10 Best Used BMW Models To Buy In 2024

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A used BMW: the very definition of a double-edged sword. Acquiring a used BMW is a decision that can either be your crowning achievement or a permanent haunt in your nightmares. Choosing the right model can be pure automotive bliss. Choosing the wrong one is a direct path to financial ruin.



Some used BMW models are certified smash hits and others we wouldn’t touch if you paid us. Yet, in 2024, there have never been so many quality options for the discerning BMW enthusiast looking for a great deal. While reliability is always a lingering question in BMW ownership, our list avoids the biggest offenders and embraces the most solid platforms. Join us in discovering the most dependable bang-for-buck BMW models available today.

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including BMW, Car & Driver, KBB, Classic.com, and Ultimate Specs.


10 2019 BMW F22 2-Series M240i

Used Car Prices: $25,000 – $35,000

Orange 2019 BMW M240i Coupe
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The most expensive BMW model on this list is unsurprisingly the newest as well. Yet, that high price point is not without reason. The F-chassis F22 2-series Coupe offers the absolute best engine on this list, the B58 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six.

Performance Specifications

Engine

B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

335 HP

Torque

368 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

4.8 seconds

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

Not only is the B58 the best engine on this list, but it is one of the best engines on the market, period. It is without question one of BMW’s best-ever engines and one of the best engines of all time. Combine this smooth inline-six heart with a six-speed manual transmission– it’s a match made in heaven. Because the F22 M240i is the cheapest way into the B58 experience, it earns its spot on our list.

Pros

  • B58 turbocharged inline-six – one of the best engines ever made
  • Six-speed manual available
  • Modern and improved infotainment compared to the previous generation

Cons

9 2014 F22 2-Series BMW M235i

Used Car Prices: $15,000 – $25,000

Blue 2014 BMW M235i
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While the B58 engine may be one of the best BMW products ever, it was not available in the 2-series until the 2017 model year refresh (LCI). Pre-LCI M235i models instead featured the B58’s predecessor, the N55 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N55 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

332 HP

Torque

331 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.0 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

The N55 engine, even in its stock form, offers amazing overall performance. Although similar in power output compared to its B58 successor, it overall is not as robust. Thus, as the N55-powered models get older, diligent upkeep, quality fluids, and regular maintenance will ensure the longest possible lifespan. Name another inline-six engine that makes over 300 horsepower and averages over 30 mpg on the highway. We’ll wait.

Pros

  • Offers the most powerful variant of the solid N55 engine
  • Six-speed manual available
  • The most compact BMW coupe of its generation

Cons

  • Cost – diligent upkeep is a requirement as many models reach near the 100,000-mile mark
  • Electronic steering is not as visceral or responsive as the previous generation
  • Curb weight and overall dimensional increase compared to 1-series

8 2011 E82 BMW 135i Coupe

Used Car Prices: $10,000 – $18,000

Grey 2011 BMW 135i Coupe
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Of all the used BMW models on the list, the 2011 BMW 135i Coupe may be the overall best bang-for-buck package. Its current price point is much cheaper than any new vehicle on the market, let alone a German performance coupe.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N55 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

302 HP

Torque

295 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.3 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

The 2011 model year combined every part of what made the E-series generation so special. It was the smallest and lightest form factor available where you could get a six-speed manual along with the N55 engine and LCI updates. The BMW 1-Series hydraulic steering rack is among the best steering feel in any BMW, ever. Pound for pound, the 2011 135i Coupe is one of the most solid driver’s cars BMW ever made.

Pros

  • Best “bang for buck” model on the list – overall amazing performance
  • Legendary steering feel
  • The lowest curb weight of any BMW N55-powered model

Cons

  • Diligent upkeep is a requirement as many models reach an average over the 100,000-mile mark
  • Some common engine issues are not cheap to fix (e.g. HPFP)
  • Scarce availability in Six-speed manual

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7 2011 E92 BMW 335i Coupe

Used Car Prices: $8,000 – $18,000

White 2011 BMW 335i Coupe
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Our first BMW 3-series on the list is also a special one. When stylized in the LCI M-sport trim with Coral Red Dakota leather, the 2011 335i Coupe offers everything you could want out of a BMW sports coupe. While heavier overall than its 1-series brother, the 3-series variant does offer usable rear seating and overall practicality.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N55 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

302 HP

Torque

295 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.5 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

Those who need even more comfort and space also have the option of the E90 sedan body. If you consider yourself a BMW enthusiast and haven’t driven one of these with the six-speed manual, you are 100% missing out. The hype is real about the 2011-2012 335i model being one of the most reliable 3-series 335i model available across all available years.

