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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    What about a 5 series BMW? the 528i of a few years past is an awfully nice car.

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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
  • f1buickf1buick Posts: 45
    I own a 1993--almost identical car. You are not crazy, but I wouldn't every pay more than $6000. At 140k you'll be getting a complex car with a lot of miles and, potentially, many long-term parts that are due for replacement. 140k, for example, is on the tail end of the tranny lifespan in that car.

    I think there are 3 types of people who own cars like this:

    1. Those who lease them new and under warranty

    2. Those who buy them out of warranty, thinking they are getting a great deal, but who then find out that maintenance can be pricy and try to sell them

    3. Those hardy souls who do all their own maintenance and repairs, and end up with a world-class auto for cheap.

    I'm in the latter category. My car actually is pretty darned reliable for an 11 year-old, but when it does falter, it is not easy to work on.
    If your a hot-rodder who loves to tinker, these cars are nirvana. If you like Honda Accords just fine and are only considering the 750 because the price sounds low and you're curious about having a BMW, stay away.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The S430 just went way up on my list today. At least as nice inside as the 7 - with no I-drive.
  • F1Buick, thanks for the nice three part typology of 7 Series owners (the buy it/lease it/dump it in three years crowd; the guy who gets who in way over his pretentious head on a used Bimmer he can't afford to keep up, and the small coterie of Do It Yourself types).

    But how about the canny guy who zips in to buy a CPO 7 Series for somewhere in the high 30's (because of the high depreciation) and then dumps it years later at 99,000 miles when the CPO warranty runs out? Didn't he beat the system? Or is the CPO Warranty essentially a come on and not comparable to the new car warranty?
  • michaelmichael Posts: 3
    Thanks for the insight. 12 cylinders might be 4 to 6 too many for a guy who drives 6000 miles a year
  • designodesigno Posts: 14
    After owning my S430 for a horrifying two years, I want to get rid of it ASAP.

    My main concern is that I have heard reports that a refreshed 7 Series sedan is comming relatively soon; seen claims from as early as late this year to 2005.

    I would like to take delivery of a new sedan sometime late this year. Should I wait it out for the 2005 model or just get the '04? (I am worried that because it will be a refreshed model, there will be software/electrical bugs, as opposed to the '04 model, which has been out for two years).

    Any input would be great! (FYI: Although I enjoy the BMW the most, I am also considering the Audi A8L, Jaguar Vanden-Plas, and Mercedes S430 (hopefully it will be better!)

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Well if that "refreshment" includes styling, I think I would wait, because if it is "cleaned up" and it is popular, then the 04 models will depreciate more rapidly than normal.

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  • I had a chance to see the huge auto classsified section in the LA Times over the weekend. It beats everything else in the US combined! (E.G., if you combine the used car ads of the Boston Globe, Washington Post, NY Times, etc. you still wouldn't have the LA Times used car lineage.) Anyway, I've long hoped that I could get into a used '02 745 late this fall for around 40K. I may be (slightly) wrong. The 01 7 Series in the LA Times were at 43K or so, asking. The '00 7 Seriese were at 35K or so, asking.

    Even so, if this is a good guide, it looks like I can pick up a 745 next April for the target price and even get a CPO unit. (How else to buy one of these?). I happen to like the regular wheelbase series (do you really need the iL to carry around a gym bag?). Does anyone think that the iL commands significantly more resale than a non iL or is it a non-issue? Even if one was going to get a set of snow tires on dedicated wheels for winter and make the tire size difference between the two wheelbases a moot point, the larger tire/wheel package on the iL must hydroplane more and less suitable to foul weather?

    In any case, I figure that with the 30K I saved over MSRP, I could hire a good looking programmer to check me out on I drive for the first week or so.
  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Hello all,

    I was wondering if there's anyone here who currently has a 98 BMW 740il to tell me about their experiences with this car. Looking to buy one but its about 100,000 miles and concerned about maintainence on a car with such high mileage. Will it be expensive? Will it require lots of fun$$$$ visits to a mechanic? Does the gas mileage drop significantly? Anything will be useful. Thanks.
  • meagvgmeagvg Posts: 13
    '04 745, less than 8K miles.
    Watched this afternoon as it went down the driveway on the bed of a flatbed truck. Headed to the dealer for a 4 day stay - combination light control module dead in the water.

