Technically, BMW, or the Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, was founded in 1916 to churn out aircraft engines. And initially, it did just that, from 1917 to 1918, and then from 1933 to 1945 (during WWII). Headquartered in Munich and owning all BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce brands under the umbrella BMW Motorrad, it's associated with luxury, superior technology and the ultimate in status. And yet, idols sometimes do have clay feet, and their creations may not be as great as their aura is.
Here are 10 times BMW let its customers down with epic mistakes on pricey cars.
10 2011 BMW X5: Far Too Confusing
What makes the X5 stand out from the crowd are things that you might not like. One is the exorbitant price, the second is that cramped back seat that can't fit a full-sized adult, and the third is the immense options of electronics that most can't grasp unless they engineered them.
However, note that this was a good try at making an eco-friendly diesel car, with a powerful engine that is raring to go at the touch of the pedal. Sadly, the 2011 X5 was reported by multiple car owners because it stalled while driving. Needless to say, that can be immensely dangerous for all.
9 2013 BMW X3: A Truck-Like Car?
The X3 doesn't get our vote because it seems to be having an identity crisis. Is it a rough-riding car, or a smooth-riding truck? We don’t think even the owners know that but the ride quality of this one, especially the 2011 model, is simply not at par with what BMW promises.
The compact luxury crossover’s 2013 models seemed to plagued with engine problems with numerous issues faced by consumers: not starting, stalling while driving, and the timing belt simply sucked. Some consumers also faced problems because of a faulty sunroof in 2005 and some recalls around it as well.
8 2003 BMW 3 Series: What Steering?
Imagine cruising along your BMW 3 Series on a highway and trying to make a turn at a crossroad. What if your steering fails, and turns a perfectly sunny drive into a hellish one? Well, that’s what many people faced with their 3 Series, and had plenty of anxious moments over it.
There were complaints about the steering wheel jamming in one position, making for a few unsafe moments before the driver jammed the brakes, and the power steering failing as well. Introduced way back in 1975 and spanning over seven generations, BMW may need to look at its 3 Series a bit closely.
7 2015 BMW 4 Series: A Spin-Off
The BMW 4 Series is all about the 3 Series two-doors spun off into their line, at a higher price too. Since these models are coupes and convertibles, the long front end seems like overkill, with the rest of the car ending rather abruptly after such a long start. Divorced from the 3 Series in 2014, these cars also didn't come with many advancements.
For some reason, there was only an all-wheel-drive option available, and then they introduced a four-door coupe as well. They forgot to upgrade the engine though, and it refuses to do much without groaning. Common complaints are engine stalls and noisy brakes for this.
6 2015 3.0 CSL Hommage: A Bad Tribute
The BMW E9 was a good car, and pretty successful at racing as well, with its 3.0 CSL homologation models. To pay homage to this successful car, BMW launched a concept in 2015 and dubbed it the 3.0 CSL Hommage. For some reason, it was launched in puke-reminiscing green color, with the front end looking like a squashed bug.
Nothing came out of this concept car, other than eventual sighs of gratefulness that it never went into production. Seriously, BMW so needs to up its concept game, it's not funny. Thankfully, other than taking down its rep a notch, BMW wasn’t able to disappoint its customers with this.
5 2006 BMW 5 Series: All Lemons
The lesser said about the 5 Series of BMW, the better because these repeatedly proved to be unreliable and expensive to maintain cars. Many of the problems that arose were not covered by the warranty, and yet there were no recalls issues for the multitude of problems many faced with their cars.
The cars tended to overheat with the 525 leading the rat pack, and there were dead ignition problems as well. These executive cars also had bolt problems, and while some loved their cars, others had too many problems to retain them. Ultimately, everything boils down to the experience you had with your car.
4 2001 BMW E65: The Worst Of The Lot
BMW technicians have gone on public record to call this the worst BMW ever made, and they came with so many problems that BMW extended the warranty on them to 100,000 miles for the first two year models. Everything leaked from oil to coolant to fuel and it squirted with regularity.
Many joked that the E65 was designed less for the road, and more to look pretty (not that it looked pretty at that) at the mechanic's shop. And repairs costs also shot up simply because everything was so darn complicated to replace and took far too many man-hours than it deserved.
3 2014 BMW X1: Not Very Reliable
The X1 was introduced in 2009 as a subcompact luxury crossover SUV and has received more positive responses than not. The 2014 model erred a bit though, with many facing noisy driving. Many consumers complained that the car rattled even on smooth roads, and sometimes the engine developed a peculiar knocking noise as well. The car was small, so a large guy driving in it remained uncomfortably perched.
Then there were some recalls involving loss of brake assist as well, affecting some 75,000+ vehicles. In 2015, a massive 840,000 recalls were made for the X1, this time due to an airbag issue that had the possibility of rupturing during accidents.
2 2012 BMW Series 1: Cheap In Price And Quality
The Series 1 replaced the Series 3 in 2004 as the most affordable compact cars in the BMW stable. Sadly, the reduction in price also proved to be a reduction in quality. The interiors were Fisher-Price plasticky and the leather cracked for many, proving that it was a cheap find. The cars were supposed to be sporty but the strange dimensions and the weak engine belied all the sportiness.
Series 1 was not particularly well-received especially after complaints about ignition coil, fuel injector, and timing chains poured in. Still, being BMWs, some 100,000-200,000 of these sold every year till they were pulled off in 2012.
1 2010 BMW X6: Just Too Ugly?
A midsize luxury crossover, many found the X6 too ugly to be a Bimmer. The car lacked style and was far too heavy to be used for city driving. Sadly, with no off-road performance, the car proved pretty bad for out-of-the-city driving as well. There were a few complaints about a weak driveshaft as well, but seeing its non-off-road capabilities and that heavyweight, it was but natural for such incidents to happen.
The cargo space is next to nothing while the back seat made two’s a crowd instead of a company. One Redditor even called this a false BMW and more reminiscent of a Nissan Murano convertible.