A Newer BMW?

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British Columbia, Canada
I'm thinking of replacing my 2000 528i M-sport 5-speed manual BMW with a comparable but much newer BMW. I bought this one 3 years old and it's been a terrific car but it's getting old. I wonder if BMW even makes my kind of car anymore. And there's no point in searching for something that doesn't exist. Here are the features I'd like: • Manual transmission - 3 pedals • I6 engine (possibly an N55) • Engine with a dip stick • 2, 3, 4 or 5 series • Ideally 2 - 5 years old • Prefer a full or at least a temporary use spare tire • Prefer not to have run flat tires Is there a BMW that meets those requirements? So far the best alternative I've found is the 2018/2019 Honda Accord Sport 2.0 liter 6-speed. The Civic SI 6-speed would work except the styling is too "boy racer" for me. I have high hopes for the 2019 Mazda 3 6-speed. I like Mazda 6s too but you can't get a new one with a manual transmission anymore. I'd like a VW GTI but they're probably not reliable enough and I don't care for the dealers or the company; same goes for Audi.
 

ecotourist

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British Columbia, Canada
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
A GTI isn't reliable enough for you so you're after a turbo BMW? You're in for some fun.
Yes the reliability of newer BMWs is a concern. And people say to stay away from BMW V8s and I4s too. There is always the N52 I6 but they're getting pretty old too. The ideal would be my current 528i as a new car!
 
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771
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GA
There isn't a 2-5 year old gas BMW with a dipstick. Why is this a big deal? I got over it pretty quick with mine. Manuals are harder to find, but they are out there. The ZF automatics are actually pretty good though. Try out an M235i, you might like it. Or an M3/M4. They are certainly better driver's cars than an Accord or Civic. I'm all about the BMW's of the past, but newer ones are pretty good too. And I'd rather have an automatic BMW with runflats and no dipstick than an Accord anyday.
 
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5,351
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Atlanta,GA
Originally Posted by ecotourist
I'm thinking of replacing my 2000 528i M-sport 5-speed manual BMW with a comparable but much newer BMW. I bought this one 3 years old and it's been a terrific car but it's getting old. I wonder if BMW even makes my kind of car anymore. And there's no point in searching for something that doesn't exist. Here are the features I'd like: • Manual transmission - 3 pedals • I6 engine (possibly an N55) • Engine with a dip stick • 2, 3, 4 or 5 series • Ideally 2 - 5 years old • Prefer a full or at least a temporary use spare tire • Prefer not to have run flat tires Is there a BMW that meets those requirements? So far the best alternative I've found is the 2018/2019 Honda Accord Sport 2.0 liter 6-speed. The Civic SI 6-speed would work except the styling is too "boy racer" for me. I have high hopes for the 2019 Mazda 3 6-speed. I like Mazda 6s too but you can't get a new one with a manual transmission anymore. I'd like a VW GTI but they're probably not reliable enough and I don't care for the dealers or the company; same goes for Audi.
For your date range: You won't find a dipstick for any of the newer I6 gas engines (N55 or B58). RFT's generally speaking are standard on all non-M's. There's no place for a dedicated spare so it'll be a slime kit, unless you want to just keep a temp spare in your trunk. Manuals can be found of course. They're much fewer of them. Now I will be selling my 2015 435i this spring/summer. It's an automatic and I don't have a spare. IJS.
 
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missouri
A newer BMW often costs about the same to own per month new with warranty and used off warranty. What you save on payment and insurance will be spent on repairs. If you are able to do the repairs yourself then consider getting one. There are enthusiasts that have posted many helpful videos. A manual and a way to read and reset codes is essential. The same is true for MB, Audi, and VW. Just getting maintenance caught up can be quite expensive. Rod
 
