The previous article here on Car-Revs-Daily.com slammed the BMW 7 Series for its loss of focus since the wretched third-gen car stole my hope and courage and aspirations with its vile redesign. This is now the fifth-gen car, introduced in 2012.
Is is all better? No.
Is it much better? Yes.
But let’s get a bit more real for this one. Is it or was it ever a bad car, or just one that is trying to change with the times? Change is hard. It really is. That is why I cannot stop over-sharing, try as I might to keep things above-board for my fledgling entrepreneurial venture — Car-Revs-Daily.com.
Two important post-script topics to diffuse the previous article’s brass-knuckled right and left hooks:
— How is that late-1990s BMW 740iL to drive now, with fifteen years of time between us?
I drove a pre-owned 2001 BMW 740iL a few years ago that was **amazing** value with just about 30,000 miles and a $25,000 price, if I’m not mis-remembering.
It drove well! Just as I recalled. Taut but just the slightest and most relaxing bit of float.
But the car was painted casket bronze, had the tiniest and most untouchably-hideous (black and white!) dot matrix navigation interface — measuring a whopping three-inches square.
30 Rock: Jack Donaghy, Season One, Episode One — Interior, office. Jack on phone answering questions,
Jack: “Five Inches — But It’s Thick”
Copyright 2006, NBC Universal
Actually,’untouchable’ is not the right description. Of course it was untouchable. It was not a touchscreen whatsoever. It could be fingered, but no reactions or spasms were forthcoming.
This is why iDrive had to be invented to control things that previously were completely un-useable by anyone who had not spent 1000-plus hours in the car, or designed the software himself.
(I stand corrected — Color was available!? But not on the car we drove. This is European model with TV tuner, I believe.)
Did my brother buy that car we drove? Oh no. He bought a 2012 BMW M3 Sedan. I encouraged him — I really did — to go for the big 740iL, with its painted sills and lightly refreshed exterior versus the previous dark-silled cars.
But here is the thing. Rob and his family are back in my glitzy home town. And that town must have been a 740iL top-10 market in the globe. 60521’s zipcode and Laurel BMW was so prolific at selling 7 Series cars that everyone who was anyone drove one. Mostly the coolest dads.
What changed for 2003? It became a “mom car.” That was not sexy then, and certainly was not sexy in 2012.
Final nail in the coffin? Rob’s darling wife say a text photo of the big 7 and said, “NO!!! It is an old man car.” This is coming from Gina, a yummy mummy in her own right. The next gen of moms in the town — aged 32 versus 64.
Eek. My dreams quashed by the harsh light of ten years perspective.
Which would I have bought that day? The M3 or the 740iL? Neither! My heart is 2007 550i M Sport-shaped.
— What did/do you think of the S-Class then, and now?
Then? I absolutely hated the new S-Class. After being quite impressed by the Princess Diana S-Class of the 1990s, and driving the sidewalls off an S500 that was my friend Lara’s mom’s car — it was even more of a tech-tastic nightmare when redesigned into to grotesquely cheapened model of the late 1990s. Hate.
Now? I like it much better. My experience inside the latest 2015 S65 AMG and S63 AMG 4Matic blew my doors off. I love the car. I love its style, and I love its substance.
But is it flawless? Far from it. The twin panels in the dash look store-bought, and the steering wheel looks like a creepy kids toilet training tool.
You go potty here!
So, clearly, I am a man with a wide range of opinions — many of them contradictory and fleeting. What is good one year is not always good forever, and many bad things must and are overlooked.
Therefore, the BMW 740Ld might actually be my pick of the range. It is new for 2015.
Eleven BMW 7 Series models for 2015?
Come on now, surely that must be a mistake! Belive you me, it is not!
From the 740i to the ActiveHybrid 7 to the Alpina B7 — there are indeed
twelve eleven 7 Series from which to choose in America. There are more in Europe with three levels of diesel power offered.
