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1. What is the best BMW model for a 17 year old going into senior year in HS?

2. What would a good estimate for car insurance for a 17 year old cost monthly for that model listed above?

3. Not related to BMW, but how is a Mazda 3? They got good reviews also.
 

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M5. They're giving awesome lease terms now. Every kid should start out driving with a 600 h.p. car.

Just kidding.

I don't have kids, but I wouldn't get any teenager a BMW, new, used, big, or small. BMW's are luxury items and status symbols, in addition to being great cars. Kids need to learn that having nice things should require working for them. If a kid wants a BMW, teach him to work hard, get and education, a good job, and earn the money to buy a BMW.

Finally, high schools are ground zero for car vandalism. I'd expect any BMW to last about a week in a high school parking lot before somebody would mess with it.

Yeah, a Mazda 3 would be a good choice. Make him/her get a manual transmission. That will minimize the texting-while-driving and teach them a useful life skill. A good used one would minimize the vandalism thing, and be less of a loss if the kid ends up being rough on cars.
 

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Better question to ask of your child, "How much car can you afford to buy, insure, and maintain?"

Come back with that answer and ask your question again.

PS - I did the same with our 3 and they've managed to grow up, complete undergrad and grad degrees, get and remain SUCCESSFULLY employed in their careers. And YES, I know each of them would have LOVED for mommy and daddy to buy them a new(er) BMW or AUDI but that's not how we rolled - they bought "starter" cars they could afford to maintain and support (one was a VW Rabbit Diesel - one a VW Quantum - one a VW Jetta -- so they didn't stray from our fondness for good European engineering ... afterall BMW = BetterMadeWolkswagen ;-) )
 

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My doctor daughter bought her Civic during her undergrad FA degree experience, drove it through grad school, took it to Hawaii for her first professional job, and back now to Chicago-land sixteen years later. It is a fine 100 mph(!) appliance that I would not have nor commute in.
 

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1. What is the best BMW model for a 17 year old going into senior year in HS?
I wouldn't recommend ANY BMW unless you're auto tech savvy and can afford the repair cost without relying on parents.
2. What would a good estimate for car insurance for a 17 year old cost monthly for that model listed above?
That would depend upon many factors including where you live, your driving record, good student discount, value of the car, etc. etc.
3. Not related to BMW, but how is a Mazda 3? They got good reviews also.
What are you looking for in a car? Sportiness? Economy? Reliability? Mazdas are not as reliable as Hondas or Toyotas and they're not cheap to fix either.
 

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Having raised 3 kids I agree with everyone else. Get a Corolla or a Civic. They are reliable, have affordable insurance, and repairs are reasonably priced. I told all 3 of my kids they could have any car they wanted after college and when they are paying for it. It was a reality check when they had to pay for a car and all associated expenses themselves. One of them actually bought a CPO 535i with lots of warranty left on it. It was a rude awaking when the warrranty was up and it needed repairs. Even though he made a lot of money, his priorities changed greatly and putting a lot of money into a car was not one of them. He only kept it a couple of more months. I would follow the good advice already given on this forum.
 

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Better question to ask of your child, "How much car can you afford to buy, insure, and maintain?"

Come back with that answer and ask your question again.

PS - I did the same with our 3 and they've managed to grow up, complete undergrad and grad degrees, get and remain SUCCESSFULLY employed in their careers. And YES, I know each of them would have LOVED for mommy and daddy to buy them a new(er) BMW or AUDI but that's not how we rolled - they bought "starter" cars they could afford to maintain and support (one was a VW Rabbit Diesel - one a VW Quantum - one a VW Jetta -- so they didn't stray from our fondness for good European engineering ... afterall BMW = BetterMadeWolkswagen ;-) )
Loved your witty, humorous, and entirely correct response. An excellent life lesson........well done.....
 

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I had a bmw as my first car. Great car but I did not appreciate it at all. Any NA bmw will be super reliable if you change the fluids and fix stuff that breaks. My 530i survived 2 years and 55k miles, drove it from AZ to WA and back, AZ to FL and back no issues like 3 times. The car just kept running (it wasn't driven lightly on a daily basis). That being said things broke all the time and not having a job, my dad hated throwing me money ever month to fix something worst thing was the cooling system at ~100k and the CCV was a pain in the ass to change. If you have a job and don't mind budgeting 200/mo for gas and maintenance go for it (add more the harder you drive). If not you better have a good relationship with your parents :D have fun with that.
 

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The 1st car I actually drove; (whilst learning I drove my Dad's car) was an Austin 1100 (1960's something or other)

WHEN I passed my test and went solo I drove again my Dad's car again a Morris Marina (70/80's)

My 1st owned car was a 1970's Ford Capri mk.2 1.6l (was actually a stolen and re-cloned car :( )

but boy did I learn (and love that car)

(sorry all pics are stock)
 

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3. Not related to BMW, but how is a Mazda 3? They got good reviews also.
I really like mine (2012 skyactiv HB). Within my family/circle of friends we have one 2011 3 sedan (2.0L, non-skyactiv), two 2012 3 skyactiv HBs, one 2014 3 skyactiv HB, one 2015 3 skyactiv HB, and one 2015 CX-5 skyactiv.

All of us do the factory recommended maintenance schedule at dealers (every 7500mi, typically ~$60-100 for synthetic oil, tire rotation, fluids top off, and car wash), and there have been zero issues. I have the most mileage of this sample group at 85k miles and have owned mine a bit over 4yrs. The stock tires suck (grip-wise), but last a decent amount of time (45-55k). None of us have had to change our brakes yet, and there have been no breakdowns or electronics failures. Fuel economy is another strong point of the MZ3, and I average around 35-38mpg running regular unleaded. My vehicle definitely likes hotter temperatures (mileage goes up significantly once it's 90F+ out).

The driving dynamics and steering of the MZ3 are excellent for its class, and the car is way more fun and engaging than a BMW 3 series with standard x-drive suspension, which comparatively feels numb and loose like a Lexus (WTF are you paying for in that case?). The only downsides to the driving experience is the relatively low engine output, and FWD understeer towards the end of cornering. For a first car, the lack of power may be a better thing.

I drive my vehicle on lots of unpaved roads (sand, mud, gravel, and dirt), and it's handled them all very well. Have I gotten stuck in the mud before? Yup, but so were some of the AWD pickups that day.

The interior of the MZ3 is a bit smaller than other vehicles in its class for rear passengers, but the trunk room (in the HB) is excellent. The trunk is wider than the BMW 3 series wagon and 4 series GC. Those BMW's have a short area that's a bit wider, but then it tapers in by 12in for the majority of the trunk length. That was a letdown since I like to put my bike in my trunk and it made it more difficult.
 

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^ any bmw/audi/merc will get destroyed by a teenager. It not only beating on it, it's not keeping up with the maintenance. I just spent 2k fixing my bmw I beat on to hand down to my brother who's 16. I pretty much expect that car to be gone in a few years. Rip.
 
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