BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier

bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Member Posts: 115
topic, look here for the link next week for our
First Drive: 1999 BMW 740i Sport, on the front page

"Quite Possibly the Finest Sedan in Existence"
according to Christian J. Wardlaw...

Read it and tell us what you think!

Community Manager


  • ghlobeghlobe Member Posts: 1
    Interested to see the report on the sport version. Just this weekend I brought home a 740i. Spent much of the past two weeks looking at the literature, on the net, and test driving the Lexus LS400, E320 and Mercedes S competition, and Jag XJ8.

    Having never owned anything beyond a Jeep and Volvo, this was new territory and I went into it with nearly zero experience or information on BMW. At the outset I wasn't even sure I'd test BMW and would certainly have put it last on the list for the likely winner.

    Long story short: the 740i was robust, subtle, and rich in feel beyond the others. Each was impressive. The LS400 is especially silky. But adding it up and taking the gut check, the 740i captured me and my wife. It even overcame our distaste for the BMW sales rep, who in this particular episode, was the least impressive we dealt with.

    May I suggest a thread on the 740i vs. LS400 vs. S-class? I am interested in how others size this up.
  • reBMWreBMW Member Posts: 26
    perhaps 740isport v xjr
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335

    It's here:

    HIGH END LUXURY? 7-Series vs. S-Class vs. LS400?

    Bruce. your Sedans co-host.
  • bnormannbnormann Member Posts: 335
    Here's the direct link to the 740i review.

    1999 BMW 740i Sport

  • bonnie_rickbonnie_rick Member Posts: 115
    Spin Around Town of the BMW 7 Series, 1999 BMW 740i Sport, coming soon to the front page of

    Bonnie Rick
    Town Hall Community Manager,
  • fredlyfredly Member Posts: 201
    What a great car, ok well the one I have driven is a 90, but hell the V12 powerplant is so smooth. Damn, if oil changes didn't cost 500$ I might consider purchasing one, hehe. Yeah right after I win the lottery.
  • pflaumpflaum Member Posts: 13
    I have been driving my 740iL for four years. There have been a few very minor warranty repairs and I dinged the car and had to pay $1000 to the body shop. There have been, as I recall, two recalls for relatively minor fixes. Other than changing the oil, that has been the sum of the repairs. NOW, unlike you, I only drive about 7000 miles a year so my car has only 24000 miles on it (I drive my corvette most of the summer) -- so I have no idea what heavy use would do. As for the ownership experience, it is the perfect car PERIOD.

  • boomr46boomr46 Member Posts: 1
    Purchased the above here in northern Illinois recently for under $38,000. All the service and warranty work has been performed at the same dealership since new. It is a BMW certified car so the warranty extends to the end of 2002. Although the car shows just over 50,000 miles it appears, drives and acts like a (nearly) new car.
    It was literally love at first drive and brings back fond memories of earlier BMWs I have owned and driven. I plan on a road trip this weekend to shake it out and will post an update if appropriate.
  • pflaumpflaum Member Posts: 13
    What the hell, the 740iL is coming off lease and I just can't bear to be without one. So the wife and I went to the dealer today. Ordering a new 740i Sport model for me and a loaded 323 for her. Dealer says that when this one comes off lease in two years, the new 7 Series will be available.

    This is the first time I have bought the same car twice in a row (I am on a second 'vette but that's a toy not a car)-- so many cars to own and so little time in life. But, the 7 Series is the best car I have ever owned and there is just no competition out there. The new MB S Class is downright ugly and has that awful command center; Lexi are for people who really don't like cars; Infiniti wussed up the Q45 (I owned a '90 -- a great car) and Audi, well it's Audi and I'm not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt just yet (maybe in two years).

  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    I'm a big MBZ fan. Was going to order the E430, but then figured out that with the price increase, the no discounting policy, and the lack of lease incentives, for the price of the MBZ "mid-tier" E430, you can get the "upper tier" 740i sport package.

    I've signed up for 740i -- the only negative I've heard is that the 740 design is getting old. Hard to argue with that, although the E design is hardly new either (the 2000 E class cosmetic changes are minor). I'm not sure I agree on your opinion on the S-class -- I have mixed feeling, and I think its a design that may grow on you. The profile and rear views are nice, not crazy about the front end. I do agree on the AUdi - drive an A6 now, and no problems, just just not a very interesting car. I think the A6 with a V8 could provide the uumpph, but you're right, its still an Audi...

