Want to enter the luxury car market, but don’t have a budget quite big enough to buy the latest model? No one needs to tell you that BMW, one of the best-known names in luxury driving, offers options that are chic, sleek, stylish, and comfortable, and buying used doesn’t change the badge. It’s a smart way to get behind the wheel of one of the planet’s highest praised vehicles without breaking the bank. But what’s the best year and model you can find preowned from Bavaria’s best?
There is a BMW for just about every type of driver, from X-series SUVs to fast, sporty coupes, but most drivers looking to enter the luxury car market should probably first look at 3 series sedans. The 2009 E90 BMW 3 Series sedan was Car and Driver’s first pick in the luxury sports sedan market when it initially came out, and in retrospect, the fifth generation sedan from 2006 to 2011 remains one of the best value pre-owned vehicles you can get. It was described as seductive, with great handling, smooth driving, and the six-cylinder engine was described in words that were practically sensual.
Buying a used luxury car can sometimes feel like buying a vintage wine – every year has its own qualities, a unique set of pros and cons, things to watch out for, and features you will love. According to Autoguide, the most reliable engines you can find in a used E90 are the 2006 325i and 330i, or any naturally aspirated engine used in this model. They provide better reliability in an engine class that has been known to require a little bit of extra work, and it still delivers the handling and performance that bring Bimmer fans back to the brand vehicle after vehicle.
The BMW 3 series does need a bit of maintenance, and owners have reported nuisance issues like rattling as well as problems with fuel pumps. When you’re buying a used used BMW sedan online, don’t be afraid to look around, take test drives, ask questions, and make sure you’re getting a quality used car.
There’s some great advice out there on how to inspect a used car before you purchase; start by getting an Actron scanner, which connects to just about any car made since 1996. They can be affordably purchased for as low at $40 in some cases and let you check for trouble codes and drive cycle monitors.
You should also check for oil leaks, looking at the underside (especially the transmission, to make sure it’s dry and not leaking), and check for any wobble in the tires. For the right price, you may also want to look into buying your own replacement BMW parts online, such as new wheels and tires. You can also tell that a car has suffered body damage in the past if the hood doesn’t align perfectly, or if the door seams are mismatched.
Third-party sites online should be your first destination for used BMWs, as sites like Kijiji collect used car deals from both dealers and individual owners. You no longer have to go from dealer to dealer looking for used cars, as they’ve realized that most of their customers go to third parties first. Using the cars section on Kijiji can save you time and stress when you’re looking for a used BMW Sedan. Remember, the smartest way to look for a preowned vehicle is to be thorough from start to finish.