    Guess I'm part of the club now.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Oh, 100K on a complex car like that?---I'd think twice about it unless the price were simply too good to pass up. (risk management).

    Best thing you could do is check out the car's total service history at the dealer or with the help of the seller. If the car has been well-behaved (some are, some aren't) that might give you a sense of which way to go.

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  • spicebuyerspicebuyer Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 740 il with 61,000 miles. Yesterday, while it was being loaded on a flatbed to be towed to the dealer due to transmission problems, 2 passenger side airbags deployed for no reason. The dealer tells me it had electrical and computer problems causing some of the mechanical issues. Has anyone had their air bags deploy without a collision? thanks
  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Thanks Mr_Shiftright. Is there anywhere else besides carfax that would give me a better idea of the cars history?
  • dealsdeals Posts: 3
    Also i've read most of the postings here and everyone seems to agree that BMW has one of the most long lasting engines in the sutomotive industry. If thats the case shouldn't the engine be able to run to 200-300k miles with no real major problems?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    I think the main issue with any modern, complex, out-of-warranty used car isn't the basic powertrain or other major components but rather all the electronic and hydraulic gear that is attached to it. BMW engines are fabulous but ANY car starts to wear out its belts, hoses, suspension, brake rotors, exhaust system at 100K. These are all naturally "expendable" items and on a 740 they aren't cheap.

    So my point is that many owners DEFER all this to the next buyer, rather than address these "expendables" as they arise.

    If you have a car with a clean title history, good service records and no "bad past" of rec-urrent problems (from dealer records), you are way ahead of the used car buyer who buys blind.

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  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Get yourself a bluetooth enabled cell phone like Motorola V600. Then get a bluetooth hands free kit for behind the dash (Moto sells them but I am sure others do). Then you will have a completely wireless integration for an off-the-shelf cell phone.
  • bsmallbsmall Posts: 4
    Looked at 96 and 99 used 740iL's today -- first time into BMW Land (have a friend that works on them but int'd in other opinions as well) -- I keep cars about 6+ ys --
    96 has 84k mls and was asking $16k (should be $15k) the 99 had 90k mls with 10k left on warranty and asking $18+k

    any thoughts on what is better? older with lower miles and price or the newer version even if I pay a few more$ for it?

  • rowlandjrowlandj Posts: 254
    I absolutely cannot take all the noise about the iDrive any longer. Particularly in the automotive press. If anyone claims to have the skill and training to be an automotive journalist and yet does not have the ability to work this relativaly simple device is either incompetent or ignorant. I don't mean this to reflect on the 'average joe' who may not like the device, but the press is another story.

    I have an '04 745Li and I enjoy all aspects of the car but mostly the joy of driving such a great machine. My family love the space and interior appointments so we're all happy.

    The iDrive is simply a tool to set certain preferences; and once set I rarely deal with it other than working the navigation system when necessary.

    Anyway, I think the auto magazines simply need something to gripe about because if they would take a moment to reflect on their complaints they would realize how dumb they sound.

    My two-cents.

  • Was very close to buying a new 2003 745Li but after hearing so many horror stories and reading Consumer Reports' less than enthusiastic writeup, I've deferred th purchase. My smarts are telling me to just buy the Lexus LS 430, but I guess everyone in this Board knows it's just not the same. Has anyone here heard similar things about the 2004/5 maybe? Should I even bother waiting for the 2005? im more concerned with the car 'breaking down' then i am about resale value and the iDrive (call me nuts). but if i wanted simple controls and a great bargain, i would ve bot a Honda a long time ago. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    How about a 5 series then? I always thought the 3 series a mite too small and the 7 series a mite too large.

    RE: 740s -- I recommend opting for lower miles rather than lower price. As the used car guys say "you can buy new upholstery and new paint, but you can't buy miles".

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  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    Seems a shame that no bmw owners talk about the ride and general feeling of the car..I saw a new 7 and it has a nice look about it in several ways..I guess everone knows the apparent flaws no need to harp on that. Tony
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Edmunds has published the "wrap-up" of its long term 745Li road test. Click here to go directly to the last article in the series.

    You can also get to the updates via the Helpful Links box on the left side of the page.

