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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier

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Comments

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    jgravel, you might also like to drop by our Tires, Tires, Tires discussion. Let us know what you decide.
  • Although I no longer have a 7 series BMW I noticed the discussion about snow tires and I just thought I would try and help out. I had a 1997 and an 2000 740iL that I bought Bridgestone Blizzaks that cost me about $600 with the steel wheels and they were shipped already mounted and balanced. And I absolutly loved them. I live in Massachusetts on a long and rather steep hill and I never once got stuck or had to park it at the bottom. They are excellent tires and I would recommend them to anyone.

    And incase you are wondering why I no longer have a BMW, the reasons are because of the new design which I could get used to, but the main reason is the iDrive and the steering wheel mounted shifter. I absolutly love how it rides and handles, but it seemed to me that they took the fun out of driving it when they moved the shifter.
  • Anybody see the article in yesterday's (11/12/03) USA Today money section on the complexity of new cars and the trouble fixing them? It cited a specific owner of a new BMW 7 series and a new E class and the fact that the factory was willingly buying back cars from owners due to multiple technology related problems that could not be fixed. These issues are well documented amongst enthusiast forums like this. However when these problems receive "mainstream" media attention like USA Today, many more potential buyers see it. As the second owner will not be eligible for a "buy back" resale value suffers. Year old 7's and E classes should be more affordable than ever!

    Interestingly, the article focused on German cars, brief mention was made of Cadillac and no mention of Japanese brands. Furthering the notion that the Germans are great engineers but lousy electricians! It will be interesting to watch the values of these cars over the next few years to see how they fare resale wise compared to their previous generation.
  • Tasillo, I think that readers of your (and my) persuasion could set up a pool. The winner makes the best guess when the Emunds TMV of a 2002 745 hits 40K. The entries would be based on julian date. My money would be that on or about day 270 in 2004 you could pick up a 2002 7 Series for 30K under what it originally sold for.

    This day will be marked by two things: an unparalled buying opportunity for 7 fans and the gnashing of teeth and other facial grimmaces on the part of people who just lost a good chunk of equity. More money than they probably made their first year out of law school or medical school. (You know, like many things, a "good price" is all about whether you are buying or selling.)

    Just to keep this pool on the up and up, we'll ask Bmwseller to hold the money.
  • blockislandguy

    As I'm already seeing very low mileage (7-12k) '02 7's on BMW lots in the high 50's, I'm betting these cars are going through the auctions at transaction prices in the high 40's already. My experience has been there is a huge gap between wholesale value and the retail (asking) price on the high-end cars. If that's the case, the owner trading an '02 7 with 20k miles is probably getting 45-47k Actual Cash Value for his/her $75-80k car. Boy, I'd be pissed! Also, the Atlanta dealers still have several '03 7's on the lots that I'll bet are being heavily discounted, further reducing the retail value of an '02. As attractive as this is to me, I'm steering way clear of the '02 7's as it's very evident many of these cars have electrical gremlins that are not only aggrivating, but in some cases render the car undriveable or inoperative.

    The interesting thing is, lot's of these issues seem directly related to the complexity of the electronics which are controlled by the universally hated i-Drive. Rather than invest in the restyle or "freshening" as BMW puts it, why not rework the electronics, perhaps deleting the offending i-Drive, put the shifter back on the console and restore the driver oriented controls and cockpit that this great driving car deserve?

    Here's hoping the Germans get it back on track soon before this great marque suffers the same fate as Audi in the early '80's!
  • Just ran a comparo in which the i-drive, pretty much on its own, bumped the 7 from its traditional 1st place spot to 3rd behind the lexus and new Jag XJ.

    C&D also predicted that the new 7 would take a real beating on resale value. I intend to own my old 1993 750 for at least another 6 years. The new 7 is NOT on my list of potential replacements. A good part of the reason for this is that not only is the vehicle extremely complicated, but BMW will not release repair info to third-parties such as Alldate or Chiltons. Suppose that's okay if all work is being done under warranty, but once that is over BMW's policy means you will be faced with a virtual dealer monopoly when the car needs fixing. Not a situation anyone wants to be in. It also poses a serious impediment to someone (like me) who likes to look over the mechanics shoulder and make sure the process is moving properly. Pretty hard to do if there is no access to info about the car.

