1997 BMW 7 Series 740il 4.0 V8 from North America


Immortal drive-train, wonderful car, annoying little things break


Head and tail lights last only a few months.

Cupholder breaks with US size cans.

Radiator upper hose mount tends to break at full acceleration, making for spectacular clouds of steam as you seemingly disappear ahead.

General Comments:

Engine and transmission seem immortal, running as good as new at 140,000 miles with only routine maintenance.

This car is a lot quicker than the specs suggest, puts away some cars with better 0-60 times such as Lexus gs450.

Unbelievably comfortable and good handling car (actually handles better than the 5-series) means you can put away prodigious distances effortlessly.

Drives like a small sport sedan, but is actually sneaky large. Rear seat legroom and the heated steering wheel will spoil you forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2007

1997 BMW 7 Series Saloon 2.8i from UK and Ireland


BMW at their best


I have had three faults on this car since I purchased it in 2004.

The first fault was the windscreen washers that stopped operating virtually simultaneously. Cost to replace £22.00 each.

The second fault was a squeaking noise from the engine belts when the car was stationery, but still in drive. This was the tension pulley that was squeaking and this had to be replaced. I found this fault myself after the main dealers had tried everything to resolve it.

The last fault was a small leak on the power steering. This was easily rectified and simply needed a new clip on one end of the hose.

General Comments:

This car is an absolute dream to drive and responds without question to everything asked of it. I have recently test driven a new S class Mercedes and the new Lexus LS 460 and neither car betters this model for comfort and performance.

It is powerful and yet quiet and glides like an intercity train on rails on the motorway. Traveling long distances in this car is a joy because when you reach your destination, it feels like you have not travelled at all.

This car also grips the road like glue and although big, handles like a sports car if asked.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2007

23rd May 2008, 06:52

LS460 can't beat your 728i on performance? You're in a dream world mate!

The only advantage your BMW has over the Lexus is weight, but even then its less than 150kg difference. The lexus has a serious displacement advantage, 2 extra cylinders, a huge power and torque advantage and is more aerodynamic.

Lexus claim it can do 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds (as opposed to your BMW's book figure of 9.3 seconds). Even top end your BMW wouldn't match the Lexus (Even with most car manufacturer's claiming less than a car is actually capable of, I seriously doubt that BMW have 'Marked down' the top speed by 15mph or more). Just in case you're wondering, the Lexus is claimed at 155mph, but that's electronically limited.

Even if your BMW was equal to the Lexus on figures like power-per-tonne and power-per-litre etc, that fancy 8 speed auto box that Lexus are using could easily be set-up to make it quicker.

25th Sep 2008, 08:38

22nd Sep 2008, 14:08.

I like my bmw aswell!

8th May 2014, 04:40

Ermm... Lexus is a poxy Toyota don't forget. A celeb wannabe that it will never be. ;)

8th May 2014, 15:16

Lexus only really sells in America. Without that market they'd never survive. Reliability? Get a top shelf Toyota with leather and save half the price.

1997 BMW 7 Series i 4.4L M62 V8 from North America


Expensive to maintain, but SOOO worth it!


The expansion tank cracked and let the coolant leak out of the coolant level sensor shortly after getting the car. Bought a new tank at the dealer for $70, installed it myself, then had the dealer flush the cooling system for $80. I was pleasantly surprised to see this repair wasn't expensive. This is also a common problem for E38 (95-01 7 Series) BMWs. Radiators are also problematic, I'm on borrowed time with my current one!

Dash OBC pixels failing when I got it. Again, nothing surprising there. BMW offered to pay for half the cost of the cluster, but I decided to retrofit an M5 cluster instead.

The LCM (Light Control Module) spazzed out on me a few weeks ago. I suddenly lost my turn signals, dash lighting, fog lights and reverse lights and the headlights started coming on automatically with the key (switch had no effect). Turns out that's "emergency mode" for the LCM. Dealer said it would be $380 for an LCM and $80 to code it. Tried unplugging the battery - lead for 30 minutes to reset any electrical gremlins and voila.. everything works again! Nothing like a free repair :)

General Comments:

The car is very fast for it's portliness (4200 pounds). Handles pretty good, LOADED with amenities; but it's a BMW so what can you expect? :)

If you are considering a 7 series, save about $2000 above the cost of the car and put it in an interest bearing account for future service needs. It's always good to have a safety net with these cars. If you keep on top of routine maintenance, the 7 series will be a faithful companion for you, and quite a pleasant car to drive.

Also I highly recommend visiting the E38 forums, there are hundreds if not thousands of other E38 owners there, and you can get a lot of good information and save a lot of money by DIY repairs thanks to the forums:





Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2006