  • pflaumpflaum Member Posts: 13
    I drove the 740i Sport and it is the most awesome sedan I have ever driven. With the 18" low profile tires and the stiffer suspension, the thing corners like my '98 'vette (well, maybe not quite that well but close). The pick up is much improved and can be made even better by replacing an engine chip (according to dealer). I was just blown away by the test drive.

    This is a terrific automobile at a great price.

    Chris Pflaum
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    Glad to hear it ("most awesome sedan ever driven" is a pretty big statement) - got my '00 on order for delivery in 7-8 weeks. You compare its drive to the vette (which is bit of a stretch), but I'd be curious as to your thoughts on comparing its "feel" and handling to other German/Japanese comps (Audi A8, Mercedes S430, E430, BMW 540, Lexus LS400, others?) Any thoughts?

    Also, more importantly. What is the chip your dealer is talking about, and what kind of HP/Torque improvement can you get from it?
  • arjunarjun Member Posts: 8
    Dinan sells performance chips for BMWs - in fact, most BMW dealers are authorized to install Dinan chips and they do not affect your BMW factory warranty. Dinan claims a peak improvement of 14 HP from 282 to 296 and a peak torque improvement from 277 to 292. I believe they cost about $400 and can be installed in 1/2 hr.
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    Where do I get info about Dinan chips?

    Did a web search, but came up blank.
  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
    The URL is:
  • jesseliujesseliu Member Posts: 41
    If your interested in modifying your 7 series, you should also take a look at Jim Comforti Chips and products. I have heard a great deal of good things about him from other BMW sites.
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    Thanks - can you point me to info on him, or the BMW sites where he was mentioned?
  • pflaumpflaum Member Posts: 13
    It isn't quite as quick as the 540 but close to it and the handling is quite a bit tighter. I really wanted to take the thing to Heartland Park and put it through a slalom.

    As to comparison to Lexi; no one has put a gun to my head recently so I haven't driven one. It has a lot more road feel and handling than either the new Mercedes S or E.

    Seriously guys, with a chip to pick up a few tenths this critter is one mean beast. I can't take delivery until March 1 but the order is going in (dealer thinks that I should wait for an M5 to see if I like that better but I can't imagine how it would be possible to like any car better. Until I drove this one, I thought that my 740iL was the perfect car. Now I know that it is only the second most perfect car.)

  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    I'm glad to hear the 740i sport is close to the 5 series, but is there really that big of a difference with the 740iL?

    I drove the E430. The accleration was good, but nothing to write home about. The pedal felt a bit heavy and delayed. The cars also felt kind of "floaty" -- less road fell. I didn't really push it on the handling front.

    The M5 I'm sure is in a different class -- a rocket ship. I've heard wait in 1-2 years though. My 740i sport comes in 7-8 weeks, can't wait...

    On color, I order black (actually the metallic black) because of the blacked out ground effects. Wish they had gotten with it and made the ground effects same color as the body like pretty much everyone else (including the 3 & 5 series). I think black looks good anyway, but woulda preferred a lighter color car...
  • arjunarjun Member Posts: 8
    There is a fair difference between the i and the iL. I drove the iL for about 2 weeks before I got my i with Sports package and I could definately feel the difference. On the subject of performance upgrades, there are 2 relatively easy upgrades you can make. The first is the Dinan software upgrade - as mentioned, it is not a chip, but a software modification. Speaking to the dealer in my area it costs about $550 and adds 13 HP. The second is a High Flow Cold Air Intake upgrade which adds about 22 HP and costs about $800 to install. All costs include labor, which is about 1/2 hr for the software and 2 hrs for the intake. Enjoy
  • 7klasse7klasse Member Posts: 1
    I have passed the 1 year mark with my 98' 740iL. I have never had such a pleasurable car ownership experience.

    The car and the dealer are superb! My dealer's service department is like having a good pit crew. Not a wasted minute!

    I now have 29,000+ miles - the car still feels as tight as the first day. This is my first BMW product. Its not cheap, but well worth every penny!!!

    I plan on keeping this one until the wheels won't turn - when you find a good thing, stay with it!

