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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BIMMERPOST Universal Forums General BMW News and Cars Discussion Which used BMW would you buy if you only had $4,000 to spend on it?
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      09-03-2019, 06:13 PM   #1
radarlarry
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Which used BMW would you buy if you only had $4,000 to spend on it?

Which model?
What year?
How much mileage?

I’m Interested in reliability first and foremost; looks are secondary. I already have a 2016 328i, but want a “beater” for odd jobs I do.

Thanks for sharing your opinion!
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      09-03-2019, 06:23 PM   #2
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I wouldn't. Not even a motorcycle. Too many headaches. BMW is the wrong brand to buy cheap.
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      09-03-2019, 06:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Wind Breezes View Post
I wouldn't. Not even a motorcycle. Too many headaches. BMW is the wrong brand to buy cheap.
What he said. A $4K BMW is no bargain. You will quickly spend more in repairs than you paid... and it will be a hooptie from the start.

If you want a $4K beater, look at a Ford F150 pickup or Taurus, or a Toyota Camry. They're pretty much bulletproof and you can buy one for that kind of money.
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      09-03-2019, 06:55 PM   #4
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I would get an old 318ti. That four cylinder was extremely reliable and easy to work on. The hatch also was very handy.
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      09-03-2019, 06:59 PM   #5
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5er e39 with a six cylinder. Actually any NA BMW with a six!
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      09-03-2019, 07:46 PM   #6
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That $4k would quickly turn to $5k+ repair headache.
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      09-03-2019, 07:46 PM   #7
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I wouldn't, except if you plan on wrenching it yourself. The repair cost does not depreciate, a single issue can get you to spend 50% of the buying price at the dealership.
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      09-04-2019, 10:00 AM   #8
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Probably a Mini.
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      09-04-2019, 11:35 AM   #9
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To give an example, I bought my 1990 M3 in 2000 with 19,000K on it but since it had sat for so long, I had to spend $3K right off the bat to get it back into running condition. I bought the car for $12K and sold it for $22K so I made all repair money back, but still.
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      09-04-2019, 12:37 PM   #10
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$4,000 BMW? There isn't one!

Expect to pay at least $10,000 to have a BMW that is more or less reliable. I bought a '95 M3 Coupe for $7,000 and so far have easily doubled that in repairs/ updates. One track day and the clutch master cylinder failed and the fan went into the radiator shroud. I am doing most of the work and it still is going to be $280 in additional parts. So far, here is the list of needed repairs- entire cooling system, plugs, coils, MAF, all new engine mounts, tranny mounts, rear trailing arm bushings, tie-rods, lower control arms, power steering hose, oil pump nut repair, new headliner, all fluids and filters....................

You need to remember that at this point these are twenty plus year-old cars, with lots of old parts. That is true even if you are lucky enough to find a low mileage car that was cared for.

The smartest thing you could do is buy a car for more money from a guy like me who spent the money to make the car reliable and driveable and then finally moved on. I still love my old M3 but I am lucky enough to have a newer M235i to drive day to day.
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      09-04-2019, 05:38 PM   #11
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      09-04-2019, 08:12 PM   #12
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Is that for the down payment?
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      09-04-2019, 08:16 PM   #13
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Is that for the down payment?
No, of course not. It was a serious question. I see tons for sale online from seemingly reputable dealers. One only had 79,00 miles. But, I'm hearing what the group is saying and am probably going to steer clear of one.
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      09-04-2019, 08:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radarlarry View Post
No, of course not. It was a serious question. I see tons for sale online from seemingly reputable dealers. One only had 79,00 miles. But, I'm hearing what the group is saying and am probably going to steer clear of one.
which one only had 79k miles?
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      09-04-2019, 08:53 PM   #15
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https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-fo...-bmw-3-series/
This is just an example , as it's in NJ. Who knows, maybe it's a rebuilt total.
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      09-04-2019, 09:49 PM   #16
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Not really sure I understand a “beater” to sub in for a 328i, but a $4k one is just asking for headaches. As others have said, if you really want a cheap runabout look at the Japanese (aka. A simple Toyota).
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      09-05-2019, 12:00 AM   #17
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You don't know what a beater is? I do food delivery and don't want to put a lot of miles on my nice car. So, I was looking for something inexpensive, yet fun to drive. I just like BMWs.
Not so much Toyotas. But, thanks so much for your thoughts.
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      09-05-2019, 05:12 AM   #18
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e46 fits the bill now, parts in the junkyards cheap it's at that sweet spot age, diy's for everything
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      09-05-2019, 06:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radarlarry View Post
You don't know what a beater is? I do food delivery and don't want to put a lot of miles on my nice car. So, I was looking for something inexpensive, yet fun to drive. I just like BMWs.
Not so much Toyotas. But, thanks so much for your thoughts.
Not worth it. If you're getting a car for food delivery, get a Toyota. I love my M's dearly, but I swear by old school Toyota products.

If you can somehow find an E30 with an M20 for 4k (probably a sedan, and automatic), that might be worth a shot. But I'd still rather have a Japanese car because reliability is more important than fun in this case.

For what it's worth, I've got 2 M3's and a Z4M. I daily a Toyota Tundra.
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      09-05-2019, 11:29 AM   #20
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$4K? easy. Style 666M wheels.



They are BMWs.
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      09-05-2019, 01:12 PM   #21
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Honestly? What about a first year or so Z4 with high miles? The non ///M versions are basically freaking tanks, and are still a hoot to drive and look decent to this day. Can those be had for $4k?
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      09-05-2019, 01:16 PM   #22
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Nicky C. Thanks for a non-flippant answer. I will certainly look into it.
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