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      10-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
Tsuvoi
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BMW reputation of reliability in the world

...Or lack thereof?

It's interesting being an international traveler the differences I've experienced in BMW's reputation for reliability depending on the country.

Take Europe for example. They seem to have a very strong held belief that german cars are the pinnacle of reliability and snobs often get a VW (they can't afford the premium brands) thinking that they get that super-reliability germans seem to be known for.

Then look at the US, everyone likes to bash the german cars reliability. And surprisingly at the same time you always hear people talk about that mythical "german engineering" unicorn, whatever the heck that means.

So to all forum members, say what country you're from and what's BMW's reputation for reliability in your country? Just curious!

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      10-12-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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BMW is just as reliable as any other Japanese car. its just that it costs more to maintain, labor + parts are more than your typical honda so people just simply forgo proper maintenance. Probably more things have to be replaced around 100k than your normal camry. Then most will not do it because of the cost and keep driving. Then at 110k the car breaks down and people complain and say its not reliable...blah blah blah and trash the brand.
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      10-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #3
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Americans as buyers are more complicated than Euro buyers and have far different perceptions of brands and quality. Thus, Europeans think the Germans make the best quality wise and handling wise while Americans agree mostly on the handling part they beg to differ on the reliability end.

Take Lexus, Americans are so fixed on a different perception of quality and reliability that Lexus is one of the big 3 luxury brands in the US. In Europe they barely sell even a tiny percentage of what MB or BMW sell because Europeans think Lexus is just a really nice Toyota without the conceived pros of reliability.
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      10-12-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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I'm from NL EU, and my dad has a 1999 328 5MT coupe, first owner, 325k kms/203k miles. Excellent quality. No problems AT ALL I swear. It's his 5th BMW.

BMW's reputation in NL: Fast,executive brand, somewhat snobby, semi criminal, taxi, just like Mercedes. In my hometown there are some F10 520d taxis driving around....

This is a 730d taxi I see alot driving around overhere.



This is my 9th BMW...

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      10-12-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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here is some real data. Overall, BMW is slightly below average for reliability. But for individual cars, it's a pretty wide band. According to CR, things like the X3 and the 3-series are at Lexus-levels of reliability. And cars like the 550i are, well, probably best not owned outside of warranty...


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      10-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ft1337 View Post
...Or lack thereof?

It's interesting being an international traveler the differences I've experienced in BMW's reputation for reliability depending on the country.

Take Europe for example. They seem to have a very strong held belief that german cars are the pinnacle of reliability and snobs often get a VW (they can't afford the premium brands) thinking that they get that super-reliability germans seem to be known for.

Then look at the US, everyone likes to bash the german cars reliability. And surprisingly at the same time you always hear people talk about that mythical "german engineering" unicorn, whatever the heck that means.

So to all forum members, say what country you're from and what's BMW's reputation for reliability in your country? Just curious!
In Turkey it is exactly as you described. People pay 6.000 USD for the unreliable DSG option just because VW is German.
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      10-12-2012, 05:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by r3dbimmer89 View Post
Americans as buyers are more complicated than Euro buyers and have far different perceptions of brands and quality. Thus, Europeans think the Germans make the best quality wise and handling wise while Americans agree mostly on the handling part they beg to differ on the reliability end.

Take Lexus, Americans are so fixed on a different perception of quality and reliability that Lexus is one of the big 3 luxury brands in the US. In Europe they barely sell even a tiny percentage of what MB or BMW sell because Europeans think Lexus is just a really nice Toyota without the conceived pros of reliability.
I think it is just the opposite. European buyers are more complicated than US buyers for cars. Cars are a daily need for US, almost everyone has a car and it is like a consumption product. In Europe it is different, only certain income level buys the car and still uses the public transportaion sometimes.

