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BMW 7 Series
#110 of 1317 BMW 740iL Reliablity
May 15, 2000 (3:50 am)
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!
#111 of 1317 740i Sport?
May 20, 2000 (6:04 pm)
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!
#112 of 1317 '97 740i "Sport" wheels
May 20, 2000 (10:29 pm)
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.
#113 of 1317 740i Sport
May 23, 2000 (6:18 am)
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.
#114 of 1317 Tiptronic
May 24, 2000 (4:42 am)
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
#115 of 1317 Daily Driver and...
May 24, 2000 (1:00 pm)
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:)
#116 of 1317 740i sport
May 26, 2000 (1:07 am)
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.
May 26, 2000 (4:20 am)
Nah, get the Porsche!
#118 of 1317 rx7r1
May 26, 2000 (2:01 pm)
car is for my wife. u following me around?
May 26, 2000 (7:55 pm)
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!