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Been looking at a new used vehicle, ultimately a 4 door car... I'm seeing alot of mid 2000s BMW/Mercedes with 100k miles or less on them asking around the $20k mark.. Trying to determine if they would be a better value over buying say a new Jetta or such... Like some of these are AMG Mercedes which have like 500hp... Worth it? 

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These things look cool and drive great, but around 100,000kms they start failing. major components and general up-keep starts getting expensive, fluid leaks, brittle hoses, etc. Not to say all of them are bad, but expect to pay to play for sure. If your ok with that, cool. If not, look into something more mainstream or reliable over time. 

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My BMW was about $350 per oil change and only took premium. My insurance was more than a lot peoples car payment. Flat tire? That's a $500 run flat that doesn't run when it's flat. It's never just the price of the car. 

Ridiculously expensive car to own, unbelievably fun to drive, absolutely not worth it. 

That was a life lesson. Expensive one at that.

Good luck.

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16 hours ago, X-Wrestler said:

My BMW was about $350 per oil change and only took premium. My insurance was more than a lot peoples car payment. Flat tire? That's a $500 run flat that doesn't run when it's flat. It's never just the price of the car. 

Ridiculously expensive car to own, unbelievably fun to drive, absolutely not worth it. 

That was a life lesson. Expensive one at that.

Good luck.

Well, they're fine if you keep them in a temperature controlled garage and only put 5k miles a year on them. That gives you lots of time to fix stuff. But yeah, as a Daily Driver, no, buy a Camry. 

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Brother in law worked at a garage in TO that specialized in repairing high end European cars. He called them "expensive junk". Don't know what he meant by that. Works on school busses now.

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technology is moving to fast on cars to go out and buy 10 year old technology with 150k miles.  Try finding a 1-2 year old Jetta or similar that isn't the base car, you will be happier having a few extra features. If you buy a $20000 new base car and wish you had gotten a little more equipment, you made the same $20k mistake as buying the AMG or BMW.

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Can't comment on Mercs but I have owned and fixed up used BMWs with > 100K miles for 2 decades.  No BMW with an automatic transmission should be used as a toy hauler because the first owners rarely if ever change the transmission fluid.  The dealers won't do it and tell the owners the transmission fluid is lifetime fill.  It is a lifetime fill right up to the point the tranny fails and sticks the high mileage owner with a very expensive repair.  Not all fail but a large percentage do fail around 150K miles in my experience.  They would not have failed if fluids had been changed every 40-50K miles like it was done in the old days.  A BMW with a manual transmission is far more reliable at high mileage and their manual gearboxes are typically strong units that run forever with regular fluid changes. 

The basic problem with any of these European luxury cars is the first owners are typically wealthy people that don't want to be bothered with basic maintenance and the dealers cater to them by offering free maintenance during the first 50-100K miles that is so minimal it is ridiculous.  The second or third owner is stuck with the need for expensive remedial maintenance to cooling systems, suspension bushings, plastic intake manifolds that are covered with carbon deposits on the inside from pollution controls, and automatic trannies that have been neglected.  I do all my own repairs so I can afford to own these cars but most don't have the knowledge, tools and garage space I have. 

After saying all that, I own 3 older BMWs with manual gearboxes but I haul my motorcycles with a 2013 Toyota Tundra that currently has 135K miles on it and is far more reliable and has lower cost of ownership than any of my bimmers.  If I could only have one vehicle and I needed to haul toys, I would keep the Tundra and sell the bimmers. 

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Before you buy ANY vehicle, find out your cost to insure it. Some are cheap. Some are not. Repairs will probably be expensive, but can sometimes be put off. You can't put off buying and continuing to pay for insurance.

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You best have deep pockets and a good mechanic. German engineered to fail when the warranty runs out. You can buy it all over again in repairs really quick.

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All accurate comments.

Listen to these well informed posters!

 

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Yes, they can be expensive to fix. I do all my own work tho so that helps...

Absolutely love my 2012 C300 and wouldn't have it any other way.

Go for it!!!!

