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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    This is purely based on second-hand knowledge. But I would say go for the 7. I know many people who have both, and they prefer the 7, just because of it's size. The 5 is really tiny inside, so if you have a family, or are transporting people a lot, then the 7 for sure.

    For pure driving pleasure, the 5 wins out, because it is smaller, and available with the manual. But it sounds like you would be getting an automatic regardless, so might as well take advantage of that creamy V8 in the 7. The 7 is the flagship model, and is engineered to higher standards, and therefore will last longer. So, if I were you, I would go for the 7. If you get an extended warranty, it is as good as new, and you get more for your money than a 5. Hope this helps.~ A.R.
  • I am hoping there is someone out there who can give me some true insight. I am in the early stages of looking for a car. I currently own a VOLVO and I like it but really want something else. I have narrowed my choices to the E Class Mercedes(320 and/or 430) and the BMW (740i and/or 740il) I have pulled data from Edmunds, done comparisons on what is standard vs. optional. I only want standard features. I have looked at the specifications, pros and cons as stated by EDMUNDS and the price. I have consistently read that Mercedes has a no discount ploicy , so this may be one point of elimination.

    My question is to those of you who may have purchased this vehicle and can give me info on the maintenance cost, what problems you may have experienced etc. I live in Fairfax ,Virginia but am not opposed to driving a few hours away to get the best price possible.

    Also, does any know if BMW or Mercedes provides you with a loaner car regardless of where you purchased the car? Sorry for all the questions.

    By the way, I am new to Town Hall. Nice talking to you.

  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    I would just like to point out that the MB E and BMW 7 are not in the same class. I'm sure you know this, and am wondering why you have not considered the S-Class and the 7?~A.R.
  • Hi Arcoates,
    I have not ruled out the MB-S series, was actually thinking about the S430. Any input you can give on this one?
  • axel4axel4 Posts: 6
    Thanks for the input ARCOATES, You are right, on the A/T. Brought on by an L5-S1 lower back injury years ago, getting out of a truck with my 6'2" frame and an F-101 parachute on. I did the TR3A in '60-61 and a '59 Jag(2.4,4DR)in'61-63. I loved the Jag even with its troubles.Once is enough, and the new ones are too small. Even had a Rover sedan in '67. The drive shaft fell off that backing out of the driveway. Did a 5.0 Mustang in about '85,it did FAST with spirit, Then, I ran a Skater 24 (boat)with 2-2.4 EFI's (240 hp each)a few years ago.It did FAST on the water with a whole lot of spirit. Now after 9 years in a Suburban I need to be re-invigorated. My wife has had Acura's (2)since '90, but the are not BMW's. I will drive a few 740's and see what they are like. Ops ,forgot about the BMW(2wheel)750 and the 8MPG Cad Fleetwood Brougham D'Elegance. Now there was a real road (straight road )car. I have a feeling the 740 will bring back some old those memories,and be big enough. Thanks, Axel
  • ckim1ckim1 Posts: 1
    I've been shopping for a new car for the past six months and I just signed on for the 2001 BMW 7401. I was considering MB E320, but with the "deal" I got from BMW, the difference was very small and you get much more on the BMW. I just leased a new 2001 7401 for less than $800 and the cap cost was $700 below invoice. I guess BMW is trying to get rid of the 2001 model for the new 2002. Anyway, you can now get a car way below invoice.
  • I just bought a 97 740iL and I am in love. I got rid of a 96 MB E320 that gave me nothing but problems. There is no comparison between the two especially if you are a performance oriented driver.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    You are preachin to the choir! Nothing beats a good 740!~ A.R.
  • axel4axel4 Posts: 6
    Boy do I feel I made the right decision. Drove it last Sat (home over the weekend)for a test. In retrospect, even though I let sales talk me into it, it gave me time with friends, to look it over. Closed on it Mon and let them keep my 1993 Suburban. Just took it back tonight for some agreeded to stuff( tint,& other things). Got a 528 loaner.The 528 is a very nice car and totally different appeal. I think it all boils down to what makes you feel right. For me it was the 740iL
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Fantastic axel4. I get so happy when someone picks the best car of the bunch- obviously the 7-series. When someone can enjoy it that much already, in the early stages, it just proves why BMW's are revered. Happy Motorin'~ A.R.
  • axel4axel4 Posts: 6
    I am in to week 2 and it is still a really excellent car. do not find it noisy at speed but have only seen about 95. Arcoates, that nexus that gets talked about on the other Town Hall Board must really be quiet, but I could never get past the looks. will get a test drive one of these days. Then with respect to looks, we all see things differently. Lucky we do or all the cars would look the same. Boy would that be dull. Confidence of control in the BOW is excellent at 95. Have not had time to pick up extra crush washers to do some in between oil changes. Either on my own or at Jiffy XYZ. My concern at Jiffy is that the pit guy will not remember the torque instructions I would give him, but will probably try a shop I have been using for years as I am sure they will have Mobile One and the Warranty says it is o. to use. This is of course critical with the alluminum oil pan. I was told at a local BMW dealer that you do not turn the oil plug more thqn 1/4 turn past finger tight. Trying to find out if BMW is using a 100% synthetic oil or blended? I assumed it was 100% synthetic but the price of $3.xx a can (5w30)at the dealer, is way below Mobile One. One tech said he though the BMW oil was Casteroil? Could not get a torque value, but will ask other dealers and speciality shops. The battery did need some water and to check the cell nearest the + terminal I found you have to disconnect the + cable. Dressed up the battery posts but they were not bad. The power steering uses ATF dextron III, and I learned there is no transmission dip stick but rather it is checked through a fill plug. Have not yet worked the brake fluid, but did get an air filter at Auto Zone. Still need to get a speed shop tire pressure gauge. BMW has one for $29.xx but it seems too bulky. I suppose this is all old history tech news to many, but I have not found it on the net yet.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Is castrol syntec.

