Best BMWs with reversing cameras

Fancy an upmarket BMW but are worried about damaging it when parking in tight spaces? Check out the best BMWs with reversing cameras

James Wilson
Apr 7, 2021

BMWs are amongst the most desirable everyday cars you can get for a reasonable price, thanks to their upmarket image, strong build quality and impressive technology, including slick media systems and handy reversing cameras.

A decent reversing camera can be a godsend for anyone who has to squeeze into tight parking spaces, providing more assistance than parking sensors alone can offer. Not only do they help you to see exactly what's behind you, they can also help prevent unnecessary bumps caused by reversing into hard-to-see objects such as low walls or single bollards that might catch on the corner of the car, which might be missed by basic parking sensors.

Due to their popularity, reversing cameras are becoming more and more common, so much so that BMW offers a reversing camera on everything from its relatively compact 1 Series hatchback to its huge X7 SUV. That means that whichever model you're considering there should be the option of getting one with a reversing camera.

At the same time, not all of BMW’s reversing camera systems are the same, some have more advanced features than others. So, before looking at eight of the best BMWs with reversing cameras, it makes sense to take a look at the different types available so you know exactly what's available.

Best BMWs with reversing cameras

Common features of BMW reversing cameras

In general, a BMW reversing camera works by showing a video stream of the area behind the car when reverse is selected. The image is shown on the media display in the middle of the dashboard. There are also useful superimposed graphics which help guide a driver and show the direction the car will travel, with these adjusting on screen as you turn the steering wheel.

More advanced BMW systems can show the area to the sides and front of the car in a 360-degree bird’s-eye video. Systems like this are especially helpful when navigating small multi-storey car parks but are reserved for BMW’s larger and more expensive models.

If the prospect of parking really terrifies you there is also 'BMW Park Assistant'. In its most advanced form parking assistant can automatically find a suitable parking space and control the steering, accelerating and braking without input from the driver.

1. BMW 1 Series

Used deals from £12,000
Monthly finance from £226*

Aside from the electric BMW i3, the 1 Series is the smallest car in the German brand’s range. That is not to say it isn’t practical, as it comes with a 380-litre boot which is only one-litre less than a Volkswagen Golf, which is often considered as the benchmark for a practical car of this size. The 1 Series is also great fun to drive thanks to there being plenty of grip to nip around corners and a good choice of punchy petrol and diesel engines.

A reversing camera is optional across the entire range and can be specified individually or as part of a ‘Technology Pack’ which brings other features such as a head-up display (HUD). A HUD projects key driving information - such as your speed - onto the windscreen in front of the driver, reducing their need to look away from the road.

BMW 1 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

2. BMW 2 Series

Used deals from £12,200
Monthly finance from £222*

Although there are plenty of sports cars out there, not many can be classed as a direct rival to the BMW 2 Series. This is because the small German coupe is very enjoyable to drive - especially on country roads with 60mph speed limits - it has a plush cabin, seats for four passengers and is rear-wheel-drive for a sportier drive. For those who love the sun on their skin, there is also a convertible version. The Audi TT offers a similar package, but can’t match the 2 Series for driving thrills or passenger space.

BMW offers a reversing camera as an optional extra on all 2 Series models. Like the 1 Series, it comes as part of a Technology Pack, although the additional features included are slightly different. For example, cruise control that can brake the car automatically when a slower moving vehicle is detected ahead is included on the 2 Series but not the 1 Series.

As the 2 Series has been on sale since 2014 there is an excellent range of relatively affordable second-hand models available, including a good range of economical diesel-powered versions and sporty petrol-powered models. Be aware that if having a reversing camera is crucial to you and you're getting a used car, you'll need to check whether this optional extra was fitted to the specific models you're considering.

BMW 2 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE
BMW 2 SERIES GRAN COUPE BUYERS' GUIDE

3. BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series front three quarters view

Used deals from £12,350
Monthly finance from £233*

For decades the BMW 3 Series has been one of the best medium saloon and estate cars. It is well built, looks sharp and has an engine and gearbox combination to suit most types of driver. The 2.0-litre diesel with an automatic gearbox is a great option for those who want a car which is very easy to drive, has enough power to overtake slow-moving traffic without fuss and also offers reasonable fuel economy.

Those wanting a reversing camera can go for any model made after 2018, as this is when the latest model was launched, with reversing cameras standard across the range. The latest version of the 3 Series has only been on sale for a few years but the model it replaced was on sale from 2012 to 2018 and was hugely popular, so there are loads of great second-hand models to choose from.

The previous-generation 3 Series is still an excellent car with some being fitted with ‘Surround View’ (which is also an option on new models). This system can show a bird’s-eye view of the car when manoeuvring, so can be very useful for those who need to reverse up or down tight driveways.

