Cheap Fast BMWs for Under $10,000 and $20,000

BMW has tons of great models that are fast and affordable, including the BMW 540i and BMW E46 330(c)i ZHP.
Written by Carlos Kirby
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
BMW offers plenty of great models that will have you comfortably cruising down the road without burning a giant hole in your pocket, including the BMW 540i and BMW E46 330(c)i. 
If you’re in the market for a luxurious ride, BMW might be one of the first makes to come to mind. With an impressive array of models and trim options, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs—though not always your budget.
But finding a luxury car at an affordable price doesn’t have to be an impossible mission. Below, the
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has compiled a list of the best BMW models under $10,000 and $20,000—along with their top features and some tips to help keep your
BMW insurance costs
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BMWs under $10,000

You don’t have to break the bank to find a great BMW. There are tons of options for used/older models that will still have you riding in style. Here are the top BMWs for under $10,000. 

BMW 540i

Image of a BMW 540i courtesy of the BMW newsroom.
Used price: $5,000
Car & Driver rating: 7.5/10
Even the older models of this sedan have surprisingly great performance. The
BMW 540i
can reach up to 155 mph and if you can find one with a moderate amount of miles, you’ll likely pay around $5,000. High-mileage ones are even cheaper than that! 
Here are some things to consider:
  • Pro: One of the best values in the 5-series lineup with a good balance between comfort and performance
  • Con: Scores just 3/5 from Consumer Reports’ predicted reliability
  • Pro: Roomy, luxurious cabin with a good array of tech features
  • Con: Lack of interior storage space
MORE: BMW buying guide

BMW E46 330(c)i 

Used price: $6,000
Car & Driver rating: N/A
BMW E46 330(c)i
can be hard to come by and for good reason. With a quick 0-60 time and the cost for a used one starting around $6,000, this car is a great option for a great price. Additionally, the ZHP package for this model offered options for styling, suspension, engine, and interior modifications. Due to that, you’ll see tons of different versions of the E46 330(c)i in your search. 
Here’s what you need to consider before handing over your cash:
  • Pro: Multiple variations available 
  • Con: Older models are not as reliable 
  • Pro: Nice interior and good performance
  • Con: Rear subframe cracking is a commonly reported issue 

BMW E90, E92, E93 335i(s)

Used price: $6,000
Car & Driver rating: N/A
The E90, E92, and E93 335i(s) models are overall very similar, with variations in the style of body. These models have hydraulic steering and a twin-turbocharged, direct-injected inline 6 engine. You can find a used E9X 335i(s) for around $6,000.
Here are some pros and cons:
  • Pro: Style the car however you like with aftermarket additions  
  • Con: High fuel consumption
  • Pro: Good value for performance 
MORE: Are BMWs expensive to maintain?

BMW E36 M3

Image of a BMW E36 M3 from the BMW USA Newsroom.
Used price: $7,000
Car & Driver rating: N/A
The BMW E36 was a highly sought-after car in the 90s for its reputation as a great racing car. It is available in three variants which include the sedan, coupe, and convertible. Generally, the coupe has had held up the best over time, followed by the sedan and convertible respectively.
Here are the pros and cons:
  • Pro: Three models to choose from
  • Con: The convertible model does not hold up well over time 
  • Pro:  One of the most affordable options 
  • Con: Made more for luxury and less for speed 
MORE: Every BMW sports car you should know

BMW E83 X3 3.0si 

Used price: $6,500
Car & Driver rating: 9/10
The E83 X3 3.0si shouldn’t be ruled out just because it's an SUV. This high-performance vehicle has a reliable engine and 260 horsepower. It’s quite popular for being able to handle back roads and for having a larger body than most BMWs.
Below is a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of the E83 X3:
  • Pro: Overall, pretty reliable 
  • Con: Engine oil leaks and overheating are common problems 
  • Pro:  Great for mountainous or cold places 

BMW E82 128i 

Used price: $9,000
Car & Driver rating: N/A
E82 128i
came out in 2008, making it much newer than some of the other models listed. This model is lightweight and has an N52 inline six-engine with 230 horsepower. You can even boost the performance by upgrading the suspension
It can be a bit difficult to find a great used E82 128i but if you do manage to find one, they generally have a starting cost of around $9,000.
Here are some things to consider:
  • Pro: Wide variety of engines are available  
  • Con: Can be difficult to find a good used E82 
  • Pro:  Great handling and performance  

BMWs under $20,000

If you’re looking for something a bit faster and more stylish, BMW offers many great models at moderately affordable prices. Here are the top BMWs under $20,000. 

BMW E46 M3

Image of a BMW E46 M3 from the BMW USA newsroom.
Used price: $13,000
Car & Driver rating: N/A
is one of the most popular M3s on the market. It offers a 3.2L inline six-engine with a whopping 333 horsepower. Despite its great styling and features, this car comes at a good price.
Here’s what you need to know:
  • Pro: Great overall value and performance
  • Con: Parts for this model can be expensive
  • Pro: Great engine quality 

BMW E31 850i

Image of a BMW E31 850i from the BMW USA newsroom.
Used price: $17,000
Car & Driver rating: 8.5/10
This original 8 series car is best known for looking extremely cool—and being a great investment. Its V-12 engine can take this car from 0-60 in a mere 6.3 seconds. Prices vary widely for this retro sports car, but you can probably find a moderately used one for a starting cost of $17,000
Here are some things to consider:
  • Pro: Stylish and classic car 
  • Con: Prices continue to rise for this model 
  • Pro:  Very durable engine
  • Con: Older models could be quite worn 

BMW G11 7 Series

Used price: $19,000
Car & Driver rating: 8/10
If you’re looking for a luxury vehicle with great tech and comfort, the G11 7 Series might be the right car for you. This model offers a turbocharged inline-six engine with up to 326 horsepower. You can get a used one for as little as $19,000, while newer models start around $30,000. 
Here are the pros and cons:
  • Pro: Newer car with great tech and comfort 
  • Con: Higher starting price 
  • Pro: Quiet engine at high speeds 
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