The Most Reliable BMW M Series Cars – My Top 5

The Most Reliable BMW M Series Cars – My Top 5

hey guys welcome back it’s mark with
exotic car play place today we’re gonna talk about hey it’s a snow day out there
but most importantly for those guys out there that wonder what is the most
reliable M car that you can get because you don’t want to wind up with a really
high performance but unreliable racecar that you have to spend all the time in
the shop with and repair and replacing parts constantly you want a car that is
fun to drive looks great sounds great it’s part of the M brand of course of
BMW but you don’t want to worry about fixing everything every last minute of
the day so I’m gonna give you a top five list of some good bet safe bets now
understand all M cars are leaning a lot more to the you know the performance
side and kind of veering away from reliability and economy but that being
said it doesn’t mean you have to have a total piece of junk there are
some great cars out there that I want to highlight five of them that are actually
safe bets if you do your checks if you’re satisfied with the service
history and overall everything the history and the background looks good on
it that it’s well maintained you can have yourself a great super car every
day supercar for relatively decent money and not worry about it breaking your
bank so my first choice number one is the
2011 to 2016 BMW m5 that’s the f10 that comes with a 4.4 liter v8 engine that
happens to be twin turbocharged producing about 550 horsepower and about
502 pound-feet of torque it is an awesome machine now there are some
things of course some shortcomings with it but the fact of the matter is it is
extremely quick machined it comes equipped with either a 7-speed
dual-clutch transmission or a 6-speed manual by the way I’d stay away from
that manual gearbox in the f10 I love manual like everybody else but
it’s a nightmare it doesn’t Drive well it’s not synchronized well to the
powertrain and so I would recommend for this car to
go with the double clutch transmission so these cars generally don’t have a lot
of chronic issues you know when I say chronic I mean problems that are going
to consistently be a problem you can guarantee you know that there will be an
issue with that car it’s just a matter of when not if these don’t have a lot of
those issues there have been problems noted of course with brake squeal some
of the early models with air conditioning that doesn’t put up
properly and the occasional DTM issue so that’s drivetrain malfunction and those
sometimes have evolved from maybe an over rev condition you’re getting a
little frisky the car over revs maybe hits the red line shuts down the power
and then it spits out a code and that usually means it’s a lack of proper
fueling so the engine goes a little lean and what ends up happening is it farts
out a code for you and you have to do a reset in most cases the drivetrain
malfunction is really just that it’s just a nuisance alarm but know this any
car that you abuse it will take a toll that being said that is my first choice
the f10 m5 extremely fast pretty car and is not that unreliable it’s actually
quite reliable – second choice for the most reliable or some of the most
reliable M car goes to a 2002 to 2008 Z4 M coupe
I love that car initially I never really had a lot of love for those cars I
thought they always looked a little bit like a boot they sort of had an unusual
look to them but in reality that’s starting to grow on me and as a matter
of fact where I lived there’s a guy that’s ripping up and down these freakin
roads all the time by my place I don’t know if the car I think it was actually
for sale for a short time but it’s black on black and he had the trimmed out just
nice he had it murdered out with black wheels and the whole nine matted that
car ever looks Spanky so that combined with the simple fact that it has a very
simple drivetrain it shares the s54 that’s the inline six-cylinder normally
aspirated engine of 3.2 liter displacement and that gets coupled to a
six-speed manual gearbox it also has about 330 horsepower and about 269
pound-feet of torque now it’s not the most powerful M car out
there but it’s also very light and very small and you know in a world of all
these cars modern cars doing very similar things look at all these SUVs on
the market for example you can’t tell sometimes the difference between a Ford
and a key and a Hyundai and a Honda they all look so much to save if I didn’t
know better I think they’ve mass-produced them all on the same
assembly line but in with this car there’s no doubt that it’s unique and in
a lot of cases because it shares the same drivetrain as the e46 m3 you would
expect it to be very similar in terms of performance well in straight line
performance yes it is but this is where this car has the X Factor and it has the
X Factor because it’s a little bit jumpy it’s a little squirrely in the corners
and it’s a little light in the backend because it has that heavy lump of an
engine on the front end and so as a result this car will give you a lot of
those great tire squealing tire burnout capabilities it’s a high-revving engine
that’ll go up to 8,000 rpm sounds great looks great and I love this car it is
really really grown on me and the simple fact is because it’s a simple car there
haven’t been a lot of issues the issues really very minor once for
the most part there’s been notes on you know rear suspension Springs cracking
and one very very common issue is oxygen sensors have been known to fail in vast
numbers now that’s not generally a large expense and in most cases relatively
easy to change as a matter of fact a lot of home do-it-yourselfer guys can do
that so as a whole it’s a very simple car back down to grassroots of high
revving engine naturally aspirated performance and you couple out with a
six-speed manual gearbox big front mount and engine rear drive it’s a hoot to
drive and in my opinion highly highly underrated as a matter of fact that
versus an e46 m3 I think I would almost take this if you didn’t need the back
seats that being said if you need back seats for practicality sorry this isn’t
your car but it is a great car nonetheless my next favorite goes to the
2007 to 2013 E90 or E92 M3 and that is featuring the 414 horsepower v8
normally aspirated 4 liter engine and you can couple that to either a 6-speed
manual gearbox or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and again it’s one of these
things I’ve driven both and honestly I can’t tell you which one I prefer
they’re both fascinating cars to drive the manual is a lot of fun because I
love driving manual cars but the DCT is so much fun when you’re pulling through
