Used BMW's: Reliability and Costly Repairs For Owners

I must admit that I've always had a "thing" for BMW's. They're beautiful, powerful, and sleek cars, solidly engineered and incredibly fun to drive so I was initially excited when I decided that this go round of purchasing a new (used) car I'd take the plunge and buy one.

I looked at two models, the used 318i and the 528i. The 318i is smaller than the 528i but in terms of resell the 318i is often listed at the same price. I took both out for test drives, a 2000 318i coupe and a 1999 528i, each one drove beautifully, smooth and powerful, other than the mileage, in the 90,000 mile range, you could hardly tell they were already over 8 years old.
The sales guy assured me that these were top of line autos, German engineered and built to last.

The 318i was a little too small in the interior but the 528i was just right. I was ready to sign on the dotted line and take that baby home but then I realized that before I bought the car I really needed to go home and do some research. I needed to find out what the true mpg was and whether consumers had an issues with the car so I sadly bid the 528i goodbye and hoped it wouldn't be sold to someone else before I made the decision to purchase the car.

There are several good sources on the internet for doing research on vehicles.
offers several tools for finding a car, appraising its value before you buy, and has my favorite resource, the people who really know the auto I'm considering purchasing, the consumers who own/owned one.

Another good resource is Consumer Affairs. Consumer Affairs has consumer news, vehicle recall info, scam alerts, lemon law information, and consumer reviews.

The 528i BMW wasn't the most practical of cars to consider. I was looking at the four door sedan with the automatic transmission. The mph was 18 city, 26 highway. The car is rear wheel drive and I had been spoiled the last fews years with my AWD Toyota when driving during snow/ice conditions. I also wondered whether a BMW no longer under warranty was going to be too costly to maintain, i.e., scheduled maintenance and repairs.

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