If you want a car that gets you from A to B without missing a beat, BMW is the brand for you. The German auto manufacturer is known for combining luxury with performance.
The end result is a collection of cars that deliver superb reliability and look good as they do it. Just remember one thing: if reliability is your priority, steer clear of cars with more tricks up their sleeve than Penn & Teller.
Typically speaking, the more complicated mechanisms a car has, the more likely it is to experience a fault. But stick to the basic models, keep up a good maintenance schedule, and you'll not go wrong with BMW. To find out which cars make our list of the top ten most reliable BMW models of all-time, stay tuned.
1. BMW 318i
Prior to 2002, the BMW 318i was also known as the E46. But whether you remember it as the E46 or the 318i, you'll remember it most for its reliability. Letsdrivecar.com has named it one of the most reliable BMW's ever made, and we're not inclined to disagree.
It's also a powerful beast whose 2.0-liter engine is capable of delivering 141 hp. Needless to say, it's not lacking in the style department either. If you want a reliable motor with the good looks to match, you're not going to be disappointed in the 318i.
2. BMW 325i
Instamotor.com rates the 2005 BMW 325i as one of the best BMW's ever made. It's not hard to work out why. Its N52 engine is a reliable dreamboat, turning what was once a series plagued by problems into one of BMW's most reliable.
Trouble-free, and as quiet as a mouse, the BMW 325i is a family car with a difference - just make sure to buy a post-2005 model if you want to avoid any upset.
3. BMW E90 328
Motorbiscuit.com has already waxed lyrical about the beauty and the reliability of the BMW E90 328, but there's always room for a little more praise. Boasting the same N52 engine that gives the 325i its power, the BMW E90 328 is a spacious dream of a car that packs a powerful punch. Powerful, comfortable, and reliable, it offers a satisfying drive and blissfully few problems.
4. BMW F40
Remember when we said the more basic the car, the better reliability? We weren't lying, and you can't get much more basic and much more reliable than the BMW 1-series. The successor to the BMW 3 Series Compact is a compact hatchback with enough great features to keep you happy, but not enough to result in a big repair bill.
The latest incarnation, the F40, was released last year. So far, it's proving as trouble-free as its predecessors. As an added bonus, it's also one of the most affordable vehicles in the BMW range.
5. BMW 528i
2010 marked a good year in BMW history, if for no other reason than the upgraded 528i. Basic enough to deliver superb reliability but luxurious enough to keep pace with the fancy offerings from Mercedes et al, it featured a stack of great functions (including a 4-D surround sound system, 10-way adjustable seats with seat memory, heated mirrors, and climate-controlled storage comparts) along with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that packed 230 horsepower.
Powerful, stylish, and, most importantly of all, reliable, it represents one of the best additions to the Series 5 lineup to date.
6. BMW i3
In October this year. the 200000th BMW i3 rolled off the production line. Now that's a lot of cars, by anyone's reckoning. So, what makes the i3 so popular?
For a start, it's one of the most reliable electric vehicles on the market. In lab conditions, it's capable of travelling 186-miles on a single charge. In real life, that figure obviously comes down a little, but even so, it's impressive stuff.
Although it's not quite as powerful as traditional gas-guzzlers, it's still capable of punching out 170hp, peak torque of 184lb-ft, and a top speed of 93mph. Push your foot to the floor and you can expect to get from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds - again, not necessarily great when you compare it to petrol and diesel cars, but an outstanding achievement for an EV.
But obviously, we're looking at reliability as much as power today, and in that regard, the i3 doesn't disappoint. Since its launch, it's been remarkably free of complaint - a rare feat for both gas-powered cars and electric ones. If you're happy to save the world but aren't willing to break down while you do it, the i3 is the car for you.
7. BMW X3
As cashcarsbuyer.com notes, the 2006-2013 BMW X3 is the perfect ride for anyone looking for a reliable SUV BMW. Comfortable, fast, and capable of navigating even the bumpiest road with grace, it's a powerful workhorse that won't let you down. Giving its size, it's also remarkably fuel-efficient.
8. BMW 750i
In 2008, BMW released an update on the BMW 750i that managed to attract more than its fair share of fans. Its 4.8-liter V8 engine delivered headline-grabbing performance, while its bevy of state-of-the-art features (including lounge lizard heated seats and a 4-D surround system) proved remarkably problem-free.
The spacious layout, luxurious finishes, and elongated length combined to create a modern classic - and fortunately, one very unlikely to require roadside assistance.
9. BMW Z4
The BMW Z4 is an impressive car with superb dependability and exciting performance. Available in a range of engine sizes, it delivers on all fronts. With enough power to thrill fun-seekers and enough safety features to suit the safety-conscious, it's easily one of BMW's most reliable models.
10. BMW M4
If you want a car that goes above and beyond the call of duty, you'd be well advised to consider the M4. A zippy version of the 4 series that's nimble enough on its feet to please speed freaks and reliable enough to please everyone else, it's a great little car that makes a fine addition to the series.
The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine packs a whopping 425 horsepower, but unlike many turbo engines, remains blissfully free of maintenance issues. If you long for a fast car but aren't prepared to spend the next decade dealing with the dealership, this reliable option is well worth considering.
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Written by Benjamin Smith
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