Are BMWs Good on Gas?


how good are BMWs on gas?

Gas mileage usually is not the biggest concern for someone that is interested in a luxury German car like BMW. Gas prices are at a historic low in the United States and owners buy BMW for its performance and luxury, not for its inexpensive cost of ownership.

On the other hand, premium gas at five bucks a gallon is always just around the corner, and some BMW owners (like myself) are concerned with buying vehicles that don’t break the bank. Cars that are good on gas mileage go a long way in decreasing the cost of ownership.

So how good are BMWs on gas?

In general, modern-day BMWs are average when it comes to gas mileage. There are no BMW models that have exceptional fuel mileage compared to their peers. The 2020 3 Series has a respectable average gas mileage at 29 miles per gallon. Whereas the 2020 X5 only gets an average of 23 miles per gallon.

Gas mileage is something to consider whether you are interested in purchasing a luxury German car or a more practical Toyota Camry. There is a lot of variation among BMW models in terms of gas mileage, and in this article, you will learn which BMW models have the best gas mileage and how BMW gas mileage compares to other German luxury vehicles.

Which BMWs are good on gas?

BMWs are expensive enough as it is, if you are interested in buying a BMW you should have a realistic idea of what it is going to cost you to own it over the long term. Luckily we have assembled a chart to inform you how good on gas each BMW model really is.

The chart below was created using data collected from Consumer Reports. The chart uses “average gas mileage”, which is the average gas mileage that a vehicle will have between city and highway driving. Gas mileage is worse with more city driving and better with more highway driving.

2020 BMW Model Average Gas Mileage
2 Series 25 MPG
3 Series 29 MPG
5 Series 26 MPG
7 Series 21 MPG
8 Series 20 MPG
Z4 29 MPG
X5 23 MPG

As you can see, the Z4 and the 3 Series are the least expensive when it comes to gas mileage, hovering around an average of 29 miles per gallon. I did not include the i3 or the i8 in this chart because both of these BMW models are electric.

The 8 Series and the 7 Series are on the lower end of the spectrum at 20 and 21 miles per gallon. These vehicles are significantly worse on gas mileage because they have stock V8 and V12 engines, which burn far more gas.

Are new model BMWs better on gas than older models?

What if you’re not just considering a brand new 2020 BMW? There are tons of great deals out there for used BMWs, and you should consider taking advantage of one of them. But how is the gas mileage going to differ with an older BMW versus a brand new model?

Luckily we have constructed a chart with information collected from Consumer Reports and Edmunds. We decided to take a look at what the average gas mileage was on several 2010 BMW models and compare them to the gas mileage on 2020 BMW models.

BMW Models Average Gas Mileage
2020 3 Series

2010 3 Series

29 MPG

23 MPG

2020 5 Series

2010 5 Series

26 MPG

22 MPG

2020 7 Series

2010 7 Series

21 MPG

16 MPG

2020 Z4

2010 Z4

29 MPG

20 MPG

The 2010 7 Series had the worst average gas mileage by far at 16 miles per gallon. The 2010 3 Series BMW performed the best in the 2010 classification at 23 miles per gallon. Clearly, the data shows that newer model BMWs have far better gas mileage than older BMWs. This is attributable to new technology resulting in efficiency gains and updated fuel economy standards in the United States.

Of course, the fact that you are not going to get as good gas mileage with an older BMW is not the only thing you should consider. New BMWs are extremely expensive and depreciate quickly. You can check out an article on new vs used BMWs here.

How does BMW gas mileage stack up against other German luxury brands?

I am not going to dive deeply into comparing BMW gas mileage to non-Germany luxury vehicles because the distinction is clear from the get-go. The fuel-efficient car brand list is dominated by Toyota, Honda, and to a lesser extent Hyundai and Kia. These vehicles are manufactured with affordability in mind, and consequentially they are typically extremely good on gas mileage.

BMWs, along with Audi and Mercedes Benz are constructed as luxury sports cars, and gas mileage is a secondary thought at best. Therefore, the chart below will compare various BMW models gas mileage to Mercedes and Audi comparable models.

This chart compares the average gas mileage amongst 2020 model German luxury cars. The data for this chart was collected from Consumer Reports.

2020 Car Model Average Gas Mileage
BMW 3 Series

Mercedes C Class

Audi A4

29 MPG

26 MPG

27 MPG

BMW 5 Series

Mercedes E Class

Audi A6

26 MPG

24 MPG

26 MPG

BMW 7 Series

Mercedes S Class

Audi A8

21 MPG

18 MPG

21 MPG

The BMW and Audi have identical gas mileage in two categories. In the first category, the Audi A4 beats the BMW 3 Series gas mileage with 27 miles per gallon to 29. The Mercedes Benz scores the worst in every category, but not by a significant margin.

Overall, the gas mileage differences among German luxury brands are minimal.

Conclusion

BMW i8

Gas mileage is admittedly not the most important concern when one is considering a BMW, but it is certainly something worth checking. Overall, BMWs do not have bad gas mileage but they certainly do not good gas mileage when compared with a Toyota Camry or a Honda Civic. When compared to other German luxury brands, BMW is pretty average. Hope you enjoyed this article, you can check out a list of other things to look for when buying a BMW here.

Stephen Metellus

I am a BMW enthusiast and owner of abetterbmw.com! I have been repairing, flipping, and parting out BMWs for nearly ten years. I love these vehicles and I hope you will find my articles and YouTube channel helpful for whatever BMW project you have in store!

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