    Last winter in Michigan/Detroit area was pure hell - but the big Bimmer was unstoppable with Blizzaks all the way around! I have driven through 24 Michigan winters in all kinds of vehicles-4x4, cars, trucks,etc. Nothing felt as secure or surefooted as the big Bimmer on the gummy-soled Blizzaks. I pushed by Jeep Cherokees that were stuck when the snow was 22" deep! The most amazing experience was when I crept up my ice covered driveway with ease! I got out and could not stand up on the driveway! This car is the ultimate 4 wheeled all-weather interceptor. they make a front blade package?? I might be able to pick up some spare change from cleaning out parking lots/driveways! heheh!!!

    The GPS nav/electronic systems works superbly! It will get you in and out of wherever you tell it you want to go! If you miss your turn, etc. it instantly gives you a new nav solution, complete with female voiced audio commands!

    Nothing on this car is without well thought out purpose. The DSP/deluxe sound system gives me eargasms.

    Those guys in Munich know how to make cuckoo clocks and cars!

    P.S. My dealer throws a great Christmas/reunion party for all his clients!! These car people are great!

    Crazy in love with my 98 740iL If you like cars, love driving and can raise the cash, get one - you won't be sorry!
  • mar03mar03 Member Posts: 5
    Check out Car and Driver October issue page 131. They chiped an M coupe (AutoThority Performance Engineering) and a 328i (Dinan). Not much of a performance gain in their opinion. Anybody with real world experience out there?
  • nmaximanmaxima Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 BMW 740il and an air leak in the
    moon roof produces a whistle sounds at high speed.
    The dealer informs that this is a known factory
    problem and therefore there is nothing they can do.

    It is kind of annoying. Anybody experience the
    same problems.

    Any solutions. ?
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    If it bothers you alot, IMHO I'd go to another dealer -- just because its a "known factory problem" doesn't mean they're not obliged to have a fix for it.
  • hill17hill17 Member Posts: 1
    It seems that BMW is usually considered inferior in reliability when compared to Mercedes or Lexus. Certainly BMW is better than Jags or"competing" domestics in this regard.
  • dsacarnydsacarny Member Posts: 2
    I have a '97 il and brought it to the dealer for moonroof noise and they are replacing the whole roof assembly under warranty
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    Here's the address for the spy photos on the next generation 7 series:

    As for the timing, its anyone's guess at this point. Judging from the fact that it looks like BMW has not finalized the design (3 versions on this site), my personal opinion is that it will not be out in summer of 2000, probably not available until late 2000 or early 2001. Even then, it will be hard to get one early, unless you pay up. Right now you can some pretty sweet deals on the 7 series, practically for the price of a 5 series or the MBZ E class.

    I agree that I don't like having a car that is quickly outdated. For this reason, I am going to lease the car shorter term (24-30 months). BMW still supports the residual and gives good lease terms, so the cost is not pretty good if you negotiate well. I am personally getting the sport package, because I think the lower body and bigger/sportier wheels give it a fresh look. In the time frame the lease is up, MBZ will have the new E class and the BMW will be more easily/cost effectively attainable.

    Hope this is useful.
  • mar03mar03 Member Posts: 5
    Here in L.A. the 2000's seem to be in short supply, most dealers only have one, if any, on the lot. Lots of used '97's out there in the $40K to $50K range with 2.9% finance or 3.1% lease rates from BMW finance. I'd take one of these used ones and trade up when the new body comes out in 2001 but I want the Navigation system. Not many '97 owners bought this option. What kind of lease rates are folks getting on the 2000's?
  • nikhilmodinikhilmodi Member Posts: 4
    I was speaking to my local BMW dealer and was talking to him about availability on 740i/iLs. He said that they were in short supply and he only had one or two on his lot. Given this situation, does anyone know if they are discounting heavily off the MSRP. I checked out prices on and found that the 740iL is offered at $1000 of MSRP, and 740i is offered at over $2500 off MSRP.

    A local dealer has offered me a BMW lease at 65% residual for 3yr/36K mile lease with a money factor of 0.00265. He does not tell me what cap value he is using, he just gives me a final lease monthly payment. Doing some reverse calculations, I found that he is discounting the car by about $1500 off MSRP.

    Comments ?
  • mar03mar03 Member Posts: 5
    So what were your monthly pmts coming in at? Talked to a Broker who said shipment #'s for 740's in Nov and Dec are a lot higher. Thinks favorable lease terms may go away. Seems contrary to the norm. Usually favorable terms when inventory is high not low??

