There are affiliate links on this article. If you make a purchase through any of the links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Today, we will go over what year BMW should be avoided. I know BMW is one of the best and most loved car brands in the automobile industry.
And they have accumulated a cult-like following from 1916 to recent years, making some of the greatest luxury sedans, muscle cars, and SUVs.
However, there are some BMWs that aren’t worth considering. And reports have shown they all have underlining problems that repeatedly resurface, resulting in more expenses.
What Year BMW Should Be Avoided?
So without wasting much of your time, here is the list of BMW models and years you should avoid:
1. 2013-2018 BMW X1
BMW’s X1 is a rarity in the world of SUVs. It’s small, but it has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a vehicle this size — from an impressive performance, and design, to a roomy interior.
Unfortunately, this ingenious vehicle has loads of problems that can’t be ignored, especially the 2013 to 2018 models.
The models produced these years have been recalled due to engine problems. Aside from that, many owners are gutted ‘issue starts pricking up after you are out of warranty.’
More specifically, the 2014 year for X1 models MUST be avoided, with engine issues alongside problems with the transmission, paint, heater/AC system, exhaust, and even window.
Repairing these problems will cost around $1,750 each year, and there have been five recalls concerning the 2014 BMW X1 alone.
Hence, it isn’t worth the problem. Run helter-skelter!
2. 2007, 2013 BMW X3
BMW X3 is a compact luxury crossover SUV that stands out for its sporty design and high-end features.
It even competed with the Audi Q5 and Range Rover Discovery.
And has been named one of the best SUVs of all time by Kelley Blue Book, and it has won numerous awards for being a stylish, practical car that’s also fun to drive.
However, when push comes to shove, you will regret this beauty.
While BMW has had its fair share of engine troubles, these years seem the worst.
There have been numerous complaints about oil leaks, overheating, and coolant leaks—not to mention timing chain guide failure.
The 2013 X3 is even worse, with a recorded five recalls and a whopping 328 complaints.
3. 2011 BMW X6
BMW X6’s reputation has also been dented, but with fewer complaints than the models above.
The BMW X6 was once the rockstar on the road with a sporty, coupe-like SUV and a steeply raked rear window.
But the model has struggled with the release of the electric handbrake due to handbrake actuator failure.
According to owners and independent reviewers, the worst model year of the X6 is 2011. That year saw 12 separate recalls—more than any other in the vehicle’s history.
The reason for most complaints? Tailgate spoilers were prone to wobbling or falling off entirely.
But many critics dismissed this as a minor annoyance compared with sudden engine failure when driving.
The average owner of the X6 spends close to $2,000 per year on maintenance and repairs.
4. 2008 BMW M3
The BMW M3 is a fast, luxurious car that can be used daily for commuting or on weekends for joyriding—or at the track.
It is the type of high-performance car you want to get your hands on.
But hold your horses!
However, it has its drawbacks. The most serious problem is the power-steering hose leaks that must be fixed immediately upon discovery.
Issues with the fuel pump and blower fan resistor are common to owners of 2006 M3s. In 2008, BMW issued five recalls and received 101 complaints about these problems related to the M3 model year.
On top of that, the engine frequently fails, and the repair has been costly to many owners.
5. 2011-2013 BMW 3-Series
The BMW 3-Series is a great car for anyone who wants to get the most out of their money. It’s comfortable, safe, and reliable —and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to drive!
According to a BMW Group report, the 3-series has been selling like hotcakes, accounting for over 25% of the brand’s total sales figures yearly.
And while you are smiling at the dealership, understand many owners have been crying bitterly to the mechanic shop.
RepairPal claimed you are prone to spend roughly $1,030 annually to keep this beauty on the road.
The 3-series has been associated with a dozen complaints about the oil indicator light turning on and oil on the driver’s side of the engine —resulting in a new oil filter housing gasket.
Aside from that, the flex disc is easily worn out, leading to excessive vibration when driving. This also results from flexing disc replacement costing more money as well.
6. 2011 BMW X5
The BMW X5 is a luxury SUV that offers much space, comfort, safety, and no denying fun to drive. It also got a powerful engine.
The bitter truth is that you should not base your buying decision on that.
In addition to being subject to numerous recalls, most model years come with at least one engine problem that can be very expensive for the owner.
And according to many drivers, BMW X5 is prone to shut down while driving in the cold.
To resolve that engine issue, you are most likely to break the bank of around $2,300—yet there’s no guarantee that the problem won’t arise again soon anyway!
The 2011 model year is known for having 16 recalls; it may be wise to avoid purchasing one of those vehicles at all costs.
7. 2008 BMW 5-Series
Another year BMW you should avoid is the 2008 BMW.
This beautiful problem is spacious with an eye-catching look and thrilling performance. On the contrary, there is hidden stress that could make you spend an average of $1,070 annually.
For instance, the 535i is susceptible to problems with its cooling fan, brakes, and taillights.
The water pump, responsible for keeping coolant flowing through the car’s engine and radiator, failed in over 700,000 vehicles in 2008.
