1992 BMW 7 Series 750iL 5.0 V12 from Australia and New Zealand
A Superb Luxury Sports Sedan - Not for the Faint of Heart of Light of Wallet
Self-Leveling Rear Suspension - A very expensive fix. I didn't even dare to try and fix it myself. AUD $4500.
Electric Seat Adjustment - The drive of the seat became "twisted" and thus the seat refused to move. It happened on both front seats and the passenger side rear seat.
Muffler Assembly - Another fix I entrusted the dealer in. You can't be too careful with these cars, especially when you aren't too technically minded.
Radiator - Needed replacing along with all necessary hoses. My radiator was very brittle. Personally I think BMW designed this radiator very foolishly. It has a lot of plastic and aluminum in it which results in a very short life.
Oxygen Sensor - Was causing the great V12 to run roughly and costing me in fuel. As the V12 is virtually two V6s strapped together there are two of them. Double the cost.
Electrical Problems - Windows, Trip Computer, Erratic Digital Displays. Most seem to be connected to having dirty connections of the notorious "mustard relay". The mustard relay controls many of the advanced functions of the car, which can result in some strange reactions. Cruise control is very touchy.
Sun Roof - Jammed when I knocked it. Despite triggering a so-called safety switch it still needed the dealer to rectify.
Transmission - Became very difficult to drive with and eventually required replacement. It is a fairly strong transmission, but I have a feeling the previous owner thrashed it. It is a fairly sophisticated system, but most transmission mechanics would be capable of fixing.
Trip Computer - Required replacement after a surge cooked it. Engine management computer also required replacement for the same reason. Very expensive fix.
Taking extra care with you 750iL could prevent most of the things I have listed here. Genuine BMW parts are very expensive and so is their labor. I am able to service the car myself, but I leave the electronics to the professionals when it comes to this car. Preventative maintenance is very important when owning one of these beautiful sedans.
This is the nicest car I have owned. It is so exciting yet comfortable. A very luxurious sports sedan. The very best of both worlds. The 5.0 V12 is blisteringly quick and can transform you car from a luxurious limousine to a snarling beast that is capable of carrying 5 occupants and a fully laden trunk.
I love this car through winding roads. It truly does handle like it is on rails. The self-leveling suspension helps fix any weight you have in the trunk. If you have 500 kilograms in the boot the system will make the whole car perfectly level.
I have driven to the northern territory (the only place in Australia where there are no speed limits) and I did test out the car’s limits. It reached 255 km/h and then cut out. Following that test the car began to run on half it’s cylinders (limp home mode). I drove to the nearest town and gave the car a nice long rest. Never heard anything from the engine again. I have heard stories of the beautiful engine running on half its cylinders due to engine management faults.
The 750iL was BMW’s crown jewel in 1992. Therefore it was laden with lots of features. My car has excellent equipment levels that not even cars have today. These include:
-Power Windows and Mirrors
-Beautifully Soft Leather Seats
-Power front and REAR seats with Memory
-Trip Computer (Very Comprehensive information such as fuel remaining, ambient temperature, various timers, fuel consumption, distance until refilling.) I find it to be an excellent toy
-Driver Information Display. Tells you information about the engine and tells you when to check or replace items (brake linings, washer fluids, lighting systems etc)
-Excellent Climate Control (Dual Temperature Zones for Driver and Passenger)
-10 Stack CD Player. I find the sound system to be excellent. I still have the genuine system and original speakers.
-Power Rear Sunblind.
The 7 Series is just so well engineered. There are all extras that you wouldn’t expect. One feature I really like is being able to open and close all my windows and sunroof by just holding the key in the ‘lock’ position. Good for impressing friends. The windows on my car are double-glazed enabling total silence although it does at weight to the car.
The handling of the 750iL is superb. The car grips like it has studded tires. The ASC+T (Automatic Stability Control + Traction) enable superb grip under all conditions. The Limited Slip Differential also assists in this. BMW did put a lot of effort into this system and they work in harmony with one another. Under rocky conditions the car doesn’t skid. In the wet I have never been in any dangerous situations, but I have avoided them.
The 5.0 V12 is massive. It also has massive power and massive thirst. You will learn to hunt down cheap petrol and drive conservatively with this car. It is nice to know that you have the power reserves though if you need them. The car uses around 20 litres/ 100km, which is a lot of petrol. Considering the prices of petrol in Australia you need to be able to afford to run this car or it takes the enjoyment out of the experience. I shudder to think what the prices are in Europe.
The quality of this car is superb. The interior will relax you with the thick leather, the velour carpets and excellent fit and finish. Don’t expect any panel gaps in this car. My car has a nice burl wood interior, which really looks very good. My car is in black which still looks as good as the day it came out of the factory. The wheels that came with this car suit the style of the car very well. It must be said that this is a long car, 5.2 metres so you need to make sure you have the room for it in your garage etc.
You don’t fully appreciate one of these cars until you have driven one. Once you have however you will fall in love with the understated style of the car, the superb luxury ride and the excellent engine. Be aware that this car is not for someone who wants a maintenance free or totally reliable car. While the car has never let me down while driving it has required a lot of maintenance, a lot of which has been very expensive. I have used the dealer on a few occasions for the major items to be replaced and it has cost of AUD$ 10 000. You can do most things yourself, just make sure you have the time, the patience and the resources.
If you want a luxurious limousine with lots of power and space then I highly recommend this car. It is not for the light hearted, but you will really appreciate the car once you have driven it. For the price it is excellent value as they depreciate like mad.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th August, 2002