the gears it’s so fast that it’s just so exciting of a car to drive not to
mention hey this is the biggest engine that BMW has ever shoehorn in to a m3
car of course it’s the 4 liter v8 and it produces a lot of power it’s a kind of
power in fact that will allow you to have a lot of fun with it works as a
great drifting car for sure you can do donuts but more importantly it handles
really well if you’re those guys that consider the 335 better than the m3 of
the e90 generation I would say straight line performance the 335 has more
capability but the m3 all day will have the track covered in terms of handling
and overall track prowess this is an awesome machine
and actually doubles very well as a daily driver because of its you know a
lot of its amenities that it comes equipped with today so there’s only
really a few little problems that come with the e90 e92 m3 s there is of course
the naturally you’ve probably heard rod bearings are a problem in some of the
cars because that essentially is a shaved off engine version of the e60 m5
which is the v10 motor that is notoriously known for rod bearing issues
well this has the same basic infrastructure and it essentially is two
cylinders less than v10 engine so it does there have been numerous you know
comments and quotes and experiences of rod bearing failures on these cars but
the big one that you really have to be aware of are the throttle actuator z’
now they’re mounted under the you know the whole intake manifold plenum there
they’re kind of tucked underneath there they’re a bit of a pain to get at and
they’re not inexpensive but outside of that these cars are very very reliable
and and in most cases more reliable than even say the 335s of the same
generation they’re very great cars now the only other thing you’re going to
struggle with is number one staying away from the police and avoiding speeding
tickets and number two keeping rear rubber on the car because you’re gonna
have a lot of fun lighting it up and you’re honestly gonna eat rear tires
galore on these cars or just way way too much fun still a little pricey but
that’s why because there’s such great cars my next choice goes to the 2002
2006 e46 m3 and as mentioned before the z4 M shares the same engine as this so
this is also coupled with the inline six that produces about 333 horsepower and
uses that wonderful s 54 motor that just screams to 8,000 rpm it’s just a
marvelous engine and a marvelous car all together so well-balanced and as a
matter of fact a lot of the purists really didn’t want to let go of that
chassis when the e90 came along a lot of people and purists were denying the e90
and saying we want more of the e46 just because it was a perfect balance it was
a smaller lighter engine it had a lot of power it revved to the
moon and it was just outright fun now all that fun of course comes with a few
little headaches along the way of course there’s been notes on issues related to
vanos problems with these cars the other thing I would say SMG pumps are common
failures so if I were to advise you guys stay away from the SMG cars unless you
really need that automatic feature go with their 6-speed manual because that’s
where all the fun’s going to happen and it’s going to be a simpler car to
maintain the only other big thing are the rear subframe failures where you
sometimes have to get reinforcements welded in but you take care of that if
you find a well sorted car it is going to be a lot of fun a lot of fun for
years to come so you can’t go wrong with the e46 m3
and lastly my last pick number five for some of the most reliable M cars is the
e36 m3 primarily because it has the three litre normally aspirated inline
six-cylinder engine made it to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed manual 5-speed
auto or the horrible SMG transmission that came with it in those years so
there’s a few different generational options depending on the year make and
model and all that fun jazz but it’s a great engine it’s normally aspirated and
because it is the older generations it is a simpler car to work on now it’s of
course not without its faults like a lot of BMWs cooling system problems like you
have thermostat cracks you have water pump issues and right radiator issues so
your cooling system is critical in these cars to maintain them of course replace
all those components and you’re good to go not only that is an issue of course these cars were known for a bunch of
electrical gremlins I’ve seen I had an e30 six years ago rear suspension
collapsed on me so I know that can be an issue so you know we talked about
bushings and suspension issues those things can be a problem a lot of them
are more related to just wear and tear an age of the vehicle of course and as
this car gets older it’s not going to get more reliable but just make sure
some of those factors are looked after now
it’s a simple car and honestly you know if they’re cheap to get into and it’s a
great way to experience the m-car experience but again I can’t extract I
can’t stress enough get yourself a well sorted
well-maintained car that has a great service history associated with it other
things of course you know rust but that because of the age you’re going to find
more and more of this as a problem so guys I really hope you enjoyed this
video you know what that is my top 5 most reliable M cars if you want to get
into an M car but you’re really worried about how reliable some of them are and
how unreliable others are this is a great place to start these are my picks
for some cars that although they’re not perfect in terms of reliability they are
very very well engineered and well sorted cars and problems are much fewer
and far between that being said again as I can’t stress enough reliability and
performance generally don’t go hand in hand
and so considering their performance car you have to also expect some of the
repairs and maintenance to go with that so everybody I really hope you enjoyed
the video you make sure as always give it a thumbs up like share with your
friends guys I’d love to hear more and more comments from you guys as well
share those comments with me I’d love to hear more and of course don’t forget to
subscribe let your friends know to subscribe too because guys hey lots more
great content to follow make sure you stick around love to see on the next one
and I really want to hear from you guys thoughts do you have bad experiences
with any of these cars or do you have other ones that you think are more
reliable let me know in the comments section below but again don’t forget to
hit that subscribe button down in that little corner over there thanks again
love to see you guys soon see you then bye-bye