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Going back to the first post - There is a reason an AMG Mercedes that cost well over $80K new depreciates to the $20K range.  It is a deep money pit if you have to pay someone else to fix it.  Same goes for the BMW M3 even though the early 2000's E46 M3 was a very good car.  The auto shifting manual gearboxes on them are nightmares to own and maintain, the rear chassis is prone to cracking from metal fatigue where the rear subframe bolts to the unibody, and like all high mileage bimmers, the suspension will need all the rubber bushings replaced sooner or later.  There is a factory repair kit for the rear chassis cracks but out of warranty, the cost to weld in the reinforcements is well over $3000.  No one that drives it the first 100K does this maintenance unless they intend to keep the car. 

In the BMW community of guys like me that buy the older ones and fix them up, the conventional wisdom is to always expect to spend at least $2000 in remedial maintenance when you buy one with over 80K miles on it.  Double that estimate if you can't do any of the maintenance yourself.  These cars are great fun to drive but you have to go into ownership eyes wide open and understand the cost of owning one.

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1 hour ago, mda185 said:

Going back to the first post - There is a reason an AMG Mercedes that cost well over $80K new depreciates to the $20K range.  It is a deep money pit if you have to pay someone else to fix it.  Same goes for the BMW M3 even though the early 2000's E46 M3 was a very good car.  The auto shifting manual gearboxes on them are nightmares to own and maintain, the rear chassis is prone to cracking from metal fatigue where the rear subframe bolts to the unibody, and like all high mileage bimmers, the suspension will need all the rubber bushings replaced sooner or later.  There is a factory repair kit for the rear chassis cracks but out of warranty, the cost to weld in the reinforcements is well over $3000.  No one that drives it the first 100K does this maintenance unless they intend to keep the car. 

In the BMW community of guys like me that buy the older ones and fix them up, the conventional wisdom is to always expect to spend at least $2000 in remedial maintenance when you buy one with over 80K miles on it.  Double that estimate if you can't do any of the maintenance yourself.  These cars are great fun to drive but you have to go into ownership eyes wide open and understand the cost of owning one.

Totally agree, those high performance machines could be costly, plus getting a tow package might be a challenge.  Been through it with an 07' mini. Lets just say I'm not a fan of direct injection and the stupid French engine, AKA prince engine...barfff

C300's not as fun as the mini but its a great ride. No weird maintenance stuff yet an I'm over 100k.

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For years I've hauled with a Honda Odyssey  .Everything from 2 Harley baggers to a ttr125 . Get the EXL and enjoy the leather heated seats and take out seats you don't need . May be a soccer mom vehicle but I look at cars for function and my bikes for fun/cool .

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 Why a Jetta as a second choice? The few people ive known with VWs regretted buying them.  Look at the stats on long term owner ratings. Certain brands are repeat offenders. 

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Vehicles I have owned over the years

German-1 Absolute Junk. Broke down often and expensive to repair.

Italian - 1 Absolute Junk. Troublesome and rusted away to nothing.

Big 3 - 6 Hit or miss.  Last one needed complete front ends replaced annually.

Japanese- 8 or 9 Excellent service out of all them. Current one is 11 yrs old and less than $500 spent in maintenance other than oil changes.

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13 hours ago, mda185 said:

Going back to the first post - There is a reason an AMG Mercedes that cost well over $80K new depreciates to the $20K range.  It is a deep money pit if you have to pay someone else to fix it.  Same goes for the BMW M3 even though the early 2000's E46 M3 was a very good car.  The auto shifting manual gearboxes on them are nightmares to own and maintain, the rear chassis is prone to cracking from metal fatigue where the rear subframe bolts to the unibody, and like all high mileage bimmers, the suspension will need all the rubber bushings replaced sooner or later.  There is a factory repair kit for the rear chassis cracks but out of warranty, the cost to weld in the reinforcements is well over $3000.  No one that drives it the first 100K does this maintenance unless they intend to keep the car. 

In the BMW community of guys like me that buy the older ones and fix them up, the conventional wisdom is to always expect to spend at least $2000 in remedial maintenance when you buy one with over 80K miles on it.  Double that estimate if you can't do any of the maintenance yourself.  These cars are great fun to drive but you have to go into ownership eyes wide open and understand the cost of owning one.

👍👍 And many  like me learned to never ever buy a BMW out of warranty. Just say no!

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