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Craig ASKED THE GUIDE

Reliable 7-seat SUVs for a family on a budget

I am looking to purchase a secondhand 7-seat SUV for the family in the $25,000 bracket. It would primarily be for urban driving. I have found a 2008 BMW X5 turbo-diesel auto with 130,000 km on the lock. It’s being sold privately. Could you tell me about the reliability? Would you expect an RACQ inspection to uncover any issues, or would it be better to see a BMW franchise or European specialist for a check-over before purchase? How often and/or intervals for replacement of timing belts? Would you see it necessary to go to a franchise or specialist European mechanic for ongoing servicing and maintenance in the future?

I wouldn’t recommend a used BMW with that sort of mileage on it if you plan to keep it for an extended time. They are expensive to service and repair, something you must be prepared for in the future as the kilometres climb. I would definitely recommend that a dealer, or preferably an experienced BMW mechanic check it if you did decide to buy it. Go for a 7-seat SUV from a Japanese brand.

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