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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • 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 . 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?

  • 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.

  • 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)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If the dealer won't say that should be answer enough. I couldn't give you exact dollar amounts, but lets just say something major breaks, it will be probably double what you'd pay on your explorer or more. BMW's have a lot of high-tech, high-dollar engineering. I would stay away if I were you.

  • when i was little my dad had a 1986 or 87 bmw 733i it had a lot of the high tech stuff that the cars of today have like traction controll and a navigation system but when they discontinued the 733i my dad was p. o.ed and he really missed that car when we sold it my mom and my dad still are firm belivers in bmw's mom has a 1999 bmw 328i conv and dad a 200 seven series v12
  • scouser1scouser1 Posts: 2
    Love the car - Black with Nav and Sports plus
    sound. 2K miles - 120mph reached and cruising.

    Everyone else loves the car - turns heads everywhere. People come up to me and complement the car as to its beauty. In a line up with BMW,
    MERCEDES, BMW and LEXUS the JAG gets the
    complements. Looks is not everything but it goes a
    long way in the luxury class.
  • kappamankappaman Posts: 47
    Owned a 740il, electrical nightmare. Replaced radio,a/c and brake lights every 2months for a year. I don't own a 740 anymore. If they get their electric circuit working they would probably be the best around, but the jag is something special. By the way I own two of them, the XK8 and the Vanden Plas. Customer service is better with Jags, snob appeal is better, and I have less problems. No the Jags are not problem free. Nether was my S-class or lexus es300 and sc300,sc300 is pretty good though. The jag is a much better car with only minor problems. Anyway, they all have some problems. Get what you want and if you don't like it do by that product again. Someone elses experience my be different from mine though.
  • leslee1leslee1 Posts: 1
    Need some subject matter expertise on this one. I need to dump the Mini-Van look (not me), however the car lineup for a family of 5 (comfortably) is pretty limited. I have already done the SUV thing and not really impressed with the roominess of those. We've been looking at 1997-8 740il, 2000 volvo s80, and 2000 Audi A6 (would like the A8, but too much $$)and need to know from those families out there, are these cars "really" roomy for 3 kids (all boys 2,5,9). Appreciate any other suggestions for under $40k!
  • kappamankappaman Posts: 47
    I have owned a '95 740il, and yes it is roomy enough for your 3 kids to sit in the back. Especial the il version. One comment though, I had a lot of electrical problems with my 740il. It was a great car minus replace the a/c, radio and tail light bulbs every other month. If you buy it with an extended warranty, no problem. If you plan on keeping it you may want to think about it. For reliabilty you may think about the Lexus LS400 used, but it want look as good as the 740il. A new Lexus GS300 may fit the bill along with the A6 and S80. You may want to look at at 98 Jaguar XJ8(great car I own the '95 Vanden Plas version). I say 98 because it has the new engine and interior styling, plus they come with the best pre-owned warranty in the business. The warranty is basically the same as a new car warranty. If reliability is the question on the Jaguar read the JD Powers survey on the Jags. You will be surprised.
  • mike2567mike2567 Posts: 15
    If you are planning to buy a BMW, or even if you're not, you'd be crazy not to join the BMW car club of America first. It's the best $35 you will ever spend, and you'll get a clear idea of what the cars and the ownership experience are like.

