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Are BMWs Good Cars: The Ultimate Driving Machines?

Are BMWs Good Cars: The Ultimate Driving Machines?

If you have seen a BMW lately, you know how sleek and modern these classic vehicles are. The newer models come with innovative technology and the interior is always designed for optimal luxury. 

One of the issues that come along with these cars is the reputation that they, like other German cars, are not reliable. Well, that reputation is not something that might not be necessarily true and we want to give you all the information that shows how reliable they truly are.

BMWs are not perfect vehicles, but they’re still good cars! With engines that will last a lifetime if taken care of properly, you can keep your car for many years with little to worry about. However, there is something to be said about their reliability, which makes their quality less than spectacular.

There are many factors that go into the rating of a vehicle, and we will cover all of them below to see how good these cars are in different categories. Whether you were thinking of buying a BMW, or you have one that you are thinking about trading in, you can get the information you need to make your decision. 

Reputation For Unreliability 

Like other German cars, BMWs have had a reputation for being unreliable. This might stem from the fact that these types of cars have a major focus on the performance of the car, which can leave it susceptible to being less durable. 

BMWs are luxury vehicles, so the interior of the car needs to be up to that standard as well. This can mean that a lot of money is spent on the look of the interior and not on the durability of the materials. 

This can also be said for engine parts that don’t affect the overall performance of the vehicle. This is why parts like a small pump or a component of the electrical system might go out before anything else. 

These issues have given the BMW name a reputation for unreliability; however, the engines of these vehicles are actually quite durable. They will last a lifetime if they are well taken care of and will keep running for as long as you have your car. 

So, although there are some negatives to owning a BMW, it isn’t all bad. 

All the Small Things 

When it comes to owning a BMW, it is well known that they are premium cars that should be cared for a certain way. Getting oil changes on time and using premium oil can help keep the car running smoothly and extend the life of the engine, which can last forever.

However, the issue that most people have with BMWs is that the small things about the car become the biggest problems. Issues like easily broken handles or automatic windows not working can be annoying problems.

You don’t want to get into your car only to find out that you can’t roll your windows done anymore without getting the regulator fixed, which costs money. Small things like this can add up and cause vehicle owners to feel like they didn’t get the quality of the vehicle that they paid for.

I personally owned a 3-series for several years, and can personally share just how annoying (and pricey) it got replacing window regulators on 3 separate occasions was!

Also, they have been known to have issues with their electrical systems, which can affect the driver’s experience. If the innovative technology that you loved about the vehicle when you first bought it fails on you, this can be really frustrating.

So, although the engine itself is very durable and sturdy, the small things can add up and make the car feel like it is not reliable. 

Maintenance Issues 

Many people think that the reliability of a BMW has less to do with the car itself and more to do with how the owner takes care of it.

As a luxury vehicle, you have to continually keep up with routine maintenance and give your car the best treatment possible to keep it running smoothly and in good shape. 

Some people don’t take this maintenance seriously and allow the oil to not get changed on time, or don’t do tune-ups when necessary, which can alter the reliability of the vehicle. This is not on the build of the car, but rather on the owner and how well they take care of the vehicle.

However, though this is something that seems to be a popular opinion, this is not always true. Sure, there are some people who do not take proper care of their vehicles and reduce their durability and reliability of it, but that is not usual.

These cars are built to last, and not keeping them well maintained should not affect the vehicle as much. As long as you do the most basic routine maintenance, your vehicle should be fine. 

Also, many of the electrical components and smaller things that often fail on this type of car do not require any type of maintenance. This makes the fault of the failure of the manufacturer and not the owner.

What Consumers Think 

Much of this article surrounds that reputation of unreliability that comes with BMW cars, but the most important opinion is from the ones who will be buying – or not buying – the car. Consumers create and change reputations for companies by word of mouth. 

If a friend of yours buys a new car that they absolutely love, that will likely affect your decision to purchase a similar vehicle when you start car shopping. This word of mouth is important for companies that want to stay in business for a long time, and having a bad reputation can ruin a business. 

So, because BMWs are still very popular, they must be doing something right. Well, when it comes to consumers, it seems that there is still a lot of love for BMWs.

Why is it that a brand of cars known for their unreliability still sells so many cars per year? Well, people like the look and feel of driving one.

Their slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine” does exist for a reason!

The style of a vehicle tends to be a major factor to car buyers, and getting a luxury vehicle like a BMW looks classic and also is a symbol of high status. These cars are not cheap to buy or maintain, so having one can show others that you are successful enough to own one. 

This can play a role in why so many people still love and buy BMWs, even with multiple issues with small parts of the car. Also, for those who can easily afford it, handling small issues isn’t a big deal financially. 

Consumer Reports 

However, all that being said, the average opinion of consumers seems to be that BMWs are not good cars overall. These cars have been scored in Consumer Reports and have consistently been ranked on the lower end. 

Some certain BMW models in 2012, were actually ranked on the most unreliable list, with one even winning the unfortunate title. Even today, the reliability scores have not improved, and the ranking only tends to stay in the average category at best.

This might not be the thing that turns someone off from wanting to own and drive a BMW though, because these reports are made from consumer opinions, which can easily change. There can also be small, trivial reasons that someone did not like the vehicle. 

Personal Preference 

Some people love BMWs, and likely always will. The look and style of the cars are classic and luxurious in the interior, which makes some people love to drive them, no matter the reliability.

And, some consumers might not like BMWs at all, but the reasons are solely based on the fact that they don’t like the look of the car. It might not even have anything to do with the reliability at all. 

So, with personal preference always playing a role when it comes to deciding whether a car is considered good, opinions can vary wildly. 

Whether you like the look of the car or not, we want to focus on the engine and other main parts of the car. When it all comes down to it, BMWs are not necessarily unreliable, but it would be a bit of a stretch to say that they are a great car. 

Good, average, or acceptable would be a more appropriate ranking. But, if you don’t mind spending the money to fix the small issues that are typically a problem, then you can have a luxury vehicle that you will love. 

Are BMWs good cars conclusion

There are so many different factors that go into deciding whether a car is good or not. From the engine power and performance to the automatic windows, you want everything on your car to last. 

When you spend a high amount on a vehicle, it is understandable to expect all parts of the car to last a long time. BMWs are not always as reliable in that area, but the engines are built to last forever even with the high-performance build.

BMWs are beautiful cars, but they are not reliable in every way. If this is an issue for you, then you might want to look elsewhere. 

However, if you like the look and feel of these cars, you will likely be happy no matter what. All in all, though they are not the most reliable, BMWs are good cars.

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Zach Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! Having owned a wide variety of vehicles in my life, I was astounded at how hard it can be to find answers to common automotive questions. Rather than sit idly, I decided to create this website to help others!