1996 BMW 7 Series 730i 3.0 V8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Love this car!


I have used it as a second car and it has never caused me any major problems. But the previous owner spent a tonne of cash on maintaining this beautifully kept car; new fuel pump, fixed any oil/coolant leaks, mechanicals maintained to the highest standard, etc.

General Comments:

You can get this generation of BMW 7 series for fairly cheap on the used market, but they are still very expensive to run. Just keep that in mind.

But it is worth it if you do your homework. A very expensive car when new, this 730i with the V8 is nothing short of stunning even today. Performance is incredible, the car pushes you back in the seat under hard acceleration. And don't even think about economy!

Stunning to look at in darker colors. Exterior styling of the E38 is the best BMW ever made in my opinion.

Inside is more or less perfect also. If you cannot get comfortable in this car, you cannot get comfortable period. Leather seats, and of course all electrics of the time period.

Incredible to drive, the ride is surprisingly firm but never uncomfortable. Takes corners well for its size and weight. Roar from the engine is something else. Not normally a fan of automatics, but it suits this car perfectly.

I look forward to keeping this car for many years to come as an appreciating classic!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th March, 2024

1996 BMW 7 Series 728i from Iraq



General Comments:

The BMW 728i is the most magnificent car I have ever driven and owned. It is a unique blend of power, comfort and excitement. People who are afraid of the 6 cylinder engine are missing the drive of a life time. This car is far superior to its same class competitors.

Caution: be careful. If you drive one it could spoil you for other cars. It's that good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2010

25th Aug 2022, 15:22

You are right, I drove one once and never wanted to drive anything else for years afterwards, and it was the most basic 728i model.

1996 BMW 7 Series 740i 4.4 V8 from UK and Ireland


A superb car with great presence and gargantuan performance, if a little thirsty!


Rear suspension top mounts at 130,000 miles.

Steering link arm at 140,000 miles.

General wear and tear & service items between 120-150,000 miles.

General Comments:

I'd wanted to own an E38 7-Series ever since I used to lust after the 740i Sport owned by the landlord of my local pub. Initially, I couldn't afford one, so I owned a couple of E32 730i models, which were nice, but not the E38 I desperately wanted.

When I finally got my hands on one in 2005, I was not to be disappointed. Once I'd allowed the gearbox to learn my driving style (takes a good month) and found the perfect position for the electric seat (takes at least a day - ALWAYS save it to the memory), life with BMW's biggest saloon was - and still is - great.

Plus points are many and varied. The key highlights are interior comfort and ambiance, stonking performance from the 4.4 litre V8 petrol engine, how the car looks from the outside and the ride & handling - both exemplary.

Negatives are few and far between, though a car this big with an engine so large is always going to have one big blot in its copybook. Fuel consumption. Since owning the car, I have averaged 21-point-something miles per gallon, which can prove rather pricey at fill-up time. On the plus side, I can confirm 21 mpg is a realistic figure, as I do like to drive quickly (though not like I stole it). I would imagine that if one were to drive the car as if a priceless Faberge egg is lodged beneath the accelerator pedal, then 25 mpg might be achievable... But where's the fun in that?

Other downsides - not, thankfully experienced by me - are expensive parts should something big go pop. For instance, I paid £2,200 for my car - a replacement gearbox comes in at around £3,000.

My advice would be to purchase a V8-engined 7-Series from 1996 onwards (Nikasil cylinder lining problems were sorted at the end of 1995), with as much choice equipment as possible and with a fat wad of bills and as near a perfect service history record as your budget will allow.

If you're spending between £1,500 and £2,500, buy the car to enjoy it and be fully prepared to throw the car away at the first sniff of a repair bill over £500.

If you're spending upwards of £2,500, be more choosy, and be prepared for some big bills (not happened to me, but it could happen to you).

Let's say I was buying my first E38, all over again. I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. Take a budget of £2,000 and bag yourself one of the world's best kept large sports saloon secrets.

I sincerely hope you'll have as much fun with yours as I have (and am still having) with mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2009

19th Oct 2020, 22:34

Excellent review of one of my favorite cars. I'll likely have similar things to say when I buy mine, a 96 onward 730i or above in dark blue/red with cream leather and the bigger alloys; still has road presence in 2020.