1991 BMW 7 Series 735iL 3.5L I6 from North America


Lots of luxury at a bottom-basement price


Gas-struts for trunk needed replacement.

Rear shocks have blown.

Headliner starting to sag.

Cigarette lighters failed and were repaired.

Fuel pump replacement at 240,000KMS.

General Comments:

It's a big, heavy car, and it feels like one. Handling is still superior to most large sedans. Incredibly slow unless you put it in sport mode.

It's got the "legendary" BMW M30 engine.. which is ancient technology, but very reliable as far as Euro engines go. Very reliable with regular service.

There's plenty of interior space. This is the long wheelbase model, after all. Rear passengers sit comfortable. Car is very well equipped, especially for a car of its vintage. All electronics still work, minus the rear cigarette lighter.

As an enthusiast's car, the engine is easy to work on. It's a car that's aging quite well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2010

1991 BMW 7 Series 735i 3.4 from North America


The first, I hope of more BMW's for me to own


Transmission and motor mounts required to remedy a bad shake.

Suspension components wore out (not shocks)

Tail lights work intermittently.

Window regulators failing.

Trip meter not working.

Heated seats not working.

Rear door would not close in the winter.

Transmission acts up occasionally. Shift hiccups and torque converter lock-up kicks out in 4th.

Heating and air-conditioning system acts up. Temperature control is off and it always puts heat out of the defrost vents even if the air-conditioning is on.

General Comments:

What I like about this car and BMW's in general are the ride and handling. I just don't feel confident driving other luxury cars, as they are too soft and isolated from the road. Precise steering, confident road holding ability and great brake feel are what define the BMW driving experience for me. I would add power too, but my car has none!

For a 15 year old car that has lived its life in a rust belt, there is surprisingly little rust on the car. One problem area that BMW's of this vintage suffer is the lower door seams. I have compared my car to newer 7 and 5 series and find that mine seems to have fewer weak areas for rust.

The in-line 6-cylinder engine in this car is ill-mated to the 4-speed automatic. I find that it just really bogs down when shifting into 4th at 60km. Although if I leave it in sport 3rd, it feels quite a bit quicker, though still slow off the line. A 5-speed manual transmission would be a better match for this engine. I think it boils down to the fact that this is a heavy car with a smallish engine. Maybe that's why the newer ones have a V8 in them. Problem solved. I drove a 740i with a sport package (lower final gear ratio) and it really flew!

The interior of the car is everything I've ever hoped for in a German designed car. Black leather, walnut trim – it looks like business! Not like the bungled new 7 series, which looks like it was designed "not in Germany".

As for mechanical problems, I expected them for the age of the car. Mostly I just live with the problems, unless they are a safety concern – then I get them fixed. Due to the transmission problems I am having, I will be looking for a newer used BMW, preferably a 528i with a 5-speed manual.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th November, 2005