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A used BMW luxury car might be a much more tempting prospect than a newer economy option. However, posh badges often carry expensive ownership costs, including the occasional irritating mechanical or electrical issues. You might want to steer clear of these used BMW models if you want to avoid some frustrating owner-reported engine problems, like in the 2014 BMW 328i, 2003 325i, and 2007 335i. 

Which used BMW cars might have engine problems?

While a modern 2023 BMW 3 Series earns an 81 out of 100 for predicted reliability according to J.D. Power, some used cars in the Bavarian marque’s library have owner complaints for engine problems:

  • 2003 BMW 325i
  • 2014 BMW 328i
  • 2007 BMW 335i
  • 2013 BMW 528i

Still, even with as many as 90 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports of engine problems in the 2007 BMW 335i, the used BMW cars have far fewer owner complaints than some competitors. For instance, the 2007 Lexus ES 350 has 162 owner reports of engine issues, per Car Complaints

However, some problems, like stalling and leaks, could be costly and irritating. Moreover, none of the models earned an “avoid-it-like-the-plague” badge from Car Complaints’ evaluators, like that on a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  

Is a 2003 BMW 325i a reliable car?

The E46-generation 2003 BMW 325i gets a 4.0 out of 5.0 from based on owner and driver reliability experiences. However, the 2003 model also has some NHTSA complaints of engine problems. For instance, 34 reports of drivetrain issues include faulty cooling system components and irritating leaks. 

A used 2003 BMW 3 Series car, like the 325i, poses next to a German sign.
An E46 M3 | BMW

Is the 2014 BMW 328i a good first car?

The 2014 BMW 328i from the F30 generation might be affordable compared to newer models, but it’s not the best car for first-time owners and drivers. Unfortunately, the 2014 328i exhibits 75 NHTSA complaints of engine troubles, including timing chain and cooling system issues at as little as 44,698 miles. 

Moreover, the BMW model’s average repair and maintenance costs are more prohibitive for new drivers than a cheaper option, like a Chevrolet Impala or Toyota Camry. Specifically, the 2014 BMW 328i has an average annual repair cost of around $677. 

A used red 2014 BMW 328i cruises a coastal road.
An F30 3 Series | BMW

Is the 2007 BMW 335i a used car with engine issues?

Unfortunately, the 2007 BMW 335i from the first year of the E90 generation has documented owner complaints of engine issues. For instance, the NHTSA has around 90 complaints of engine problems like cooling system failures, vehicle speed control faults, and fuel injector issues. 

A 2007 BMW 335i in a press kit.
An E90-generation 3 Series | BMW

What problems does a used 2013 BMW 528i have?

The most common issues with the 2013 BMW 528i are engine and drivetrain related. Specifically, the 2013 model has 59 complaints of engine problems, like a faulty plastic timing chain guide that could lead to catastrophic engine failure. 

Additionally, the used BMW car model might have drivetrain faults that could illuminate the Drivetrain Malfunction Light and stall the car.  

Are these used BMW cars worth it?

Used BMW cars from the E46, E90, F30, and F10 generation cars aren’t known for being catastrophically unreliable. Still, they will probably not be as drama-free as a vehicle like a Toyota Avalon. However, BMW cars from these generations could be fun, enjoyable luxury models with proper care and regular service interval adherence. 


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