German cars are expensive, to begin with. But BMWs are something special.
When compared with Mercedes and Audi, BMW is seen as the costlier one. This not only applies to the MSRP but to the actual cost of ownership as well.
So, what makes BMW so expensive? In this article, I will share 5 reasons why BMW is so expensive and tell you if it’s even worth it.
Why is BMW so expensive?
BMW is expensive, because it belongs to luxurious car brands. Because of that, it has superior build quality, level of R&D, german technology, customer service, and high repair cost.
To begin with, BMWs aren’t just luxurious vehicles; they are a status symbol. The Brand Value BMW has created over the years makes it a symbol of success. Furthermore, BMW is a hard-to-maintain vehicle, which shows the level of determination people have towards the brand.
Then there is the luxury aspect. We all know that BMW makes some of the world’s most luxurious cars. Even when compared to Mercedes and Audi, BMW stays a step ahead. Add the M badge, and you have a golden chariot that can do 0-60 mph in 2.5 sec.
What makes the real difference however is the BMW character.
Yes, the new grille is not what you expected it to be. It’s more of a grower, I guess. But combined with the laser lights, boldly sculpted hood, popping exhaust, iDrive system, M competition package, it all adds up to its character.
What I mean is that while other german brands can get you the same spec level. They can’t offer the same character. And it’s the character that adds up to its price tag.
It’s like comparing an iPhone with an Android. Android might have better specs and affordable pricing, but an iPhone is an iPhone. Even overpriced, people will buy it.
BMW vs Other Car Brands Purchase Cost
Mercedes Benz and Audi are the two brands that are well known for being BMW’s direct competition. They are german brands, after all. But apart from them, you also got brands like Porsche, Fiat, and Lexus competing in a similar category.
When it comes to the current BMW’s vehicle lineup and its related cost, it is similar to other brands within the same class. For example, the cheapest BMW model, the X1 or 2-series coupe, is priced around $35,000, which is almost the same as the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3, and Lexus UX.
And this is not only true for the base model. Almost all models are closely priced to each other. What makes the real difference are the available trims and options. A maxed-out Audi A6 costs around $76,000. While a BMW 540i is maxed out at $85,000.
Then if you compare the BMW X5 with Porsche Cayenne, the X5 is more affordable despite adding all options.
What’s even more interesting is that the more you go high up with the lineup towards the 7 and 8 series. You would find that BMW is rather cheaper to afford than Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, or Lexus.
So, what gives the idea of BMW being so expensive? After all, direct price comparison doesn’t show much difference at all. Well, there is one more aspect that is left to consider. The cost of ownership or Maintenance cost.
Also read: What’s a High Mileage for a BMW? The Truth…
BMW vs Other Car Brands Maintenance Cost
BMWs are one of the most expensive cars to maintain. On average, a BMW costs $17,800 in maintenance over 10 years. While a Toyota only costs around $5,500 over ten years. The same for both Mercedes and Audi is just around $12,500. You can own both a Mercedes and Prius and still pay the same maintenance as one BMW.
It is because the level of sophistication used to build BMW cars makes them so vulnerable. They need regular maintenance and at the specified time. Also, you can’t just use any product. You have to use the specified one.
What’s also frustrating is how unreliable BMWs have gotten over the years. You would find 8/10 mechanics complain about BMW’s reliability. And how often it shows faults, especially in the case of wirings.
On top of which, you can’t have your everyday mechanic fix it. Because of the complexity, only certified mechanics with specific tools can do repair jobs on these cars.
All these factors make them incredibly hard and costly to own and maintain. This is also the reason behind the insanely low cost of Used BMWs. But even after all these flaws, what gives them that excessive price tag?
Read it: Is 4×4 Worth it? It’s Great, but…
5-Real Reasons Why BMW is so Expensive
1. BMW Brand Value
BMW has spent years building its brand. As mentioned before, the BMW brand is not just known for premium vehicles. But it is a symbol of status, success, and power. People dream of owning such an expensive car, which gives them strong sentimental values as well.
If you read BMW’s mission statements, it says “ to become the world’s leading provider of premium products and premium services for individual mobility.” This gives a clear insight into the thinking of BMW and how they have created a public image for themselves.
In every mind, BMW is a sporty, luxury premium car manufacturer whose extraordinary vehicles are for extraordinary people.
