10 best BMWs to buy used

BMW 2002 turbo - Front

When listing the largest German car manufacturers, most gearboxes will: BMW in their top three. This is no surprise given that BMW has produced some of the best luxury cars since its founding in 1916. Easily recognizable in every corner of the globe, the BMW emblem is generally associated with luxury, advanced engineering, performance and safety.

RELATED: These Are the 10 Sickest BMW Sports Cars Ever

BMW has established itself as one of Europe’s top luxury manufacturers, which is why most gearboxes cannot afford to buy their new models. However, if you’ve always wanted a Bimmer but don’t have the cash to splurge on the latest models, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of great options on the used car market, some of which you can buy for peanuts. Let’s take a look at some of the best used BMWs you can buy.

10 M5 E60

The BMW M5 has always been one of the coolest sports sedans because it offers luxury, functionality and speed. However, the E60 generation of the M5 took things to a whole new level.

The most outstanding feature of the E60 M5 is its engine – fitted with a 5.0-litre V10 engine that put out 500 horsepower, the E60 M5 was insanely fast. Many gearboxes consider the E60 M5 one of the best V10-powered cars ever, and we wouldn’t disagree.

9 325i (E30)

In the mid-1970s, BMW introduced perhaps the best model ever: the 3-series. The 3 Series is a beautiful compact executive car that has been a huge commercial success for BMW, with over 2 million units sold. Of all the seven generations of the 3-series BMW has built, the E30 is arguably the best.

Gearheads loved the E30 for its beautiful design, fantastic driving dynamics and solid build quality. The E30 is also one of the best German project cars you can buy, as it’s still affordable and has plenty of customization options.

8 Z3 M

When cheap Japanese sports cars began to flood the market in the 1990s, European manufacturers knew they had to change tactics if they were to survive. BMW’s idea was to build a new entry-level sports car to take on the Japanese, and in 1995 they unveiled the Z3.

RELATED: Here Are The Coolest European Convertibles The Average Gearhead Can Afford

The Z3 was the first mass-produced roadster produced by BMW and was loved for its sporty design and driving feel. In 1998 the M division produced a high-performance version of the Z3. Also known as the Z3 M, this car was a blast to drive, as it had a 315 hp inline six under the hood paired with a five-speed manual transmission.

7 2002

Before the introduction of the 3-Series in the mid-1970s, the 2002 was the best BMW executive compact car money could buy. The 2002 was very popular because it had everything gearboxes needed – it had a stylish design, excellent driving dynamics and was quite affordable.

The standard 2002 was equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, good for a weak 118 hp. Fortunately, BMW later introduced an improved turbocharged version with 168 horses and 177 lb-ft of torque.

6 i8

Hybrid supercars such as the McLaren Speedtail and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale are currently taking over. About a decade ago, however, hybrid supercars were a rare sight until BMW built the i8.

The i8 impressed many with its striking design, inspired by the iconic M1 and of course the hybrid powertrain. Since BMW stopped producing the i8 in 2020, it would be a great buy today as prices are expected to start rising.

5 Z4 E89

The aforementioned Z3 was so popular that BMW knew it had to build a worthy successor – the Z4. The Z4 debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2002, where it impressed with its sporty design. The Z4 has been a huge success since its introduction and is still in production.

We especially love the second-generation Z4 (E89) and think it would be a great buy today as it’s affordable and still looks great by today’s standards. A 302-horsepower twin-turbo inline-six also makes it a joy to drive.

4 X3 E83

The demand for SUVs grew rapidly around the world in the early 2000s. So in 2003, BMW rolled up its sleeves and built the fantastic X3. The X3 was a huge hit and was widely regarded as the first premium mid-sized SUV on the market.

RELATED: 9 Coolest European SUVs Ever Made

The first generation X3 combined style, luxury, functionality and safety, which is why it has remained popular ever since. There were several engine options for the E83 X3, the most powerful being a 3.0-litre inline six that produced 268 horsepower.

3 5 Series E28

If you’re looking for a stylish old-school luxury sedan that still looks great and performs well, the second-generation BMW 5 Series (E28) has all your needs.

Despite being built over four decades ago, the E28 still commands respect and has the shark nose that BMW enthusiasts love so much. As long as you follow proper maintenance practices, this car will serve you well.

2 M3 E46

The E30 generation was the first 3 Series with an M3 version. We like the E30 M3, but the E46 generation was a lot better. The E46 M3 debuted in 2000 and impressed with its gearboxes.

The E46 M3 was powered by the latest evolution of BMW’s fantastic naturally aspirated S50 engine – a 3.2-liter inline six that produces 338 ponies and 269 lb-ft of torque.

1 2010 E90 M3 GTS

The E90 GTS is a special limited edition version of the M3 that BMW built in 2010. Available only as a coupé, the M3 GTS featured several upgrades over the standard M3, including a revised suspension system, improved brakes, reduced curb weight and adjustable aerodynamics.

The M3 GTS also had an upgraded engine: a 4.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 that produced 444 horsepower. With only 135 built, the E90 M3 GTS is one of the rarest BMW models ever.