    Thinking about taking shipment in Germany and spending 2 weeks breaking it in over there. Anybody have experience with this?
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    I think you should focus more on not $$ off MSRP, but $$ over dealer invoice. I ordered a 740i with the sports package and front heated seats. I paid $2500 over invoice, or around $62K. I think this equates to more than your discounts. and others (carsdirect) offer some pretty aggressive prices. Interstingly, I just checked it out and the base 740i was offered at $500 *under* invoice, but when I added the sport package it went to $2K over invoice. Wierd.. Alot of these car purchase web sites are using VC money to subsidize purchases and help their IPO's. My take on them is that if you can afford to wait (could get it in a week, could be 3 months), and can deal with some level of frustration (you have to call them constantly to keep abreast of progress), then you can get a very good deal. Personally, I'm not so inclined...
  • jmanzijmanzi Member Posts: 1
    don't spend your hard earned money on a 7-series. its junk. try an audi a8.
  • nikhilmodinikhilmodi Member Posts: 4
    I was offered the following,
    740iL with rear sunshade: MSRP $67710
    Payment $821/mth plus taxes
    Down payment: $2500 plus taxes
    Residual: $44011
    Term: 36 mths/36K miles
    Dealer claims to have given me a lease factor of 0.00265. If his claim is true, he is offering the car to me for $65,850.
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    Your comment is not very constructive. I drive an Audi now (A6), and in general I am not terribly impressed. It has neither the cachet of the MBZ nor the driveability of the BMW. The quattro feature is nice though -- I can really punch it into corners, even in the rain, and it holds. My brother likes them also, and there are good deals to be had on the A8 right now. But in general, aside from the AWD I don't think it has much soul. Regarding the 7 series being "junk" -- well I take exception.

    nikhilmodi, regarding your deal, my take is you should be able to do better than <$2K off list. Good luck negotiating.
  • patrikrpatrikr Member Posts: 1
    Question for you wise folks:

    I really want a 740i but the only way I can afford that (and eat) is by buying a -93. These are generally in the $15-20K Range with 80-120K miles.

    Should I be afraid to do that?

    Please advise
  • c21robdavc21robdav Member Posts: 6
    I have a '93il and a 97il. In some ways I like the '93 better. It is just a fun car to drive handles so well. It's like a large sports sedan and just wants to go fast. I had to put some serious money in it from 70-85k miles. I also know that some of the 93's needed short block replacement.
    I now have 95k on it and she's running very well. I plan to sell shortly too. If you want further info about this car or just my general experience email me at [email protected]
  • pitpropitpro Member Posts: 4
    I was told that the 740i "M-sport" packages will have an M badge on them starting with the September production cars. Still the same specs as pre-September cars, with the addition of M badge.
    Anyone know where the M badge will be on the car? Sure hope I can get one to go on my pre- September car!
  • mmarchi1mmarchi1 Member Posts: 1
    I'm in the middle of shopping for a new car and thought I would share my experiences so far and am hoping to get input from you all as well since I have not tested all of the models above. Today I drive a 328i.

    I test drove the XJR and while I found it quite powerful and comfortable when driving straight down a road it certainly does not handle like a 740. I drove the 740IL yesterday and will be trying my neighbors 740I Sport today. In working with the Jaguar dealer the best they would offer is 9% above dealer invoice.

    I found the 740IL to offer superior handling and decent enough power. I did find that if I have the seat all the way back, when I look out the left window (and look back slightly) that I'm almost looking at the rod between the two windows. The seats are not quite as comfortable as the XJR and in sitting in a A8 it appears the A8 is a bit more comfortable also vs the 740. Did not get a chance to drive it due to the showroom being packed. The A8 has the navigation system right on the dashboard vs off to the right which will be interesting to test out.

    I'm going to try the Audi A8 this morning and will post an update later.

    Anyone try the A8 and have input to share?

    Thank you.

  • mar03mar03 Member Posts: 5
    Been trying to negotiate for a preowned 740iL using Edmonds Pricing info. I figure the dealers cost for these from BMW financials plus costs to certify fall somewhere near the middle of Edmonds Trade-in and Market values. I've made 3 different offers using these #'s and have been turned down each time.
    Dealers say Edmonds pricing is not inline with regional (Southern Cal) market and quote Kelley Blue book instead which conveniently tend to be 10 to 20 percent higher.

