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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier

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  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Currently researching and planning to buy new 7401, Benz S430 or Lexus LS430 at year's end (i.e. new 2001 model). While I haven't driven the 740i yet, while sitting in it, I felt the gas pedal was uncomfortably close, even with seat all the way back (and I'm only 6'1"). This was the only negative I could find and anxiously look forward to driving one. Anyone know if this is a common problem or just me and whether any change is expected in the new 2001 regarding this? Thanks
  • pflaumpflaum Posts: 13
    The Benz and Lexi are very different animals than the 740i, especially the Sport model BMW. I am 6' 2'' and don't feel that the pedals are too close in my current 740iL nor in the 740i Sport that I just ordered. The current BMW is simply the best car that I have ever owned and I have owned some very nice automobiles.

    The real question you have to answer is are you a car person or just trying to make a statement by driving a nice car. The BMW is for people who love automobiles. It has great road feel and just enough quirkiness to give it personality. It is, deliberately, not as silken smooth as the Lexus or MB -- it has a certain edginess and demands to be driven. BMW calls their approach to auto engineering "active safety." They put a car in your hands that you can "drive" out of a problem.

    The Lexus is often described as a "car for people who really don't like cars." There is nothing wrong with a Lexus but it really has no personality to speak of either. It's kind of like a Hickey Freeman suit, very well done, nice looking but not a Brioni. It is a very nice, competent, boring car.

    The new MB, IMHO, is plain ugly and I wouldn't own one (I came, I saw, I left). Some find it lovely however. Go figure.

    You can't go wrong with any of them.
  • there is currently about 60,000 miles on my car which i have owned for 6 months. My car was recently towed by lifting the front end by the tires. it was towed approx. 8 miles. as soon as the car was let down and my tire fixed, the car did not shift into drive. it now sticks going from 3rd to drive when it is cold in the morning. i say that the tow company should have used a flatbed. a lot of people have told me that towing a rear wheel drive vehicle this way can damage it. i am in an ongoing saga with my roadside assist company as to who is responsible.

    Any help? advice? experience? i would greatly appreciate it.Thanks
  • drew8drew8 Posts: 20
    I have a 740i sport, 2000 model,and wanted to add some comments on previous postings:

    * Dinan upgrades -- the air intake or exhaust upgrade arent ready yet, but you can get the chip upgrade (actually its a software download, not a chip). Doesn't void warranty. However, my experience is its not worth the $$.

    * Sport package -- well worth the $$ IMHO. Makes the car into a different animal. The look is great, the acceleration diff is very noticeable, and the brakes are awesome. The back seat room is just fine thank you, had 3 large adults in it recently with no problem. One negative about it --if you live in the Northeast, its terrible in snow. Low profile, fat tires with no tread depth. Just barely made it home yesterday...perhaps I should get snow tires...

    * There is no monthly charge for the navigation system, completely free (someone may have answered this already)

    * Front seat room - I am 6' tall and no problem whatsoever with closeness to the accelerator, with room to spare. The sport seats have a ton of adjustments you can play with. Try it out again.

    Just my two cents...

    -Drew
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    In your opinion is the 7 Sport as agile as the 5-Series (regular suspension)? I have driven the regular 740iL before and it drove like a dream sequence. However does the Sport ride noticeably harsher?

    M
  • pflaumpflaum Posts: 13
    Is this "bumper-to-bumper" warranty from BMW or one of the after market warranty scam artists? I once had a third party warranty on a Porsche and the insurance company was infinitely creative in finding ways not to pay legitimate claims. Questionable dealers frequently offer these warranties to move POS cars.

    The repairs on a 750 can be astronomical and the V-12 engine is not bullet proof (like the six). If the warranty doesn't cover a repair, you could be in for a very unpleasant surprise.

    For example, does the warranty only cover only "moving parts"? Guess what, if that is the case it won't cover a blown or warped head (repair cost maybe $16K) or a cracked block or cylinder. I found this out the hard way with the Porsche.