    The short answer to the questions here, all BMWs are very fine running cars--maybe the best of all marques. But after the first few years, you will have to spend money on maintenance and repairs. I'd say once the car is 5 years old plan to spend several hundred dollars a year.
  • sbrj8656sbrj8656 Posts: 1
    The June 2000 issue of Automobile magazine has a couple pictures of the 2002 BMW 7-Series. Has anyone seen any other pictures of the 2002 7-Series?
  • jad6jad6 Posts: 1
    OK you good folks, I need some information
    concerning the reliability of a late model
    (1997-1999) BMW740iL. I have read with great
    interest much of the feedback from the "Sedan"
    segment related to the 740. It seems from what I
    have read the early or mid 1990's tended to have
    significant problems (i.e. engine, electrical,
    transmission). The question is has BMW corrected
    these problems? I love the car in terms of looks,
    comfort and driveability and can purchase one
    (1998) for around $45-48K certified by BMW (not a
    third party). I tend to keep a car for 6-8 years
    and put easily 150K plus miles (mostly highway) on
    it. What I don't need is a problem or a money pit
    that spends more time in the shop than in my
    garage. I realize the car requires maintenance and that the cost of that maintenance will be higher than average and I accept that. I have read through many reports such as Consumer Guide and most have very little data on the BMW 7 series in terms of reliability/customer satisfaction. I have also seen a few posts on this topic but have not seen very much response. Any feedback that can be provided such as your experience as an owner or reports/data you have run across would be much appreciated. Thanks!
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    Ok, I've read just about all the posts here and am now caught up with all the threads that I'm interested in (I "scanned" the Dinan chip threads).

    Like a couple of others who posted about used BMW 7s, I too will be in the market for a used 7 in 2002/3. I'm doing my research early so that I could learn as much as possible about the 7 series.

    I've been a member of the BMW CCA since '96 (I've attended 12+ BMW CCA driving schools in my '93 Rx7 R1:), and am quite knowledeable on E36 3ers/M3s, but have practically no insights on the 7s (BTW what is the E designation for the '95 to '00 7s?)

    Like a couple of other posters out there, my wife and I are looking for a roomy great road trip car as well as daily driver. We'll put 15 to 17K miles on it per year, and we tend to keep our cars for a long time: her car--6 years, mine--8 years. We don't like to buy new because of the terrible depreciation hit for the first few years. The plan is to sell her car and replace it with the bimmer 7.

    BTW, post #116 of 137: rmac88 (gearman) Wed 23 Feb '00 (01:16 PM) was a fantastic post. Unfortunately it was the only one regarding the reliablity of bimmer 7s.

    From what I've gathered from your posts, it appears that the later 7 series are the best to buy used. The '90 to '94 models had problems with the nikasil cylinder liners, as well slushbox problems with the ZF units. The V8s and V12s were not as strong as the inline 6es with regard to mileage reliability and durability.

    This then leaves us with the 1997-2000 models. As a sports car enthusiast driver, I especially like the idea of 740i Sport model.

    (I could probably convince Mrs. Rx7 R1 on the advantages of better handling from an upgraded suspension/wheel/tire package:)

    What year was the first year for the 740i Sport? Is there much of a difference between that first-year 7 sport and a '00 7 Sport?

    What would I expect to pay for 740i Sport in 2002 or 2003?

    Will there be some sort of extended warranty for these used/off-lease BMWS?

    Thanks in advance for your replies. I've let my BMW CCA membership lapse. I've decided to pass up the driving schools fow a couple of years. The new plan is to just enjoy tooling around in a big luxo cruiser (BMW 740i Sport) and seeing the wonderful sights our great big country has to offer!

    Best Regards,
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    Bad news--SSR SSF wheels in 17 x 9s aren't available for the '97 740i. Good news is that Breyton Magics in 17 x 9.5s are available for my would-be 740i "sport". The extra half-inch wheel width will be needed to shod the big fat 255/50ZR17s! Downside is that the Breytons are probably a lot heavier. I guess the BBS RC in 17 x 8.5s would be a good choice, except that 8.5 inches is not wide enough for 255.
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    I liked the idea of the 7 "sport" model in terms of the upgraded handling. The slight increase in acceleratation from a different rear end doesn't impress me. Puhleeze. I won't even try to pretend that the big 7's "tiptronic" allows me any sort of control during shifts! Lest you forget that my daily driver's is a REAL sports car. The 7 will be for a completely different purpose--long comfortable road trips. Uhh...don't be surprised if BMW 323is run circles around you at your upcoming driving school. 4000 lbs is 4000 lbs. Physics laws still apply.
  • pflaumpflaum Posts: 13
    If you think about how one runs hot laps, all shifts during straight line acceleration or braking, you would understand that the tiptronic does allow a LOT more control in competent hands: down shift during braking then trail brake around the corner and accelerate in a straight line out. Sorry, but it would be very difficult to get a standard automatic to do this. The tiptronic handles it easily the only limitation being that it does not permit reving beyond redline (but there is no need to toe heel).

