Top 10 Cheapest BMWs to Maintain (Revealed)

It’s a fact that BMWs are some of the most expensive cars to maintain.

Their maintenance costs are much higher than the industry average, ranging between $700 and $1200 annually just for routine maintenance. RepairPal averages the cost to be $968 annually for scheduled maintenance and minor repairs.

This doesn’t come as a surprise since BMWs are powerful luxury vehicles. It’s only realistic to anticipate high maintenance and repair costs.

Don’t let your dream of owning a BMW die yet. Not all BMWs demand high annual upkeep. In this post, we share the ten cheapest BMWs to maintain to help you budget appropriately.

  BMW Model  Avg. Annual Repair Cost
BMW X Series$490
BMW 3 Series$688
BMW 2 Series$722
BMW 330i$748
BMW 5 Series$825
BMW Z4$895
BMW X1$915
BMW 750Li $1027
BMW X3 $1,034
BMW M5 $1,173

BMW X Series

According to Repair Pal, the BMW X Series cost an average of $490 per year to maintain, making it the cheapest BMW to maintain.

The X series has a 3% chance of encountering serious problems in its lifetime and requires 0.03 repair shop visits per year, compared to the average of 0.7.

Consumer reports give the X series a reliability rating of 4.5/5, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t be paying regularly for maintenance work.

The most reliable years for the BMW X Series are 2007, 2008, and. Avoid the 2011 and 2008 models because they had quite a few recalls and scored average reliability marks.

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BMW 3 Series

The second cheapest BMW to maintain is the BMW 3 Series which costs an average of $688 annually in repairs and maintenance in the first year and a total of $$3,439 in its first 10 years. This is according to Caredge.com.

You can check out a list of major BMW 3 series costs and compare to find the car with the best value.

A BMW 3 Series has a 40.39% chance that it will require a major repair during the 10 years. Compared to similar models, the BMW 3 Series is considered to be doing poorly.

The most reliable BMW 3 Series is the E90 325i and 328i.

BMW 330i

According to Repairpal, the annual costs of maintenance for 330i average at $748. These costs, of course, vary with the age of the car and the mileage.

Your location matters too, and so does the shop service center you frequent.

Common major repairs like oil and coolant leaks can vary widely, ranging from a mere $100 to a serious $2500.

BMW 2 Series

Another cheaper BMW to maintain is the BMW 2 series.

You will need to budget for about $722 annually for scheduled maintenance, minor repairs, and normal wear and tear problems.

BMW 2 Series is a fairly reliable car, based on Consumer Reports and J.D power ratings.

The latter gave the 2 series an above-average reliability rating based on a 3-year car methodology.

The most reliable models are the 2016 and 2019, while the least reliable is the 2020 2 series due to an NHTSA safety recall.

BMW 5 Series

Repairpal estimates the total cost of maintenance and repairs to be $825.

Expect these costs to be lower or higher depending on the mileage and age of the vehicle.

A BMW 5 Series has a 40.39% likelihood of needing a major repair throughout its first 10 years, with the costs expected to increase over time.

For reliable BMW 5 Series cars with lower repair frequency, consider getting 528i and 535i models from 2014-2016. Avoid years 2011-2013.

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BMW Z4

The maintenance cost of a BMW Z4 is estimated to be $895 annually, with oil changes being the most frequent service this vehicle will need.

Z4 has a substantially worse frequency score compared to the industry average.

It scores 2.19 against the 1.3 industry average.

Its 16% severity score as given by RepairPal is also above the industry average of 12%.

BMW X1

BMW XI is another substantially cheaper vehicle to maintain. Repairpal estimates that it will cost

$915 to maintain the BMW X1 Series.

Even though the car has undefined reliability, according to Repairpal, Consumer Reports gives it a reliability rating of 4.5/5.

The vehicle has a 0.03% chance of encountering serious problems in its lifetime and requires

0.02 repair shop visits per year, compared to the average of 0.7.

The most reliable years for the X1 Series are 2013, 2014, and 2015 while the year model to avoid is definitely the 2012 model.

BMW 750Li

BMW 7 Series is generally expensive to maintain, but the 750Li is relatively cheaper, costing

$1,027 yearly in maintenance and repair costs.

According to Repairpal for the 750Li, the average rating is an impressively 4.4 out of 5 stars and

2.5 out of 5 for reliability score.

BMW X3

It costs $1,034 to repair and maintain a BMW X3 annually.

Given that the average cost of maintaining BMWs is $968, it’s safe to conclude that the X3 is reasonably cheaper.

It, however, does fairly badly on frequency, a score of 2.52 compared to the industry average of 1.3.

Compared to other cars, this vehicle is reliable.

According to J.D. Power predictions, the 2021 X3 has a great reliability rating scoring 79 out of 100.

Cars.usnews gives it an 8.5/10 rating among other luxury SUVs.

They also vouch for the 301i as the best X3 for its lower starting price and excellent engine performance.

BMW M5

BMW M5 costs $1,173 annually to repair and maintain, depending on the mileage, among other factors. This is just slightly more expensive than the X3 costs.

In a ten year duration, BMW M5 has a 40.39% chance of needing a major repair.

Even though that is a 0.83% worse chance than other vehicles, the M5 is more reliable than most of them.

According to research done by iSeeCars, an automotive analytics firm, M5 is ranked fifth among the cars that have a high chance of reaching 150,000.

Conclusion

It’s okay to be nervous about maintenance and costs down the line.

After all Bimmers are not cheap to own.

The list above covers the cheapest BMWs to maintain. The costs given an approximate average cost, expect to either pay more or less.

If you are worried about how to cover the expensive parts, consider taking an extended car warranty

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