    For a used 7, all of this eventually this will translate into a reputation for being as expensive to maintain as a Rolls Royce, and you won't be able to give one away.
  • Tasillo

    The large spread between wholesale and retail "asking" prices on luxury cars must be because a) the reseller is taking a large risk in just putting one of these 50K used cars in his inventory, more risk than say on a quick turning, 15k Honda, and needs more reward for the risk and b) the reseller needs some room to negotiate the price down upon the potential buyer's request.

    Tasillo AND F1Buick:

    Would you feel the same way about a CPO 2002 7 Series? What if Munich shouldered the burden out to 100K? At what price would a non-CPO 2002 become attractive?
  • my comments principally were directed at whoever winds up holding the car when the warranties go away. In the meantime, howver, there would be the usual issue of owning a car that probably is depreciating faster than the loan is being paid off. If the car is destroyed or stolen, basic insurance coverage only pays market value, not the amount on the loan. One of the big money makers for dealers nowadays is "difference in value insurance," where they sell you a policy which guarentees paying off the loan balance, rather than just the market value.

    ALL of this, in my mind, just points to the idiocy of placing huge amounts of money in an asset which you fully expect to suffer exteme depreciation at some point. Even if you are not the person who ends up holding the bag at the end, the fact is that the known future for this vehicle is that someone will end up holding that bag. This creates a risk spreading/avoidance situation that WILL effect value at all stages, though work arounds like extended warrenties and special insurance will distort the economics/mathematics a bit.

    Ain't no free lunches. The question is who pays. And if you think it through, you'll probably find out that even if it looks like someone else is footing the bill for you, that probably is not entirely the case. If might be risk rather than money, but the cost will be there.

    If you want a used 7-series look for an E38 750. It's to die for.
  • Tasillo
    My brother mentioned that the WSJ had an article
    on the new 7 and its problems.(maybe he meant USA
    TODAY)He said BMW was buying back some of these
    cars on condition they sign an agreement not to
    disclose the buy back. The experience I've had with my 1998 740i is less than steller. It has
    65000 miles. I thought all the bugs were being worked at when It was going in for repairs on an
    average of every four months. Under warranty this
    was fine except for the inconvenience. Catalytic
    converter(both),replace LCD instrument panel,
    rear suspension, center tie rod, thrust rod
    bushings,induction cleaning kit, a/c compressor
    ($1376 for the A/C alone) My mistake may have been
    not buying the extended warranty.Love the ride
    but my next car will be a Lexus, boring drive and
    all.
  • Terry79, yes, the Journal also had an article on the not-selling-well 7 series. (Its main points were that sales are down in the US and non existant in Europe.)

    F1Buick, extremely well put point. Its a bit like musical chairs. Someone is going to get caught out when the music (read: warranty) stops and until then the organizers of the game have to have artificial incentives to get people to take a chance and play it.

    Maybe thats one reason why if you "don't have to" be seen in a 7 Series/E Series/etc. you just say screw it and buy a Tahoe/Expedition with a roof and leather. That (and a primary and secondary housing market on speed) is IMHO why a lot of high income people are happy enough with a loaded up SUV.
  • great analogy! Moreover, my point is that if everyone KNOWS it is a game of musical chairs, then the market is going to reflect that knowledge. Those wanting to sell will have to pay buyers to play the game, and if I were a buyer I would wonder where that cost is being passed onto me. It can be hidden in not-so-obvious areas, e.g., risk of holding the bag if the car is totaled and the insurance won't pay off the loan balance.

    I doubt there is much cross-shopping between luxo SUV's and german autobahn blasters. The SUV's are for people who view driving as chore, the effort of which is to be minimized. They are buying SUV's now instead of the Cadillacs they would have bought 40 years ago, partially because of the perceived utility of the SUV body style and partially because of a highly misguided belief about the "safety" of AWD.

    Regarding Terry79's problems, that certainly is an unusual and troublesome list. Perhaps now that the warranty is gone he might shop for another repair option beside the local dealer's service department. The list is unusual enough to suggest a bit of "overdiagnosis" by the shop, e.g., how did BOTH cat converters happen to go bad, when they are independent of each other? One would be unusual at that mileage. Two seems almost impossible.
  • F1buick, I agree with your first point that many of the people in the Luxo Suv's are the grandchildren of Olds98 and Caddy owners (and some of the others are recent immigrants whose grandparents probably, literally, rode water buffaloes in the Camau Peninsula).