    My daily driver is a '97 328i, and i recently drove a 740isport. Wow, what a car. Maybe in ten years or so when i've gotten tired of shifting myself, and i have a bigger garage.. ;)

  • psymacpsymac Posts: 4
    Interested in purchasing a 95 (with replaced engine block, of course) or 96 740il soon. I WAS thinking of a Q45, but why not buy the real thing, and not an imitation?

    If the engine block is not replaced, the '95 would not be a good option, as the 6 year (or 100,000) power train warranty would be up soon. Does that sound about right?

    Also, anyone have any knowledge of buying a car on Ebay from one of the many dealers? Seems like they have pretty nice cars, and essentially are being sold at wholesale or below.

  • spud18spud18 Posts: 1
    I am looking for information on the 2002 7-Series. I have spoken to BMW representatives, and they indicate that the car will be available "next winter". However, finding any information about the car has been very hard. I am looking for spy photos and/or additional specs to get a better understanding of this vehicle. Any suggestions or links would be appreciated.

  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
  • njbarannjbaran Posts: 2
    Not sure if you bought the Benz or the Bimmer yet, but I had a E-Class 97' E420 and traded it in for a 99' 740iL. They are different cars. If you are seriously thinking about the E-Class, opt for th E430, noticeably more power than the E320.
    The prices are quite a bit different, as a 740iL new probably prices in between a new Benz E-Class and a new Benz S-Class.

    With the new 7 Series coming out next year (so we hear), you may be able to deal on the current 7's.

    In summary, the 740iL beats the E-Class hands down. While the E-Class has nice front-end styling, the rest of the car is a little boring, especially the dash. My E420 did not have DSP (stability control), which made it awful in bad weather. The 740iL DSC operates quite well.

    My suggestion, buy a 1 or 2 year old 740iL (most likely the same price as a new E-Class) and experience the Ulimate Driving Machine.

