Best BMWs Under $20,000 in 2024


Should you’ve even glanced on the used automotive market within the final couple of years, you already know that used automotive costs are increased than ever. However, shockingly, you’ll be able to nonetheless get behind the wheel of some fairly neat stuff for lower than the price of a brand new Kia Soul. Thoughts you, just below, as a brand new Kia Soul begins at $20,190. Whether or not you’re attempting to keep away from the (literal) penalty field or on the lookout for fanatic cred on a finances, loads of attention-grabbing BMW automobiles can be found to you beneath $20,000 – even in 2024.

F25 BMW X3

F25 BMW X3 on the road, front

Whereas there’s nothing inherently mistaken with the primary era of the BMW X3, the sequel does it higher. The second era of the SUV will get you a selection of nice turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines, rather more fashionable know-how, and a extra usable cargo space. It appears a bit higher, too, though I suppose that’s subjective. At $20,000, you received’t must make too many horrible compromises, both. The very best decide is a six-cylinder model (rear or all-wheel drive), because the N55 six-cylinder is stalwart and delivers a wholesome 300+ horsepower. You’ll be able to even discover M Sport fashions inside your finances, delivering a bit extra dynamism courtesy of distinctive suspension and wheels.


E86 Z4 coupe in blue on the track

The final time we checked out BMWs to purchase beneath $20,000, the Z4 occupied the very same spot. Sadly, the times of discovering well-to-do examples of Z4 M Coupes at this value level are largely gone. Whilst you can nonetheless discover okay examples of the S54-powered M Roadster, an possibility like the three.0si is healthier except you might have buckets of money for upkeep or like getting your palms soiled.

Humorous sufficient, you will discover a number of flavors of Z4 on the $20,000 mark. If you would like extra fashionable appears and ergonomics and a turbocharged engine, you will discover early E89 fashions in completely serviceable form. Craving lighter weight and naturally aspirated six-cylinder? Discover an E85/E86 Z4 and save a ton of cash whilst you’re at it. Simply avoid the SMG transmission that a few of these earlier automobiles got here with.

E46 BMW 3 Collection

E46 3 Series in blue on the road

The E46 3 Collection has remained a paragon of old-school BMW qualities for practically 20 years. That’s no totally different in 2024. Whilst you can’t fairly get E46 M3 as of late whereas sticking to your finances, you continue to have a number of good choices. I’d go for a 330i coupe or sedan with a guide transmission and the vaunted ZHP Efficiency Bundle.

Whilst you’ll miss out on the excessive factors that make the legendary E46 M3, nicely, legendary, you’ll additionally dodge lots of the downsides that accompany it. Mostly, the sleepless nights that may accompany paying for such a maintenance-intensive platform. Decide up a ZHP for a fraction of the M3’s value and revel in responsibly. Should you can’t afford a ZHP automotive, a later model 330i or 330ci will nonetheless do the trick at an much more important price financial savings.

BMW i3

i3 in orange

Spice alert! With EVs gaining market share and OEM help, BMW i3 costs have largely tanked. That’s nice information for consumers on the lookout for a fun-to-drive metropolis automotive. I received’t faux that the i3 works for each way of life, and also you must also know that I’ve lengthy thought of the BMW i3 one of the vital underrated automobiles ever. However there are many facets for fanatics to understand in regards to the little EV.

The very best factor in regards to the i3 – at present and when it debuted – is that it always subverts expectations. Authentic i3 BEVs weighed beneath 3,000 kilos, lighter than lots of the extra enthusiast-focused automobiles on this checklist. Paired with fast torque and rear-wheel drive, distinctive appears, and a pleasant (if unorthodox) inside, you’ve obtained a transparent winner – particularly for beneath $20,000.

E82 BMW 1 Collection

1 series coupe side profile in red

One other fan favourite, the BMW 1 Collection, is a good selection for fanatics. Whether or not you select the 135i – boasting a potent N54 or N55 six-cylinder – or the naturally aspirated 128i, you’ll get among the greatest driving automobiles BMW has ever developed. Pair with the six-speed guide or slick dual-clutch automated out there in 2010 and later 135i fashions for greatest outcomes. Among the finest issues in regards to the 1 Collection – and 135i, particularly – is that it’s a clean canvas. Large aftermarket help lets you modify on your use case – racetrack or canyon carving, for instance – however you’re simply as nicely leaving it inventory and having a day by day driver that does just about all the things nicely. Apart from cargo house and hauling.

E6X BMW 5 Collection

What number of methods are you able to benefit from the E60 5 Collection? Properly, all of them. Guide or automated, diesel or fuel, inline-six or V8, all- or rear-wheel drive, sedan or wagon. Select the powertrain and physique fashion that works for you, and have enjoyable. There’s just one guide, twin-turbo wagon on this checklist, and also you’re it. Whereas the E60 BMW 5 Collection isn’t a historically stunning car, and its newer iDrive and electronics aren’t essentially essentially the most dependable happening 20 years later, it’s a reliable driver’s machine. Plus, they’re nonetheless a little bit of a secret – even good six-speed wagons will be had for beneath $20K. Mixed with the flexibility of many alternative drivetrains and trims, it’s a transparent contender.

E36 BMW 3 Collection

E36 3 Series press shot, purple

Once we checked out the very best BMWs you may purchase for beneath $20,000 two years in the past, the E36 M3 was your best option. Because of escalating values, diminishing provide, and, frankly, competitors from fashions which can be nonetheless depreciating, the E36 M3 isn’t the worth it as soon as was. You’ll be able to nonetheless get behind the wheel for lower than $20K, however it is going to both have a zillion miles on it or received’t be the instance that does the chassis justice.

That mentioned, non-M3 E36 fashions are nonetheless an effective way to get pleasure from a BMW for a lot much less cash than you assume. With typically higher reliability, extra fashionable ergonomics, a bit extra energy, and a decrease price of entry than E30 fashions, it’s merely a greater possibility for a lot of drivers than the E30 while you’re working with a finances of $20K. Want additional convincing? Fashions outfitted with the M Sport Bundle and a pair of.8-liter engine really feel practically an identical from behind the wheel because the neutered, North American-spec M3 at, normally, half of the worth.

F30 BMW 335i and 340i Sedan / F32 435i and 440i Coupe

F30 BMW 3 Series
BMW 3 Collection LCI

Should you’re an fanatic dwelling in an city space, you most likely know (or are) “that man” driving one in all these automobiles. In my case, I do know 4 or 5. You’ll be able to’t swing a deleted cat with out hitting one in all these automobiles with a burble tune and a loud exhaust. Alas, you nearly can’t blame them when you think about they’re making 380-400 horsepower with perhaps $300 in components in the event that they’re a savvy shopper.

Noise complaints apart, the F3X chassis drives nice – even when it lacks the hydraulic steering from E9X and earlier chassis. Mixed with completely fashionable facilities and tech, super aftermarket help, and significantly spectacular out-of-the-box efficiency, it’s among the best values out there on the used market, full cease. You’ll be able to even discover ones with a guide transmission, or shell out a few further bucks and get a model (340i/440i) with the vaunted B58 engine. Whereas it’s more durable to go mistaken with these automobiles than older BMWs, repairs can nonetheless be pricey. And at this value level, you’ll most likely want one or two issues.


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