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BMW 7-Series 2006 and earlier



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Exactly, you can bet the next LS (whatever) will look very similar to today's S-Class, there always a step behind. To think the previous S-Class wasn't that big of a sales hit (or at least not the numbers Mercedes wanted to move) and Lexus copied it anyway. Pitiful


    We'll see.....

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I'm sure Lexus has research indicating LS buyers like the look the car has. That's not pitiful, that's good business sense -- make what the customer wants. The LS has outsold the S-Class nearly every month since it was redesigned, so clearly the buying public likes the look. The current LS is a big hit.

    I've mentioned this before: My grandfather had a 1977 Mercedes 450SLC and loved the look of the car (and all Mercedes models). But the car was a nightmare to own. He always said if a more reliable car looked like a Benz he would buy it. Sure enough, he bought three LS 400s before passing away.

    What about what Mercedes copies from Lexus (like the glowing gauges among other things). Copying good things from other car makers, including styling, is not a bad thing.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    If the public has come to accept the Pontiac Aztek, then the BMW 745i should have no problems gaining that kind of acceptance, right?

    The consumer's wallets will have the final say, whether this ugly car will be either a flop or not.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Clearly just because the car is selling doesn't mean it's selling because of it's looks. Nobody with a sense of style is buying the LS430 for it's styling or looks...the car has none. It's bought because of it's quality and reliability reputation, not because it's a this gourgeous machine. Selling more units than the S-Class doesn't say much either since the car is on average 25K cheaper than a base (S430)'s supposed to outsell the more expensive car. Mercedes' use of some gauges?? Big deal. Mercedes could never copy the hundreds of small details Lexus has copied. Lexus didn't even event the gauges, they were supplied to them by a supplier. The things they took from Mercedes, styling being the main one were of pure Mercedes origin. In short Mercedes hasn't copied 1/10th of what Lexus has copied from them. There's no comparision. Mercedes' are a lot better since 1977, I know you know that.

  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I just saw the new 745i at the LA auto show and had a chance to sit in it and play with an i Drive at a station they had set up. I think the looks will be more acceptable as one sees the new car. I am somewhat concerned about the iDrive but with use I don't think it will be a problem. My greatest concern is the shifting. Since I like a console mounted shifter and enjoy shifting for the proper gear manually I am not sure that the US version will be very satisfying. Although there are wheel mounted shifter buttons my understanding is that in the US(for gas milage reasons)you can't shift sequentially and downshift into the next lower gear. Any comment from someone who has driven the car would be appreciated.
    I also think I'd be concerned about Valet parking the car until it has been out awile and they figure out the proceedure for reverse,etc.
  • I was wondering if you are going to buy the bmw? Tony
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    No, I'm not going to buy the 745i, it's just a little beyond my means! I will sell them though!
    For now, I'm happy with the 330i, in March I will have a 330ci;)

    pathdoc, while it is true that there will initially be no steptronic mode due to gas guzzler concerns, you can downshift the car using the L/D(limiting drive)button on the steering wheel. When you push that button, it allows you to then downshift with the thumb buttons to whatever gear you want to, but the trans will not upshift past that gear, until you hit the L/D button again, when it resumes a normal shifting program. It's like a "half steptronic", so to speak.

    hope this helps

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Does anyone know what the exact difference between the 745i and the 745Li is besides the obvious stretch? Also will the 760i coming this fall have a lot more features besides the V12? I can't imagine what else BMW would add. Again I think the design is radical but let's see how it sells. I think a lot of people will buy it just because it ISN'T a S-Class...Thanks
  • And a lot of people buying the LS 430 that is outselling the S Class. So, I conclude that the LS 430 sales will be strong inspite of how great the 7 series is.

    J "CaddyLac"
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    the differences between the i and Li are the height(Li .1 inches higher), standard 20-way comfort seats in the Li, standard active front head restraints in the Li, and optional 14-way rear comfort seats(only available in the Li).

    I don't have info for the 760Li from BMW yet so I won't comment on that, but I would expect to see every option in the 745Li to be standard in the 760Li.

  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    yeah, other differences are the Li is 5.5 inches longer at 123.2 in. 5.2 inches add'l leg room, smaller increment due to Li's standard comfort seats.

    Li's turning circle is 41.3 ft, vs. 39.8 ft.

    Li's weight is 4464 lbs, or 88 lbs. more than the 745i

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Is like a "Knee Airbag" that is currently found on the driver's side for the Kia Sportage?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The LS430 comparably equipped to an S-430 is only about $5k cheaper. The most popular option package that Lexus imports it in (ML/Nav package) makes it come in about $8k cheaper. Where do you get the $25k from?

