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2019+ BMW 3 AND 4-SERIES FORUMS (G2x Generation) General G20 Sedan / G22 Coupe / G26 Gran Coupe Discussions Reliability: Perception and Reality

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      03-05-2020, 05:14 AM   #1
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Reliability: Perception and Reality

Generally speaking a Lexus is considered to be more reliable than a BMW Or at least less costly to maintain
Now let?s say both cars are mechanically sound and don?t have major issues like transmission or engine

What I am wondering is long-term will a Lexus infotainment screen or gauge cluster be any more reliable than one from BMW.
I think the way cars are becoming so advanced that there is so much more to reliability then just engine and transmission which is what most people think of.
I would love to know everyone?s thoughts on this.

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      03-05-2020, 05:56 AM   #2
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Mechanical bits (engine & transmission) are rarely the culprits anymore. Cars have improved in those areas to a point where they are practically bullet proof.

The electronics are the main issue, and one of the reason for reliability problems with the more advanced cars like BMW/Mercedes/Audi. It's also one of the reasons Lexus is so slow to adapt to new technologies. Since reliability is one of Toyota's hallmarks, they only add new technologies into their cars when those technologies have been refined enough to have become reliable. It's why they're so behind in technology.

If you take a look at reliability ratings on CR, you can see BMW is a bit of a mixed bag where Lexus is pretty clear-cut.
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      03-05-2020, 07:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themush1326 View Post
Generally speaking a Lexus is considered to be more reliable than a BMW Or at least less costly to maintain
Now let?s say both cars are mechanically sound and don?t have major issues like transmission or engine

What I am wondering is long-term will a Lexus infotainment screen or gauge cluster be any more reliable than one from BMW.
I think the way cars are becoming so advanced that there is so much more to reliability then just engine and transmission which is what most people think of.
I would love to know everyone?s thoughts on this.
The thing about Lexus / Toyota, and the one reason they will probably have the edge on reliability is that they are VERY cautious when it comes to innovation. They like to stick with "tried and true" technology that upholds their reputation for things just working. This is great for reliability but comes at the cost of the tech in their cars getting outdated quickly. Outdated tech is not a problem for the market segment of older buyers Lexus was traditionally known for, but it makes it harder for them to compete for younger buyers.

BMW likes to innovate and add the latest shiny gadgets. Adds to fun factor but adds more things to work the bugs out, and right around the time all the bugs are worked out they've switched to a new method of doing things.

In my opinion all of this goes deep into the heart of cultural differences in German vs Japanese engineering and manufacturing philosophies.
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      03-05-2020, 07:52 AM   #4
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Interesting re: the 3 series. Powertrains for the G20 are largely the same, slightly enhanced for reliability if anything. I'm not seeing nearly the same rate of infotainment issues that happened when iDrive7 was released on the G05. My car had a passenger mirror motor fail but that wouldn't make it unreliable.
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      03-05-2020, 07:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofast182 View Post
Interesting re: the 3 series. Powertrains are largely the same, enhanced for reliability if anything. I'm not seeing nearly the same rate of infotainment issues that happened when iDrive7 was released on the G05. My car had a passenger mirror motor fail but that wouldn't make it unreliable.
The rate of infotainment issues that you're seeing, is that based on actual figures or just what you've seen in the forums?

I agree that in these forums, I've seen way more posts in the G05 forum for infotainment issues than in the G20 forum, but not sure that's representative of real world numbers. Consumer reports gave both the G20 and G05 a 1/5 for reliability.

That being said, it seems that the majority of issues that were originally present when the G05 first came out (which happened to be software related) have been ironed out. I've been lucky that both my G05 and G20 haven't had any issues.
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      03-05-2020, 08:43 AM   #6
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I wish Consumer Reports and JD Power would differentiate the "reliability segments". An "Infotainment & Tech" separate category would be useful for people that rely heavily on these reports and rankings when deciding on a car. For me I want to know mechanically who is the top performer, not a mechanically sound car that is brought down in rankings because of glitches with wireless Carplay.
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      03-05-2020, 09:25 AM   #7
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Lexus are known to develop infotainment issues after some years especially the touch screen in the 2IS. So it all depends how long you plan on keeping the car. Check club Lexus forum,it's the best platform for researching Lexus long term reliability.
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      03-05-2020, 10:13 AM   #8
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Generally, Toyota doesn't innovate. You can take a look at their product line for evidence of this. For example, the GS 350 AWD has had the same drivetrain since 2006. That's 15 years. The Toyota Sequoia and Tundra has been unchanged since 2007. That's 14 years. Can you imagine BMW continuing to sell the E90 to this day? I'm sure the E90 would be very reliable, but would it be desirable and relevant? I think Toyota has become so risk-adverse that they can never really be a technology leader ever again.
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      03-05-2020, 10:17 AM   #9
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For those of us who lease, reliability is really neither here nor there.
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      03-05-2020, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin_Nicholas View Post
For those of us who lease, reliability is really neither here nor there.
Well this depends.... if your car spends half of its lease life at the dealer and you're stuck with a loaner... that's an issue.