Your example, also proves this. Lexus became big in US because it is reliable not for its luxury, good handling, sportiness or image. Just reliability. The most important think for US buyer was reliability at that time so it picked up. But euro buyers value other things more than reliability. Image, luxury, sportiness, handling etc. If you look at the old LExus`s interior design and quality, exterior design you can`t compare it to a Mercedes. Euro buyers won`t choose it over a Mercedes just for its reliability but US buyers did and keep doing.

It goes back to the first argument, car is a must in US, you are screwed if you don`t have your for couple days or you will have a bad experience if you are stranded with your family in the deser while driving from Los Angeles to LAs Veags. Keep in mind that back in the day there were no cell phones. There are great reasons for reliability becoming so important in US. But it is not in Europe, they don`t buy the German cars for their reliability.
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      10-12-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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Yeah, the entire reason Japanese car sales exploded in America was perceived reliability. American cars broke a lot in the 70s and 80s and it enraged millions of people. Lexus blew up because it promised a super-reliable Buick basically.

For what it's worth the perception I always heard was that German cars won't break down and strand you, but replacing wear items is expensive as hell. Which is fair if you're comparing them to a Ford.
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      10-12-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sean10mm View Post

For what it's worth the perception I always heard was that German cars won't break down and strand you, but replacing wear items is expensive as hell. Which is fair if you're comparing them to a Ford.
I guess you never owned n54 engine...
Left me stranded twice
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      10-13-2012, 06:09 AM   #10
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Robin is pretty spot on. In north-west Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, UK), a BMW 3 series is considered a small-executive car. And they are most often driven as company lease cars, and as such are pretty darn common.

German brands, in general are able to command a premium because of perceived quality and resale value. Mercedes is considered a luxury brand, and something for old people. BMW is obviously the sporty brand, but are sometimes also considered for people that like to show off. VW, that is for people that want a German car, but don't want, or cannot spend the money on one of the other brands. Typical excuse is that VW has better quality. Audi is probably somewhere in between. It is not considered as sporty as BMW, but also not as luxury as Mercedes.

In southern Europe though, driving any kind of German car is typically considered that you want to show off and that you have money. They are also used to driving smaller cars then in the north, and will consider any BMW large, even the 1-series.

As to Lexus, indeed most people consider it just a nicer Toyota. And if you have that kind of money to spend, you get a German car instead.
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      10-13-2012, 06:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ES_TRADER View Post
BMW is just as reliable as any other Japanese car. its just that it costs more to maintain, labor + parts are more than your typical honda so people just simply forgo proper maintenance. Probably more things have to be replaced around 100k than your normal camry. Then most will not do it because of the cost and keep driving. Then at 110k the car breaks down and people complain and say its not reliable...blah blah blah and trash the brand.
And BMWs are more often driven "harder" so more wear.
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      10-13-2012, 06:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by r3dbimmer89 View Post
Take Lexus, Americans are so fixed on a different perception of quality and reliability that Lexus is one of the big 3 luxury brands in the US. In Europe they barely sell even a tiny percentage of what MB or BMW sell because Europeans think Lexus is just a really nice Toyota without the conceived pros of reliability.
Problem with Lexus is more that they aren't that known so depreciation is a issue. And they don't offer economical engines in their cars, most of them start with a V6 petrol which is just too uneconomical..
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      10-13-2012, 06:41 AM   #13
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Robin is pretty spot on. In north-west Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, UK), a BMW 3 series is considered a small-executive car. And they are most often driven as company lease cars, and as such are pretty darn common.

German brands, in general are able to command a premium because of perceived quality and resale value. Mercedes is considered a luxury brand, and something for old people. BMW is obviously the sporty brand, but are sometimes also considered for people that like to show off. VW, that is for people that want a German car, but don't want, or cannot spend the money on one of the other brands. Typical excuse is that VW has better quality. Audi is probably somewhere in between. It is not considered as sporty as BMW, but also not as luxury as Mercedes.

In southern Europe though, driving any kind of German car is typically considered that you want to show off and that you have money. They are also used to driving smaller cars then in the north, and will consider any BMW large, even the 1-series.

As to Lexus, indeed most people consider it just a nicer Toyota. And if you have that kind of money to spend, you get a German car instead.
Exactly.