    Have you seen the new 7 yet? Looks like its out per Edmunds new car pricing. I still don't like it, particularly that rear but I've yet to see it in person.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm not in the market fot the new 7 but if anyone is here's a lease deal advertised in NJ. MSRP $69k, $799 per mo. - 42 months, 4850 down, no security deposit, 60% residual value. That should work out to about $935 per month with $0 down if you apply the math and can negotiate your way past the down payment. It seemed to be a BMW program and not a local dealer one.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I have finally been able to examine the new 7 up close. I'll start with the good news first. The interior is made of the highest quality materials around. The seats are some of, if not the best around. The car looks a lot smaller than it really is. From a few feet away it looks small and 5-Seriesh, but when you get right up on it, it's huge. The car I looked at was in the showroom so I didn't have the chance to start it and check out the idrive system. I was generally shocked by the LACK of buttons in on the dash. Only the "basic" functions are represented by conventional buttons/knobs/switches. The car's overall build, construction and sheer size remind me a lot of the W140 (1992-1999) S-Class Mercedes-Benz. It's a larger than life car that will unfortunately be either hated or loved with very little middle ground.

    Now for the bad news.....the car is ugly. As much as it pains me to have to say this about a BMW it's true. The car's rear end belongs on another car from another era. It's true what they say about darker colors, but the 7 I examined was a darker color! Wait, it gets worse. The wheels are NOT centered in the wheelwells. The car is very akward looking from the side because of this. Even the front end doesn't look "right". The headlamp openings are just too large with too much space between the lamps and the hood. So the typical BMW "shark" look is now gone too. At this point I would be among the board members that are saying that Chris Bangle has to go. There is only one more styling test of mine that this car hasn't been through yet, hopefully it will look better then if not its truly an "ugly" car.

    I can only hope the 2004 5-Series doesn't look like a minature version of the this new 7-Series. I'm still in disbelief.

  • I've been back to the dealer 4 times for a recurring but sporadic steering wheel & body shake on my '95 740iL. I replaced half worn tires - to no avail. I've rebalanced the new tires three times. The car still shakes badly but only occasionally at exactly 50 Mph (& is not noticable below 47 and above 53). This is driving me crazy. Nothing appears obvious other than the shake. Any suggestions?
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    have you checked all four wheels to see if one is bent? That's what it sounds like to me.

    I had the same thing with my car. It would only shake at about 65mph amd it was smooth at 60mph and 70mph, turns out I had a nicely bent rim.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Appreciate your honesty and frankness. Now what exactly was that design team thinking when they approved it for production? I saw some beautiful designs that they passed on - one in particular that would have made me very interested on my next shopping trip in 2 years. Now I guess it'll be the LS vs. the S again and maybe the A-8 though that's a long-shot - god willing of course. I didn't notice the headlamp problem until you pointed it out which made me take a closer look at the pix on Edmunds and I agree with your observation. I also agree that the front doesn't have that hawkish hunter look of the past model (which I'm starting to appreciate more and more when I see it in my rear-view mirror) but it's still the rear that is a turnoff to me.

    By the way did you get any indication if demand for the car is hot, lukewarm or cold?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah it's a real shock for me. I was so turned off by the car I didn't ask about demand for it. Though there were a lot of ooohhhs and ahhhhs going on around the car. It seems that I and the others that were looking at the car were seeing the car for the first time. Some liked it, some didn't. Sales numbers will tell the story. Stay tuned.

  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    what is the test of yours that the car has yet to be put through? If it's driving the car, I doubt you would be disappointed. As far as looks, I can't argue on such a subjective thing. As you said, some will like it, some will hate it(sounds like it should be in the love/hate attitude topic).
    After reading your post, I went out to look at our car, which has the 19" wheels, and I didn't really notice the wheels not being centered. Did you notice whether the car you looked at had the 18" or 19" wheels?

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    If you get a loaded LS 430 (Ultra), it stickers for around $70,000. A comparably equipped S430 is around $90,000 - $95,000.

    That may be the $25,000 referred to earlier.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    When I was pricing - both cars had options that the other didn't. Lexus had its fridge and massagers and I forget what the S had but it of course offered things Lexus didn't have. But for the most part a loaded S-430 very comparable to the ultra was in the 78-80k range. A pretty loaded S-500 was mid 80's and then you got into the 90's with the S-500 sport and amg models. I'm not sure if there is a S-430 amg or whether it even would sell because most people would be in an s-500 at that point. The dealer told me the S-430 is usually sold pretty spartan because once you add a few things you are in the S-500 price league which is better equipped and powered to begin with.