    But, I think that some of the Luxo SUV owners would be driving autobahn blasters if there was more AWD available (8 million people live in New England alone, ya know) and less perceived depreciation and mechanical bugaboos. Afterall, many of us did drive these cars 20 years ago when the cars were simpler, there weren't any Suvs, and the housing market (both for a primary residence and a vacation place) wasn't competing for our dollars.

    On the other hand, owning a Luxo Suv also fits one's lifestyle if you identify with the first generation of Americans who feel comfortable going out in public in jeans and a sweat shirt. Lets be tactful and call it the Home Depot Generation.
  • then Audi would have sold 50,000 A8's. But in 5 years they sold less than 10,000. And how many 4matic models does Mercedes sell? Not many.

    With SUV's I think the AWD thing combines with the high seating postition to create a false sense of security. Phrases like "center of gravity," "roll center," and "unsprung weight" are not understood, and people think they are buying safety when they most definitely are not.

    I agree with your "home depot" analogy. But as a person who has owned a number of pickups, I'm at a loss to understand why anyone would buy an SUV for perceived utility. My sister just bought an X5 and it has less room than my 750, and way less than my Park Avenue. There really isn't that much room in the back of most SUV's short of a suburban.

    I feel like SUV's are for people who kind of want a truck and then try to compromise by buying something that is not a truck and which really can't do what a truck can. I'll take a big trunk or an truck bed over the tail end of an SUV any day.
  • F1Buick, nice point about the high seating positon giving a false sense of security because of the higher center of gravity, etc. etc. Not so good point about the lack of room in an SUV. Even your sister's X5 could have handled the 2' X 8' rigid insulation panels I picked up tonight at Home Depot. In a 750??

    I know it isn't popular to suggest it, but when the weather is snotty (six months a year in New England) or snow is banked on both sides of the road I'd rather be in an SUV than a 750. Good visibility, clearer, dryer windshield, more "freeboard", etc. One good splash from a truck in a 7 Series and you'd think you were out in a Boston Whaler Montauk without GPS.
  • I don't use the 750 for hauling. My Park Ave has a 19cf trunk, a center pass through that let's me haul dimensional lumber up to 16' long (really, i've done it with a red flag stapled to the end piece), and a trailer hitch for the really big stuff. The 2x8 foam would't have fit through the pass through, it would have fit in the trunk with 3' sticking out, but its just foam so you tie it down and go.

    I'm a regular home handyman, and I've been without a truck for almost a year. Know what? you can work around it. I miss being able to just throw stuff in the bed of my truck, but (and this is a big point) you can't do that in an SUV either: the utility of an enclosed cargo space is limited.

    I'm planning a sheet rock run in the next couple weeks and I'll have to rent a trailer for $35. The SUV couldn't handle the rock either. If I added removable roof racks to the Buick, I'd have just as much capacity to haul sheet rock as somebody in an Explorer. But the other 99.9% of the time I'm driving, I wouldn't have to deal with a lumbering, roll-happy, poor-braking SUV (I'd say gas-eating, but nobody with a V12 can complain about that).

    Regarding snow, I'll admit that as a Pacific Northwesterner I don't have the same issues as someone in, say, Maine. However, the east coasters and canadians on my bmw board consistently post that with traction control and full manual shifting, their 7's perform just fine.

    I've driven/owned a number of 4wd's and while its personal opinion, I think 4wd is over-rated except for the very worst snow storms (at which point the 2wd has to chain up). A front wheel driver with traction control and winter tires is a pretty darn good snow car. rwd is passable with the right technique.

    While I agree that 4wd and SUV's have unique qualities that are occassionally useful, I think that in 99% of driving situations those qualities are not useful or, worse, detract from overall safety. How many times has BMW been sued for a rollover in a 7 series? Darned thing is a corvette with 4 doors. How rollovers do we see with SUV's? A lot! And these poor, ignorant people were buying "the safety of 4wd."
  • F1Buick, right on. Boston's Channel 7 has the above motto (borrowed from an affiliate in Miami) for story placement. Seemingly a day doesn't go by but somebody in a SUV hasn't rolled over on an off ramp on Rt. 495 and we get to see it in color at 6PM and at 11PM.
  • We all know about the Firestone/Explorer debacle, where a tire would blow, the driver would lose control, and the SUV would roll. In some of the incidents the cars were only going 45mph or so.

