08-12 BMW X5 Reliability & Warranty


I’m shopping for a used reliable suv at $10-$15k under 100k miles. I’m constantly seeing BMW X5s in my search that are significantly more premium than anything else within the results. Are they really guaranteed to be a maintenance nightmare and money pit? Is there a recommended extended maintenance warranty or other strategy for these type of cars? I have no experience with Bmw but really love the look but would hate for this car to fall apart when my family is depending on it.

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Great question. The X5 will be more expensive to maintain and repair than something like a Pilot or a Highlander since the price of parts and labor for BMWs tends to be higher than for Honda or Toyota.

Consumer Reports did a study that showed the average yearly maintenance and repair costs for 10 year old vehicles, and BMW topped the list at $1125 per year, on average. Honda and Toyota were less than half that figure.

However, if you break that down monthly, it’s still less than $100 per month, which to me isn’t really all that bad considering that it buys you a more refined and more capable vehicle.

Here’s a link to the findings:

Regarding warranties, generally speaking, the only extended warranties that are “worth it” are those offered by the factory on their CPO cars. Aftermarket warranties are usually either too expensive or too hard to use, so you’re better off just putting aside the cost (typically about $2000-30000) in a bank account and using it for repairs, as needed.

The most important thing is to find an example that’s been very well taken care of by its prior owner, and then to verify that with a private party inspection at a BMW specialist prior to making the purchase.

By the way, if there’s NOT a good BMW specialist in your area (not the dealership, which is too $$$, but an independent shop), then it probably doesn’t make sense to consider BMW since you’ll need someone to help you keep it in good shape during your ownership. Check the Yelp ratings to see what you can find.

More info here:



Thanks Mark! The process of shopping for a car in Brooklyn has been a little tricky since I’m dealing with smaller used car lots with inventory from auctions and other vague backgrounds. There are lots of random part time resellers on Facebook marketplace too. This is super helpful though. I’ll look for a local repair shop (non-dealership) that has experience with BMW.



No problem. I did a scan of Yelp and found the following shops in your general vicinity:

If you give them a call (or stop by) and let them know that you’re looking for a place to do a buyer’s inspection on an X5 and also to see if there are any particular years or versions to look for or avoid. If you’re lucky, one of them may know a customer who is interested in selling.

Ideally, you’d want to buy one from a private seller rather than a used car dealer since there’s no markup on the car.

For the $10,000 to $15,000 range, you should be able to find a nice one for sale by its original owner, with all service records, no accident history, and not too many miles. It may take a bit of time, but examples like that are out there. I’ll keep an eye out and share anything promising that I can find.