In economics, premium luxury items are called Veblen goods. They are the type of goods whose sale increases with the price. Because if it became affordable, it will be a common people product.
The same logic applies to premium brands like BMW. They can keep the price ḥigher as it helps their sales. It is because it’s hard/expensive to attain, it has more value.
2. BMW Incredible Performance
While Brand value and status is one aspect of BMW’s popularity, its Performance is another. When asked what makes BMW so special, the common answer found was that BMWs are fun.
Several brands make premium luxury cars but none like BMW. Adding a high-performance engine over a 5-star luxury car branches out its usability.
You can either sit back in the lap of luxury and enjoy your sweet ride or just switch modes and drift corners with loud pops. With a BMW, you can do it all.
Looking for a cheap to maintain BMW? Read this post!
3. Build Quality
BMW is a german brand. And Germans are known for their insane engineering. BMW spends millions in research, finding the best materials for their cars. From aluminum and high-grade steel chassis to high-quality leather seats. BMW does not slack off in its build quality.
Whether it’s outside the car or in the cabin, the level of details with fit and finish gives them their premium identity.
On average, older BMWs can last around 200.000-250.000 miles (320,000 KM-400,000 KM) before needing major repairs. But then there are models like the E90, the F40, the 5, and the 7 series that have proven their reliability over time.
When it comes to automobile technology, BMW has been one of the best. From their sophisticated iDrive system to adaptive lights, to the current edrive tech for hybrids. BMW has proven itself over and over.
Innovation has played an important part in BMW’s success. The state-of-the-art tech makes BMW a highly advanced vehicle that guarantees absolute pleasure to their customer.
5. Luxury and Convenience
BMW is a premium brand, and luxury is at its core. With BMW, a customer expects to get the best level of comfort available. Whether you are buying a 2-series or an 8-series, you will always have options to upgrade your car’s comfort.
The real addition to a BMW price tag is the number of trims and packages it offers. With a variety of options, BMW allows customers to fill gaps they feel their BMW is lacking.
You want a sporty BMW, buy a coupe. You need an executive car, buy a sedan. Need to add a sports aspect, get the M package. To improve accessibility, get the technology package. All these add to the luxury and convenience aspect of cars, increasing their overall price.
Which BMW models are the Most Affordable?
At present, BMW has the 3 most affordable models. You have the BMW 2 Series, BMW X1, and the BMM X2. All these models are priced at around $35,000. Despite being the cheapest, these models are known to be the luxury option in their class.
Which BMW Models Should You Avoid?
While there is not a certain type of model that is bad. However, there are specific models from certain years that have had all the bad ratings for reliability. Some of the most unreliable BMW models are:
- BMW E60 M5 with S85 engine
- N54 engine in the BMW 135, 335 and 535
- BMW E92 M3 with S85 engine
- BMW E46 M3
- BMW E70 35 DX5
What are Cheaper Alternatives for BMW?
There aren’t any brands that make cars similar to BMW’s specifications at cheaper prices. But if you look at the competition within the same class, you can find some options, for example, Alfa Romeo, Infiniti, or Lincoln.
Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio is a good alternative for the M4. The Genesis G80 is an awesome budget executive car that can be bought instead of the BMW 5 series. The Infiniti QX60, Lincoln Aviator, or the Lexus RX350 are affordable luxury SUVs rather than the BMW X5.
Are BMWs Going to be Even More Expensive?
BMWs are going to be expensive and there are multiple reasons for that. The most obvious one is them being a premium luxury car. Second is the use of advanced technology. BMW pours millions in R&D to keep their tech world’s best. They need to make it up somehow.
The shortage of raw materials in the pandemic. It caused a sudden shortage of spare parts as well. Which means they will be hard to procure. We also don’t have enough computer chips to fulfill the world demand.
There is inflation, increasing labor costs, along with the import taxes in some countries as well. So, yes BMWs are going to be even more expensive.
Is BMW Worth the Price?
A BMW is definitely worth the price if you want a luxury car with great features and performance. However, if you need a daily driving car, buy a Honda or Toyota.
But if you are someone like me, who has looked at more BMW images than BMW themselves, who has dreamed of having such a car in their garage for years?
Who understands the value of the M badge, and respects the Blue Middle White.
Go for it. It’s the best thing ever. Just don’t take a loan. It might get a bit regretful.