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2011 or 2012 BMW Wagon


Hi Forum,

I wanted to get your thoughts if buying a 2011 or 2012 BMW 328i xdrive with 37k miles for under $17,000 is worth it? Cargax is clean with having one car with 1 owner and another with 2 owners. Also seen wagons for under $15k with 54k miles. My worry is the cost of maintenance with the car as well as how reliable they are. I know that are not as popular as the sedans, but always liked the wagon. Any thoughts?

Well not that I know a whole lot about it but the advice I gave my son when he bought his BMW was to trade it when the warranty is up. The next one he put the 100K extended warranty on. Normally I don’t advise the merit of an extended warranty but you’ll never get out of a BMW dealership with less than a $2000 to 5000 bill. So whichever, get the extended warranty from BMW and peace be with you. Someone has to buy them. I would be a little concerned with the one with two owners already though.

Thank you so much for your input. I know that with a new BMW maintenance and the cost would not be as great as it would with an older car, but want to stay under $20k and lowest mileage I can find. Maybe one day I can get a new one for $40k…:grinning: has a feature called True Cost to Own. You can find it by going to their web site and paging all the way to the bottom. You will see it as a choice in the right-most list (Car Articles and Advice).

They don’t show a 2011, but figure it will be a bit higher than the 2012. For the first five years of ownership, Edmunds says maintenance will total $12,565 on average. Repairs during that time period will average $4619. This assumes you use the dealer for all services. Can you afford it? As you can see, the big cost is maintenance, and that is easy to predict accurately. If you use an independent garage, you can save some money. Still, it seems mighty expensive to me. That might not put you off, though. If you are still interested, enjoy the new to you Bimmer!

Worried about repair costs, simple forget about any used luxury vehicle and find some thing new that you can afford. Warranty - lower interest rate - more up to date safety features. If you must have a BMW to impress then look into a lease if you drive less then 12000 miles a year.

If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

One thing to consider on a new one is that maintenance is included so with a lease, warranty, may be something to consider. AFAIK (as far as I know)

It is a really cute car that handles great. If you are lucky enough to find one with a stick shift - all the better.

In 2011 and 2012, they still had naturally aspirated six cylinder engines rather than turbocharged four cylinders, and that is a plus in my book.

However, for the past couple of decades, ownership of older BMWs has been the exclusive domain of people with garages stocked with tools and some mechanical aptitude. These cars, for example, are quickly approaching the age when they will need complete cooling system replacement, That is a job you want to do clean sweep, not piecemeal. That is about $1500 in parts, and I don’t even want to guess what it would cost to have someone else do the labor.

If I needed to replace my 2004 325i wagon right now, I would be looking for something like this, but I would know what I was getting in to, and it is not a journey for the faint of heart.

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Consumer Reports’ 2017 Buying Guide has a Detailed Used Car Reliability article beginning on page 192. The BMW 3 series is average overall for 2010 and 2012-2015, a bit lower than average for 2011.

If your concerns are cost of maintenance and reliability, then these probably aren’t the right cars for you. These cars are for someone who’s willing to sacrifice in those areas in order to get the driving experience (and image) that BMW provides.

Old BMWs are money pits. If you can’t afford new, you’re going to feel financial pain with used the first time it breaks, which will probably be soon.

Thanks for all the advice. I should have clarified that my worry is not any cost for maintenance but more at it in a way would I be dropping $3k each time there is an issue for a car that may be old but has low mileage. I was thinking a lease, but was always thought that lease is just a way of paying for something that is not yours in the end.

How many times do you need someone to say ’ if your concerned about high repair and service charges a used luxury vehicle is not for you’. A lease lets you drive more vehicle then you need or can afford and at the end you just turn it in. Now if you plan on keeping something a long time then new affordable is a better choice.

Again, I’ll echo the advice here: if you have to ask about the cost of maintenance, you don’t need the car.

If you want to buy a brand new BMW in the next few years… why not drive something…“boring”…today and save up your money?

I know I wouldn’t be prepared for a $3000 repair bill out of the blue. Which is why I drive Hondas and Dodges.

Good luck to you.

I missed the xdrive interest. Change the repairs to $10,193 on average for five years and an acquisition cost of about $16,000. The total is about $29,000 for maintenance, repairs, and purchase. You can save about $6000 by getting a RWD version, and it’s purchase price will be lower too.

Daughter bought a used 2011 328i sedan for about $30K 5 years ago plus a 5 year extended warranty that cost her $5,000 more. She used every penny of that warranty (basically broke even on it).

If a BMW fits your personality, then that’s the car for you. I am trying to get Mr. Triedaq into a 1970s Mercedes Benz diesel. This car would be a perfect match for him–it’s old, makes a big stink and a lot of noise and doesn’t move very fast. That’s Triedaq.
Mrs. Triedaq
P.S. Triedaq, don’t leave our computer on and unattended.


Mrs T, you say that every time you get on this board. Maybe you could get a Mercedes Benz E250, a modern version of the 300D you reference. It has much higher resale value than the equivalent E350. The only difference is gasoline or diesel. The body and interior are the same.

@jtsanders. The Mercedes Benz I had in mind is a 1977 240D. Our good friends owned one back then. They bought it for about $10,000. The depreciation on the Mercedes Benz back then was so low that the credit union financed the entire amount. Triedaq is never concerned about resale value. He buys what fits his needs and is usually fully depreciated when he is done with it. When we drove used cars by economic necessity, he bought cars that were unpopular as new cars as used cars. Had he had the money to buy a Mercedes Benz 240D back in 1977, we would probably still be driving it.
Mrs. Triedaq

In 1977 the 250D was a purely utilitarian vehicle. Perfect for a European rural-dweller.
I’m not sure I’d want to try to merge onto a modern U.S. highway with one. Every single piece of technology on it (or any 1977 car, for that matter) is long-since obsolete, and that diesel engine doesn’t have the power to keep up with modern traffic.

Are you sure it’s Mr. T that wants it? It sounds like you’re enamored with the memories. Either you’re very supportive of his desires, or he’s very supportive of yours… or both. I respect and commend you both for this. A true “soul mate” is a blessing indeed.

Sincere best. It was good to hear from you.