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Are BMW SUVs reliable?

BMW SUVs are some of the most popular cars on the market – but can they be relied on?

A gold BMW X2 drifting in orange sand

BMW has been one of the most popular car brands on the market for some time, offering premium vehicles with a seriously impressive lineup of engines and tech.

If you’re in the market for a used BMW SUV, reliability is something you’ll want to consider.

With luxury brands come luxury standards – so you’ll know you’re getting top quality with a BMW SUV.

What makes a vehicle reliable?

A reliable car is one you can trust to keep you safe on the roads without needing excessive maintenance.

All cars will need repairs over time with wear and tear, but a reliable model will have minimal issues outside of this.

You’d also expect a dependable model to be a safe one. An impressive Euro NCAP safety rating is evidence of this and will let you know how a car performs when crash-tested.

Fuel efficiency is also a great indicator of a reliable car, but isn’t the be-all and end-all. If you’re buying a hefty BMW with a large engine, you’ll likely be prepared to spend more on fuel.

With BMW SUVs, you’ll get a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty from brand-new.

You can also add on a warranty if you’re buying a used BMW, like our cinchCare package.


A BMW X1 driving through snowy mountains

The BMW X1 is one of the most popular SUVs in the segment, boasting sophisticated styling and a range of impressive engines.

It’s considered a dependable option and sits in the top spots of popular consumer reliability surveys.

Reviews from X1 drivers are positive too, reporting minimal issues over the time of ownership.

You’ll get a lot of drive for your money too, with the sDrive18d model offering up to 55.4mpg.

Euro NCAP awarded the X1 a full five-star safety rating on its 2022 crash test, meaning it’s a safe model even with just the standard equipment.


a grey bmw x2 driving through a tunnel

The BMW X2 is a suave option for an SUV that BMW describes as ‘sporty, distinctive, and agile’.

Based on the X1, it gets chunkier and more aggressive styling with a plug-in hybrid option on offer.

The X2 was last tested by Euro NCAP in 2015 and received a full five-star rating, but this score has since expired.

Regardless, you’ll still get quality safety kit like fully automatic emergency braking.

Reliability is impressive too, getting high scores on consumer tests and reviews. As of now, there seems to be nothing concerning to note with the reliability of this SUV.


A black BMW X3 parked on a hill

The BMW X3 is on its third generation, with each one adding extra features, sleeker styling, and more refined engines.

It’s available with BMW’s impressive xDrive all-wheel-drive system and as an impressive plug-in hybrid.

Just like its sibling models, the X3 is a reliable choice that can run for years and still be a joy to drive. Reliability scores are high and its drivers are happy if the reviews are anything to go by.

Fuel economy is impressive, with up to 134.5mpg from the xDrive30e plug-in hybrid model.

Safety-wise, a five-star Euro NCAP rating will put your mind at ease. Even with standard equipment, the X3 was awarded a 93% adult rating and an 84% child rating.


A red BMW X4 driving on a track

The BMW X4 is a coupé-styled model that offers a gentle approach to SUV styling.

It still feels dominating on the roads but has a more refined look than some SUVs on the market.

You’ll find that this is another BMW option that performs well for reliability and illustrates the brand’s overall improvement over the past few years.

Its drivers review the model with high regard, but the cost of running a premium model like a BMW is something to consider.

The increased maintenance costs do come with higher quality, however, when compared to more budget models.

The X4 shares a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating with the X3 – both performing well when it comes to keeping you secure on the roads.


A blue BMW X4 parked in a city

The BMW X5 is one of the older models in the BMW SUV lineup, appearing as the brand’s first off-road vehicle in 1999.

It scores well for reliability, with positive reviews and a fair reputation. It’s a great alternative to models like the Volvo XC90 and Land Rover Discovery.

The X5 is also efficient on the roads, with the plug-in hybrid xDrive40e model offering up to 54 miles of electric motoring and up to 83.1mpg.

