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BMW isn’t typically known for value. The German luxury brand’s cars have a reputation for high MSRPs and high ownership costs. However, there are exceptions. The cheapest BMW boasts a lower purchase price, better ownership experience, and higher resale value than you might expect.

What is the cheapest new BMW of 2023?

The cheapest BMW in 2023 is this BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, shown here in blue
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe | BMW Group

The BMW model with the lowest starting price is the 2 Series. Specifically, it’s the BMW 228i Gran Coupe with front-wheel drive. This four-door compact sedan with a coupe-like body boasts BMW aesthetics and driving dynamics. And it starts at just $38,440. The two-door coupe version of the 2 Series starts at $38,800 for the rear-wheel-drive-equipped 230i.

Although luxury sedans and coupes don’t normally hold their value exceptionally well, the BMW 2 Series is an exception. J.D. Power awarded the 2023 2 Series a “great” 81 out of 100 in resale value. That’s a higher score than other BMW cars, including the 3 Series (79), 4 Series (79), 5 Series (71), and 7 Series (66). So, the larger the Bimmer and the higher the MSRP, the worse the resale value rating.

BMW SUVs don’t fare much better in depreciation. The highest-scoring BMW SUV in resale value per J.D. Power ratings is the X4, with an “average” 80/100. The other crossovers rate in the 70s.

BMW 2 Series Coupe vs. 2 Series Gran Coupe: What’s the difference?

BMW M240i and BMW 230i coupes, part of the 2 Series lineup
BMW M240i and 230i coupes

J.D. Power doesn’t specify individual resale values for the two-door BMW 2 Series Coupe and the four-door Gran Coupe. However, the car research site iSeeCars does.

According to iSeeCars, the two-door has much better resale value than the four-door. It shows that the BMW 2 Series Coupe holds 57.4% of its value after five years, and the four-door Gran Coupe holds only 50.1% of its value in the same period.

The only compact luxury cars with better resale value than the BMW 2 Series Coupe are the Lexus RC, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz CLA, and BMW M3, the high-performance variant of the 3 Series.

Why does resale value matter?

Resale value is important for new car shoppers planning to sell or trade in their cars every few years. If you buy a car with the intention of owning it for more than five years, depreciation and resale value don’t matter as much. However, if you trade in every three years or so, a car with great resale value can save you a considerable amount of money.

For example, if you get a BMW 2 Series Coupe that holds 57.4% of its value after five years instead of an Audi A4 that holds only 47.5%, the 2 Series will get you more money when you sell or better trade-in value at the dealer.

iSeeCars says the average price of a 5-year-old Audi A4 is $25,427, but the average for a 2 Series Coupe after five years is $29,137. So, you pay less for the 2 Series when you buy it new, and you get more money for it when you sell it as a used car. That’s a win-win for the owner.