    A couple years ago I had a tire blow in my 750 at 75mph. Stability-wise, it was a nonevent. The car didn't lunge, jerk, or dart. Heck, i drove a few hundred yards before I was even sure what had happened. Then I just pulled over onto the shoulder and changed the tire.

    why the difference between the two scenarios? Well, for one thing the 7 is a corvette with 4 doors, with a very low centre of gravity. the second thing is that i didn't invite trouble by slamming the brakes or jerking on the steering wheel (which, i suspect, was a common reaction by those unfortunate explorer drivers).

    So which vehicle is safer? 4wd will assist traction on a few snow days. even on the east coast, the amount of time in a year during which that 4wd actually will be helpful is a small fraction of your total driving time. the low center of gravity of a passenger sedan, especially a 7, is a fundamental dynamic advantage is that is ALWAYS helpful (even in snow) and is there ALL of the time. I'll take a feature that is an advantage 100% of the item over one that is only an advantage 1% of the time (and is a disadvantage the other 99%) any day of the week.
  • gumpsgumps Posts: 17
    Finally bot a 745il. Does anyone know if the $75 sat prep fee is all there is for sat radio. Dealer doesn't know since it is so new. I am guessing there must be additional hardware but they can't tell me. They are still learning.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Have you folks been following Edmunds' long-term road test of the 2002 745Li? An October update is available - see Helpful Links box on the left side of the page to access the series.
  • pdd7pdd7 Posts: 2
    I am new to the forum, and I apologize in advance if this subject has been previously discussed.

    My 3yr lease on a 2001 740il with 39+k miles is about to expire. I can purchase the vehicle for $38.8k, and I think that this purchase price is good. I have had no problems with the vehicle, just installed new brakes, and love the car. I don't feel the need to buy an extended warranty to 100k miles, or pay the premium for a similar certified pre-owned model. Other than routine maintainance, are there any expected big-ticket repairs on this car if I plan to drive the car for another 3-5 years?

    I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.
  • pdd

    Sounds like a great buy to me! As you're the original owner, you can attest to the maintenance and repair record of the car, as wel as it's accident history (if any). In Atlanta, '01 7's with 40k miles are typically going in the real high 30's, low 40's so your purchase price is in the ball park. I have heard of some owners being able to negotiate the purchase price with the leasing company, so you may want to offer a bit less and see if they bite. If you don't buy the car it will go to an auction and sell for market wholesale, likely in the low 30's for your car. The leasing company will also have the expense of transportation and auction fees as well as clean-up and detail. Offer them 35k, who knows, they may bite! Your chances are better if the car is leased through a bank or leasing company other than BMW Financial Services. BMW Financial will likely send the car to a closed auction in which only BMW dealers will participate. They can then certify the car at little or no expense as it is still under warranty and free maintenance and sell if for a premium at their franchised dealership. An open auction will have other dealers and high-line sellers present who may have interest in your car but cannot offer their buyer the BMW certification.

    As to your question of repair, my '00 740iL has crossed over 60k miles with no issues other than some of the pixels on the odometer/trip computer (not nav display) going out. I haven't even looked into the cost of repair but since I mentioned it to the dealer prior to the warranty expiring, I'm hopeful they'll cover it. No other issues at all.

    The last generation 7 is truly a great car and in my opinion a better proposition than the new 7 due to it's straightforward (for a German car) controls and sleek yet non-controversial styling.

    If you decide not to buy out the lease, post back to this forum, I'd bet you'd find some interested buyers!
  • pdd7, e-mail me at kelnjim[deletethisbeforemailing]@comcast.net and I can send you some info. Make sure your e-mail reminds me of what your situation is (I get a lot of mail).
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    f1buick, why not post your information here so all can benefit?
  • gumpsgumps Posts: 17
    Ok here's the scoop on sat radio via my dealer. You can get the 04 745 with the prewire but BMW is telling dealers they won't get the hardware until January. That's about another $1000 for parts plus installation. Let's hope that when the parts come it they can get it right. I checked on Lexus sat radio and dealers arn't recommending it because of installation issues as well.
  • sncvpsncvp Posts: 1
    i have a 745li and the engine /steering wheel vibrates at stop signs and lights. i also feel an underlying vibration at all speeds in the steering wheel.i actually think that i feel to much of the road in the steering wheel also. i am taking it to the dealership for the fourth time on monday. any suggestions or similar experiences that you can share will be helpful. thank you you can email me at [email protected]
  • Greetings:
    I am planning on buying a 1999 BMW 750il. Does anyone know how these cars handle in the snow? One of the features in this car is that it has the all season traction control. Does this really help in the handling of the car in snowy conditions? I'm a big fan of fwd because of its better handling in snow versus the real wheel drive. Will the ASC really make a dirrerence? Any insight from you who knows first hand is highly appreciated and thank you in advance.
  • unfortunately, I can only provide second hand info. The other 750 drivers I know (I have a 1993) say the traction control (which works brakes) and asc (which limts power) works surprisingly well. this includes folks from NE US and Canada. Does the later model allow full manual control of the transmission like mine? that is another plus.

