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Volkswagen Beetle vs. BMW 5-Series Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Volkswagen Beetle or BMW 5-Series reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Volkswagen Beetle and the BMW 5-Series truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Volkswagen Beetle and BMW 5-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Volkswagen Beetle and the BMW 5-Series were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Volkswagen Beetle and the BMW 5-Series have been recently.

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See reliability results for all Sedans, Hatchbacks, Convertibles, and Wagons.

See only powertrain and chassis results

Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 BMW 5-Series   19 5-Series, 6.8 months of data per 5-Series, average 5600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2013 BMW 5-Series 26 5-Series, 9.8 months of data per 5-Series, average 15100 miles19
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2013 Volkswagen Beetle   18 Beetles, 7.9 months of data per Beetle, average 8900 miles

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2012 BMW 5-Series 27 5-Series, 9.0 months of data per 5-Series, average 23800 miles44
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW 5-Series 49 5-Series, 7.3 months of data per 5-Series, average 36600 miles

First year for F10 5-Series.
53
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 BMW 5-Series 31 5-Series, 8.5 months of data per 5-Series, average 54400 miles41
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2009 BMW 5-Series 25 5-Series, 8.8 months of data per 5-Series, average 60800 miles82
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 528 / 550 / M5 45 528 / 550 / M5s, 8.8 months of data per 528 / 550 / M5, average 76200 miles

Refreshed. First year for the turbocharged six in the 535i. Common turbo failures.
76
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 BMW 535 29 535s, 9.0 months of data per 535, average 76300 miles

Refreshed. First year for the turbocharged six in the 535i. Common turbo failures.
111
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 5-Series 30 5-Series, 8.0 months of data per 5-Series, average 92800 miles60
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 BMW 5-Series 38 5-Series, 9.2 months of data per 5-Series, average 91500 miles100
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 BMW 5-Series   23 5-Series, 9.6 months of data per 5-Series, average 93400 miles

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2003 BMW 5-Series 25 5-Series, 8.5 months of data per 5-Series, average 103500 miles101
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2002 BMW 5-Series 40 5-Series, 8.9 months of data per 5-Series, average 112800 miles115
70% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2001 BMW 5-Series   17 5-Series, 10.4 months of data per 5-Series, average 123300 miles

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2001 Volkswagen Beetle   14 Beetles, 7.7 months of data per Beetle, average 109500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2000 BMW 5-Series   11 5-Series, 10.9 months of data per 5-Series, average 128500 miles

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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Volkswagen Beetle

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2004 2dr Convertible 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Despite having an extended warranty the vehicle was in the shop so often it became too inconvenient to own.
2000 2dr Hatch 115-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I bought this car as a "Certified Used". I replaced the main computer twice in the first 3 months. I have replaced 02 sensors every year, sometimes up to 3 a year. Repairs are expensive and required often.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the BMW 5-Series

BMW 5-Series Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2008 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Full service for first 4 years.
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Tremendous warranty which includes annual oil change and inspection paid for by dealer. ANY problems are fixed at no charge to customer.
2007 4dr Sedan 360-horsepower 4.8L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
No problems in 15,000 miles
2007 4dr Sedan 215-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Very good reputation.
2005 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Tried and true inline 6 cylinder engine.
2002 4dr Sedan 184-horsepower 2.5L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Very little rust after 8+ years coupled with top notch materials lasting quite a long time. Replacement parts were very costly but performed for long periods. Current owners offer great advice on what and when to perform preventative maintenance.
BMW 5-Series Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
- accelerator response (hesitation) - engine issues (check engine light requiring three service visits in two months) - engine malfunction light (part of turbo came disconnected) - faulty fuel sensor (recall first three months of new model year)
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Unbelievable maintenance after 50K miles, cost and effort.
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Terrible reputation for poor reliability and absurdly high repair costs as early as 50,000 miles.
2005 4dr Sedan 325-horsepower 4.4L V8
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Over 80K many systems were beginning to break down
2004 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
Had several repairs the first month of ownership that were covered by CPO warranty...love that BMW CPO
2002 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This car is known to have a plethora of problems. I have yet to see if it will hold up well for me.
2002 4dr Sedan 290-horsepower 4.4L V8
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I picked the above "reason" because it's the worst feature of an otherwise perfect vehicle. The durability of the interior is quite frankly an embarassment. I've lost the buttons for max for the heater, up for the driver side temerature, and the top button for the airflow direction .... don't ask me where they went, they just disappeared! I've broken the drivers side cup holder (and come on ... how pathetic are those cup holders!), and once it breaks, it no longer clicks back into the closed position so now I have a half a cup holder sticking out. One other grievance relating to interior durability ... the plastic footrest (left foot) down below the hood lever also fell apart. The plastic just broke away in
2001 4dr Sedan 225-horsepower 3.0L I6
5-speed shiftable automatic RWD
dealer ship as a mess