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Certified Pre-Owned BMW Buying Guide


A new car gives you the peace of mind of a full warranty. A used car costs less and lets someone else pay the worst part of the depreciation, so your investment retains more value. But there’s a third option that gives you the benefits of both. Certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles have gone through an exhaustive list of checks and repairs and are backed with extended warranty protection.

New BMWs get a 4-year/50,000-mile comprehensive warranty. BMW CPO vehicles get at least one additional year – and you can sign up for more. See our BMW CPO program information page for details.

BMW Certified Pre-Owned Program

BMW CPO vehicles must:

  • Pass a 196-point inspection
  • Must have at least 300 miles and not more than 60,000 miles of use
  • Have a clean Carfax Report

BMW CPO benefits include:

  • One-year/unlimited-mile extended warranty
  • Optional roadside assistance and loaner vehicle program
  • Optional extended warranty available

2019 BMW 3 Series

2019 BMW 3 Series driving in blue

When it was brand new, the 2019 BMW 3 Series carried a sticker price starting just under $41,250. Today, you can find CPO versions for below $36,000.

The 3 Series is the classic sport sedan most people think of when they hear the name BMW. It was entirely redesigned for the 2019 model year, and that design is still with us in 2022. So it’s possible to buy a certified 2019 3 Series that looks just as new as a 2022 model fresh off the lot. The 3 Series has rear-wheel drive (RWD) as standard or optional all-wheel-drive (AWD).

You’ll find 2019 3 Series cars with 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder engines making 248 or 255 horsepower, or with a turbocharged 6-cylinder powerplant making 300 horsepower. But a 3 Series is as much about handling as straight-line speed. This is a driver’s car, and you’ll know it the moment you make that first turn.

Available features include an 8.8-inch central touchscreen, 14-way power front seats, and a 10-speaker audio system. The 3 Series’ closest competitors are the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4.

The 2019 3 Series earned a 5-Star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some driver assistance systems were optional that year, so you might want to make sure you find one with automatic emergency braking and curve-adaptive headlights.

2019 BMW 5 Series

2019 BMW 5 Series driving in silver

Starting at $54,395 when new, today you can get a certified pre-owned 2019 BMW 5 Series starting around $36,000.

The 5 Series midsize luxury sedan offers models ranging from the base level 530i editions to the 550i performance and luxury models. Offered in both RWD and AWD, the lineup includes a base 530i with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder; that same engine as part of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the 530e; a 335 horsepower 6-cylinder engine in the 540i; and a range-topping 550i with a 456 horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The 5 Series competes directly with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6.

The BMW 5 Series places its emphasis on both sport sedan handling and luxury. Amenities include a 205-watt/12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, 16-way adjustable seats, and a moonroof. The 2019 5 Series is also equipped with the iDrive 6.0 system that adds a rotary control to the touch screen inputs. Another feature to look for: optional 18-inch alloy wheels. The 5 Series is a spacious sedan with good rear-seat legroom and a large 18.7 cubic-foot trunk.

2019 BMW X3

2019 BMW X3 near trees

In 2019, the BMX X3 started at $41,995. Today, you can find a CPO X3 under warranty for as little as $35,000.

BMW builds SUVs meant to feel like sport sedans. If the 3 Series is the iconic BMW sport sedan, the X3 is its brother in hiking boots. In the popular compact luxury SUV segment, this may be the most athletic entry. Shoppers might also consider its home-market German rivals, the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5.

For the 2019 model year, BMW sold it in RWD and AWD versions. Most spun all four wheels, so AWD editions are far more common on the CPO market. But the entry-level RWD model is a steal if you live where the weather doesn’t demand AWD. Two engines were offered, and both are excellent choices on the used market. The X3 sDrive30i and xDrive30i carry a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder putting out 248 horsepower. The X3 M40i got a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 making 355 horsepower. Both send power through a well-liked and reliable 8-speed automatic transmission.