- Starting at $74,000 MSRP
- 29 mpg hwy*
- 315 horsepower
- Starting at $78,000 MSRP
- 29 mpg hwy*
- 315 horsepower
- Starting at $81,000 MSRP
- 28 mpg hwy*
- 315 horsepower
- Starting at $82,500 MSRP
- 255 horsepower
- Starting at $87,300 MSRP
- 25 mpg hwy*
- 445 horsepower
- Starting at $90,300 MSRP
- 24 mpg hwy*
- 445 horsepower
- Starting at $91,000 MSRP
- 25 mpg hwy*
- 445 horsepower
Starting at $94,000 MSRP
24 mpg hwy*
Starting at $141,200 MSRP
20 mpg hwy*
- Starting at $84,300 MSRP
- 30 mpg hwy*
- 350 horsepower
Starting at $132,200 MSRP
22 mpg hwy*
WITHOUT M SPORT ABOVE —
WITH M SPORT BELOW —
My 2015 740Ld xDrive Sedan
- 3.0 liter, inline 6-cylinder Advanced Diesel
xDrive, intelligent all-wheel drive
Black Dakota Leather $0
Lighting Package $1,900
M Sport Edition $4,000
Active front seats $1,000
Ceramic Controls $650
Enhanced USB and Bluetooth plus Smartphone Integration $500
Power rear sunshade and rear side windowshades $750
Destination & Handling $925
BMW Ultimate Service
- A suite of premium benefits that are included at no cost with all new BMW Vehicles.
- 4 Years/50,000 Miles Warranty
- 4 Years/50,000 Miles Maintenance Program
- 4 Years/Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance
- 4 Years/Unlimited Mileage BMW Assist™ Safety Plan
TOTAL MSRP AS BUILT $92,225
Performance and efficiency
• 3.0-liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), inline 6-cylinder, 24-valve, 255-hp BMW Advanced Diesel engine with aluminum engine block, Variable-Geometry Turbo technology and latest-generation common-rail direct injection
• 8-speed automatic transmission with Automatic and Manual shift modes, and fully synchronized electronic gear changes in both
• Brake Energy Regeneration to convert kinetic energy into usable electrical power
Handling, ride and braking
• Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), including Brake Fade Compensation, Start-off Assistant, Brake Drying, and Brake Stand-by features, with Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), and Dynamic Brake Control
• 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with electronic brake proportioning
• Driving Dynamics Control with ECO PRO mode
• Dynamic Damper Control
• xDrive all-wheel-drive system
• Hill Descent Control
• Multi-link aluminum double-wishbone front suspension
• Integral-V aluminum multi-link rear suspension
• Self-leveling rear air suspension
• Aluminum front and rear subframes
• Twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers
• Vehicle-speed-sensitive variable-assist, variable-ratio rack-and-power steering
• V Spoke (Style 425) 18 x 8.0 light alloy wheels and 245/50 run-flat1 all-season tires
• Xenon Adaptive Headlights with dynamic auto-leveling, Corona headlight-rings and Cornering Lights
• LED foglights (not available with M Sport Package or M Sport Edition)
• Intermittent rain-sensing windshield wipers with adjustable and vehicle-speed-sensitive wiping interval, single-wipe control, windshield-washer system with heated washer jets
• Body-color bumpers with hydraulic energy absorbers and (front only) compressible elements
• Body-color exterior door handles
• Power adjustable, power-folding, heated, auto-dimming body-color side-view mirrors with integrated directional indicators
• Roof trim strips in body color
Interior seating and trim
• Power front seats with 4-way lumbar support include memory system for driver and front passenger’s seat, steering wheel and power-folding outside mirrors
• Front console compartment with Auxiliary input, coinholder and illumination
• Heated front seats with fast heating and balance control
• Rear center armrest with storage compartment
• Dakota Leather upholstery
• Fine Line High-Gloss Wood trim (not available with BMW Individual Composition Package)
Comfort and Convenience
• Vehicle & Key Memory
• 2-way power moonroof with key-off and “one-touch” operation, conceal panel and wind deflector
• Power windows with key-off operation, “one-touch” open/close and anti-trapping feature
• Automatic 4-zone climate control with draft-free vents featuring automatic front climate control with fully separate left/right controls, solar sensor, automatic recirculation, left/right temperature-controlled rear outlets, auto ventilation
• Ambiance lighting front footwells, B-pillar, front, rear and door panels in choice of two colors
• Adaptive light control for Automatic headlight on/off control
• Memory system for driver’s and front passenger’s seats, steering wheel, and power-folding outside mirrors
• Automatic tilt-down of right outside mirror for visibility of curb when backing up
• Automatic-dimming interior rear-view mirror
• Park Distance Control, front and rear, with graphic display
• Dynamic Cruise Control3
• Illuminated exterior door handles and ground illumination
• Dual cupholders front and rear