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. I would say 540i M-Sport package if you would count that as a M Car. Haven’t finished video yet so I don’t know if you say this one

  2. The e90/e92 m3 is the best value you can get these days. Very few cars even sports cars have an engine like the s65. It’s a screaming 8400 redline with peak power made up top.

  3. I would say 2001-2003 e39 m5 probably one of the most reliable m cars as well, some are know to go 400k miles. I'm curious how long those f10 m5s will last.

  4. Is there such thing as the most reliable M car? Can't think of one that doesn't require internal engine works after 200k

  5. Nice review! As the commenter below mentioned, the F8X platform has proven to be very reliable, and they have been around now for 4 years. Mine has been bulletproof.

  6. Whatever the E 46 between 1999 2005 was the best car there with me especially the 2000 to 330 K sports package manual yes you had to fix some things but just like everything else it goes bad once you fix it you got you a monster machine and if you want to modify that you can do that too

  7. Everything comes down how you treat your car in terms of maintenance the E60 m5 rod bearings now days it will cost you 2000 to replace which now days is nothing compare to other cars

  8. Sorry brother but e46 M3 is in no way reliable or does it have a low cost of ownership. Subframe, Vanos, cooling issues and rod bearing will fail and its not cheap. In addition coils, alternator, inspection I & II, suspension etc. Very expensive and highly unreliable. I've spent wayy to much on my e46 M///..

  9. I have developed a bigger soft spot over the years for bmw due to owning one. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Simple and reliable just aren’t labels I’d put out there for bmw. They aren’t simple to work on. They use shit materials under the hood. You can either replace something by the service book or deal with random failure because there’s no actual way to check anything of importance. Plastic thermostat housing. Electric water pump. Direct injection turbo. Vanos failure. No true way to fully turn off traction aids on most of their lineup through the years. Sloppy gearboxes on manual cars. Electric issues out the ass. Until 2013 really not luxury car interior when you compare them to cars half the price. I will say you do get less rattles and creeks though which is a plus. And please don’t call bmw’s super cars lol. Sport cars, luxury cars, grand touring cars. I’ll except but super car is not a term to throw around. I don’t even call Porsche’s super cars outside of the few that actually were.

  10. Well I appreciate it but u mostly taking about older model bmw M is there no other reliable Bmw M outhere can u make a other video comparing BMW M with MERCEDES AMG models reliability thank u Sir keep up the good work

  11. Not to be A Dick, But You Shouldnt be Buying A M Car Unless you Know BMWs By Heart, but then again Thats my Opinion And no worries Im at 128,000 Still not Waiting for a Waterpump to go bad, I know my Car

  12. How do you know that the F10 M5 is reliable? It hasn't been around for too long for potential problems to show up. Many of the problems you mentioned for other models; rod bearings, subframe, Vanos etc show up close or above 100k miles / 10 year old. The F10 M5 simply hasn't been around for that long to have enough to know about its reliability

  13. Have had a Z4M for almost 7 years, never repaired anything but it is a weekend car. While reliable I wouldn't want to daily drive it and deal with the costs and maintenance issues and at the same time the depreciation hit. It is also a 12 year old car now and with any car this old it is likely to be far less reliable than a new car.

  14. I love my 2011 e90 m3 but I am scared to daily drive it for fear of what could go wrong..thus far however, it has been reliable, needing a new brake booster. I have put~ 30k miles on it since October 2015 until now but most of those are highway miles. It revs to the moon and while the 6mt is slower, it is a lot of fun! Mine is stock, even stock exhaust and stock tune due to aftermarket warranty requirements. Great video Mark!

  15. Im glad the f10 was on your list. I want to buy one of these but I could only afford one that's probably out of warrenty. Most shit I can fix myself but these cars scare me if you get a bad one.

  16. I just bought an M6 competition package, 2014 autocheck scored 93 which is higher then compared score for same model, has 24k miles, planning to drive only week ends, please I need your input

  17. The 2011 F10 M5 is an absolute beast! That would be a nice step up from my 335i Msport E93 with the Msport package , which is a super nice one at that!

  18. I have one of the most unreliable M car (at least that's what people say) – E64 M6. (6 spd vert) Had no issue so far. (Sending oil to Blackstone lab every time I get oil change done to make sure that rod bearing is not failing) Not as reliable as Honda Accord maybe, but there is nothing like the screaming V10.

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