Is a BMW E36 a good first car?

I just got my license, and I’m admittedly a little late to the game at 20 years old. Now that I also have a job, I’m looking to get a used car for my first ride. My neighbor has a BMW E36 for sale that’s in relatively good shape but would it be a solid choice for a first car?

Eric Schad · Answered on Dec 13, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Generally speaking, the BMW E36 is not a good first car for most drivers. When you buy your first car, you want something that’s easy to maintain, reliable, and inexpensive in terms of ownership—such as repairs, car insurance, and fuel economy.
While the E36 definitely passes the style test and offers around 30 mpg on average, it’s typically expensive to buy, repairs cost a fortune due to a lack of parts, and reliability is always an issue compared to other models on the market.
A better idea would be a car that’s dependable and gets great fuel economy. It may not have the same style as a BMW, but at least you won’t break the bank on your first car.
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