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Best used BMWs

The used market is home to many brilliant BMWs and it can be difficult to choose between them. This list of our top 10 choices will help...

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Oliver Young
Published26 November 2023

Top 10 used BMWs

A slogan BMW loves to use is 'The Ultimate Driving Machine'. This is because the brand takes pride in having produced some of the most stellar driving experiences in the business. Its 'M' performance cars are the cream of the crop, and even a fair few of its entry-level models are true driver's cars. You'll even find some of its luxury SUVs are sharp driving machines. 

Couple that with sleek designs and plush interiors and no wonder this premium badge has such a vast following. And, seeing as you're reading this, it's likely you're one of them. You're also someone who relishes an amazing deal, because this list focuses on the top 10 BMW models from the used market.

What car ranks highest? Well, the BMW 3 Series is currently the best used BMW you can buy. 

Our pick: 330e 22.3 kWh M Sport 4dr Step Auto

0-62mph: 5.9 sec
MPG/range: 353.1mpg
CO2 emissions: 19g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 375 litres
Insurance group: 34E


  • Great fun to drive
  • Sharp steering and superb body control
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Well equipped


  • Interior not as well finished as Audi A4
  • Lumbar support was an expensive extra
  • Rather firm ride, especially on M Sport models

A class-leading executive car and our top pick within the BMW brand, the BMW 3 Series is stronger than ever in its latest form. It's great to drive and sports a varied range of excellent petrol and diesel engines, along with a powerful and fuel efficient plug-in hybrid – the 330e. 

Even the now-entry-level petrol (badged 320i) is seriously punchy. Meanwhile, the M340i is seriously quick, if you feel the need for speed, and then there's the BMW M3 performance car, which is even quicker than that. 

And when you've had your fun, the 3 Series reverts back to being a quiet, refined, luxurious cruiser – especially if you avoid the firmer suspension of the M Sport trim – and one with good passenger and boot space. If you'd like even more boot space, there's always the BMW 3 Series Touring estate car, too. 

Used prices are extremely reasonable, with respectable examples going for as little as £16,000.  

We found: 2019 BMW 3 Series 320i SE, 45,204 miles, £18,800

Read our full used BMW 3 Series review

Search for a used BMW 3 Series for sale 

Our pick: 530e M Sport 4dr Auto

0-62mph: 6.3 sec
MPG/range: 470.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 13g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 520 litres
Insurance group: 39E


  • Delightful to drive
  • Well equipped
  • Very economical


  • A little pricey
  • Average rear seat space
  • Slight question mark over reliability

The BMW 5 Series is a larger, even more luxurious alternative to the 3 Series. Yes, it won't be quite as agile and economical as the 3 Series, but relative to other rival luxury cars, the 5 Series is both of those things and yet another class leader.

Our pick of the 5 Series range is the 530e plug-in hybrid. It combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with a battery and an electric motor to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. It's capable of an impressive turn of pace, yet in electric mode, you can glide around town in near silence.

Originally, the 530e received an electric-only range of 29 miles, but this figure was upped to 37 miles in late 2019. There's also the four-wheel drive, six-cylinder 545e. It's sports car quick, but the trade-off is that it has a slightly shorter official electric range – it'll go 34 miles before running out of juice. 

Like the 3 Series, you can also get the 5 Series as an admirable estate car – the BMW 5 Series Touring

We found: 2020 BMW 5 Series 530e SE, 57,820 miles, £21,500

Read our full used BMW 5 Series review

Search for a used BMW 5 Series for sale 


  • Sharp handling
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • Strong engines
  • Good value used


  • Firm ride in M Sport trim
  • Popular 20d engine sounds gruff

The BMW X3 shares many parts with the excellent 3 Series and is essentially a family SUV version of it. As such, the X3 shares many of its saloon sibling's strengths, but adds some extra practicality and a high driving position on top of its list of attributes. 

The X3 is a great used buy, and if you have the cash and crave a slice of the premium SUV lifestyle, you won't be disappointed. As a bonus, its reliability record is good, too. You'll need around £20,000 or more to pick one up. 

We found: 2018 BMW X3 20d SE xDrive, 50,000 miles, £23,950

Read our full used BMW X3 review

Search for a used BMW X3 for sale 


  • Unique driving experience
  • Low running costs
  • Amazing styling


  • Steering could be better
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Tiny boot

It may be an older design than most BMWs on this list, but, be honest, would you know that from looking at the BMW i8? No, you'd think it's set to come out 10 years from now, not that it came out around 10 years ago. 

This futuristic sports car is a plug-in hybrid, with a 228bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine driving the rear wheels and a 129bhp electric motor driving those at the front. This contributes to a rapid 0-60mph time of 4.2sec, yet it can run on electricity alone when needed. 

From behind the wheel, it feels agile, sharp and precise. Additionally, it's a relatively easy car to live with day to day, thanks to its impressively low running costs, handy rear seats and decent practicality. It's likely to be a sound investment as well, seeing as the i8 has all the makings of a future classic. 

