BMW X5 2001- Smart Move?



How relaible could one expect it to be over the next 3 years? Our son is currently driving a '94 accord w/ 188K miles. It’s been a great car, but it can’t last forever and probably won’t get him through law school which he starts this fall.

My husband just purchased his dream car - an '04 BMX X5 3.0 6 speed - and we are wondering if we should offer our son our 5 speed 3.0 X5 w/ 94000 miles.( We’re ignoring the cost of gas - Yikes!)

Car Max is offering us $11K. The body’s great, and we’ve taken good care of it. The clutch and timing belt have not needed work - so far! We don’t want our son saddled with a car that’s going to fall apart and be a $$$ drain . What do you experts think? Might it be worth him buying it for the same $$ ?


A BMW X5 is a rather expensive vehicle to own and operate, especially for a college student.

I’d be looking for another Accord, which would get him through school at a much lower cost per mile. When he’s a lawyer he can buy his own BMW.


You probably know better than us, you have owned and maintained the car for several years. I would not trade it in, I would either sell it privately for a couple $1000 more than the trade-in allowance, or sell it to your son for the trade-in value. Does he need a AWD SUV, or would he do just as well with another econo-box? Are you able/willing to bail him out if the BMW has an unexpected large repair?

I really don’t see much downside to selling it to your son, he can always sell it or trade it on something else later if he finds the cost of ownership too high. I would also make sure the maintenance is up to date (when does this car need a timing belt replacement?) before selling it to him.


No not at all…

Keeping and repairing the Accord he will be very far along financially spending $11k on a more expensive to repair vehicle.

Even if he spends $1000-$1500/year on maintenance on that Accord he will be at least $7000 richer than buyinga BMW.


What does the truck need to put it in excellent condition? It seems that some repairs must be needed if CarMax is only offering $11,000. If you need $3000 to make it sellable, that will buy a lot of gas for the kid.


I discovered yesterday it needs 4 tires (at $900-$1000) which have a life expectancy of 30K miles! And of course there’s the 100K mile work coming up in 6000 miles - with a clutch replacement looming, I would guess! All in all, what we thought was a nice offering may in reality be a curse!! Car Max noted the tires as being “good”. They were not going to put it on their lot because there is not market for an SUV w/ a manual here (So. FL), but I’m not sure it would be a great car for Boston either… I’m going to encourage him to turn down our offer!!


You will pay for the tires, 100,000 mile service, and clutch one way or another. If it were me, I’d keep it and let your son drive it. The 4WD will come in hand driving from Boston to Miami for winter break and back.