    Any thoughts on this?
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20

    Interesting comment on the M badge for the 7 series sport package. I am getting a MY 2000 sport package delivered in the next 2 weeks and will let you know if its true. Although not a big deal, I kind of hope you're right.
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    According to my dealer, this is not true. He says there is no M badge on the sport models. I'll let you know if I get further info when the car gets delivered.
  • blaze_95035blaze_95035 Member Posts: 1
    Is it true that the BMW 740i standard Navigation
    system can be used as a television when parked? I read this in a post somewhere and find it hard to believe. I placed an order for 740i about a month ago and expect to take delivery in about 2 weeks. Any information is appreciated. Thanks.
  • pitpropitpro Member Posts: 4
    Not true blaze 95035 (that the BMW 740i standard Navigation system can be used as a television when parked). The only year nav system where you can use nav screen for TV is 1997 (first year of NAV on BMW) Bummer Huh? Get a little Casio and hang it in the center vents using the little stand on the back of the TV, that's what I do works great, stays in place.
  • bananabanana Member Posts: 5
    hi, i am currently in the market for a new car. i currently drive an audi a6q and was set on an audi a6 4.2 when i realized that it was in 740i price range. the 5 series is a bit too small in my opinion. my question is, why is the bmw better than audi or mercedes? i've heard they drive well and i must admit that i've never owned or driven a bimmer, but it'd be nice if someone could point a finger at what makes bmws so great.
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    hey banana,

    I also have a A6 quattro, and am getting the 740i sport package (lower/stiffer suspension, bigger M class wheels, slightly faster). My Audi's actually been a real good car - no major problems. The quattro is great too, I'm going to miss that. I love the quattro in rain - never have to worry about flooded areas or losing control in corners.

    So why am I getting the BMW? I like the more room. I agree that the 540 is small, but so is the A6. The Audi may be a little bigger, but not much. Second, the BMW is a more fun car to drive IMHO. Kind of hard to describe, but its got more soul. You should take a test drive -- you may diagree, everyones different. The A6 I have is *way* underpowered. This is probably solved with the 4.2 engine. Third, I don't like the way the new A6's look. The rear end just doesn't appeal to me -- again personal preference. Alot of people also think the 7 series look is getting old. I think the sport package gives it a very cool look though. Fourth issue is price. I was originally looking at the Mercedes E430, but you can get some really good deals on the 7 series right now. Some have been getting them even close to invoice. Given price was roughly the same, I decided I'd rather to step up to a higher class of automobile. And finally, the prestige factor. Sure BMW isn't any huge prestige, certainly not like the Mercedes, but I do think its a higher level than the Audi. Again just my opinion.

    My car comes in about 1 1/2 weeks.
  • bananabanana Member Posts: 5
    thanks for your feedback...i have always been curious as to why bmw's are so great. on the surface, they seem overpriced for what you get, but every single person i know who's driven one, wants one or has one.

    so i went down to test drive an audi a6 4.2 today and afterwards headed straight to the bmw dealer with an open mind and ready to drive....but they didn't have a 7 in stock. so i guess i will have to wait for another day.

    and you are right that the a6 2.8 is slllooowww but i must say that with both the 2.7t and the 4.2 , it is no longer a problem.
  • mar03mar03 Member Posts: 5
    Thinking about putting the Alpine NAV system with a CVA-1005 display in my non Nav '97. Any recommendations for a BMW/audio expert in the Los Angeles area?

  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    I just got my new MY 2000 7 sport package, pretty cool, really enjoying the new drive.

    Regarding the TV (getting TV reception from the dashboard LCD), I can't figure out how it works. There is no TV option as far as I can see, and I can't change language. Anyone in the US have any luck with this?

    Also, anyone have any experience with performance upgrades? Here's what I know -- "stage 1" cost almost $600 (all in cost) and is just a software (EPROM?) upgrade. Decent HP/Torque boost on paper, but the feedback I hear is that its not that noticeable. "stage 2" (another $600) is software plus an air intake system? Outcome is the throttle reponse is a lot "snappier." ANyone have any experience with this?
  • drew8drew8 Member Posts: 20
    BTW: To follow up on earlier posts, the 2000 model 7 series sport packe does not have an "M" badge on it. However, the M logo is displayed on the wheels and the steering wheel.
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