    having said this, I don't drive the bimmer in the snow, as I have a 2000 park avenue with fwd, full traction control, and more aggressive tires.
  • Just wondering what are the loaner car policies at your dealerships. Do you get a comparable car as a loaner (5 series for 5 series) or just something that is available at the time?
    Also, $75 oil change is way too much considering I can get it done for $25 or so elsewhere.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    My local BMW dealer does not give loaners unless you buy the car from him. (and he is not competitive, sales-wise) But he does have shuttle service to transport you when the car is in for service. His oil-change prices seem to vary, but he's never charged more than $49 for my 7-series.

    Infiniti always gave me a loaner even though I didn't buy the car from them - and that was for any amount of maintenance.
  • I've been thinking about getting either a new or a late model 7 Series for some time. I joined BMWCCA in anticipation of a BMWUSA rebate when I buy one. Because you have to have been a member for a year or more to get the rebate, I joined a year or so ago in anctipation of my big move. Part of the package for your $35 is a subscription to Roundel.

    For a car nut like me who hasn't owned Bimmers since grad school in the early 70's, it makes fascinating reading. Naturally there is the usual sociological tension between the true believers who still have 2002s and the bourgeois financial service types who are snapping up the latest cars. But the interesting thing is the range of tech problems and service requirements. No anal-compulsive Porche owner or even Abrams M1 crew chief has anything on some of the service levels required and problems encountered. The letters to the editor and letters to Tech Talk are filled with stories that would cause the owners of any other brand to firestorm the company plant.

    Just looking at 7 Series problems (we won't even mention the oil pump nut backing off issue on the M3s, etc.), in the December issue there is a letter from a guy with a 1997 740i who spent 10K of his own money on a new engine because a plastic (??) radiator extension broke. And the car is a CPO (see home.earthlink.net/~hainesinutah/radiator)! In the Tech Line section of the same isssue a guy got banged 3.5 hours by his dealer to replace a crankshaft positon sensor. Roundel acknowledges the job would take a "very seasoned do it yourself type" about an hour, defends the flat rate time and then comments that, thank God for small favors, this this problem is "common only on BMW V8 engines."

    Wow. I sure want to go out and buy a BMW after reading this.
  • The radiator is the weakest point on the E38 7-series. But with all respect to the owner who complained, he had to be a moron as these cars have more bells, whistles and chimes than can be imagined--when something is amiss enough to potentially damage the engine the car will kick into "limp home" mode and SCREAM at you to do something.

    I'm also guessing that someone sold him a new engine, at an inflated price, when the old one just needed a bit of machine shop work. Because of the electronics and the head bolt design, it is pretty much impossible to crack/warp the block and heads on these cars through overheating.

    The present problem with buying a BMW is that the company no longer releases service information on its cars to 3rd parties such as Bentley, Haynes, and Alldata. Thus, you MUST go to the dealer for any sort of significant service. That dealer now has a MONOPOLY and as anyone with economic training can tell you, this means you are screuwd.

    I gave up on my local BMW dealer after one trip in which it became clear that I knew a lot more about the car than his "BMW certified technicians" did, and that his primary interest was emptying my bank account. I now do all my own work exclusively, except when I need special equipment, in which case I hire an independent and leave very specific instructions on what shall be done. For most potential BMW owners, this isn't an option, and the cost of the dealer's monopoly absolutely must be considered when buying one of these cars.

    Everytime my 750 breaks I complain. Then I get it running again, take it out for a spin, and say "whoa baby, now I remember why I put up with this thing."
  • Hello all. I have a 2001 740iL which has an integrated Motorola cell phone. Love the car and I don't plan on getting rid of it for a few years, but the phone is four years old and getting a little dated based on the new technology available. The BMW dealership tells me they can't re-wire the car for a new phone, but I have been told by another party that it is possible. Does anyone out there have any experience in this, and if so, who might be able to integrate a new phone in a 3 year-old car?

