It might come as a surprise to some that 2023 was the best year for BMW sales in the U.S., ever. I found that pretty shocking considering all of the…unique styling choices, questionable new model entries, and general lack of enthusiasm from enthusiasts online. But I guess that’s why you don’t buy into everything you read on the forums. According to the numbers, BMW is on top of their game, and I’m starting to see why.
From EVs to likely the last generation of ICE vehicles, BMW’s 2024 lineup is seriously impressive. It’s clear that they have kept their ear firmly to the tire-scorched ground as far as electric technology is concerned, while still keeping their halo models, like the 3-Series and 5-Series, true to form which is a winning combo. All said, 2024 is a great time to buy a BMW so let’s go over your best options.
It’s hard to imagine a world without the BMW 3-Series at this point. With nearly 50 years of rich history, the 3-Series is the silhouette that you picture when you imagine the Ultimate Driving Machine. The G20 generation 3-Series is no different from all that came before it in terms of its ability to distill the BMW formula into a single package.
In addition to being a great BMW, the 2024 3-Series is a great car, a class-leading one in fact. It still defines the “sports sedan” segment of cars, even if that segment has gained a notable amount of length and more than a little weight since the E21 essentially invented the class in 1975. While an S-Class might be nicer to sit in and an A4 might…well…beat a 3-Series in some metric that I can’t think of right now, the 2024 3er’s harmonious blend of usability, performance, and luxury just can’t be matched by anything on the market right now.
There isn’t a bad option in the G20 lineup, either. The 330i’s 255 horsepower feels like significantly more than that because of how it’s delivered. The M340i makes full use of the chassis.
We also have to think about how important the G20 is to the 3-Series legacy at this point in time, too. With the Neue Klasse EV platform coming in 2025, the future of the 3-Series is in question. It is a very real possibility that the G20 will be the last ICE 3-Series. With only a couple of years until the new 3-Series is rumored to release, 2024 is a great year to buy a G20, as it is about as good as it’s going to get at this point.
4) X5 xDrive50e
BMW’s X5 PHEV offerings have always been a hit, even going back to the F15 X5 xDrive40e. That was taken up another notch with the G05 X5 xDrive45e which hit showroom floors in 2020 and showed that BMW still had their sights set on electrification, getting better with each iteration that they attempted. Now, the new 2024 X5 xDrive50e has reached a pinnacle for the formula, offering more impressive range, a slew of new technological features that appeared with the facelifted G05, and unparalleled value for money.
Obviously, the star of the show here is the revamped hybrid powertrain. The 50e still uses the B58 as a healthy starting point, pairing it with a more substantial 25.7-kilowatt-hour electric motor good for 194 horsepower on its own, or 83 more than the motor in the 45e. That brings the power total to – get ready for this – 483 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s insane for a PHEV that can also venture 38 miles on pure electric energy.
It’s true that with all of the new tech and improved powertrain, the X5 50e is an expensive car, but that is relative. Starting at $72,500, the 50e sits right in the middle of the X5 lineup. With the X5 M60i being the next astronomical leap up to $89,300, it’s hard to justify spending the extra money for 40 more horsepower, everything else equal. If you’re in the market for an X5, the 50e is the uncontested winner in the lineup.
3) i4 Gran Coupe
If you’re starting to notice a trend here, that’s on purpose. There’s no ignoring that BMW is leaning further and further into EV models, and the i4 proves that they can do it very well. When the i4 was released it was a nearly instant success, selling like crazy as soon as it hit showroom floors. In fact, the i4 M50 was the best-selling M car ever in its first year. I don’t know how I feel about that. Anyway, for 2024, the i4 product line was expanded further, with a new i4 xDrive40 added, which is unquestionably the one to have.
While many of BMW’s earlier EV offerings were lagging significantly behind the competition -and still are to a certain extent – the i4 is one of the ones that is really taking it to other direct competition. The i4 is undoubtedly better value for money when compared to cars like the Audi e-tron and Mercedes EQS while also delivering the untouchable driving dynamics that you’d expect from a BMW Gran Coupe. With an advertised 307 miles of range, the xDrive40 model is closing in on the big boys at Tesla, even though there’s still a way to go.
