A Wagon preference question for everyone

All else being relatively equal (condition, upkeep, pricing within $1,500) - which would you choose for 5 years of ownership between

  1. 2009 BWW 535i xdrive E61 wagon with 60k miles
  2. 2011 BMW 328xiT wagon 75K miles
  3. 2011 Mercedes E350 Wagon with 77K miles

What say you and why?

None of the above. Both BMW and Benz are very costly to repair and maintain, and their reliability is not good either.


If it were me, “None of the above.” I’d look for an Asian or US made SUV if you need cargo capacity. European vehicles don’t tend to be as reliable and any of your choices is well out of warranty.

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None of the above for me, but among them only the 2011 E series Mercedes has a better-than-average reliability record per Consumer Reports survey data. The 2011 BMW 3 series is much worse than average. For the 2009 BMW 5 series CR had too little data, but the 2010 is below average and the 2011 is a redesign, also below average.

Reliability are expense are not the only criteria, so don’t take these ratings as determinative unless they are for you.

I’d want the opinion of mywtrusted German specialist first but any of the above could fit the bill although i’d admit the 3 series is more the size of vehicle i prefer. My brother seriously looked at buying a E320 Wagon for the family but found a new to him Toyota Seqoia that worked out better for jthe growing family.

Add me to the none of the above group. If someone had a gun on me and told me to pick one…I’d walk away and use a bike

If it has th be those three, pick the one in the best condition and have a mechanic you trust inspect it.

You folks might be a bit harsh, don’t you think? Cars are rarely selected for purely practical reasons. For many of us, the car we spend many hours per week in is an extension of our personality.

I love my stick shift BMW wagon. I bought it at 100k miles and it has a quarter-million miles on it now. It is exactly the car I want right now.

I may drive down this road only once, and I will be switched if I will drive it in a minivan or SUV. I would drive a Z4 but I sometimes need to make runs to the lumber store.

All that being said, of the three wagons listed, given the OP’s obvious leanings, I would suggest the Mercedes.

I wouldn’t argue with that. But to ask a general forum which German wagon they recommend is begging for this type of response. I’d find BMW and MB forums, ask their opinions about wagons of that age, see what they recommend. They may be able to point out pitfalls with specific models we know nothing about.


I fully understand the desire for a wagon . We have a Volvo V70 but I could never tell anyone they should buy a used European Luxury vehicle just because the repairs and service will be expensive.
The part about wanting it for 5 years makes me wonder if that is long they are going to finance . If so that is not a good move .

The question was, “which would you choose”? I gave an honest and–I hope–reasonably thoughtful answer. My wife loves her SUV, I prefer a sedan. That said, @shanonia 's advice regarding reliability is sound.

If it absolutely had to choose; 2009 BMW 535i simply because of the modding possibilities with the N54 twin turbo. Otherwise it’s six of one, half dozen of the other.

There is only one “wagon” I would consider: Dodge Caravan. You can buy one for a lot less than any of these “luxury wagons” and it will cost a lot less to insure, maintain, and to drive it. There are millions of them on the road, so parts and service availability should never be a problem.

thanks for the thoughts, all