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X1 E84 (2011 - current)
The new to the US BMW X1 will arrive at BMW dealers in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year. Get your X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or get the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i dDrive.

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  #1  
Old 01-20-2013, 07:23 PM
Napoleon1982 Napoleon1982 is offline
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BMW Quality and Reliability

(New to this forum, first post) I am in the market for a new car this year and the BMW X1 is on my short list. I am currently an Acura owner and have been spoiled with incredible reliability (my current RSX has 175,000 miles and going strong without any issues). However, since I was old enough to drive I've always wanted a BMW. I've heard for a long time that BMW (and most German cars) have reliability issues and disproportionate repair costs. Audi being the worst as 2 of my friends have complained.

My question to the X1 owners (and previous BMW owners), how is reliability for you? I am the type of person that buys a car and drives it to 100k, 150k, 200k miles so I want something that can do that. I don't buy a new car every 3 years, definitely like to buy a car and log a lot of miles I've heard mixed reports, so I figured I'd ask actual owners!
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:39 PM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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You will find Japanese cars are more reliable.... That's a FACT

You will find that German cars are less reliable... That's a FACT

You will find that BMW are much more pleasurable to drive and japanese cars are a bit boring to drive

so you decide for yourself : reliability and ultimate driving pleasure

(BMW is not that bad ... VW and Audi are worse)

BMW will last 150,000km - 200,000km like a Japanese car but will require proper maintenance at a cost.

As an example (in Australia), an oil service for a Japanese car will be $150 and $250-$300 for a BM.
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Last edited by SilverX3; 01-20-2013 at 08:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:53 PM
nospam nospam is offline
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If you will keep the car more than 100k miles, steer well clear of the Germans...stick with the Japanese (maybe even Koreans nowadays). I have learned (the hard, expensive way) to get rid of my BMWs when the warranty nears expiration.

Last edited by nospam; 01-20-2013 at 08:55 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2013, 12:29 PM
Perlova Perlova is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napoleon1982 View Post
(New to this forum, first post) I am in the market for a new car this year and the BMW X1 is on my short list. I am currently an Acura owner and have been spoiled with incredible reliability (my current RSX has 175,000 miles and going strong without any issues). However, since I was old enough to drive I've always wanted a BMW. I've heard for a long time that BMW (and most German cars) have reliability issues and disproportionate repair costs. Audi being the worst as 2 of my friends have complained.

My question to the X1 owners (and previous BMW owners), how is reliability for you? I am the type of person that buys a car and drives it to 100k, 150k, 200k miles so I want something that can do that. I don't buy a new car every 3 years, definitely like to buy a car and log a lot of miles I've heard mixed reports, so I figured I'd ask actual owners!
If you are going to keep it longer, at least double up on the service interval. I'm not a proponent of oil changes every 5000km but once a year oil changes are a bit optimistic.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:54 PM
Napoleon1982 Napoleon1982 is offline
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Oh of course, I am very diligent about my oil changes! I drive 20,000 miles a year so I usually get oil changes at least 4 times a year. Probably how I got my Acura RSX to last 175,000 miles (and going strong) was that I always kept up with oil changes. I would delay other services, but oil changes were non-negotiable in my book.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:55 PM
Napoleon1982 Napoleon1982 is offline
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I just looked at my service records I kept for my car and realized I got oil changes 6 times last year! So 4 times a year was a low estimate.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:49 PM
nospam nospam is offline
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The problem is not that European cars don't last to 200k+ miles, it is just not economical to do so. The vehicles are more complex and parts are 2-3x the Japanese counterpart (I've owned several BMWs and Hondas and use to do a lot of my own service).
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:28 PM
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I get mine oil service at about 6000km or 12 months what ever comes first
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:40 PM
bjbolduc bjbolduc is offline
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Well I have had 2 subarus and 1honda with over 130k miles so agree on Japanese reliability
My wife has x3 with over 100k miles and still happy
What you will find with bmw is their cost of maintenance is higher especially as it ages. It's too early to say if x1 is going to be reliable or not but so far so good for me
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Last edited by bjbolduc; 01-22-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2013, 11:54 AM
titan silber titan silber is offline
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If one proposes to own a BMW for 10 years or more he (or she) had better have deep pockets or be a DIYer. If you don't mind doing it yourself BMWs can be fairly cheap to own and drive post warranty. The online parts retailers (and there are many, my favorite being autohausaz.com) discount the parts drastically compared to dealer prices and generally speaking youtube is loaded with how to do it videos to help a DIY enthusiast along. My 11 year 330ci is still humming along nicely due in part to the things mentioned above and the excellent advice from Mike Miller, BMWCCA's tech guru.

And keep in mind BMWs are not that hard to work on; the Germans are pretty direct with their construction methods and doing the simple repairs ( brakes, tune ups, fluid changes ) are actually quite easy if you are accustomed to working on cars. Trust me, there's nothing magic about working on a BMW. In many cases if you use upgraded parts (the Stewart water pump for the M54 engine comes to mind) you won't have to do the job for quite a while, or ever again.

