Would you buy a 2nd Gen E70 BMW X5 (2006-2013)

All this work on attempting to hack a lease is taking a toll on my nerves:) I have 2 months left on my wifes 2017 Acadia lease but we’re over miles and I’m ready to lease something NOW or buy something and drop off her GMC and pay the last 2 payments and stop racking up miles on it.
If I was to buy I’d want to be at $20K all-in on a purchase so I’m looking into best bang for your buck mid-size SUV/Crossovers. There are lots of options that are just a few years old with low miles such as Equinox/Terrain which are kind of appealing.
I have two close friends saying get a used E70 X5 that has been well maintained; they insist I can find something nice for well under $20K.
I know very little about BMW’s but am a “car guy” by nature and am willing to deal with quirks and repairs as needed and I have access to a good and reasonably priced German mechanic. I have owned MB’s in the past.
Long story short do you of you BMW enthusiasts have any advice on what to look for and what to stay away from on E70’s generally speaking? One of the friends insists I should look for an Xdrive 50i that has had the valve stem seals done on it; which I’m not opposed to but I’m not worried about power as much as I am reliability.
Thanks for any info and feedback.

Definitely stay away from the E70 xDrive50i; the N63 is probably one of the most problematic motors in recent history. The N55 in the xDrive35i is pretty reliable. The M57 in the xDrive35d is very torquey if you’re willing to go for a diesel, though the emissions equipment is prone to failing. A lot of people just delete the emissions crap, though that depends how lax your state inspections are.

Used BMWs are appealing, I haven’t looked into that gen X5 specifically, though I worked with a guy who owned one. He sold it after his CPO warranty was up and leased a CRV to avoid the cost of repairs and maintenance.

I looked into a used 5 series from an earlier gen (E39 540) and test drove a bunch, researched on the message boards etc. Maintenance and repair costs were higher than a normal car. They had a few systemic issues that were both time consuming and costly to fix that weren’t “normal”. I decided against it eventually as I was projecting the running costs of owning it were $300 a month plus depreciation on a car that was 10 years old at the time assuming no catastrophic items and bought a new WRX.

Again, this is not on the X5 but another BMW. I would suggest trolling teh BMW boards to understand costs and problems. I’m not saying its a bad idea or a good one. your $20K BMW is not going to have teh same running costs as your $20K honda. And generally the higher the trim on the model, the pricier the fixes are, not universally, but generally. Especially when you’re talking about adjustable suspensions.

I am debating between either leasing a new BMW or buying a pre-owned 2-year old 5 series next year, once my lease is up. I have been doing a lot of research. I have been reading up on some of the BMW forums. Any suggestions on where else to look or what to look out for when researching “know issues” that might creep up down the road on a pre-owned beamer? If I do buy, I plan to keep it for at least 6 years.

Buying a used a bmw sounds expensive, a cpo isn’t going to be cheap payment wise and you’d be out of warranty if you kept it for 6 years(assuming it’s 2 years old). I have a rule about European cars, I will not drive one without warranty. In general bimmers are cheaper to lease than buy

Understood. It is my understanding that most CPOs have an additional warranty tacked onto the regular 4 year/50k mile warranty as stated on BMW’s CPO site. I was also planning to buy an upgraded maintenance plan (that covered brakes, etc…).

I hear you about the payments not being cheap. Appreciate the feedback.

After owning 2 CPO BMWs in the past, there is no way I would ever do it again.

I would only snag one on a good lease deal.

The only German car I would own at this time is a CPO Porsche.


Appreciate the feedback.

Back around 2012 I leased an E70 and it was my favorite BMW to date, that was my 5th BMW. I didn’t have any problems other than the twin sunroof getting out of adjustment and jamming up, luckily it was covered under warranty. I believe that’s a about $2000+ to repair. After that I just didn’t bother with opening it. Since it had the large, and cool looking large performance tires, I took them off and saved them for the lease turn in and put on some cheaper non run flat Continentals.
In my opinion, the only BMW’s to own are the mechanical ones, meaning the 2000 and older ones. They don’t have as many electric motors and complicated systems. I still see quite a few 1st. generation X5 on the road, due to the great motor non turbo and lack of complications.
Unfortunately, vehicles like a Toyota Highlander are great to buy, but hold their value so well they cost more money. Supply and demand. Good luck with your search.

Hell. No.

You wanna buy an X5 where even the newest one is 7 yrs old?