Pros

  • The only model year to get an N55 engine in an E9X chassis
  • Hydraulic steering feel is just shy of 1-Series quality and feedback
  • Gorgeous overall package in LCI M-sport trim, before the 3-series got much larger overall dimensions

Cons

  • Diligent upkeep is a requirement as many models reach an average over the 100,000-mile mark
  • Some common engine issues are not cheap to fix (e.g. HPFP)
  • Scarce availability in 6-speed manual

6 2009 E82 BMW 135i Coupe

Used Car Prices: $8,000 – $15,000

White 2009 BMW 135i Coupe
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The 2009 BMW 135i Coupe is in the top three quickest cars on our list. This is thanks to the pairing of the lowest curb weight of any BMW model featuring the twin-turbo N54 3.0-liter inline-six.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N54 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

302 HP

Torque

295 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.2 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

The N54 engine was BMW’s first mass-produced turbocharged engine. Up to this point, BMW had mastered the naturally aspirated inline-six platform, but integrating turbos was the next challenge. Thus, being the first of its kind and a first for the brand, it makes the N54 engine a guinea pig of sorts. This means the N54 is amazing when it’s running great and a nightmare when it isn’t. Of all the options on the list, it is the N54-powered models that are the least reliable despite their capability.

  • Insane tuning capability, power potential, and aftermarket support
  • Legendary steering feel
  • The lowest curb weight of any BMW model featuring the twin-turbo N54 engine

Cons

  • Extensive maintenance history is critical before purchase, most examples will exceed the 100,000-mile mark.
  • Common engine issues could break the bank (fuel injectors, HPFP, turbos)
  • Scarce availability in Six-speed manual

5 2011 E91 BMW 328i Touring

Used Car Prices: $4,000 – $15,000

Grey 2011 BMW 328i
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Our first naturally aspirated model on the list is the 2011 E91 328i Touring. Featuring the N52 3.0-liter engine, it is perhaps the most reliable engine on the entire list.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N52 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

231 HP

Torque

200 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

6.7 secs

Top Speed

151 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

There is no shortage of N52-powered models making it to 200,000+ miles. Most of the turbo models on this list cannot boast the same. Thus, while much more docile in the performance metrics compared to a 335i model, the trade-off is a lower upkeep cost and increased reliability.

In the rare Touring variant with a six-speed manual, this is as nice of a family Autobahn cruiser as you could imagine. If BMW had made a 335i variant of the Touring model stateside, we would have had no issue selling a kidney for one.

Pros

Cons

  • Scarce availability of Touring variant equipped with six-speed manual
  • No turbocharged high-performance variant
  • Most examples will exceed the 100,000-mile mark

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4 2010 E82 BMW 128i Coupe

Used Car Prices: $4,000 – $12,000

Blue 2010 BMW 128i Coupe
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If you are looking for the ultimate bare-bones E82 model, this is the one. The 128i Coupe is the true no-frills chassis and the cheapest way into a 1-Series. These are growing in popularity as no-option 128i models are the most lightweight 1-Series chassis available.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N52 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

231 HP

Torque

200 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

6.4 secs

Top Speed

151 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

Just like the larger E9X 328i, the N52 engine in the E82 128i boasts reliability compared to its turbocharged counterparts. Yet, there is a trade-off. The 128i loses the OEM BBK, bi-xenon headlights, and M-sport trim compared to the performance-focused 135i. Yet, if reliability and curb weight are more valuable than aesthetics and performance in your book, you can’t go wrong with the E82 128i Coupe.