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
A newer BMW often costs about the same to own per month new with warranty and used off warranty. What you save on payment and insurance will be spent on repairs. If you are able to do the repairs yourself then consider getting one. There are enthusiasts that have posted many helpful videos. A manual and a way to read and reset codes is essential. The same is true for MB, Audi, and VW. Just getting maintenance caught up can be quite expensive. Rod
+1 Which is why I'd recommend purchasing one with extensive repair/service details (records). Anything less and you'll be wishing you got something else.
 

ecotourist

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Originally Posted by drtyler
There isn't a 2-5 year old gas BMW with a dipstick. Why is this a big deal?
Some BMW engines use oil and some don't. According to my BMW repair place, the low oil light often gives false readings. If the low oil light comes on, do you add oil? My repair place says it would be preferable to bring the car in and they'll try to figure out whether it's low on oil or if the sensor is malfunctioning. I'd rather have a dip stick. Apparently they often retrofit a dip stick to N55 motors for just that reason. I often take long drives where I will be 150 miles from a major service center in any direction. So a run flat tire is going to get pretty warm by the time I get to a place that can replace it (likely meaning they will order one for delivery in a day or two). The new Accord with the 2.0 and 6 speed is a really nice car. Test drive one. It'll surprise you. Comparing my old BMW to my old Accord (with slightly more miles on the Accord), they're both nice cars, they're both pretty reliable, and they're both easy to work on. The Accord costs a lot less for repairs and maintenance, uses less and cheaper fuel, and is a bit faster than the BMW. The BMW has more comfortable seats, rides better, is quieter, and handles and brakes a bit better. The Accord as a new car and the BMW as a 3 year old car cost almost the same. The Accord (with more miles on it) is currently worth more than the BMW.
 
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Earth
Originally Posted by drtyler
There isn't a 2-5 year old gas BMW with a dipstick. Why is this a big deal? I got over it pretty quick with mine. Manuals are harder to find, but they are out there. The ZF automatics are actually pretty good though. Try out an M235i, you might like it. Or an M3/M4. They are certainly better driver's cars than an Accord or Civic. I'm all about the BMW's of the past, but newer ones are pretty good too. And I'd rather have an automatic BMW with runflats and no dipstick than an Accord anyday.
some E90s came with GM auto trans.
 
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11,683
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Colorado Springs
OK, 2-5 year sold BMW do not have dipstick, but oil level sensors are very accurate. Actually, you can program one of radio buttons to be shortcut to certain menu, and it will pop out at one press of a button. Yes, I still prefer oil dipstick, and yes, BMW is bringing them back in new V8 engines. F series BMW's are actually very reliable so far. They have far less issues than E 60/90 series mostly because E60/90's were platforms where a lot of new technology like IBS was introduced. A lot of those stuff are resolved in later E series but F series are much better from that stand point. N55: get ready for pricy water pump replacement and oil filter housing gasket replacement. Otherwise, very stout engine and should not use any oil. When it comes to manual, welcome to the club. Since I traded in X5 for this POS Toyota due to expanding family, I am looking used BMW, preferably E90 with stick shift. Well, when you search 335i, it shows like 3,000+ cars, you filter it to only manuals it shows 13 cars nation wide, and than I found maybe two with M package or sport package. People hold onto manuals.
 
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11,683
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Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by a2gtinut
Originally Posted by drtyler
There isn't a 2-5 year old gas BMW with a dipstick. Why is this a big deal? I got over it pretty quick with mine. Manuals are harder to find, but they are out there. The ZF automatics are actually pretty good though. Try out an M235i, you might like it. Or an M3/M4. They are certainly better driver's cars than an Accord or Civic. I'm all about the BMW's of the past, but newer ones are pretty good too. And I'd rather have an automatic BMW with runflats and no dipstick than an Accord anyday.
some E90s came with GM auto trans.
A lot of BMW products came with that tranny, including Rolls Royce in early 2000's until maybe 2007. But, it is transmission that is completely different animal than in any GM product, especially programming. GM on other hand got from BMW inline 6 diesel.
 