Personally the only way I’ve owned any German cars outside of the warranty is to own them under warranty first. That way I had some protection that it wasn’t a basket case.

I’d suggest looking at 3yr old models, as there will be a huge inventory of ones coming off lease. You’ll overpay for a 2yr old and/or have very limited selection, relatively speaking.

The other thing is to look for ones at the very end of their life cycle. I think MY16 was the last F10? Generally speaking the first couple years of a new model are the worst since they have all the teething problems.

And as I mentioned earlier buy one with 1 or ideally 2+ years of warranty left. Gives you some cushion for stuff going wrong and/or bailing out of a really bad one.

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Thanks for all the info and feedback guys! This has been super helpful and informative.

Unless one of these (Xdrive35i specifically) falls into my lap at some ridiculously good deal I won’t waste my time seeking one out.

I may resort to my 2-3-4 year old loaded up Terrain idea :slight_smile:

Thanks again.

I started with bimmerfest forums and went through the sticky’s there and looked at buying advice threads. googleing e39 problems etc. This was about 5 years ago, when I did the looking and the problems that I recall on those E39s were valve guides, crappy water pumps, displays that cut out, cooling system issues, broken seat motors and suspension overhauls that were relatively involved. I remember reading a craigslist ad where the guy spent like $8K in the last 24 months on the car and he was still missing another big ticket item that was likely within the next 12 months. There are plenty of people who say the issues are overblown too.
I just didn’t have the energy to deal with that commitment with the young kiddos.

$8K over 24 months on a rapidly depreciating used/ordinary car is just idiotic.

Thats $333/Month, which can get you into a lease on a BMW loaner X1, X2, 330, and almost a 530.

At least with many Porsche models, the depreciation can be slow, so I would be more willing to dump money into keeping it in tip top shape.

Loyal enthusiasts have a hard time giving up a brand. The Porsche IMS bearing is a great example. I would love to see a metric around repeat buyers after replacing an IMS bearing. The product is just too good that despite this large issue, folks will still buy.

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Appreciate the info. I would be looking at a G30 model. I might just end up leasing one instead of buying.

These kinds of generalizations based on vague info = pointless IMO.

We don’t know if he has being ripped off on service. We also don’t know if it was one of the rather special non-M E39s, which are becoming rarer and have an intangible quality that no $333/month modern BMW could ever hope to replicate.

I don’t recommend buying vintage cars with the sole intention of trying to turn a profit but the fact that some of them appreciate is undeniable. Even non-M E34s can now bring in above 20K. Don’t even get me started on the meteoric rise of E28s and E30s

Thats alright bubba. I still like ya

I went through the same exercise. Used x5 or cayenne vs a lease x2,x1.

Ended up with an x2.

Look at the Stelvio. Those dropped SO hard that a lightly used one for a few years will be a great deal. You can get those for around $20k it seems.

Otherwise a cpo macan will probably be the best "value " for the segment. Those hold their value tremendously well if you can afford the higher entry price.

With a $20k budget, you should consider Lexus RX, Acura RDX, etc. They’re both light years more reliable than a BMW

If I had to guess he wasn’t ripped off, but certainly did pay to have it serviced. The list of things he did was a mile long, from tires to shocks, to radio display repairs, to alternators, sensors, exhaust.

This was a rather nice E39 540i 6spd with sport package and nice M parallels, at the time it had like 120K on the clock and was priced at $10-11K. I might have succumb to driving it had it not been 200 miles away and I’m not sure once i drove it, if it checked out, that i could have walked away.

I looked at a bunch closer that were in crappier condition that needed $2K or more of work without digging in. The car has personality though, it really does make you want to overlook things :star_struck: and the lines are sooo clean.

Having said all that, I did the same math everyone did here and decided if I were signing up for 2-300 a month on an old BMW just for repair bills, I wasn’t saving any money buying a used BMW. This was a car snob buy. I could drive something newer with a lot of the new features. I got an STi, trying to play the other side of the depreciation curve.

I feel that the people who buy these types of used BMWs, mercedes and audis are thinking they’re getting cheap luxury and status; I don’t think it works out. It doesn’t end up being cheap, and most people aren’t impressed with a 7-10 year old luxury car. You can do it, but don’t expect it to be cheaper than getting a new Honda or Toyota or whatever where the depreciation at the front end isn’t too bad, the equipment is newer, and the headaches are fewer.

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