This repair is one of the most common problems with 5-series BMW models.
Are you sure you can handle such a problem?
8. 2006 BMW 7-Series
BMW’s 7-Series is the epitome of a luxurious sedan and continues to be one of the most popular vehicles on the market.
The dark side of the 7-series is that it is a no-go area beyond face value.
Many 7-Series owners complain that the car’s engine stutters when they drive at high speed.
More dangerously, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that when you step on your BMW 7-Series brakes, it takes longer than expected for the car to come to a complete stop. This can lead to an accident if other drivers don’t see you in time.
And it costs about $1,110 a year to maintain a BMW 7-Series. That is a huge burden on your shoulders!
9. 2018-2020 BMW 8-Series
The successor to the 7-series is yet another palaver.
The car has become known for its sleek design and powerful engines, but it’s also one of the most expensive.
But we are talking about something else. Buying the 8-series will continuously drill a hole in your pocket.
It could appeal to those seeking a luxurious, high-quality car.
However, you should have it at the back of your mind that the 2018-2020 BMW 8-Series models have been plagued with engine misfiring, power steering box problems, and exhaust rattling.
You may spend up to $1,454 a year keeping the car in good health.
10. 2003 BMW Z4
The BMW Z4 is a high-performance roadster that delivers punchy acceleration.
No doubt you would want to buy this car.
Unfortunately, according to RepairPal, the BMW Z4 is disappointing in its reliability —occupying four of the bottom spots among luxury compact cars.
Because the Z4 is an older model, annual maintenance and repairs may cost you around $1,300. There’s a 20% chance you will have to make at least one major repair within the first five years of ownership.
Although you may want to settle for a Z4, avoid buying a 2003 model—the steering, fuel system, and cooling system are all problematic.
Common Problems With BMW
BMW cars are generally renowned for their elegance, power, and comfort. Although BMWs are well-liked high-end luxury cars, they have a few typical problems that a trustworthy auto repair shop can and should fix if they arise.
Some of the problems that BMW owners have reported are listed below.
- Faulty Automatic Headlights
- Discharging Batteries
- Corrosion of Alloy Wheels
- Malfunctioning Fuel Pumps
- Faulty Electronic Systems
- Door Handle Problems
- Heater Core and Coolant System Issues
- Leaking Oil Filter Gasket
- Failing Electric Windows
Which Bmw Engine Is Most Reliable?
According to many customers’ reports, the 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine is the most reliable BMW engine.
It has a long history of reliability and efficiency and is the most powerful engine in its class.
It is featured in various BMW models, including the X1, 5 Series, 4 Series, and 3 Series.
Do You Need BMW Extended Warranty Coverage?
If a BMW warranty already covers your car, you might not need an extended one.
However, as your car ages and the end of its manufacturer’s warranty period draws near, it might be a good idea to consider getting extended coverage.
An extended warranty’s main benefit is your peace of mind. Although there is no guarantee that an extended warranty will save money in the long run, it does dispel any uncertainty about the price of auto maintenance.
A hefty repair bill won’t confront you because your extended warranty contract already includes full coverage for all covered repairs.
If you purchase an extended warranty from BMW, you can access this support around the clock.
Which BMWs Are Reliable?
There are many different types of BMWs, and each model has its strengths and weaknesses.
But notably, the BMW 3 Series is one of the most reliable vehicles on the market, with an “above-average” reliability, according to most owners.
The 4 Series is also highly regarded for its reliability; other lineups, including the X3, X5, X7, and 5 Series, are consistently average. Their lower scores come from reports of electrical problems with fiddly user interfaces.
Which BMW Is Best To Buy 2023?
In 2023, there are a lot of different choices when it comes to BMWs. However, one of the best ones is the 2023 BMW X1.
The BMW X1 is the perfect vehicle for you if you’re looking for a luxurious SUV built to last.
It has a powerful standard engine, agile handling, and compact exterior yet surprisingly spacious inside, with a standard all-wheel drive.
However, the user interface can sometimes be more intuitive. The combined Mileage is 28 mpg, and the most desirable options are pricey packages.
Other reliable 2023 BMW options include:
- 2023 BMW 7 Series
- 2023 BMW X7
- 2023 BMW X5
- 2023 BMW X6
- 2023 BMW 4 Series
- 2023 BMW 2 Series
- 2023 BMW X3
- 2023 BMW iX
- 2023 BMW X5 M
- 2023 BMW i4
- 2023 BMW X6 M
- 2023 BMW 3 Series
- 2023 BMW X2
- 2023 BMW M4
- 2023 BMW X4
- 2023 BMW 8 Series
- 2023 BMW X3 M
- 2023 BMW M3
- 2023 BMW X4 M
Conclusion: BMW Years To Avoid
And I would only say this once: go for the newer BMW model than the outdated one that is more likely to fail and has high mileage.
The old will eat your money and never make you happy when it’s due.
A well-maintained BMW might be a safe bet, and it should hold its value —but most prospective buyers have probably ruled them out because of the repair cost.