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771
Location
GA
Well, you can check the oil with the computer instead of waiting for the low oil light. You just have to make sure the car has been driven for 7-10 miles and is warmed up good. I've found the readings to be accurate. The one time that I noticed the level dropping quicker was when the oil filter housing gasket decided to leak (a lot). The oil level on my N52 engine drops about 1/2 quart in 7000 miles, which isn't low enough to add any. I also added the spare tire kit to the trunk. I'm no fan of trusting run flats only, as I do a lot of rural driving too. I've not heard of being able to add a dipstick to the N55 engine. You should ask them for more details on how they do that. I've driven enough new Accords and Camrys as rental cars over the past 10 years. Yes they are nice cars, but they do not offer the handling and braking as a good BMW. That is my opinion, but they sell plenty to folks that want good, reliable cars. If you haven't driven a newer BMW, you should test drive a few and see what you think. If you try the F30 3 series or F10 5 series, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. The turbo 4 are pleasant and surprisingly peppy, but the turbo 6 just makes it more fun :-) The E39 was a good driver's car. I have found the E60 to be quite nice as well, striking a great balance between handling and comfort, especially with the sport package. However, it's probably a bit older than what you are looking for right now.
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by drtyler
There isn't a 2-5 year old gas BMW with a dipstick. Why is this a big deal?
Some BMW engines use oil and some don't. According to my BMW repair place, the low oil light often gives false readings. If the low oil light comes on, do you add oil? My repair place says it would be preferable to bring the car in and they'll try to figure out whether it's low on oil or if the sensor is malfunctioning. I'd rather have a dip stick. Apparently they often retrofit a dip stick to N55 motors for just that reason. I often take long drives where I will be 150 miles from a major service center in any direction. So a run flat tire is going to get pretty warm by the time I get to a place that can replace it (likely meaning they will order one for delivery in a day or two). The new Accord with the 2.0 and 6 speed is a really nice car. Test drive one. It'll surprise you. Comparing my old BMW to my old Accord (with slightly more miles on the Accord), they're both nice cars, they're both pretty reliable, and they're both easy to work on. The Accord costs a lot less for repairs and maintenance, uses less and cheaper fuel, and is a bit faster than the BMW. The BMW has more comfortable seats, rides better, is quieter, and handles and brakes a bit better. The Accord as a new car and the BMW as a 3 year old car cost almost the same. The Accord (with more miles on it) is currently worth more than the BMW.
 
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Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
A GTI isn't reliable enough for you so you're after a turbo BMW? You're in for some fun.
Yes the reliability of newer BMWs is a concern. And people say to stay away from BMW V8s and I4s too. There is always the N52 I6 but they're getting pretty old too. The ideal would be my current 528i as a new car!
Then get into an N55 F10 535i/540i. The engine will give you the least trouble comparatively and it's a pretty solid car overall. The ZF8 is better than the manual - and find one with B&O.
 
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GA
Yes, excellent recommendation.
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
Originally Posted by ecotourist
Originally Posted by rooflessVW
A GTI isn't reliable enough for you so you're after a turbo BMW? You're in for some fun.
Yes the reliability of newer BMWs is a concern. And people say to stay away from BMW V8s and I4s too. There is always the N52 I6 but they're getting pretty old too. The ideal would be my current 528i as a new car!
Then get into an N55 F10 535i/540i. The engine will give you the least trouble comparatively and it's a pretty solid car overall. The ZF8 is better than the manual - and find one with B&O.
 
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2,103
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
Why not look for a BMW certified 340i? It will take some doing and some patience but you can find one with a manual (I have the ZF 8AT and it's excellent, I don't even miss a manual). The B58 has been a stellar engine thus far with some advantages over the N55. I replaced the run-flats on mine before 10k miles, simple enough.
 
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6,389
Location
Connecticut
The F30 3-series is about the same size as an E39 528i. The 2.0T has good power, although I prefer the I-6. The early 2.0T engines had timing chain issues that were fixed in 2015+ models. I'd still avoid the V8s. I hate not having a dipstick, but I've gotten used to the sensor on my E90. It seems to be pretty accurate so far.
 
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