    Thanks.
  • I'm not sure what you mean (or if you know what you mean) by "rewire." You could pull the entire dash and integrate in one from a new 745. Probably cost about $200,000. I'm being a little funny, but exactly what "wires" do you think will be changed, and why? What's the real concept?

    i have an old, integrated analog and any rewiring is impossible for me. the issue isn't analog/digital, it is finding a phone that has has the hardware and the software to integrate with and talk to the dash display, steering column stalks, etc. So it isn't the CAR it is the PHONE. Find out who really made your present phone (wasn't BMW, that's for sure) and ask them if there is an upgraded version. My guess is there will not be, but its worth a shot.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    IIRC, the 7 used a Motorola Star Tac, and I don't there is an adapter kit for a new phone. Which is why I no longer buy cars with integrated phones. Eventually, I trade out the phone before I trade out the car.
  • Thanks. You confirmed my suspicions. It sounds like I would have to get a hands-free system installed by one of the wireless carriers if I want a newer-generation phone. Unfortunately, that would negate the integration features of the car (steering wheel operation, automatic muting, etc.).

    It seems as though Mercedes, BMW and other high-end manufacturers would allow for telephone upgrades with some type of adapter kit.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You would think, and perhaps they will now that phones change so quickly. But so far, I've seen a drastic attachment to old phone technology in the cars, in an attempt to be universal for all markets. For example, Lincoln has been using analog phones in all their cars for years, because there are some places in the country where digital phones are not used yet. But it's a terrible phone, IMO.
  • If anyone could offer any insight it would be appreciated! We are thinking of trading our 2001 750iL for a 2004 760Li TODAY! I haven't seen too many posts with info (problems etc) with the 760's - if anyone knows anything that would help with the decision, please let us know or e-mail at: [email protected] The price here in Raleigh, NC (black on black - 10miles: $116,555.00 w/o taxes/tags). Thanks!
  • 2003 745i; i-drive computer lock-up occurs in hot weather on start-up after car has been sitting in sun/heat for period of time (live in nyc). on re-start, entire i-drive is locked up or "frozen" and cannot be accessed. car went into shop for two-week period; bmw claimed problem repaired. not so. same problem has now recurred three times. i-drive eventually unfreezes after car driven for period of time. anyone else had problem? if so, what was fix? thanks.
  • 92735i92735i Posts: 25
    I love my bimmer. Dreamt of owning a 7 since 1986. Have now owned my 7 for almost 12 years and have 173k loving miles. It has been a Florida car since new but last year I relocated to Chicago (hold laughter please!) and during the first winter, had to replace radiator 163k mi., a couple of injector hose connectors, and fuel pump.

    Since at this time last year I was planning on keeping my car till the wheels came off, I went ahead and had a top-end freshen up done including a cam shaft replacement. I got to see all the internal parts to my top-end. Boy, does it pay off to change your oil frequently.

    Well, my car is great, runs like a top, I drive 20k miles a year, but am really starting to like the new cars like Audi A6, A8, and am very skeptical about the new 7.

    My car is very reliable, would like to have 300 hp engine though.

    Planning on keeping my old 735 and give to one of my kids.

    I am undecided over a 2001 740, a used 2003 745, a new A6 quattro, or a used 2004 A8.

    My purchase time frame is October 2004.

    What do you guys recommend ? I am a BMW person, my dad had '72 2002 that I learned to drive with.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My business partner has an 03 745. It's been a horrible car. I drive problems, won't start at will. It's just way too complicated. BMW has overengineered themselves to death, and they have taken themselves off my list as a result. I'm still watching, because I used to be a fan - but not right now! Ugly and unreliable are too many sins at one time.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
     ....... The only thing I would recommend is, you better be as close to invoice as possible, the resale values on the new "7" is about as good as the resale on 20 day old Christmas stuffing ..

               You might be better off looking for a nice clean 2/3k 03 760 and save yourself $20 grand ...