    If the warranty is from BMW, it may not be a bad purchase. If it is from someone else, run for the hills or at least retain a good lawyer (that's what I had to do).
  • drew8drew8 Posts: 20
    Sorry bout the delay in response, been travelling, but wanted to get back to you on your questions regarding the 7 series with the sport package.

    First, I haven't driven the 5 series recently, so its tough to compare. I think the big difference is size and weight. On relative terms the 7-sport is quite agile, but it is a noticeably bigger car. Interestingly, I think the 7-sport is more sporty than the Mercedes E430 which I drove. The MBZ is a real nice ride, but less sense of the road.

    Regarding the harshness of the ride, there is a difference (probably more due to the lower profile tires than the suspension), but personally I find it fine. If you hit a pot hole, the car doesn't bang or anything (like my the Mustang I used to do), but you do find yourself avoiding blemishes in the road.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok now I remember....


    M

    Thanks.
  • humidhumid Posts: 5
    I almost forget - Does anybody have any complaints about the power of the air conditioner on the 740? My friend's 87 325 couldn't keep up with the Texas heat, but I know a lot could have been improved since then.
  • I had another dealer tell me today that all new orders are for 2001 model year. He said he did not have confirmation, but he was told 2001 only adds the phone as a standard and he said he was told the MSRP would not go up much if any.

    What pricing have people been able to get? I read elsewhere people were going as low as $2000 over invoice. The dealer I spoke with today refered to "Raw" invoice. Anyone else hear that term?

    Joe
  • humidhumid Posts: 5
    I was told the 2001 would also offer the run flat tires (from protection package) as a $0 cost option.
  • humidhumid Posts: 5
    I have not purchased yet, but I did get a reference price from carOrder.com . Their price seemed to be about half way between dealer invoice and MSRP. Unfortunately due to franchise law they can't sell cars in Texas, but if you are in another state you might want to check it out. (They only do 740i in 7-series, no 740iL). Other reference points are $2000-$2500 below MSRP for a 2000 or $500 below MSRP for 2001 offered by a dealer without any promting on my part, so you may be able to do better. Lastly, AAA offers fleet program contacts with some dealers depending on your local club. My girlfriend used this program to buy a new Acura when we lived in CA.
  • I have been looking for a used 740il and have heard numerous times that there were three years either 93-95 or 94-96 where there was a recall on all V8 BMW's something to do with the engine idling rough, does anyone know more about this and how concerned I should be and if I buy a used one will BMW fix this problem free of charge (wishful thinking). I saw a beautiful 1994 model that was very reasonably priced and this is making me wary.
  • I'm a big fan of the BMWs as highway cars and, given the configuration challenges of any sedan (high center of gravity, narrow track, high side to side weight transfer during lateral acceleration) as cars for winding rural roads. The 528 was among the three finalists we considered during the selection of a car for my wife a couple of months ago. But, like all cars, BMWs have strengths and weaknesses.

    Unlike the 6 cylinder iron-block cars, you're correct to be concerned about purchasing any high-mileage (80k+) BMW with a V-configured engine and/or automatic transmission. If you research back through this thread, visit the BMWLemon site, pull up the NHTSA vehicle recall site, and discuss ownership experiences with owners who have driven their cars in circumstances similar to those you anticipate, you will note several trends:

    Aluminum engine problems problems have been common among higher mileage V-configured engines due to BMW's use of a special aluminium alloy block with a type of silicon treatment applied to the interior of the cylinders rather than the use of steel liners as is the case for Ferrari, Lincoln, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Porsche, etc. This construction technique was developed by Alcoa and first marketed to General Motors for test application in the early 70's Chevrolet Vega. The advantage offered is a substantial reduction in manufacturing cost. The disadavantages are manifold, as evidenced by the abandonment of this technique by most manufacturers that tried it. Mercedes dumped this engine construction technique three years ago; General Motors long before that. The disadvantages include substantially increased rebuild costs, shorter compression retention, particularly if oil changes occur at greater frequencies that at about 3/4k miles and/or if the engine is subject to the higher thermal and mechanical stress loads associated with towing (Note the feeble tow capability of the V-8 / V-12 BMWs, in spite of their substantial torque). Internal block corrosion (when higher-than-minimal sulphur level fuel is used) has occurred with sufficient frequency that, according to a work colleague who experienced this, as well as other problems, BMW has offered extended warranty repairs to customers who scream with sufficient volumn.

