Avoid These BMW Models if You Want to Save on Expensive Repair Costs

Whether you’re buying a brand-new or used BMW, the topic of long-term repair costs is likely on your mind. Thanks to steady depreciation, some six-figure BMW models now sell for pennies on the dollar. However, just because they’re cheap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tread carefully.

A new study conducted by Consumer Reports looks at the average costs of servicing various BMW models. As a result, we get a clear picture of some of the models you should avoid if you want to avoid expensive repair costs.

BMW 7 Series – $86,800 MSRP

An image of a BMW 750 Li parked on a road.
2020 BMW 750Li rear | BMW

First up on this list of BMWs with expensive repair costs is the 7-Series. Since the 7-Series range is quite diverse, prices vary depending on trim level and model year. For example, if we take the 2019 model, Edmunds reports that you’ll pay around $7,879 in maintenance in the first five years. This doesn’t include an additional $2,561 you’ll reportedly spend on repairs. As a result, owning one of these luxurious sedans long-term can quickly add up.

Thanks to Consumer Reports, we can see exactly how much you’ll pay for some of these BMW maintenance and repair items. If your AC compressor needs replacing on a 750Li, Consumer Reports found that it will cost you around $4,453. In contrast, the average cost for this repair is around $1,211.

If your alternator goes wrong in a BMW M760i xDrive, Consumer Reports found that you’re looking at a $2,810 repair bill. For context, the average price for this repair is $825. While these repairs are quite expensive, they are less likely to happen when a vehicle is brand-new. However, if you are looking at used options, you should be extra careful.

BMW M4 – $71,800 MSRP

A digital image of a BMW M4 in a studio.
2020 BMW M4 side | BMW

If you’re looking at sports cars, the BMW M4 looks like a great option. Despite its $71,800 base price, depreciation hits sporty BMWs especially hard. However, like the other models on this list, you’ll want to watch out for expensive repair costs.

To keep things consistent, we’ll also look at how much Edmunds estimates you’ll pay for a 2019 model. According to Edmunds, a 2019 M4 will cost you around $8,038 in maintenance costs during the first five years. In terms of repairs, you’ll reportedly end up spending around $2,561.

According to Consumer Reports, a normal fuel pump replacement costs $1,135 on average. However, if you have an M4, you’ll likely have to pay around $3,589, says Consumer Reports. It is also worth noting that since the M4 is a performance model, it has many bespoke components you won’t be able to find for less, thanks to widespread availability.

BMW i8 – $147,500 MSRP

The BMW i8 was BMW's all-electric supercar.
BMW i8 Roadster | BMW

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Last on this list of BMW models to avoid due to repair costs is a supercar bargain. Despite the i8’s massive $147,500 base price, used examples regularly sell for less than $70,000. Despite this, early savings on pricing can become a repair cost nightmare.

According to Edmunds, a 2019 BMW i8 will cost you around $6,410 in maintenance during the first five years. On top of that, you’re looking at around $2,710 in estimated repairs. It is also worth noting that since the i8 is part of a tiny range of electric vehicles, parts may be harder to come by. There is also the question of the costly battery pack that raises long-term concerns.

Regardless of which BMW model you’re looking at, there is no denying the appeal. However, now you can approach them knowing exactly what you’re getting into.