19 year old buying a BMW 320i 2006 (ish) - good idea or bad?


Asked by Jul 17, 2016 at 02:02 AM about the 2006 BMW 3 Series 320i

Question type: General


So I am a 19 year old who is wanting to buy her first luxury brand car. The BMW
3 series seems like a good option as it is only a 2000cc 4 cylinder car, I travel
20ks each way to work on a daily. I love love the look of this car. I am a little
concerned about maintenance. I know it's expensive, but how expensive? I don't
work in a supermarket or anything, I work a desk job on a salary so I can afford
to fix this car. I just highly prefer not to be draining something like 5 grand down
for a car each year for repairs etc. If I was to buy one I would definitely make an
effort to find one with a full service history, or at least one where it is not
imported in to the country with no records what-so-ever. I would also definitely
get a mechanic (looking for a good BMW mechanic at the moment) to have a
good look through the car and let me know what he thinks of it. I would also
probably get a full maintenance service on it as soon as I get it to avoid as many
repairs as I can. I understand this car is probably not the smartest idea, I get that.
I am not planning on keeping it until it's dead I do want to get a new car every
few years or so (for now anyway). I travel a lot for work, I need something that is
good on gas but I also want something that looks nice. I just want opinions etc.
Would prefer more from people who have had real life experience with the 2006
models and up or the 2005 model as the oldest one. I know the 2005 to 2006
models was were there was a generation change, so I am assuming they would
be very different in terms of reliability etc. Just ideas and thoughts, suggestions. I
think I have my heart set on a European car either way.

6 Answers


If you were my Daughter I'd rather see you spend the money on furthering your education so you can be better off in life instead of on a 10 year old, high end, car that will be expensive to fix and maintain. BMWs are nice but they can get very expensive very quickly! Front end problems, engine maintenance and repair, electrical problems that may or may not be able to be fixed, all become real possibilities as these cars age. Any 10 year old car can be a problem but a 10 year old BMW can be a disaster! The job you have now, at 19 is not necessarily going to be your life choice career. Focus on that first THEN you can think about the high end luxury car. A brand new one instead of somebody else's 10 year old discard. You have plenty of time for all these things at 19. Keep your eye on the prize and in a few short years you'll get there! Best of luck to you!! HTH. -Jim


@Js08016 sorry I don't think I made myself clear enough - I have finished uni (dropped out and went to study what I knew I wanted) and now have a job in the industry that I have wanted to be in since I was an 8 year old. I don't need to further my education, for now I am good for at least a few years. Thank you for your advice, I do appreciate it. I do understand that it is a risk. I will have a good think about it and get advice before jumping in to anything :)

Tom Demyan

If you travel a lot with the car, this is not the car to purchase as it requires periodic maintenance and things fail quicker than most cars and more money. Buy a Honda or Toyota.

Bob Beaman

10 year old BMW will eat a big hole in your wallet / purse. Do NOT do it.


Your age has nothing to do with the 2006 BMW 3 Series 320i They were a bad choice BMW model when they were new! The series 7's are the CHOICE Models of BMW chase down a good second hand one.. IF you want a good vehicle from BMW.


Is that a real argument? A 7 series, of all BMWs, is better than a 3 series on maintenance? That's absolutely ridiculous. BMWs are not bad cars as far as maintenance and reliability, especially the more basic ones, like a 320i. Less stupid technology that will inevitably break. There is nothing wrong with wanting a BMW, and if that's what you want, go for it. I can't stand people who try and tell others what kind of car they should want! Maintenance will not be too bad, and if you have the money for it, you will have no problem. No, it won't be as reliable and "maintenance free" as a Honda (also why you see so many Hondas with bad engines...) but it's no Land Rover, by any means. Maintain the car properly and it will take care of you, definitely don't listen to someone who hasn't had one or has no experience working on them. I've been working on BMWs since I was 14 years old, I know what I'm talking about. I'd even recommend looking into an older 5 series, like an E39. Beautiful cars, plenty of space and very comfortable. Not bad on gas either. And if you get scared off by the people who shoot down a whole brand because they had one bad experience, check out a Volvo. Those are also great cars, and slightly lower running costs compared to a BMW.

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