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The BMW 5 Series is a staple in the luxury car market, and its 50+ year tenure means lots of used options. However, not every 5 Series is your ticket to sublime ownership experiences. Check out four 5 Series models from the last 12 years that you might want to reconsider, like the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2018 BMW 535i. 

Is BMW 5 Series reliable?

The 5 Series has a reputation for high-build quality and, depending on the model year, reliability. However, the 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2018 5 Series models might be problematic. For instance, all four model years earned spots on Consumer Reports’ list of “Used Cars to Avoid Buying.”

Moreover, some models have owner-reported cooling system and engine issues that could be a detriment to the model’s usefulness as a daily driver. For instance, the 2011 BMW 535i has 55 complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about engine issues like oil leaks and water pump failures.   

How many miles does a 2011 BMW 5 Series last?

A 2011 BMW 5 Series should last more than 200,000 or 250,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. However, the 2011 BMW 535i and 550i have owner complaints of engine issues at as little as 65,000 miles. For instance, water pump failures in the 2011 550i could lead to overheating and seizing. 

Is the 2012 5 Series unreliable?

The 2012 BMW 5 Series earned a 3.0 out of 5.0 in terms of reliability, per J.D. Power. While that’s an average score, some of the 2012 5 Series’ trim levels have many owner complaints about engine and drivetrain issues. 

Specifically, 69 528i owners complained about engine issues like timing chain issues. Unfortunately, the average mileage for the engine and drivetrain problems is 51,723, which could mean expensive engine work earlier than owners expect. 

A 535i from the 2011, 2012, and 2013 BMW 5 Series lineup cruises around a corner.
BMW 550i | Mark Elias via Bloomberg via Getty Images

How long do 2013 BMW 5 Series models last?

A 2013 BMW 5 Series could last over 200,000 miles with generous preventative maintenance and care. However, some 2013 5 Series models could run into issues well short of the 200,000-mile mark. 

For instance, 56 NHTSA complaints outline expensive engine issues like timing chain failures at an average of 76,191 miles. Moreover, some instances of timing chain-related engine failure required an engine replacement to the tune of $7,000.  

Related

4 of the Most Unreliable Used Luxury Cars Under $15,000, According to Owners

Is the 2018 BMW 5 Series a good car?

The 2018 5 Series is the newest model on Consumer Reports’ list of problematic used cars. Moreover, the CR Annual Auto Surveys suggest that the BMW model has below-average reliability compared to its closest competitors. 

However, J.D. Power gave the 2018 model a 4.5 out of 5.0 for predicted reliability, an above-average rating. 

What do you think of the 5 Series? Share your thoughts in the comments below!