I too am considering an X1 but before taking the plunge I am checking them out top to bottom because I know I'll be the one repairing it after warranty. I have to make a Bimmer last a long while so I am hanging out here to see what the potential problems will be and figure out how to deal with them if they strike. Having said that I think BMW quality is slowly getting better because they realize that free service and maintenance won't get them to the top, long lasting trouble free cars will.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2013, 12:37 PM
nospam nospam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titan silber View Post
And keep in mind BMWs are not that hard to work on; the Germans are pretty direct with their construction methods and doing the simple repairs ( brakes, tune ups, fluid changes ) are actually quite easy if you are accustomed to working on cars. Trust me, there's nothing magic about working on a BMW.
I must be a poor mechanic. I was a DIYer with my E46 and E39. I stopped when we moved to an E90, E82, and now an E84. IMO BMW construction is complex and difficult to work on compared to the Honda's I've owned (5 BMWs, 4 Hondas). BMW's are not impossible to work on, but much more difficult than the asian imports.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:32 PM
titan silber titan silber is offline
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Thanks for the insight on the difficulty of repairs for the post E46 models! I will definitely keep that in mind.
I just got done looking at the pictures of the various assemblies of the X1 on realoem.com. So far, things like brakes, driveline and front suspension dont appear to be real bad, but exploded pictures don't quite tell the whole story. I am taking your warning to heed and before I decide to buy an X1 I'll check one out closely at the dealer on a Sunday.
If I don't like what I see I may get a Focus ST or another Mazdaspeed 3 (manual transmissions!!!). The Fiesta ST is also just around the corner from getting here and with a projected 197 horses under the hood it might well be worth a look as well- hey I love hot hatches!
Which would be a no brainer if BMW would bring the 1 series hatchback that the Europeans are currently enjoying. I'd give 40 grand for one of those with a turbo six, six speed trans and sport package period.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:44 PM
nospam nospam is offline
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Isn't a more powerful version of the Mazda CX-5 coming soon?
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:49 PM
nospam nospam is offline
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I should add that the X1 28i should be easier to work on than some model BMWs because of the extra space under the hood with 2 fewer cylinders than in the past. Before the N20/26 engine all US models had an I6 motor at a minimum.

Tight spaces were my biggest complaint when working on BMWs.

Last edited by nospam; 01-29-2013 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:16 AM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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Isn't a more powerful version of the Mazda CX-5 coming soon?
Mazda cars drinks like no tomorrow
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:45 AM
nospam nospam is offline
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Mazda cars drinks like no tomorrow
Gas or oil? I've seen good reports
of MPG and ZoomZoom on the CX-5.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:52 AM
backpackerx backpackerx is offline
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Originally Posted by nospam View Post
Isn't a more powerful version of the Mazda CX-5 coming soon?
Yes, it should be on lots in February. Bumps up hp by 30 which isn't much considering it only has 155hp to begin with. Still gets good fuel economy and handles better than the other small Asian SUVs in it's class. I've driven it several times and will try out the new, higher powered version when it arrives at my local dealership.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:56 AM
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38,000 trouble free miles so far on my first bmw. I plain on keeping it for 200,000 miles so I let you know!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:58 AM
ddee63x ddee63x is offline
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Just sold my USA Spec 2006 X3 3.0i with 152,000 miles on it. Never had any major problems. I always changed the oil on schedule. The guy who's buying the car is a mechanic and gave it a clean bill of health. He checked and smelled the oil, checked the filters, the belts and a few other things. He drives a Mustang and liked the sound and how the X3 handled when he drove it. For 2 years (2006-2008) I drove the car from Frankfurt Germany to the Venice area of Italy back and forth for about 2-3 times a month. This included summer, winter, spring and fall through the Alps of Italy and Austria in all kinds of weather. From 2008 until last week I drove the X3 all over Italy and the rest of Europe, again in all types of weather. The X3 never let me down. Sold it and purchased a USA Spec 2013 X1 sDrive 2.8 with M Sport line, Ultimate Package, & Lighting Package.
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:33 PM
whitby whitby is offline
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Join the BMW CCA and read Mike Miller's Tech Talk column in Roundel (the BMW CCA magazine). He will tell you that with careful nurturing BMWs can last a long time, however they do take more effort.

Japanese cars tend to require less nurture and will last longer with less effort, but even they will eventually start to fail. The problem is that BMWs are premium highly bred cars and are more complex (some say overly complex) which is why they tend to be more fun to drive but have complex engines. Complexity brings with it service (hence cost) and longevity issues.

In the end if you want a car that is fun to drive and are willing to make sure it is well cared for then a BMW may serve you well. If, however, you expect your car to run without it becoming a hobby or much attention, then BMWs may not be for you. You may be better off with something like an Infinity and Lexus. That is not to say these are not fine cars, but they lack the character of the German luxury cars like MB, BMW and Audi. I would also include Jaguar in the same class as the BMW etc. Amongst the Germans the BMW tends to be between the MB (fairly reliable except around MY 2003) and Audi (poor reliability) based on personal experience and what I can discern from the cognoscenti.

I love BMWs (I have owned 13 of them) but I am willing to spend the time and money to look after them and put up with some of their odd foibles just to have the driving experience. Once you have driven a BMW nothing else feels the same, or at least that is the case for me.
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