2001 BMW 7 Series 728i 2.8 petrol


A timeless, and elegant luxury car


Apart from a blown headlight bulb, nothing at all.

General Comments:

Viewed objectively the 728i is not quite as accomplished a car as my previous luxury barge, an LS400, but while the Lexus lasted less than a year before I tired of it, I find more in the BMW to appreciate the longer I have it.

For starters, it is extremely elegant and well proportioned. The cabin is huge, with a very tasteful choice of materials. Everything falls to hand, though I find the foot operated parking brake a pain.

With only 193 BHP, straight line performance is adequate rather than stunning. Use of the gearbox's Sport mode however - or the sequential shift - speeds things up considerably. V8 models are quicker, but would not match the 728i's trump card - its stellar economy. High 30s or even low 40s MPG is easily attained on a motorway run, which, together with the 80 litre fuel tank, makes it an extremely useful long range cruiser.

The 728i is not a sports car, but the steering - while not the sharpest - retains a feeling of connectivity; ride comfort is very good, though the ultimate bias feels towards providing an edge for the driver. Body control impresses at speed, and the car feels extremely wieldy for such a large machine.

The E38s have a reputation for being among the last old school, well built BMWs, and the overall feel of the car certainly reflects this. I was lucky to find a very low mileage car that had been well looked after, and do not plan to sell any time soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2014

2001 BMW 7 Series 728i SE 2.8


Good, but seriously flawed



PDC sensors (x2).

Climate control failed.

ABS control box faulty (over £2000 to repair).

Stereo amp failed (£800 to repair).

Front dampers.

Window seals rotted (poor quality rubber).

Various trim feel to pieces. Brittle plastics and bad design.

Electric windows broke.

Brittle windscreen cracked twice for no apparent reason.

Print wearing off various buttons.

General Comments:

A good looking and quite quick for its size, drives well and has good road presence. All this spoiled by substandard quality and tear-inducing repair costs, even for minor items...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd October, 2009

2001 BMW 7 Series 728i 2.8 petrol


Awesome for no money


Thermostat is stuck open. £13 part and I can fit myself.

General Comments:

This is my second BMW 728i (E38 series). I still have the first one - frankly too good to sell.

This is the big secret in the BMW family. Assumed to be a gas guzzler, they are actually very reasonably frugal cars which will cost much, much less to own than many rattly, tinny compact cars. Even in heavy town traffic 26mpg is normal and 35mpg on an 80mph motorway tromp. This from an aristocratic super-limo the size of The Tirpitz.

Pretty indestructable too. 300K miles from an engine is the norm - they have been tested to 3M miles and still to factory spec. Bulletproof gearbox - the best in the business. Suspension needs care, but OEM parts are reasonable prices. You can get great Taiwan tyres at good prices.

The drive is all though. Swift, responsive, sports handling like a much smaller car. Makes the right noises (quietly). All the toys (if you buy the right one). Past model, but nobody notices as no-one is buying the ugly new one and BMWs age beautifully. This is a classic.

Top Tips. Buy a 728i Sports with TV/Sat Nav, dechromed and debadged. Needs to be Blue. The best. Buy at 4 years old to pick up a £47,000 car for £10,000. With full BMWSH it will be better than the day the mug who has paid for (most of) your car picked it up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2005

11th Mar 2006, 02:59

728 is actually the best of the 7-series in terms of quality as well. The 2,8-litre engine is one of the most reliable engines that BMW ever produced. The 6 cylinder engines from BMW sound great and responds great. I must say I'm amazed by the acceleration in my 728. Really good for a car that size with only the 2,8 litre inline 6.

30th Jun 2006, 05:39

The only big problem with these BMW's is the electronic components. Sensors fail after some time. And even if they don't cost much to replace, it's still annoying when the warning light for the ASC and ABS keeps coming on and the speedometer fails. I've had some problems with that on my car. But my mechanic says it's most likely the rear wheel ABS-sensors. Another issue with these cars are the transmissions. They are maintenance free, and even if that might sound great, it isn't. There are some people who've experienced problems with them, and when they do, BMW can't fix the problem, as they won't even perform an oil service on them, due to the fact that they are "sealed for life" and not meant to have oil services. However, I've had no such problem with mine, but it is a great concern of mine, as the car have 240.000 km on the clock. The problem with BMW is that you often have to turn to other specialists to have problems fixed, as the BMW-dealers can't fix more complex problems on the cars. It's really a shame, as such an advanced car really needs first class mechanics.