Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Last of the Manuals: 2011 BMW 535i

Seven years isn't a long time in the life of a car.  I've daily driven cars with twice that age, so to buy a car from 2011 and drive it every sounds like almost new to a guy like me.  The asking price on this one seemed suspiciously low until I checked KBB and verified that a $50k car loses 80% of its original asking price in the first 7 years. Find this 2011 BMW 535i offered for $10,700 in Sacramento, CA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

The F10 generation BMW 5-series was introduced for the 2011 model year with bland new styling and a bunch of carryover engines/transmissions...which wasn't a bad thing because the previous engines/trannys were great.  The 300 horsepower N55B30 inline-6 makes well above the rated 300 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs of torque, and this one has the last-of-its-kind 6-speed manual gearbox. 

From the seller:
2011 BMW 535i 

We have a very RARE 6 SPEED BMW 535i. It runs and drives seamlessly with NO ISSUES at all. The engine and transmission are running strong with NO LEAKS anywhere. Our BMW has been very well maintained and always serviced on time. As shown in the pictures, there is NO MAJOR DAMAGE anywhere. There are no large scratches or dents and no rips anywhere inside. EVERYTHING IS FUNCTIONAL and works just as it should. Our BMW comes LOADED with tons of features and is ready for its new home. 

Contact (9l6) 280-1892

Salvage Title
Rare 6 Speed 
Premium Package 
12 Total Speakers 
2 Subwoofers
Bluetooth Audio 
Heated Seats 
Power Everything 
Power Sunroof / Moonroof 
Backup Camera 
Parking Sensors 


See a better way to drive a 6-speed?


  1. I drove my truck (4 times as old) into work today. Only because my car (4.6 times as old) was already at work. (I bike commuted yesterday, an improbable feat in February in Ohio). That car needs work that I'm not going to give it. It's got a few electrical gremlins, and a dragging brake caliper. It's worth more as parts than it is as a car, so I'll start breaking it shortly. I'm replacing it with a car 2.7 times as old as old as the above.

    Those F10 5ers are nice though. I've driven a couple. They're too heavy (what isn't these days?) but the BMW handling is still there for the most part. I'm sure the stick is a very welcome feature.

  2. I suppose for that price the salvage title is less of a concern (how much more value could this car lose?). Is that the right way to think? I still wonder how an expensive car like this winds up with a salvage title. I am happy to hear any explanations or experiences.

    p.s. I was going to make a joke about "Black cars look better in the shade", until I noticed that this one is blue....

    1. It would still concern me. Sometimes cars wind up with salvage titles with relatively minor damage, or as a result of being partially stripped in a theft. But given that this was a $50k car, I'd want more specifics as to why there's a salvage title - specifically to ensure that it wasn't the result of a flood, or some very significant crash damage. Those are gifts that keep on giving...

  3. Based on the way it was listed, I thought salvage title was a feature!

  4. Salvage titles on later maodel BMW's are almost the sine qua non of even the most surface of body damage to day at least here on the West Coast. The Mitchell Manual or whatever the body shops are using these days for car repair lists replacement parts and labor so ridiculously high that nothing pencils out. Undercarriage damage to the control arm etc....salvage. As for what constitutes too old to drive, why would anyone be so careless as to less out 50 K plus for a new BMW which is heavier, more complicated and just less fun that earlier iterations says I. Just picked up a 2007 E 91 wagon, admittedly without the useless NAV, with just a skosh over 100 K on the odometer....for a bit over 7K....the seller got a bit more than I would have liked to give him but what the hey......

  5. I forgot to add that no matter what I wouldnt buy a car with a salvage title. ALMOST impossible to sell and recover your investment

  6. We've owned several salvage vehicles, and all of them have had problems. Never buy a salvage vehicle. Insurance rarely put salvage titles on good running cars.

    1. I've had the opposite experience with salvage vehicles - for me they have been good value for the money and no problem since I knew exactly why they were salvaged and the extent of the damage. I think it depends heavily on the specific car, and seller's knowledge/honesty. No problem insuring salvage title vehicles for me here in CA.

  7. Maybe the air freshener hanging from the mirror needs an additional L?

  8. My only problem with owning salvaged vehicles comes around the time when I need to sell them. The people who are willing to buy salvaged M3 with 160k miles on the odometer tend to be strange folk.

    1. I have a mental image of you staring at yourself wild-eyed in the mirror while repeating that last sentence over and over again...

  9. what u selling? trade u for a couple of hogs and this real nice chicken.

  10. the problem with salvage title vehicles is pretty much no bank will give you a loan for one.. so unless you have 10Gs laying around good luck... a friend of mine had a S550 AMG 2006 Mercedes with the presidential package.. salvage titled. couldn't get rid of it for the same price as this Bimmer...

  11. With every year, cars are adding on more technological features, many of which require a little setup on the owner’s end. A manuals comes in handy in that situation and people prefer an auto repair manuals free rather than buying one.


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