    What do you folks think? We can discuss it here and if you have comments you want the editors to see, use the "Contact Us" option that you find when you click on the Help link at the bottom of the page of the article.
  • We're in the midst of selecting from the current US bound inventory of 7's our next barnstormer.

    (Horn Tooting Mode On)
     - We've narrowed it down to the following:
    2004 BMW 7 Series
    745Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl 6A)

    MSRP Invoice What Others Pay
    National Base Price
    $73,300 $66,865 $69,729

       ZPS Premium Sound $1,800 $1,640 $1,714
       ZLS Luxury Seating Pkge $1,600 $1,455 $1,522
       268 19" Star Spoke Wheels $1,300 $1,185 $1,239
       ZCV Convenience Package $1,000 $910 $952
       416 Power Rear/Side hade $750 $685 $715
       508 Park Distance Ctl $700 $635 $665
       655 Satellite Radio $595 $540 $566
       524 Adaptive Headlights $300 $275 $287
       248 Heated Steering Wheel $150 $135 $142
       693 Satellite Radio Prep $75 $70 $72
       438 High-gloss Wood Dark $0 $0 $0
    Color Adjustment - - $215
    Sterling Gray Metallic
       Destination Charge $695 $695 $695

    Total with Options $82,265 $75,090 $78,643

    (Horn Tooting Off)

    The dealer here in Jacksonville is offering it for $1000 over invoice - which is @ $76,000.

    We're not sure if we'll be leasing over purchasing this monster, but we're locked in on the price.

    My questions for the site E65 fans:

     - 1) In today's market -- is that a decent deal, $1000 over invoice? Last month, he would have sold the same car for $500 under invoice, but he said his cash incentives from BMW expired 6/30 (I checked Edmunds, and that all bears to be true).

     - 2) I'm considering 2-3 other vehicles that are slightly different equipped and wonder if folks have any negative/positive feedback on these options:

       - Rear Comfort Seats (they worth the extra $3500?)
       - Adaptive Ride Package (I like the current ride of the E65, we don't carry large loads typically, except for the rare 4 folks to dinner night) -- Any additional ride improvement/sacrifice with this package?

       - Active Cruise Control - the dealer says its too new for this option; he's not seen many cars with it so he can't offer his opinion. Any have this option? Your experience with it?

    We're gonna make the final choice by Tuesday night -- I'd appreciate your thoughts on my questions.

    Take care all.

    Lord Z
  • thomsoncthomsonc Posts: 2
    I am close to purchasing a 1996 750il and I was curious to know if anyone knew where I might find figures on the number of 750's and 740's produced each year by BMW. I had heard from someone an incredably low number on 750's produced for that year but it seemed too low in my opinion.

    Also, does anyone know the difference between the 750il for 1995 & 1996? Thanks.
  • seabushseabush Posts: 68
    I'm interested in purchasing a 740il. The car is 2001 with 20,700 miles on it. The dealer is selling the car for $43,950. I think $38,500 is a fair price for the vehicle. What's a good price for a 740iL with low miles?
  • carmaven18carmaven18 Posts: 21
    How are the rear seats in the 745Li? What features do they have? Also, are the sunshades on the side windows and rear window power? Do they cover the whole window and are they worth it? Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,595
    Doing a custom appraisal using Edmunds True Market Value software (see Home Page), for a 2001 740il in outstanding condition, we get:

    private party retail


    dealer retail $42,776
    dealer certified vehicle $44,126

    So it looks like you and the dealer could close a deal at around $40K with some bargaining. I don't think he'll let it go at $38,5K but it's worth a try, who knows?

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  • seabushseabush Posts: 68
    Thanks. I've been using the Black book pricing info at They have a 740IL (with 20,700 miles) as follows:

    Clean - $40,175. No body scratches, dents, rust or other signs of wear. Interior is perfect. Very low mileage. Very few vehicles qualify for Clean when a vehicle is traded in.
    Average - $35,800. Body is very clean with only a few minor scratches, no dents and no rust. Interior is very clean with very little noticeable wear. Mileage less than 15,000 miles per year.

    Rough - $30,325. Body is very rough with many scratches, dents, rust or hail damage. Interior is dirty and shows excessive wear. Mechanically needs work. High mileage.
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