    You may have a real sports car as a daily driver but I have raced them and until a few months ago had one as my weekend toy (98 'vette). The sport model is a lot of fun and let me get rid of the toy.) In my opinion, the difference in acceleration is very noticable (which I would know since I have had both).

    BTW, it is more than the rear end on the sport that has been upgraded (the torque converter had to be upgraded substantially
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    Yes, I could see how the BMW "tippy" could help during the hotlapping in a 740i Sport. Certainly better than a standard slushbox. Yet the tippy doesn't allow nearly the control you have in a standard manual gearbox. That's the perspective I was coming from.

    My hands (and feet:) are competent operating the controls of a true blue sports car. I've never driven a slushbox drivetrained car around a track so from that perspective, you would be right--I woudn't be competent. I'd be left-foot braking into every turn, trailing off of the brake while blending the gas. I bet it wouldn't take me long before I got the hang of things though:)

    FWIW, I've attended over 50 hours of BMW CCA driving schools since 1997 in my 1993 Mazda Rx7 R1. I've driven many different tracks with all kinds of other cars! I guess you could say that I've "raced" them without really going wheel-to-wheel with them. If you've done schools, then you know it's pretty much "gentlemen's racing" once the instructor signs you off to go have fun:)

    Here's my repertoire of road racing venues:
    Mid Ohio '97 '98 '99
    Road Atlanta '00
    Road America '00
    Summit Point '99
    Gingerman '99 '00
    Putnam Park '97 '98 '99 '00

    Oh yeah, I "raced" against 2 ZR1 Vettes at Road America earlier this month (May 6/7 weekend). I was surprised that they didn't pull away on the three long straights (RA is 4 miles per lap)! Even more surprised when I got passing signals from both!

    Passed the new BMW M5s all day long! Wonderful daily driving cars, but not road racers, IMO. Capable but not sizzling fast! Physics laws again:)

    The only other shifter I'd have in a sports car, other than a classical manual would be Ferrari's F1 paddle shifter mechanism, which blips the throttle during downshifts.

    Mazda's new Rx7 is supposed to have a F1 shifter variant in the upcoming Rx7 model:)

    My point in all this is that I'm not willing to pay the premium (actually can't afford to pay it!) for a '99 Sport 740i over a '97 740i with upgraded suspension, wheels, tires. I'm sure you feel like you got your money's worth and that's great! The 740i will serve the purpose that I intend for it. There will be no track time planned for the the big 7:)
  • jeskjesk Posts: 13
    since they are changing the body style next year, is BMW offering deals on the 740? if so, are they also doing it for the 740i sport, provided they are around? love the car, but hard to justify buying a model that is 6 yrs old when a new one is just around the corner.
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    Nah, get the Porsche!
  • jeskjesk Posts: 13
    car is for my wife. u following me around?
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    nah, I think you're following ME around;)

    I'm soooohhhhh envious;)

    A Porsche 996 for you, and and a big honking 740i Sport for Mrs. jesk! Life at the jesk house must be good!

  • jeskjesk Posts: 13
    have not bought either yet so jealousy not an issue. will prob buy 740 first in early fall and then hold off on porsche unless something spectacular falls in my lap. am talking to guy in ohio with a black on black 97 c4s with 25k miles. so maybe that happens
  • rx7r1rx7r1 Posts: 17
    well if I were jealous, I wouldn't want you to have any of the stuff you want or have. I'm merely envious, which means, that I wish I had the purchasing power you have:D

    Good luck shopping. It's fun, and all the sports car salesfolks get to know you real well:D
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