A Guide to Buying a Pre-Owned BMW
Posted on February 3, 2021
A Guide to Buying a Pre-Owned BMW
If you’re in the market for a BMW, one thing’s for sure, you know a thing or two about taste. The BMW has a reputation that precedes it. The very name conjures a vision of a perfect combination of style and performance. No matter what model or trim you opt for in the BMW line, you’ll find a vehicle that deserves the tagline that BMW has bestowed upon it: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
BMW’s easily conjure images of blazing down coastal highways, the gas pedal mashed as you maneuver bends and corners with surgical precision. Yes, you can do all that in your very own example of high-class German engineering. BMW owners run a gamut of lifestyles, however. Many will choose BMW out of sheer practicality: it’s a make that consistently scores off the charts in terms of safety, performance and longevity. So whether you're looking for a rip down the Autobahn or a dependable city runner to do the chores with, BMW has you covered.
But what about a used BMW? Does it make sense to choose pre-owned if you’re considering a BMW purchase? We know that the appeal of a shiny, straight-off-of-the-lot vehicle is high for a lot of buyers but we’re here to tell you that if you’re looking for an option that will get you rolling in a fantastic luxury car without breaking the bank, a pre-owned BMW could be the right move for you.
We’re going to run you through some of the reasons that a used BMW is the right choice and give you a rundown of the options on the table while we’re at it. Our lineup of fantastic pre-owned BMW’s on CarHub’s North York and Caledon lots, give us plenty of reasons to get excited about these beautiful examples of automotive craftsmanship.
Ready? Here we go, CarHub’s guide to buying a pre-owned BMW!
More than anything else, when you’re talking BMW, you’re talking performance. This is one constant of the entire BMW lineup, regardless of model or trim. There’s a reason that BMW maintains a sterling reputation: they make undeniably excellent vehicles. Turbocharged engines provide the kick while dynamic transmissions lend themselves to a sense of control. Perfectly taut suspensions round out the package to deliver an incomparable driving experience that lends credence to the notion that BMW’s may just be the finest vehicles in the automobile market today.
One word springs to mind when you hear the name BMW: luxury. No matter which model or trim you choose within the BMW line, you’ll get an interior that was crafted with comfort in mind. BMW puts extra emphasis on its interior designs. Through a mixture of high-quality design, materials and gadgetry, the BMW consistently crafts an interior that provides an elegant, dare we say it, luxurious, ride.
3. Tech Galore!
BMW is known for pushing the envelope of innovation. Tech is tops when it comes to this luxury brand’s considerations. BMW is known as an innovator, whether it’s in body design, such as constant tweaks to aerodynamics and materials that go into the design of each BMW. Automotive tech is just a part of the package though. BMW has been a consistent innovator in the space of predictive driving and driver amenities such as interactive voice command and gesture control. Even in a pre-owned BMW you’re likely to find tech that is a cut above the competition. BMW is generally so ahead of the game that you won’t feel that a few years of age on your vehicle has kept you out of step in the least.
For some, the allure of a shiny, brand new BMW may be worth the steep price tag involved but for the more price-conscious, depreciation is definitely something to take into consideration when considering purchasing a pre-owned BMW. The average rate of depreciation is around 60% of a new car’s total over a five-year time span - again, not a problem if you’ve decided that you value brand new - but if you target a pre-owned BMW, you transfer a good deal of the depreciation hit onto the previous owner of the vehicle. At CarHub, we provide a free vehicle history report for all our used vehicles so that you can get a good feel for the history of the car, including repairs and any reported maintenance information. If the vehicle doesn’t have an accident history, you could be confident that your pre-owned BMW will be a high-performing machine, even if it does have a few years of love on it. And if you go the pre-owned route, you let someone else take the initial hit to the wallet that depreciation causes.
5. Things to Look Out For
BMW’s are known for their well-crafted design and sturdy components but if you’re going pre-owned, you should be aware of the wear and tear that the previous owner has put on the car. Patterns emerge in the ways that people have caused incremental damage to their BMWs. They may be built like tanks, relatively, but they are still susceptible to the elements and rough usage.
In most vehicles, and BMWs are no exception, parts start to break down after about 120,000kms. Plastics take the biggest hit, as repetitive use and age begin to wear them down. Electronics may also begin to falter, as they gradually lose power in their lifetime. This is not necessarily the case, of course, but it is something to pay attention to. Other components to consider the efficacy of when looking at vehicles in a certain life-range include power windows and seats, AC and car sound system. In some cases, minor defaults in these systems may not be a make or break for you. It’s likely worth it to test them all though, just to be sure!
So many great models and trim lines to choose from in the BMW line, there are no bad choices. From the base model to the top of the line, BMW provides craftsmanship and luxury in every example of their cars. The real question is, which one is right for you? With a diverse lineup of models to choose from, you can factor specs into your buying decision and tailor your choice to your driving needs. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the ins and outs of all of a few models within the BMW line.
One aspect of the world of BMW that may be in need of clarification is the ‘M’ designation. ‘M’, in the case of BMW could mean either a trim level or option package. The M package is an upgrade feature available on many models in the BMW line, but this is different from M model cars, which is the top of the line in the BMW universe.
