer E90. Before I take the plunge though, I was hoping I might be able to get some feedback on what my best option might be, and a bit of a sense of what I can expect in terms of maintenance, reliability and operating costs. Reality checks are a good thing.

I’m on a bit of a budget (thinking between $10 000 and $20 000, give or take), and will probably be spending quite a bit of time in the car (say 30 000 km per year), largely in the greater Toronto area.

I suppose the first thing I’m wondering is, assuming I’m not totally crazy to be considering one in the first place, what vehicle people would recommend? Do you think I’d be better off with a later-model E46, or would something like an ’06 or ’07 E90 with fewer km’s on it and possibly a Certified Series warrantee be worth the higher price tag? Are there any models / years that people have particularly good things to say about? Or, are there any that I might want to specifically avoid?

And then there’s the question of maintenance. Obviously these things can vary a lot depending on how well the vehicle was maintained, but what sort of range of annual repair costs should I be prepared for?
I’d obviously never expect a BMW to be as economical as, say, a Honda Civic, but could I expect a well-maintained, older bimmer to give me years of relatively trouble-free, relatively affordable driving pleasure, or am I likely to be faced with a lot of problems and hefty maintenance and repair bills, even in a well-cared-for vehicle? I definitely don’t want something that’s probably going to fall apart on me or become a colossal money pit after a couple years.

Any comments, tips, suggestions or warnings that anyone could offer would be tremendously appreciated.

Many thanks!

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