So far, we’ve already marked the X5 50e as one of the best BMWs to buy in 2024, with the iX making an appearance later in the list, but neither of those is exceedingly practical if you have a small garage or lack the need for 5 spacious seats. That’s where the i4 comes in. It truly is BMW’s best EV offering with a small form factor. With the i4 xDrive40 making its debut for the 2024 model year, it is the perfect time to pull the trigger on one.
2) BMW 5-Series
Next to the G20, the G60 5-Series looks like quite the behemoth and, in all honesty, it is. The 5-Series is truly pushing the envelope of what you’d call a midsize sedan these days, and that comes with its benefits and shortcomings.
The G60 5-Series is a new machine from the G30 generation of old, receiving a contested full makeover for the 2024 model year. It’s a complete facial transplant with an entirely new design, from the ground up. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty hit or miss, especially when compared to the muscular and sophisticated G30 design that I came to really love. Nonetheless, under the skin lies a beyond-competent car that blends sportiness with luxury, as per every 5-Series to exist.
The refreshed facia is only the start of the G60’s revisions over the G30. While the G60 is still built on the CLAR platform, it is significantly larger than any 5-Series that came before it. In fact, the G60 is only marginally shorter than the G80 7-Series. With the gap between the 5-Series and 7-Series being so small, it’s hard to understand why anyone would get a 7-Series anymore, as the 5-Series does many things as well, if not better.
The 2023 5-Series is a model range with all good trim options. Honestly, there isn’t a single 5-Series model that I wouldn’t take and enjoy. While the B48-powered 530i might leave a little to be desired, none of the engine options, including the electric powertrains are gutless. Despite the loss of a bit of sex appeal, the G60 is still a 5-Series through and through, and a good one at that.
1) BMW iX xDrive50
Alright, some of you might think that we’re going a little overboard with the EV recommendations, but the fact of the matter is that BMW is at a point where their EV offerings are eclipsing their ICE offerings. That’s a hard thing for me to say – being a classic BMW fanboy and all – but it seriously is true. The iX is a perfect example of that.
For both the benefits of an electric vehicle and the benefits of a large SUV-style vehicle, the iX is not just the car to pick in the BMW lineup, but in the entire EV market overall. At close to the same dimensions as the X5, the 2024 iX can get the fam around town, or out of town with its 300-mile range. According to Car and Driver, that’s more than the Audi e-tron and Rivian R1S. There’s no getting around the iX’s interior either, it’s simplified and streamlined, doing a better job than Tesla in that department for sure.
Of the two trim levels, including the iX xDrive50 and iX M60, the 50 is the one to get. It’s hard to justify the additional $25,000 for 0.8 seconds of the 0-60 time and exactly 0 miles of extra range. Regardless, even the xDrive50 comes with 516 horsepower. There’s plenty to go around. Not to mention all of the sparkly new 2024 tech implementations like iDrive 8.5 and a standard 18-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo system.
With almost three years under the iX’s belt, now is a great time to go ahead and get one. At this point, all of the early “quirks” have been solidly worked out, leaving only a spectacularly performing EV remaining.
2024 Is THE Time To Buy A New BMW
We are at a very interesting crossover point in BMW’s history. Perhaps an even more important era than the Neue Klasse evolution of the 1960s. With the end of the internal combustion engine looming on the horizon, the ones that BMW is offering right now are likely the best that we’ll ever see. For that reason, if you are an enthusiast who has petrol pumping through your veins, 2024 is the perfect time to buy in when you still have a chance. It doesn’t hurt that both the G20 3-Series and G60 5-Series are great all-rounders, living up to their impossible legacies.
While all is well and good on the ICE front, 2024 might mark the first time when BMW EVs are actually worth buying. With early EV offerings like the i3 falling short in more ways than one and the early lifecycles of current EV models being somewhat troublesome, cars like the iX, i4, and X5 50e are polished versions now. Despite my strong preferences, in my research for this article, I would unquestionably spring for one of the EV or PHEV variants that I covered here over a pure ICE car at this point. That says a lot coming from me, truly.
The bottom line is that there really isn’t a bad car on sale from BMW at this point in time, and that has really never been the case before. Take advantage of this little period in time while you can.