Not saying that's typical of any particular make/model, but you're not out of the weeds just because you lease (financially sure, but the inconvenience is still there).
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      03-05-2020, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin_Nicholas View Post
For those of us who lease, reliability is really neither here nor there.
Well this depends.... if your car spends half of its lease life at the dealer and you're stuck with a loaner... that's an issue.

Not saying that's typical of any particular make/model, but you're not out of the weeds just because you lease (financially sure, but the inconvenience is still there).
My 2017 f80 m3 was flawless except the tires wearing out!! Perfect f-series!
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      03-05-2020, 05:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Benjamin_Nicholas View Post
For those of us who lease, reliability is really neither here nor there.
+1 This.

IMO Lexus / Toyota are for those people who don't know much about cars, do not like to spend $$$ on maintenance and like to keep their cars for a long time. Yes, there are of course exceptions.

When I am leasing a BMW, the last thing I am thinking is reliability. I have owned many 1st year production BMWs and never had any reliability issues. Most annoying one was our 2002 Mini Cooper S. It had bunch of recalls when it was new and all were fixed flawlessly during regular dealer visits. We still own that car and super happy with it.

If you read the CR reports on it, they make it sound like it is the worst MINI to own.
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      03-05-2020, 05:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTG View Post
+1 This.

IMO Lexus / Toyota are for those people who don't know much about cars, do not like to spend $$$ on maintenance and like to keep their cars for a long time. Yes, there are of course exceptions.
What?? Lol something like 70% of all BMW's "sold" are basically fleet/car allowance leases to people who know NOTHING about cars. There's a niche group of BMW enthusiasts just like there are Lexus enthusiasts who actually care about cars and understand them.

I know you said "there are of course exceptions" but that is way too broad of a statement, that really could be made for any mainstream automaker excluding exotics.
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      03-05-2020, 06:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTG View Post
+1 This.

IMO Lexus / Toyota are for those people who don't know much about cars, do not like to spend $$$ on maintenance and like to keep their cars for a long time. Yes, there are of course exceptions.
What?? Lol something like 70% of all BMW's "sold" are basically fleet/car allowance leases to people who know NOTHING about cars. There's a niche group of BMW enthusiasts just like there are Lexus enthusiasts who actually care about cars and understand them.

I know you said "there are of course exceptions" but that is way too broad of a statement, that really could be made for any mainstream automaker excluding exotics.
Agreed - 95+% of all car buyers know nothing about cars, and have even less interest in them.
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      03-06-2020, 12:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themush1326 View Post
What I am wondering is long-term will a Lexus infotainment screen or gauge cluster be any more reliable than one from BMW.
Statistically yes.
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      03-06-2020, 01:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
What?? Lol something like 70% of all BMW's "sold" are basically fleet/car allowance leases to people who know NOTHING about cars. There's a niche group of BMW enthusiasts just like there are Lexus enthusiasts who actually care about cars and understand them.

I know you said "there are of course exceptions" but that is way too broad of a statement, that really could be made for any mainstream automaker excluding exotics.
I totally agree and we are saying the same thing in a way. Over 80% actually for BMW.

If one is asking to buy and keep a car long term, my recommendation would be to go with Lexus.
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      03-06-2020, 01:31 PM   #17
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Here's what reality looks like for a 2005 X3 3.0i that I bought for my son, and this is one of the "more reliable models." I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if it had a BMW V8 or V12 under the hood or had iDrive and newer parts like an electric water pump.

Its a one owner example, who was a little old lady and only went to the dealer for service and we bought it with 138k miles, currently at 153k. Within her ownership, she probably paid for repairs and service that totals up to the price of a new Civic. This is just one sheet of many more documents I have from the previous owner, and this document is just 2011 and on, even more work was done before then too.

Moral of the story, they will never be as reliable as the Japanese such as Toyota/Lexus, however, maintain the car well and stay on top of maintenance and hopefully you won't have any issues. And especially, do not use the dealer outside of warranty, unless it is a serious issue, save a lot of money and use an independent mechanic. In the end, as always, YMMV.
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      03-07-2020, 08:01 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Here's what reality looks like for a 2005 X3 3.0i that I bought for my son, and this is one of the "more reliable models." I can't imagine how much worse it would have been if it had a BMW V8 or V12 under the hood or had iDrive and newer parts like an electric water pump.

