Why Is BMW So Popular If They Are Unreliable and Expensive?

The point of expert reviews and top-ranking lists is to educate consumers about which vehicles present the most value, reliability, and safety. But some car brands and models that fail to top these lists continue to be fan favorites among car buyers. BMW is one such brand, known for its performance and luxury models, that routinely finds its cars on the lists for least reliable and most expensive. So, why are they still so popular? What is it about driving a BMW that has consumers love so much?

BMW is an expensive car with marginal reliability

While the pricing varies, it’s understood that BMW vehicles land at the higher end of the price spectrum. The 2020 BMW 3 Series can run anywhere from $40,000 to $50,000. These same cars, as reported by Consumer Reports, have poor reliability ratings, ranking 11th out of a class of 16 models.

And buying the BMW isn’t the only costly feature. Maintenance, parts, and repairs for these German-made rides make BMWs some of the most expensive cars to own, as well. 

You can’t put a price tag on fun and performance

In trying to identify what makes the BMW brand so popular, one word keeps reappearing – performance. At the end of the day, BMW is synonymous with power and performance, making it the sporty luxury brand that’s fun to drive. Some even say that only BMW can offer sheer driving pleasure.

Whether it’s the company’s attention to weight distribution, the common rear-wheel drive, or the more responsive steering, all models are designed with performance in mind. The engines are smart as are the gearboxes, that offer quick acceleration, a boosting response, and smooth shifting. These cars swallow curves and hug the pavement, unlike most. The prestige of the blue and white badge doesn’t hurt either. 

Commuters love their BMW cars

BMW spends extra time on designing style and comfort in their vehicles. When you marry performance with this upscale level of comfort, you have a top pick for commuters. People who spend great lengths of time each day in their cars want something that drives well but is also comfortable and smart. The reputation of the brand helps commuters make a statement when they pull up to the office, too.

The popular opinion among the masses

Taking to the Reddit threads, it’s evident this question comes up – what’s so great about a BMW? Most of the comments point out it’s about status first and performance second. People insist their cars represent their personalities and make a strong first impression.

BMW and its iconic badge epitomize sophistication and wealth. One Reddit commenter said, “they’re good looking cars, and people like good looking cars.” Another pointed out owning a BMW is all about signifying class and success.

BMW continues to offer variety


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Other luxury brands sometimes offer models within niche segments. BMW tends to branch out. Variety in model, trims, packages, and features makes finding the perfect BMW for consumers relatively easy.

It continues to be a brand to meets the needs of families who want SUVs, consumers who want luxurious performance sedans, and even those who need aggressive and sporty convertibles. The German automaker recognizes it has the ability to produce top-performing models that scratch nearly every itch car buyers have.

It really boils down to personal preferences when it comes to buying cars. Even the poor reliability and high-end price tags don’t deter buyers from parking BMW models in their garages. It may just be the sheer variety of performance and status mashups that seals the deal for most consumers. Whatever the allure may be and regardless of its ranking in reliability and price, BMW is winning.