The X3 is compact but makes excellent use of its available space. Our test drivers found its three-way-split folding rear seats a particularly useful touch. The central touchscreens that handle navigation and entertainment functions in most cars have been growing in recent years. The 2019 X3’s 10.25-inch version is a reasonable size even by 2022 standards. Apple CarPlay was optional in 2019.

The 2019 X3 earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick+ award – its highest honor. BMW’s Active Guard system was standard. It includes frontal collision warning and an Automatic City Collision Mitigation braking system, which can automatically apply the brakes if the vehicle senses an impending crash.

2019 BMW X5

2019 BMW X5 near ocean in blue

To drive a brand new BMW X5 off the lot in 2019, you would have had to sign a check for at least $61,695. To get the same car with a CPO warranty today, you can spend just $52,000.

The X5 was entirely new for 2019, but kept its sporty character. Compared to an Acura MDX, Lexus RX, or Mercedes-Benz GLE, the X5 is the driver’s choice. But it also introduced technologies like an available adjustable air suspension with different driving modes for different terrain.

Even the standard engine is a great one. A turbo inline-6-cylinder model makes 335 horsepower and is found in the xDrive 40i. But buyers looking for the full BMW experience could step up to the xDrive50i. It carries the venerable 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 the company builds into most of its performance cars. Here, it makes 456 horsepower and does a 0-60 sprint in just 4.6 seconds. Power goes to all four wheels – every X5 is AWD – through a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission.

The X5 was built with two or three rows of seating, but the third row isn’t really meant to accommodate adults. Apart from that, seating is spacious all around. The dashboard features a 12.3-inch digital screen in place of the driver’s instrument display and a 10.2-inch central screen that takes care of climate and entertainment functions. The most cost-effective option is BMW’s multi-contour seats, which were just $750 new and added 20-way adjustment. But BMW offered a phonebook’s worth of options (ask your dad, if you’re not one). Standouts on the CPO market include a Bowers & Wilkins audiophile sound system.

The 2019 X5 includes most of the advanced safety features found on 2022 BMWs. The Active Driving Assistant bundles pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

2019 BMW X7

2019 BMW X7 near rocks

The BMW X7 made its debut for the 2019 model year. Brand new, it carried a sticker price of $74,895. Certified today, you can find them in the $72,000 range. That’s not much savings compared to when it was new, but it’s a bigger discount compared to what you might pay for a new one today, in a year when new and used car prices have climbed to record highs.

The 2019 X7 was BMW’s first true 3-row SUV. Before it arrived, we would have told you that no one could build a truly fun-to-drive 3-row SUV. But the X7 made us rethink things. On the highway, it’s stable and quiet. Seventy mph feels like 50 mph and sounds almost like standing still. And the adjustable air suspension can offer long-drive comfort or sporty balance, depending on your mood.

The 2019 X7 is available with a 330-horsepower turbo inline-6-cylinder engine or a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 456 horses. The big V8 feels more powerful than anything else in its class, but the excellent 6-cylinder is really all you need to enjoy your daily drive and saves you at the pump. Both engines send power to all four wheels through the same 8-speed automatic transmission. A Dynamic Handling Package ups the sportiness with bigger brakes and a limited-slip differential, but the X7 handles exceptionally well even without it. Rivals include the Mercedes-Benz GLS450 and the well-liked Audi Q7.

As befits its luxury price tag, the X7 offers seemingly every available creature comfort. The X7 is offered as a 7-seater with a second-row bench seat or a 6-seater with a pair of captain’s chairs for the second row. Both rear rows of seating fold away at the touch of a button. A 1,500-watt Harman Kardon audio system with 20 speakers is the standout option.

Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-departure warning, and blind-spot warning are standard. Moving up to the xDrive50i gets you adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and an Extended Traffic Jam Assistant system that allows limited hands-off driving in slow traffic.

Sean Tucker
Sean Tucker is an author, reporter, and reviewer covering the automotive and energy industries. His work has appeared in print and online through U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo Autos, MSN, Dub Magazine, and more. He has been an expert guest on cable television discussing the car industry, and has served as reporter and managing editor for energy and insurance industry publications, covering... Read More about Sean Tucker

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