A BMW? For a college student? When money should go towards tuition, not many parents and students are thinking about buying a BMW as their main transportation vehicle. But a closer look at the pre-owned BMW market reveals that sometimes a used, reliable and cool BMW is worth just as much as a new car from a non-premium brand.

A BMW car certainly raises your cool status in college and even dating gets easier, so the mirage of a BMW car is sometimes too powerful to resist.

So, what are the best choices for a college student? With a budget of $25,000 – admittedly quite high for a student – what kind of BMWs can they purchase? We’ll be narrowing down the choices based on efficiency, interior space and overall appeal.

2013 BMW 1-Series 128i – $23,999


The 1 Series is pretty much the epitome of a student car you can buy with a BMW badge! It’s small, it’s nimble and it looks great. Combine it with a 3.0 liter straight-six engine, add the Jet Black color finish, and the race for the coolest student vehicle is on.

The BMW 128i is easy on the gas and it provides just enough space for two adults and their luggage, and it’s perfect for those holiday trips back home, enjoying the scenery and the rear-wheel drive.

2010 BMW 5-Series 550i – $23,900


While not a consumption champion, the BMW 550i will certainly turn lots of heads and stand out in a sea of small Japanese cars you see in college campuses. The powerful E60 550i comes with a 4.8L V8 engine, loads of equipment and a perfect service history. It looks well-kept overall, and it’s a nice choice if you want to drive something bigger, faster and more luxurious as a college student.

Let’s not forget that many future alumni will certainly give the BMW 5 Series a look when they decide on their graduation gift, so why not start their motoring career the right way!

2011 BMW 3-Series 328i xDrive – $23,900


A well-kept wagon, an xDrive system combined with the 3.0 liter engine that develops 230 horsepower, should be plenty for most college students. It has all the space in the trunk you will need for your outdoor activities and even hauling thing around. For those in the Northeast or in other snowy areas, the 3 Series Sports Wagon provides the safety of an all-wheel drive system to utilize during those cold winter months.

2006 BMW E46 M3 – $23,900

If you thought this list would be complete without a BMW E46 M3, then you need to pay more attention to us. The E46 M3 is that one BMW that everyone loves. Period.

Just as Anthony Soprano Jr. drove off in one of these in the later episodes of the sixth season of the highly popular TV series, so could you – it just proves the allure that the M3 is all about.


2007 BMW Z4M Roadster – $24,900


What’s your ideal scenery in college? For me, it’s Fall and the start of college year. With leaves falling down, freshman lost trying to figure out their way around, and the beautiful weather in some areas.

Now imagine this. Pulling up in the parking lot, with a beautiful, black and shiny BMW Z4 M Roadster, top down, sunglasses on. Heads will turn. Hearts will be broken.

The M Roadster is a serious car, not just for a college student but for anyone that enjoys driving. So if you’re in college and you have the dough, just go for it.