You’ll also be impressed by its commitment to safety, offering a full five-star Euro NCAP rating with an 89% adult occupant rating and 86% for children.


A blue BMW X6 M50i model driving around windy road

Based on the similar engineering to the BMW X5 model, the X6 SUV is a spacious option that’s dreamy to drive.

Some reviews have claimed that the BMW X6 is one of the most reliable SUVs on the market, and it’s received positive feedback across the board.

The model is yet to be tested by Euro NCAP for safety, but it’s packed with safety tech like lane assistance functions and active emergency braking.

When it comes to running costs, diesel is the best option. The xDrive 30d model offers up to 42.8mpg – a solid figure for such a spacious car.


A grey BMW X7 driving in the desert

The BMW X7 is a ferocious rival to the Range Rover, and many reviews place it as the more reliable option. It’s a stylish seven-seater that combines practicality and style.

You’ll find positive reliability reviews for the X7 across the board, sitting in the higher spots on popular consumer reliability surveys.

The X7 isn’t the most efficient BMW on offer, but you can still expect up to 36.2mpg in the 3.0-litre mild-hybrid xDrive40d model.

This is ideal for shifting this spacious model and keeping costs as low as possible.

There's plenty of safety tech on offer too, like an automatic braking system that comes as standard.


A white BMW ix3 driving through a small english town

The BMW iX3 is the first all-electric SUV that BMW offered, and it takes on many of the benefits of the original BMW X3 SUV.

BMW has really come on in terms of reliability ratings in recent years and the iX3 is a testament to this.

It receives positive feedback from its drivers and is placing well on popular reliability surveys.

You’ll get up to 280 miles on a full charge and can get a boost from flat to full in 12 hours with a 7kW charger.


A grey BMW IX parked by the sea

The BMW iX is the brand’s first all-electric SUV with all-wheel drive, making it a more environmentally-friendly way to head off the beaten track.

The first-generation iX model can go for up to 370 miles on a full charge and offers an impressive 500hp statistic.

It’s easy to charge up overnight as well, taking 11 hours to go from empty to full using a 7kW charger.

Overall, it’s held in high regard for reliability and comes with an impressive five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

In fact, it’s been hailed as one of the safest luxury electric models on the market.


A white BMW iX1 xDrive30

The BMW iX1 is another first for the brand – this time being the first compact SUV that’s fully electric-powered.

It’s a great option for something smaller that still offers a menacing road presence.

The iX1 is yet to receive its own NCAP safety rating, but the reputation of BMW SUVs with five stars is a positive indicator of what to expect.

Offering 313hp, the 65kWh battery is capable of up to 270 miles on one full charge.

It will then take 10 hours to boost back up from flat to a full charge, using a 7kW charger.


The BMW XM is a plug-in hybrid SUV that prioritises luxury and performance, with a 653hp V8 engine that’s complimented by some emissions-free mileage.

In fact, you’ll be able to cover up to 55 miles with electric power alone, meaning you can make savings when it comes to fuelling up.

There’s plenty of safety tech and driver aids that will have your back on the road too, including the Driving Assistant Professional package that maintains your speed and lane as you drive.

As a pricier model with a lot of power behind it, you’ll likely find that this one is more expensive to insure depending on your individual circumstances – that's something to keep in mind.

Which BMW model will suit you?

The best BMW for you will depend on what exactly you need from your car, but BMW models receive positive reviews for reliability and have improved in recent years.

For a smaller SUV, the BMW X1 is a great choice. It still offers a 540-litre boot and a spacious cabin but is more compact than other SUVs in the range.

The BMW iX1 SUV is another great option for something more compact, but this one gives you all-electric power and is ideal for cutting back on fuel costs.

The X7 is a better choice if you do need more space, offering seven seats and the ability to fold the rear seats and enjoy 750 litres of boot space.

Any of the electric or plug-in hybrid models are ideal for cutting back on fuel, but the BMW XM model is the one to consider if you want something that’s battery-powered but seriously premium.

Take a look at our BMW reviews to learn more about each model.

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