BimmerFest BMW Forum banner

3 series or 5 series???

5980 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Dbp101
I'm looking into getting a 2006-2007 3 or 5 series and was wondering which one is the most reliable. Just wanted to get people opinions on things and see how much normal maintenance is on them.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
here we go again....

2 different cars/markets.

If you're what all these other members claim to be, the 3 series is the only option, unless you maybe get an M5, but given your selections, I'm doubting that one of those is in the cards.
If I was considering a 5er I would look at 2008 models and newer, because 2008 is the year the E60 5er got its facelift and there were a number of improvements I would want.
^^I-Drive alone would be the main reason...
For potholes, 5

For fun, 3

Emoticon Yellow Facial expression Smiley Eyewear
I'm looking into getting a 2006-2007 3 or 5 series and was wondering which one is the most reliable. Just wanted to get people opinions on things and see how much normal maintenance is on them.
Neither, if you want relaibility, get a Lexus. :)
I'm looking into getting a 2006-2007 3 or 5 series and was wondering which one is the most reliable.
LOL. Agreed. Or a Honda (accord vs. civic?)

They share a lot of the same drivetrain components. I don't think this is the right selection criteria.

5 series if you need more room, more of a luxury car (longer wheelbase and the like). More prestige (hey it costs more).

3 series if you can do with less room, more sporty, less prestige.

This more or less applies to the M variants I guess.
Neither, if you want relaibility, get a Lexus. :)
I don't know why nobody is willing to anwer the OP's question. He did not say "Which is better?" or "Is a BMW more reliable than a Lexus?". He had a very straight forward queestion - are both a 3 series and a 5 series equally reliable.

I would suggest the OP consult the data in Consumer Reports' surveys. According to CR, the normally aspirated versions of the three series mostly have average to above average reliabllity. The 5 series has been slighly less reliable, average to below average. My guess is that 5-series is typically spec'ed with more gizmos and features and thus tends to be more vulnerable to problems over time. Both cars will be more problematic in their forced induction forms.

Both the 3 and 5 will offer fairly expensive ownership experiences with routine maintance costs that are annoying. However, I don't think the reliablity gap between BMW and the Japanese makes is nearly as big as it is made out to be by some posters.
If you take it to a BMW dealer for service, and coming from a 2006 Honda Civic Si, you might begin to feel dizzy when you see your first BMW service invoice.

It's usually not cheap. I try to do my own basic maintenance.
...and see how much normal maintenance is on them.
3 series or 5

Definitely not an expert, but at 61 and buying my first BMW, I did my research and found a 2009 with 2000 miles in Atlanta. Got a great deal. I can honestly say the drive is incredible. You do feel the road and the bumps but consumer reports have been accurate so far. Everyone I let drive this car had to be pried out when their time is up. I have had lots of cars in my time and also have a great big Ford 4x4 super crew . Wish I new then what i know now. My grandson asks when it will be his. Good luck.

Its just the two of us now - the 3 series is perfect size.

:thumbup:
I've had my 06' 330xi for a while now, coming up on 132,000 mi, do all my own maintenance minus the major fluid flushes, and it's working out pretty well so far. Car is bullet-proof (knock on wood). From everything I've read and everyone I've ever talked to that had an opinion worth a damn (lot of crap that doesn't get filtered in the real world, everyone thinks they know everything), is that the general rule of thumb is to make sure you do preventative maintenance. So you want to get rid of a part, and replace it (say, the water pump), a little earlier than you think, so it doesn't strand you. As long as you treat the car right, it'll treat you just fine. The biggest issue, if you even want to categorize it like that, is that the parts cost a little bit more than what Japanese equivalents cost. Other than that, it won't break your wallet if you're capable with a wrench and have access to some space. However, if you don't, prepare to put some money away ($2,000 or so yearly I'd estimate would be good) for repairs. There will be repairs, don't kid yourself. But unless the car is a flat out lemon, they're about as reliable as any other car.
Thank you. I appreciate that finally someone gave me the answerer I was looking for
I don't know why nobody is willing to anwer the OP's question. He did not say "Which is better?" or "Is a BMW more reliable than a Lexus?". He had a very straight forward queestion - are both a 3 series and a 5 series equally reliable.

I would suggest the OP consult the data in Consumer Reports' surveys. According to CR, the normally aspirated versions of the three series mostly have average to above average reliabllity. The 5 series has been slighly less reliable, average to below average. My guess is that 5-series is typically spec'ed with more gizmos and features and thus tends to be more vulnerable to problems over time. Both cars will be more problematic in their forced induction forms.

Both the 3 and 5 will offer fairly expensive ownership experiences with routine maintance costs that are annoying. However, I don't think the reliablity gap between BMW and the Japanese makes is nearly as big as it is made out to be by some posters.
I know its not cheap and I've heard its not but in my opinion its worth the extra money to drive a BMW.
If you take it to a BMW dealer for service, and coming from a 2006 Honda Civic Si, you might begin to feel dizzy when you see your first BMW service invoice.

It's usually not cheap. I try to do my own basic maintenance.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top