• Dual illuminated vanity mirrors integrated into rear cabin headliner
• Integrated Universal garage-door opener
• Comfort Access keyless entry with multi-function remote control and hands-free trunk opening and closing (hands-free trunk closing feature requires power trunk lid)
• Remote trunk release
• Fully finished trunk with emergency interior trunk release
Instrumentation and controls
• Power tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped multi-function sport steering wheel with controls for audio system, cruise control, and Bluetooth® wireless communication for hands-free mobile phone4
• iDrive system with on-board computer and touchpad Controller, and 8 programmable memory buttons
• Dynamic Digital Instrument Cluster
• Black Panel Display with LCD main and trip odometer displays and warning indicators in dial faces
• Condition-Based Service display with additional functions accessible through iDrive system
• Expanded Check Control vehicle monitor system
• BMW Navigation system with high-resolution screen; 3-D maps; 200 GB hard drive with 20 GB storage for audio files; voice feedback and Voice command system
• BMW Online with MyInfo (includes a 3-year subscription) and BMW Apps
• Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (includes a 3-year subscription)
• BMW TeleService (includes a 10-year subscription)
• USB audio connection and hands-free Bluetooth including Audio Streaming
• Engine Start/Stop button
• Tire Pressure Monitor
• Rear-view Camera
Safety and security
• BMW’s Advanced Safety System for integrated deployment of passive and active safety features
• BMW’s Active Protection System detects imminent accidents, then prepares by automatically pretensioning safety belts, closing windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking; includes Attention Assistant feature
• Driver’s and passenger’s front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with advanced technology: dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment; and front-passenger seat sensors designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment
• Front safety belts with automatic pretensioners and acoustic belt warning
• LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
• Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
• Front-seat side-impact airbags
• Active Knee Protection
• Active Head Restraints in front seats
• Adaptive Brakelights
• Crash sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of alternator, fuel pump and starter from battery; automatically unlocks doors, and turns on hazard and interior lights
• Anti-theft alarm system
• Central locking system with anti-theft feature and selective unlocking, programmable via Vehicle & Key Memory
• Coded Driveaway Protection (prevents engine start when your key fob with constantly changing electronic code is not used)
• Pathway Lighting feature, programmable via Vehicle & Key Memory
• Remote keyless entry security alarm system with selective unlocking and double-lock feature (programmed at your authorized BMW center), remote trunk opening, interior motion detector, and panic feature
• BMW Assist eCall™ includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Automatic Collision Notification (includes a 10-year subscription)
• BMW Remote Services includes Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Door Unlock and My BMW Remote app (includes a 10-year subscription)
• High-fidelity 12-speaker sound system with 2 bass speakers under the front seats and digital multi-channel amplifier with 205 watts of power
• Auxiliary input located inside center console
• SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 1-year subscription (please visit your authorized BMW center for details on services and equipment)
• DVD changer preparation
• Entertainment Server: 20 GB hard drive with USB port for media transfer
• HD Radio™ with “multicast” FM station reception
• BMW Ultimate Service® (for complete details on BMW Ultimate Service, visit bmwusa.com/ultimateservice)
• 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty
• 12-year Rust Perforation Limited Warranty
• 4-year/Unlimited Mileage Roadside Assistance Program
Run-flat tires do not come equipped with a spare tire and wheel.
Driving over rough or damaged road surfaces, as well as debris, curbs and other obstacles, can cause serious damage to wheels, tires and suspension parts. This is more likely to occur with low-profile tires, which provide less cushioning between the wheel and the road. Be careful to avoid road hazards and reduce your speed, especially if your vehicle is equipped with low-profile tires.
Cruise control is not a substitute for the driver’s own responsibility in adjusting speed and otherwise controlling the vehicle. After evaluating the road, traffic and visibility conditions, the driver must decide whether and how the system is used.