We found: 2017 BMW i8, 50,000 miles, £37,995

Read our full used BMW i8 review

Search for a used BMW i8 for sale 

Our pick: 420i M Sport 5dr Step Auto

0-62mph: 7.9 sec
MPG/range: 42.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 153g/km
Seats: 5
Boot: 470 litres
Insurance group: 30E


  • More practical than the coupé
  • Standard electric tailgate
  • Excellent handling
  • Very affordable


  • Dated interior
  • High boot lip
  • Firm M Sport suspension
  • Reliability a bit mixed

If you're stuck between a rock and a hard place – in other words, a 3 Series saloon and a 4 Series coupé – then the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé is your way out. You get sleek, sporty looks, but five-door practicality as well, with that fifth one being its handy hatchback tailgate. 

We're referencing the older, previous-gen version here, because it's currently a more compelling used buy than the latest model. Prices are very tempting: you can get one for as little as £10,000 if you opt for an early example. 

We found: 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé 420i Sport, 50,909 miles, £15,995

Read our full used BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé review

Search for a used BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé for sale 


  • Terrific performance
  • Lively handling
  • Confidence-inspiring reliability


  • Ride can get unsettled over some surfaces
  • Steering could be more communicative
  • Although it's great value, there are cheaper hot hatches out there

Although it isn't a fully fledged 'M' product, that hasn't stopped the BMW M140i from going down a storm with car enthusiasts. Underneath its hot hatch skin, the M140i is unlike its peers in that it has a six-cylinder engine and is rear-wheel drive – mechanically, it's more like a sports car. 

Its 335bhp aids 0-62mph in just 4.6sec and you can have a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic one. Being rear-wheel drive, there’s good traction off the line and the ability to be a bit playful with the car’s rear end – should you be driving on a track, of course.

We found: 2018 BMW 1 Series M140i Shadow Edition Auto, 57,278 miles, £18,998

Read our full used BMW M140i review

Search for a used BMW 1 Series for sale 

Our pick: 420i M Sport 2dr Step Auto

0-62mph: 7.5 sec
MPG/range: 44.8mpg
CO2 emissions: 144g/km
Seats: 4
Boot: 440 litres
Insurance group: 29E


  • Entertaining driving experience
  • Rapid M440i
  • Smart interior


  • Some rivals have bigger boots
  • Far from the cheapest used coupé on the market
  • Some road noise

Like the latest 3 Series (on which it's mechanically based), the BMW 4 Series is fantastic in all of its forms, from the four-cylinder 420i to the six-cylinder M440i and BMW M4. It sacrifices some practicality over its saloon counterpart, plus it costs more to buy, but the 4 Series is still rather spacious and it's arguably the more stylish product, being a sleek two-door coupé.

It's even better to drive than the 3 Series, too, because its suspension is stiffer and, therefore, the 4 Series is slightly sharper in the corners. 

We found: 2021 BMW 4 Series 420i M Sport Pro Edition, 34,518 miles, £32,799

Read our full used BMW 4 Series review

Search for a used BMW 4 Series for sale 

Buying & Owning


  • Longer range than most direct rivals
  • Great infotainment system
  • Comparatively well priced


  • Not as fast as rivals
  • Audi E-tron is quieter
  • Tesla Model 3 has a longer range and faster charging

The BMW iX3 is an excellent electric SUV. It offers swift acceleration – 0-62mph takes 6.8sec – and will go a decent distance on a single charge, that being 285 miles. Like the X3 on which it's based, the iX3 gets you rugged style, a high driving position and good passenger and boot space. 

What's more, used iX3s go for around £15,000 less than new ones do – the most affordable examples are currently going for around £38,000. 

We found: 2021 BMW iX3 Premier Edition, 20,114 miles, £37,999

Read our full used BMW iX3 review

Search for a used BMW iX3 for sale 


  • Good to drive
  • High-quality interior
  • Spacious and practical


  • Lots of road noise
  • Fairly pricey

The original BMW X1 predated other premium family SUVs by a good few years. It offered a dose of luxury SUV to those who'd rather do without the hefty sizes and prices those cars usually come with. The model sold well, but it had some flaws that stopped it from being a top choice of ours.

This second-gen model came as a vast improvement, being better to drive and more practical. It was further improved in 2020, when the X1 received a host of updates, including a larger, more distinctive grille, tweaks to the eight-speed automatic gearbox and better in-car technology with Apple CarPlay and an 8.8in infotainment screen. Reliability is strong, too. 

We found: 2020 BMW X1 20i SE, 41,207 miles, £19,549

Read our full used BMW X1 review

Search for a used BMW X1 for sale 


  • Strong performance
  • Economy in diesel versions
  • Class-leading infotainment system
  • Terrific reliability


  • Rear room a little tight
  • Not as well equipped as some
  • Relatively high prices

This generation of BMW 1 Series starts at around £6000 on the used market, making it the most accessible BMW of recent times – no wonder it's used buying guide (2011-2019 BMW 1 Series) is one of our most popular.  

On the road, the 1 Series is smooth and refined to drive, with some strong yet economical engines to boot. All 1 Series variants of this generation are rear-wheel drive, so its handling is nicely balanced too.

Reliability is strong, and there are plenty to choose from on the used market. True, we rate the performance-focused M140i version highly, but there's plenty to like in regards to the regular 1 Series models.

We found: 2016 BMW 1 Series 120i Sport, 56,300 miles, £10,999

Read our full used BMW 1 Series review

Search for a used BMW 1 Series for sale