    Another costly drivetrain problem that lurks within the post warranty ownership experience is the automatic transmission used in the 540 and 7 series cars. Unlike the 6 cylinder cars which use an excellent and durable autobox manufactured by GM in France, the V-engined BMWs use a troublesome unit purchased from ZF. While ZF makes some terrific manual boxes, their autoboxes are fragile. Check out the NHTSA recall page for a description of BMW's recall of cars using this nasty unit. During the warranty period, the only downside to having the entire transmission replaced is inconvenience. Post-warranty, as you are considering, the cost of expensive drivetrain component replacement should be incorporated into your present value analysis.

    When I advised a couple of my german colleagues that I was contemplating purchasing a smaller 4 door sedan for my wife and that the 528 was under serious consideration, they commented that the that BMWs are considered by many in Germany to be "German Fiats" because, like many of the higher-end Fiat products (Lancia, Ferrari, Alfa) they have pleasing road behavior at European highway speeds, construction short-cuts that are not apparent on the showroom floor, and a reputation for higher frequency and cost maintenance after mileage exceeds the typical warranty period. Accordingly, their advice corresponds to my own conclusions: BMWs are refined and satisfactory vehicles during the warranty period, but can pose significant post-warranty maintenance and financial challenges.

    Therefore, you may wish to consider restricting your used vehicle BMW choices to cars available with warranties through the company's used car promotion program. That way you can benefit from BMWs fairly high depreciation values (not rates, but actual dollar amounts) while being able to drive the car you prefer with appropriate warranty protection.
  • pflaumpflaum Posts: 13
    I picked up my new 740i Sport Model this afternoon -- black with sand interior, most options (there are few). The car is incredible. It is fast, responsive and comfortable. The ride is not much, if any, harsher than the 740iL it replaced but it is a much more nimble car. The handling is on a par with any car that I have owned (vette's, porsches, jags, etc) and it is seriously fast for a car which weighs as much as it does.

    I don't care for the command module or the GPS but there is no choice. I expect that I will get used to it after a while and probably even enjoy being able to through away the road atlas (LOL).

    Interstingly, the car looks much more compact than the iL even though there is only 6" of difference in lenth. I suspect that it has something to do with the lowering of the body and the side mouldings. It really looks much more like an "M" than a large sedan.

    I think that I am going to be a very happy camper. The wife's 528 arrives in two weeks; I'll pass on driving it.
  • I live in Phoenix, where the summer climate similar to living on the face of the sun. A/C performance is critical. I have been driving Chevy Tahoes for the past 5 years and the A/C in them has been ice cold and able to quickly cool a very large cubic volume. The rear A/C with it's own evaporator/condensor is awesome.

    My friend drove a 1983 BMW 5 series for years here in Phoenix and the A/C was horrible.

    Anyone on this board drive a new BMW 7 series or a new Merc S class in Arizona, Texas, or Florida during the really hot summer months?

    Joe
  • humidhumid Posts: 5
    The sport package is available on 2001 model. I think that it is exactly the same as 2000 model.

    As for A/C, I have a friend who claims his BMW A/C works fine in the Texas summer. He says the bigger issue is the color of the car. He used to have a black Merc that he could never cool down, but now his BMW is white. Something to think about in your purchase. My car is almost always garaged, so I don't think the color will effect my A/C performance that much.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you cringe at repair costs for an explorer, I think you know the answer to the BMW question.

    M
  • qmercuryqmercury Posts: 9
    Exactly HOW much would some common repairs on this car cost. My local dealership refuses to comment unless I bring them the car (impossible) and the few people I know that have German cars own ones nothing like a 7-series (528es, Audi A6, 318is, 525i, 560SEL)
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