                          Terry.
  • jamiem4jamiem4 Posts: 23
    Last week my husband was providing the salesperson with our title info for the 2004 760 they had in the dealership. The salesperson made the following comment - after obviously not knowing much about the car's features etc - that "I don't like the cars, I just sell them." So my husband (and I in tow) ended the sale right then and there. Oh well, Happy New Year to everyone, we'll keep the BMW we have. The salespeople here seem to know so little about the cars - it was humorous (but scary!!) - Jamie
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    . . . I have a 1993 750 and feel the same way. Agree with nvbanker that BMW has serverely overengineered the E65, it is crawling with bugs, and anyone who purchases it will be seriously sorry when the warranty runs out.

    the 1995-2002 7 series (E38) basically is an update of the E32. That's what I'd be looking for. Should be pretty bulletproof.

    The A8 is intriguing, but very rare--who you gonna get to work on it? No mechanic will know anything about it and they'll want to charge you for the time they spend educating themselves.

    The A6 started life as the Volkwagon A4 chassis (read: Passat) and seems to be taking a dive in resale value. The overall engineering/quality won't approach that in your E32 or in an E38.
  • 92735i92735i Posts: 25
    Thanks f1 buick. This is my dilemna. To go from my 735i to a 2001 740i doesn't seem to offer much value or difference. The cars look so similar. What would be the advantage besides more power?
    I have looked at them and they are strikingly similar inside as well.

    I have read this board thoroughly and notice most of the complaints on the 745i to be focused on the 2002, not the 2003, the iDrive, which I can already operate (I sell software), and the change in body style, which I happen to really like, especially with 19" rims.

    I test drove the 2003 Q45 premium the other day. Totally disappointed with the ride. Immediately I sat inside a 2004 745Li, Wow, what a difference.

    If I don't see reliability improvements in the 2003 745i by the time I'm ready to buy in 10/04, I will just keep my 735i and buy a condo in Fla or something.

    Thanks!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    you can OPERATE the i-drive just fine..... When it works. My partner's wife has had her 745 in now (by tow truck) 7 times so far. Seems that the i-drive won't let the car start because of some error it has in it, that occurs at will. That is never convenient.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My partner's wife has had a hauntingly similar experience with her 745i. Sorry for you folks. Next time, I'd get a Lexus.
  • HI! Guys what do you think I could get a new 745I BMW WITH A MSRP OF $77,895 for.I think the invoice price would be about $71,000.

    I have allways bought American made cars at invoice are a little below.Plus what ever rebate they have.

    I know the pricing on this car is a different ball game. THANKS
  • 92735i92735i Posts: 25
    I am going to the Chicago Auto Show. Wondering if the new Cadillac STS w/ AWD will be there.

    Spoke with my accountant. Based on depreciation and TCO, it does not make sense to purchase an automobile over $50k with life expectancy of 100,000 miles.

    Amazing what you can learn via numbers. Say good bye to my buying a 745i....GM, here I come.
  • jamiem4jamiem4 Posts: 23
    I have to agree with some other posts. We have a 2001 (30kmi) 750iL - picked it out in Germany w/sports package, hand woodwork etc, one of the last 750's shipped into the US. Then, like fools last week, we considered trading it for a new 2004 760...Then we talked to friends who had the 745s. NO ONE has had a good experience and even the tech at the dealership said they were still a 'mess' and told us we'd be crazy to consider even a 2004. Needless to say, check the depreciation and your calendar. You'll be seeing more of the dealership than you ever imagined possible! J
  • tasillotasillo Posts: 51
    Bumped into a gentelmen at the gas station the other day with a stunning black 2003 745Li. As I was filling my '00 740il, I asked him how he liked it. His response was, "great car, when I have it". He went on to relay that in the 11 months and 8500 miles he's owned the car, it's been in for repair 29 business days, not including 2 weekends! He said BMW has been very nice and always given him the best loaner available, but....

    Conversely my '00 740 (63k miles) has never refused to start, run well and generally make me very happy with my decision 3 years ago. I agree with the earlier posts that the car is way overcomplicated and the matrixed wiring network is about impossible to diagnose and fix when defective. Further, as electronics tend to either work or not early in life and only deteriorate over time. As expensive cars depreciate significantly once over 50k miles, who'd gonna want one of these in 2006 with 45-50k coming off lease or on a trade. Even with BMW certification to 100k miles, that only gives a 50k buffer until things get real expensive. Perhaps BMW will go to 150k miles on certification with these cars. That may be an interesting proposition.

    As is, when my current 7 is ready for replacement, I'm most likley to sacrifice some of the driving experience for the resale and relaibility of Lexus.
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