    Have you posted any sales data recently?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well there is a test that has always worked for me. It's going to sound wierd but here goes. If I'm riding in the right most lane of a 3-lane expressway and I see a car in the left most lane travelling about 1 1/2 to 2 car lengths in front of me it gives me just the right "profile" to judge the styling of the car. It's a rolling 3/4 view, the three quarter view of a car being the best angle to look at in my opinion. Almost always if a car doesn't pass this test it's been an ugly car to me. I hope I explained it right, I guess I could show better than tell. But try it (without causing an accident) sometime. The 7 I looked at had the 18 inch wheels, good point I"m sure the 19's would look better. I just noticed in your post you have one?(!) Do you have some pics you could post? What color/options did you get? Are you an idrive expert yet?

  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Not to get off topic here on the 7 board, but here's a comparison of an LS 430 Ultra vs S430:

    LS Ultra -- Right around $70,000
    S430 comparably equipped -- $89,860:

    72,495 -- base car w/dest charge
    2,000 -- ventilated front seats
    1,155 -- xenon lights w/washers
    820 -- wood wheel and shift knob
    1,825 -- power rear seats
    1,880 -- rear AC controls
    140 -- NAV CDs for entire country
    1,015 -- Parktronic
    820 -- upgraded leather
    1,565 -- ventilated rear seats
    2,875 -- Distronic speed control
    2,960 -- active suspension
    310 -- rear side window shades

    That's a nearly $20,000 difference. By the way, the S500 starts at $80,845.

    No new sales numbers, but I'll see what I can find.
  • millerro3millerro3 Posts: 136
    I think you misunderstood, I wish I had a 7 series!!

    What I went to look at was our dealership demo car. We have to have it available for test drives and can not sell it for a month or so. Did the dealer you went to have one for test drives, or just the one on the showroom floor?
    You gotta drive one of these, really impressive.

    I can appreciate your test, I like to admire cars from that angle as well, and it's funny because I like to see the car rolling as well, maybe something about seeing it in action? Who knows

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I see... Nope they wouldn't allow test drives yet, they only have 2 so far. Both officially belong to BMW, not the dealer.


    The S430 doesn't need ABC to compete with the LS430. Airmatic will suffice.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see Edmunds likes the new 7. I guess Black will be the body color of choice, doesn't look as bad in Black.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The review merc1 mentions can be accessed from the Helpful Links box on the left sidebar.

    Sedans Message Board
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    After having examined more pictures of the 7 in various publications, I am beginning to warm to some aspects of the car I had previously doubted. First, the interior has really grown on me. Prior 7s have been sterile and uninviting, and that look and the lack of driver leg room were principally responsible for me looking elsewhere last year when I bought. (Why in the world, in a car with such a HUGE back seat (iL), they can't let the front seat go back several more inches is just beyond me). Don't know if they have fixed the latter, but I really like the look if the cockpit. Second, the exterior, from the rear doors forward has grown on me. It still looks like a Passat retaining water, but I no longer find it as odd as I once did.

    However, the trunk still looks horrible. As the new "Spin Around" article on Edmunds says, it was an afterthought by BMW to fix the aerodynamic problems posed by the taller canopy, and it looks like it. Just too much going on for my taste.

    Finally, those (like Edmunds) who defend the iDrive are missing the point, in my view. They say that anyone who can operate Word can operate iDrive; maybe so, but I operate Word (complete with its infuriating crashes, non-intuitive commands and spurious bugs) every day AT MY DESK, not going 75 down the highway. As most engineers will tell you that when you ask a device to do two functions rather than one, it likely won't accomplish either as well as a device dedicated to one alone. Have you looked at the palmtop/cell phone combos? This device combines all of the electronic and electro-mechanical functions in to a single device that offers no tactile feedback, the way buttons and knobs on the dash can. The fact that this combination can be made to work at all may be a testament to the talents of BMW's techies, but it does not mean that functionality has been gained; indeed, functionality has been degraded significantly. I suppose for those that buy a car for the geewiz factor this will be attractive, but the goal, IMHO, should be to make the most FUNCTIONAL devices, not the most "impressive."

    In sum, I react to the car the way I would to an intriguing concept car; some great ideas and some real flash, but clearly not ready for the market. We will see if I am right or completely off base.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I buy that. Though idrive whether a hit or not *probably* still won't be the wave of the future. I would imagine it's very expensive also.

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