    I also would opt for the iL, for the back seat room. I suspect the wheelbase on a E430 = 740i

    Best of luck with your decision.
  • axel4axel4 Posts: 6
    I still cannot stop praising this car. Great on the road and great in town. The power is always there, if you need it. Most of the time I let the racers have at it,then pass them very easily on the open safe stretches. Not that I don't like speed, I just like safe speed better. The '98's I looked at showed wear, the '99's are still very very clean. The '00's are still just too expensive. I put 110,000 on the trade in 4x4 Suburban, a great hauler. I don't know how I will haul and tow stuff now, save for the fact that all my friends have trucks. Guess I will have to ask, and in the mean while enjoy my 740iL.It is no Stearman, but one can still fly open cockpit , until it is time to put it up on the mach. Then just close the canopy, settle in the cockpit,and throttle up. I still have not been at the limiter yet, but will get there. Control is solid at all speeds I have been *ignore* find the seat at 6'2" perfect. Decided to use the dealer for oil changes ( re alder mag.). Jiffy XYZ. was knowegable of torque limits on drain plugs but had no filters, couldn't find crush washers ( they come with the filter), and was out of Mobile 1, Made an appointment with my local BMW dealer ( not where I bought the car, but only because they had no used 740's)Service talked me out of the oil change by proving from their records it was changed 3000 miles ago, (I change at 7500 miles)Then the shop manager took me all around the car explaining some things I did not know ,and fixed a loose plastic engine top cover. Yes I am worded about mataince costs, but I'll treat the machine with respect. The engineering and quality are good, maybe even excellent. Time will tell. Will I go to the dealer , absolutely yes. AS I work in the space program not the auto field.
  • jalowiecjalowiec Posts: 2
    I just got a 1997 bmw 740iL after selling the '97 E320 about a month ago. I have to say that the car is truly the ultimate driving machine. This one has every available option (the heated steering wheel and voice activated phone are especially nice). It has 92000 miles and shows no signs of wear.

    Right off the bat, I found the radio to be intermitantly malfunctioning (knocking and turning itself off or display going dim), but the major problem happened today when I tried starting the car and it wouldn't... all it does it knock and the RPM gauge jumps like crazy. Battery is ok and I've altered nothing in the car. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

    Looks like I'm stuck for the weekend before shops open on Monday ;(
    It's very strange, I drove the car to the store and back just 5 minutes before this malfunction occurred. heeeeeelpppppp...
  • unpolireunpolire Posts: 7
    I've been tempted by the tremendous value a used 1990 and up 750iL represents in the marketplace. Several individuals and my local wholesale parts supplier caution me that the engine electronics are problematic, often failing and resulting in "limp home" mode. Any comments? They seem well-made and beautifully appointed but I have no modern BMW experience (I own a 6 series). Thank you.
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    I had a '95 740 that became troublesome towards 100k miles. My wife had always wanted the V12. I thought we would try the '90-'92 750. Much less initial outlay with money to spend on repairs semed like a logical course. After nearly buying a 60k mile '91 750 I changed my appraoch. These cars are VERY complex. This car looked wonderful, but upon inspection needed $5,000 in repairs. There was more than one I looked at like this. I decided that if I wanted a 750 it would have to have a warranty. Now 10k miles into '98 750 ownership (30k on car) it goes to the dealer tomorrow for a clunk in the front suspension, a squeak in the rear suspension and an airbag warning light. This winter it would also intermittantly shut down the ABS and traction control. The dealer was unable to make it occur, so even though it hasn't happened for a while, I know its not fixed. You be the judge. I really like the car, it is gorgeous, very fast, smooth and has more gadgets than I can figure out. It is much more fun to drive than the M-B or Lexus, either of which is a more reliable car. So if you can accept that there is a price for that driving pleasure go for it. If you expect Camry quality you will be dissappointed.
  • force98force98 Posts: 81
    Go here for excellent discussion concerning E-38 7-Series:

  • ctkbbctkbb Posts: 1
    I have recently purchased a '98 740iL. The car is beautiful, however I have noticed what I would consider substantial wind noise coming from either the top middle front windshield or the moonroof. It is very similar in sound to that of a soft top convertible. I expected that a car this luxurious would have ZERO wind noise. Am I dreaming?
  • unpolireunpolire Posts: 7
    Is there somewhere the 750 owners are "hiding out?" I linked to the suggested site but again, found it dominated by 740 owners. Any suggestions? I'd really like a V-12: They don't make 4-door Ferraris...(M5, yes, but no rear leg room).
  • spessardspessard Posts: 5
    I have a '95 740i w/ 44,000 miles that we're getting ready to trade in on a new SUV. Anyone have any thoughts on a fair price? Great condition, comfort seats, premium sound. Trying not to get fleeced by the dealer who's only offering me about $23,000. Doesn't this seem low?
  • News:

    BMW ditches its Vanos technology for Toyota's superior Vvt-i technology for better fuel economy, smoothness and emissions

    Toyota had already been supplying volvo, renault

    BMW will recieve 200,000 units in 2001, 800,000 by 2003

    read on...

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    You didn't read the article. BMW appears to be outsourcing some of it's valve production from the same company that supplies toyota.

    If you think about it, it wouldn't make sense to switch to VVT-I. VANOS already has given over 100 hp/L, gets good fuel economy, and BMW is shipping a car with the new valvetonic technology in just six months, and will switch entirely over to it in just two years.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi - I am PR Director for and often am approached by journalists looking to talk with consumers for various automotive stories. Currently, I'm helping a major newspaper find consumers who are experiencing "gadget backlash." Did you buy a vehicle filled with exciting techno-gadgets, and wish you didn't? Have you given up trying to play a CD, set the ambient temperature or use the navigation system because the controls are just too complicated? Did you drive off the lot in your new vehicle without getting a full explanation of all the toys, figuring "how hard could it be?" and are now realizing it's more confusing than you could have imagined? What experiences have you had with the Mercedes joystick and the Volvo radio, both of which feature a lot of functionality but seem less intuitive than traditional controls?
    This story will touch on the following trends:

    -the gadgets in high-end vehicles from the Lexus LS 430 and Volvo S80 to Porsches and beyond

    -drivers in their 40s-60s buying sports cars

    -driver distraction

    If you have anything to add, we'd love to hear from you. Please submit your experience to Talk to the Press and/or to, including your current vehicle, daytime phone number and city and state of residence. (Your identity will be protected at your request.)

    Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity to share your story!


    Jeannine Fallon

    Director of Public Relations
  • I am considering purchasing a 95 750il with 46k on the odometer. After reading the 7 series board, it seems that many of the concerns with the 750 are focused on repair costs.

    In order to minimize my long term risk, I am considering purchasing an extended warranty from which will cover the next 4 years or 50k. It sure isn't a cheap warranty ($2500), but from what I have read, a single component failure (rear leveling suspension) can run at least $3-4K.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experience with any after market warranty plans, good and bad. Is this a bad strategy if I want to get into a 750il and minimize my exposure and risk to a money pit?

    Thanks in advance for any comments
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    ...but I'm dropping by to see if any BMW owners would be interested in having an Owners Club on the Owner's Club Board. As of now, the BMW folder is empty. :-(

    Let me know if you are interested!

    Owner's Clubs

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi from's PR Department.

    A journalist from one of the country's largest newspapers has asked us for help finding consumers who recently purchased a Lexus L430, Mercedes C class or BMW 3 series after considering a more expensive vehicle, or anyone who recently considered purchasing a luxury vehicle, but decided not to because of the economy.

    If you fit this description and care to share your story, please respond to and/or with your e-mail, phone number, city and state of residence, and a brief description of your experience. The journalist promises to keep you identity hidden at your request.

    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Jeannine Fallon

    Director of Public Relations

    PLEASE NOTE: Respond by clicking on the email addresses above. Responses posted here will NOT be seen by the folks who want to hear from you. Thanks!

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