Pros

  • The ultimate lightweight 1-Series model
  • The N52 engine is the most balanced and reliable engine on the entire list
  • Legendary steering feel

Cons

  • Justifying prices when considering the large performance gap to the 135i model
  • Unattractive exterior compared to M-Sport 135i counterpart
  • Halogen head and taillights on a modern German luxury coupe are embarrassing

3 2007 E90 BMW 335i Sedan

Used Car Prices: $3,000 – $10,000

Red 2007 BMW 335i Sedan
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Of all the used BMWs on this list, this is the one with the highest chance of breaking your heart. The E90 335i Sedan is the most prevalent BMW model offering the desirable yet dangerous N54 engine. If there is a double-edged sword that defines BMW, it is this model.

Performance Specifications

Engine

N54 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

302 HP

Torque

295 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

5.6 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

It is common to find these pre-LCI high-performance models a dime a dozen under $10,000. Why? It’s because they likely have another $10,000 waiting in repairs that are required to make them roadworthy. A sad and vicious cycle occurs as individuals who can’t afford ownership become enticed by low prices. Sometimes you can’t “fix her”. Although there are well-maintained models still available, you may end up paying more than you want for a clean example with a manual transmission.

Pros

  • The cheapest way to N54 engine ownership
  • Insane tuning capability, power potential, and aftermarket support
  • Plentiful availability compared to other 335i models

Cons

  • Most examples will exceed the 100,000-mile mark and lack a quality maintenance history
  • Common engine issues could break the bank (fuel injectors, HPFP, Turbos)
  • Scarce availability in six-speed manual

2 2004 E46 BMW 330Ci Coupe

Used Car Prices: $3,000 – $10,000

Red 2004 BMW 330Ci Coupe
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The only E46 on our list is a well-rounded performance package. The 2004 330Ci model brought a well-deserved power bump compared to the 328i E46 model, along with LCI refresh upgrades and the updated six-speed manual transmission.

Performance Specifications

Engine

M54 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission

6-speed manual

Horsepower

225 HP

Torque

214 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

6.1 secs

Top Speed

155 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

The 330Ci is one of the best E46 models outside the rare ZHP package and the expensive M3 model. Yet, it’s now 20 years old in 2024 and its age shows compared with the E9X model. Interior quality is very disappointing and most E46 owners consider working A/C a true luxury. Infotainment? Not here. Most would be happy with a working audio system.

Pros

  • Best bang for the buck E46 model in 2024
  • The M54 engine power output is comparable to the more modern and efficient N52 engine
  • Great 6-speed transmission and balanced chassis

Cons

  • Justifying prices when considering the quality gap compared to any E9X model
  • Oil leaks, coolant leaks, leaks everywhere
  • Rear subframe reinforcement/rear diff bushing maintenance is non-optional

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1 1997 BMW E36 328i Sedan

Used Car Prices: $3,000 – $10,000

Green 1997 BMW E36 328i Sedan
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The E36 328i is the BMW equivalent of playing with Lego. You can take parts from almost any other BMW model and shape your unique expression with the E36 as the canvas. It helps that prices for E36 models have bottomed out for many years now.

However, it is unlikely to find a running manual transmission 328i model for $3,000 without fighting somebody for it. Despite this, even the cleanest models will still require some work one way or the other, but that is not unexpected for any vehicle over 25 years of age.

Performance Specifications

Engine

M52 3.0-liter inline-six

Transmission

5-speed manual

Horsepower

190 HP

Torque

206 pound-feet

Driveline

RWD

0-60 MPH

7.3 secs

Top Speed

147 mph

(Data was collected from Ultimate Specs)

Yet, the 328i model E36 still earns its place on this list if you are looking for a simple and balanced expression of BMW excellence. A well-maintained example can easily reach the 200,000-mile mark and beyond. Thus, the best deal you can get on the initial price is critical as you’ll need some additional cash reserves for things as they break (they will).

Pros

  • A well-sorted example is everything you could ever ask of a BMW 3-series
  • Solid entry price point and cheap to fix compared to newer generations
  • Heavy aftermarket support, modularity, and parts availability

Cons

  • Slow by modern standards
  • Rear subframe reinforcement/rear diff bushing maintenance is non-optional
  • Rust

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