And this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naambezet View Post
And BMWs are more often driven "harder" so more wear.

If I drive a Toyota/Lexus the way I do the BMW, it would fall to pieces within one year. LOL.


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      10-13-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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My transition to BMW came with disposable income. Prior purchases has always been American models based on price, looks, reliability (Consumer Reports), function as a daily-driver in all 4-seasons, and how practical in everyday life of running to stores, dning out and visiting family. BMW was always the high-performance driving machine, Mercedes the luxury brand, VW the entry-level brand to German engineering and Audi a step above VW. With the benefit of several friends driving the other brands (but not one had a BMW), I had some practical experience with German engineering so looked at BMW once the disposable income was available. I immediately fell in love with the 3-series and am now on my third with plans for a 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. As to personal reliability, I've had 2 issues in 3 cars. The '07 E90 had the sunroof stick and the '09 E90 had the HPFP replaced (but it did not leave me stranded). So far, 2100 miles on the '13 F30 and no problems (but think the left-front needs rebalancing). Yes, statistically the BMW brand (prior posting) may be lower in the ratings but personal experience differs.
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      10-13-2012, 07:21 AM   #15
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In the US, the majority of BMW are leased so they never go out of warranty.

"Reliability" doesn't factor into the BMW buying equation in that instance. If any defect is covered and loaner cars are free, it gets a 100% perfect reliability score.

BJ
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      10-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #16
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In the US, the majority of BMW are leased so they never go out of warranty.

"Reliability" doesn't factor into the BMW buying equation in that instance. If any defect is covered and loaner cars are free, it gets a 100% perfect reliability score.

BJ
Loaner car or not, it's still a PITA to get a broken car fixed, especially if it strands you. Then you have the horror stories of dealers that don't have loaners in stock, take a long time to fix the cars, etc. (*cough* BMW of SF *cough*)
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      10-15-2012, 04:21 AM   #17
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IMO, BMW will have a harder time competing in the US in the years to come because younger people (those on this forum excluded) are not impressed with cars in general, there's a trend toward re-urbanization, and perceived reliability vs. their competitors.
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      10-15-2012, 06:40 AM   #18
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here is some real data. Overall, BMW is slightly below average for reliability. But for individual cars, it's a pretty wide band. According to CR, things like the X3 and the 3-series are at Lexus-levels of reliability. And cars like the 550i are, well, probably best not owned outside of warranty...

wow, what is going on with jaguar?
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      10-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #19
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wow, what is going on with jaguar?
- Electrical Gremlins, as always. The XF was hammered when it first came out. Car and Driver hammered it during a Long Term test for acting up.
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      10-15-2012, 10:21 AM   #20
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wow, what is going on with jaguar?
And Porsche. Down 25 spots in one year? IOW, they were second best the previous year and second worst this year? Makes me question the validity of such reports. Or is the new 991 a POS?
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      10-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #21
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Exactly.

And this:




If I drive a Toyota/Lexus the way I do the BMW, it would fall to pieces within one year. LOL.


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- This HAS to be one of the most biased German threads I have seen. People buy Lexuses, not only because they are reliable, but also because they are extremely quiet, have some of the nicest interiors on the market, and ride beautifully. Are they generally sports cars, definitely not (save for the ISF and their $380k one). But, people do not buy these cars for their sporting aspects like people buy the German cars (save for VW).

I have driven a few, and when I was car shopping, thought the IS had a superior interior to my 3-Series. I just liked the way the 3-Series drove and looked better. The IS was still a fun car to drive BTW (IS350).
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      10-15-2012, 10:30 AM   #22
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And Porsche. Down 25 spots in one year? IOW, they were second best the previous year and second worst this year? Makes me question the validity of such reports. Or is the new 991 a POS?
Hmmm, new Cayenne, new 911, the Panamera being out a couple of years and selling very well (still a relatively new model), and a new Boxster that just came out. Very possible for Porsche to drop.
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