2012-2018 BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE
2019-PRESENT BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

4. BMW 6 Series

Used deals from £21,899
Monthly finance from £400*

BMW no longer makes the 6 Series since it introduced the 8 Series. This was more of a rebranding exercise than anything else, as the 6 Series is a brilliant large and luxurious car. Pick of the range is the 640d model, which comes with a very powerful 3.0-litre diesel engine that is also claimed to be capable of over 50mpg. This figure is based on the older, less accurate test for calculating official fuel economy figures, but in the real world around 40mpg should still be achievable - a strong figure for such a big and fast machine.

A reversing camera was not standard on the 6 Series, although it was available across the entire range, as was the previously mentioned Surround View system. A reversing camera will likely prove invaluable when driving a 6 Series, as the low sleek body combined with a relatively low seating position does make parking more difficult than in many other cars. The 6 Series is also quite large, especially the Gran Coupe models, as these are longer due to having extra space and doors for rear passengers.

BMW 6 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

5. BMW X1

Used deals from £15,485
Monthly finance from £284*

The BMW X1 is an upmarket small SUV - a type of car that is proving to be hugely popular at the moment. This is partly due to the fact that SUVs are taller than standard hatchbacks, making them easier for some people to get in and out of, but this is only half the story. The extra height means that the driver has an improved view of the road ahead, however, it can make a car more difficult to manoeuvre, too, as more low-level obstacles can be hidden out of sight around the car.

Thankfully the entire range of X1 models are available with a reversing camera, although like many others on this list it comes as part of an optional Technology Pack. There are two to choose from but it is ‘Technology Pack 1’ which includes the parking camera. If a reversing camera is important to you, therefore, make sure that one is fitted to any specific models you're looking at.

Driving an X1 is a surprisingly enjoyable experience as it feels more like a regular car than an SUV, thanks to suspension that prevents the body of the car from rolling excessively when cornering. BMW has a reputation for making its normal cars feel sporty, and the X1 is no different. Yes, it's no sports car, but it does drive more sharply than a number of alternatives. 

BMW X1 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. BMW X2

Used deals from £22,995
Monthly finance from £362*

Strangely enough, one of the biggest rivals to the X2 is the X1. They are both built using many of the same parts - such as engines, seats and gearboxes - but the X2 leans more towards looking and feeling sporty to drive, whereas the X1 is more about practicality. That said, the X2 is still relatively practical and comfortable to drive on longer motorway journeys.

Reversing cameras are available across the range, although only as part of a ‘Technology Pack’ - as is the case with a number of other BMWs. Not only are the X1 and X2 very similar underneath their bodywork, but the Mini Countryman also uses many of the same components (as Mini is owned by BMW). As such, the Mini is a great alternative to both BMWs and is available with a petrol engine or a plug-in hybrid setup which features an electric motor, battery pack and petrol engine combo.

BMW X2 BUYERS' GUIDE

7. BMW X5

Used deals from £28,699
Monthly finance from £455*

Sitting near the top of the BMW SUV range is the X5. It is big, it is spacious and it very much lives up to its upmarket image. For example, BMW’s laser lights are an option and these quite literally use lasers to illuminate up to half a mile ahead of the driver (which is a significant improvement over more common types of lights, such as LEDs). Also, there is the option of soft-close doors, which quietly pull a door closed when it is almost shut - they are basically the car equivalent of slow-close kitchen cupboards, which adds to the feeling of luxury.

As for camera-based assistance, a reversing camera is available - either as part of a ‘Parking Assistant’ or ‘Parking Assistant Plus’ package. The latter includes a 360-degree camera and as the X5 is quite large it is a very useful addition. There is also something BMW calls 'Advanced Car Eye 2.0’.

This works like a dash-cam to automatically record the front and rear of the car in the event of disturbances such as a collision. It also works when the car is stationary, which should help catch dishonest road users who damage your car and head off without leaving a note.

BMW X5 BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW X7

Used deals from £72,600
Monthly finance from £1,047*

Driving an X7 is not for the faint hearted as it is a bit of a beast - it's, quite simply, huge. However, for such a big car it is relatively fun to drive over twisty back roads. To help those who dare take to the helm of the gigantic X7, BMW includes ‘Parking Assistant Plus’ as standard. This includes a remote 3D view function where drivers can get a 360-degree video feed of their car straight to their smartphone. BMW claims this is useful for checking the area surrounding your vehicle when approaching it late at night.

Another handy feature of Parking Assistant Plus is that it can remember the last 50 metres of a route, so that it can retrace them if required (although the driver still controls the accelerator and brakes). Moving away from technology, the X7 is a seven-seater as standard and has plenty of space for adults in all of the seats. For family drivers there are Isofix points on the outer middle and rearmost seats which is useful for securing child seats.

BMW X7 BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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