Its a one owner example, who was a little old lady and only went to the dealer for service and we bought it with 138k miles, currently at 153k. Within her ownership, she probably paid for repairs and service that totals up to the price of a new Civic. This is just one sheet of many more documents I have from the previous owner, and this document is just 2011 and on, even more work was done before then too.

Moral of the story, they will never be as reliable as the Japanese such as Toyota/Lexus, however, maintain the car well and stay on top of maintenance and hopefully you won't have any issues. And especially, do not use the dealer outside of warranty, unless it is a serious issue, save a lot of money and use an independent mechanic. In the end, as always, YMMV.
I ended up buying out my lease since it only had 10 K miles at the end and BMW FS gave a 4K discount off residual
So I guess I’ll find out how reliable it is over the next few years

I also think the amount of money you spent versus what your lease/purchase payment would be should factor in
If you spend let’s say $2500 a year on maintenance and repairs you’re not gonna be able to buy anything or buy anything for $200 a month


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      03-07-2020, 08:15 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themush1326 View Post
I ended up buying out my lease since it only had 10 K miles at the end and BMW FS gave a 4K discount off residual
So I guess I’ll find out how reliable it is over the next few years

I also think the amount of money you spent versus what your lease/purchase payment would be should factor in
If you spend let’s say $2500 a year on maintenance and repairs you’re not gonna be able to buy anything or buy anything for $200 a month


Themush
I've always been fascinated by this perception. Where people justify purchasing a new car because their old car is costing them "thousands in repairs". But if you compare that to the cost of a new car, it's almost always cheaper to just continue to repair the old car (with some exceptions obviously).

I think that stems from the fact that most people are terrible with money, and they don't set aside money for "emergencies" like the car needing a new $2,000 transmission. It's easier for them to stomach a fixed monthly $500 cost than an unexpected one time $2,000 cost.
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      03-07-2020, 08:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by themush1326 View Post
I ended up buying out my lease since it only had 10 K miles at the end and BMW FS gave a 4K discount off residual
So I guess I’ll find out how reliable it is over the next few years

I also think the amount of money you spent versus what your lease/purchase payment would be should factor in
If you spend let’s say $2500 a year on maintenance and repairs you’re not gonna be able to buy anything or buy anything for $200 a month


Themush
I've always been fascinated by this perception. Where people justify purchasing a new car because their old car is costing them "thousands in repairs". But if you compare that to the cost of a new car, it's almost always cheaper to just continue to repair the old car (with some exceptions obviously).

I think that stems from the fact that most people are terrible with money, and they don't set aside money for "emergencies" like the car needing a new $2,000 transmission. It's easier for them to stomach a fixed monthly $500 cost than an unexpected one time $2,000 cost.
Very well said
It all boils down to personal situation, The one good thing about everyone being scared of BMW repairs is there were plenty of fantastic used ones if that’s what you want
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      03-07-2020, 11:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
I've always been fascinated by this perception. Where people justify purchasing a new car because their old car is costing them "thousands in repairs". But if you compare that to the cost of a new car, it's almost always cheaper to just continue to repair the old car (with some exceptions obviously).

I think that stems from the fact that most people are terrible with money, and they don't set aside money for "emergencies" like the car needing a new $2,000 transmission. It's easier for them to stomach a fixed monthly $500 cost than an unexpected one time $2,000 cost.
I think in most cases the costs of the old car are more rationalization to get something you already want (a new car) than a real financial argument.

Also, good luck getting a new BMW transmission for $2000. When you are told you need $6000+ for a repair, $500 a month plus a new car starts to sound pretty good.
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      03-07-2020, 11:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
I've always been fascinated by this perception. Where people justify purchasing a new car because their old car is costing them "thousands in repairs". But if you compare that to the cost of a new car, it's almost always cheaper to just continue to repair the old car (with some exceptions obviously).

I think that stems from the fact that most people are terrible with money, and they don't set aside money for "emergencies" like the car needing a new $2,000 transmission. It's easier for them to stomach a fixed monthly $500 cost than an unexpected one time $2,000 cost.
I think in most cases the costs of the old car are more rationalization to get something you already want (a new car) than a real financial argument.

Also, good luck getting a new BMW transmission for $2000. When you are told you need $6000+ for a repair, $500 a month plus a new car starts to sound pretty good.
Yeah, the lady I bought my son's X3 from said that she got a new X3 for two reasons.

1) Her first X3 was old and she wanted something new.

2) She was paying anywhere from $1k-4k a month at the dealer in repairs. First thing she said to me when I looked at the car was "I just put $4100 worth of work into the car!"

Taking trips to the dealer gets tiring and annoying real fast, especially for her, since she was in her 60's and retired. To some, $500 a month is worth starting a new loan out for piece of mind.
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