The M package is designed to make the vehicle sportier and often includes features such as larger wheels with performance tires, an added attention to aerodynamics, an M sport steering wheel with paddle shifters and adaptive suspension. This comes in two variations, the M Sport and the slightly notched up M Performance.
The BMW M, on the other hand, is not a trim level but a line of models. It is the fastest and most performance influenced of the BMW range and it is designed with track racing in mind. It’s also the most expensive of the BMW options - this is not the grocery grabber or city runner, the BMW M is a pure performance vehicle meant for drivers who want to outshine the competition.
Depending on the vehicle, the BMW M Sport package is either a trim level or option package designed to make the car look and feel more sporty. Vehicles with the M Sport package are not to be confused with the top of the line M model cars such as the M3, but the packages do make the cars perform better than their non-M Sport brethren
The package is available on many BMW models and usually includes features such as larger wheels with performance tires, unique exterior trim, an M steering wheel or M sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, an aerodynamic kit, and sport seats. Some cars also include the sport package as part of the M sport package, while others come with dynamic damper control or the Adaptive M Suspension. Cars with automatics may also receive the Sport Automatic transmission.
The BMW 3 Series is what is often referred to as BMW’s ‘entry-level’ premium sedan. Entry-level in this case just means that is the least expensive of the BMW line but it lacks nothing of the style and luxury that its pricier counterparts have. The 3 Series comes in a variety of body styles, including a hatchback, called the Gran Turismo and a wagon option. Though there are some variations based on year and model, the majority of the 3 Series will feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine and a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.
The BMW 4 Series is BMW’s two-door 4 series is almost identical to the 3 Series with the exception of some body design elements, most notably, the two-door instead of 4-door design. Both vehicles utilize the same powertrain, however, either a 255-hp turbo-four or a 382-hp turbocharged inline-six, so they both have enough power under the hood to give you some serious performance. The engine in the 4 Series is a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 and the transmission is a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.
The BMW 7 Series is a full-size sedan offering that comes available in five trim levels, 740i, 740i xDrive, 750i xDrive, 745e xDrive iPerformance and M760i xDrive.There are slight alterations to each level, the main difference between each is the powertrain, which steps up a notch in power with each upgrade. They range from the base 320-hp inline six to the mighty twin-turbo V-12. The 7 series is just as at home as a luxurious cruiser as it is a sporty racer. With a solid engine, a smooth and comfortable ride and spacious interior, the 7 Series is a versatile entry into the BMW canon.
The X1 is BMW’s most compact and least expensive crossover. The X1 comes standard with a 228-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine that gives the X1 the performance that BMWs are known for. This compact crossover will give you the handling of a sports car on those winding roads but the practicality of a daily driver with ample storage space in the cabin.
Though similar to its counterpart, the X1, the BMW X2 streamlines body elements of the vehicle, such as a rounded roof. This efficient compact SUV also offers an option for a 302-hp four-pot to kick the standard engine 228 turbocharged four-cylinder engine up a notch and give the X2 some serious muscle. The compromise in the more streamlined shape is a minor reduction in cargo space but that comes with the territory in the X2: it’s less of a grocery grabber and more of a performance machine than the X1. Which to choose is dependent on what you value in your driving experience.
The BMW X3 was introduced in 2018 and it comes in two model offerings, the xDrive30i and the notched-up, high-performance M40i. The 30i has a 248-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder under the hood and the M40i steps it up with a 3.0L M Performance TwinPower Turbo inline-six putting out a robust 355 hp. Both come with the same transmission, the eight-speed, Steptronic Sport transmission with shift paddles. The X3 is one more entry into the BMWs line that offers compact crossover practicality with BMW performance and comfort.
The BMW X6 is a mid-size crossover that manages to meld luxury with a sporty visage. As an SUV-coupe, it features a slightly more streamlined body than many of its mid-size peers, so fans of a sportier aesthetic could gravitate to this peppy little racer. Speed and looks are not all that the X6 is about though. It also features a spacious interior and each model has a responsive and dialled-in powertrain.
BMW’s emphasis on electronics is also present, of course, so you won’t lack for infotainment gadgetry when you step into an X6, including BMW's iDrive interface, including a 10.2-inch touchscreen and center console controller, integrated navigation and BMW ConnectedDrive services, which include BMW Assist emergency communications. As per performance, the varying trim lines of the X6 feature differing engines and specs but to name a few options, the X6 sDrive35i has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. The xDrive35i features the same engine but kicks it up a notch with all-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive xDrive50i has a turbocharged V8 which boasts 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Performance of that calibre places the X6 squarely in a limited camp of crossover SUVs that can just as easily haul a trailer as wow a crowd of sporty SUV aficionados.
So, if you’re looking for a vehicle that will offer you the looks and styling of a luxury car that can also accomplish the practicality of a city commuter, BMW has got it all. The BMW line is classy and performance-driven and the quality of the engineering and components in the vehicles means that the BMW line offers longevity in its vehicles that make pre-owned a worthwhile choice.
Don’t forget to visit the extensive selection of fantastic pre-owned BMWs available on CarHub’s North York and Caledon lots. Book an appointment today to take one for a spin!