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

1997 BMW 7 Series 728i 2.8 litre petrol from UK and Ireland


A great car, incredible amount of machine for the money - I'd buy another


Windscreen washer pump failed.

Some of the interior lights have failed.

Some digits fail to light up on the instrument panel.

Brake lights and tail lights are constantly in need of fiddling with to keep them all working.

Knob on switch for drivers seat adjustment broke - works fine without it!

Plastic handle for releasing handbrake broke off - replacement from BMW was surprisingly cheap.

General Comments:

I bought the car for a tenth of the price paid by it's first owner.

It's a fantastic car even just to sit in. It is as luxurious as I will ever need and it's much nicer to look at than the new one.

The boot is cavernous, even for this class of car.

It's smooth, comfortable and very fast on the motorway, but the acceleration from a standstill is nothing sensational - the 2.8 engine simply doesn't have enough horses for rocketing away from traffic lights.

When I bought it I was wondering how expensive it would be to run. I've been getting about 24mpg, mostly in urban use. I once achieved 28 mpg on a long trip.

Tyres (if you buy Pirellis) are about £400 a set.

A set of front discs and pads cost about £85 pounds (not from BMW).

I find that the wheels need balanced every 3 months or so. Other than an oil change that's all I've had to do so far.

It's been incredibly reliable, especially considering the high mileage on the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd December, 2005

1997 BMW 7 Series 740i 4.4 from UK and Ireland


Fantastic value for money secondhand if bought with BMW warranty


Current leak to earth

Power steering hose failure

Radiator leak

Heater/air con control panel malfunction

Door mirror motor failure.

General Comments:

This car has tremendous presence, even in standard wheelbase form, due to its size-check it fits your garage!

The interior has exceptional ambience due to the clever mixture of chrome, leather and wood. Everything fits, clicks, closes and operates nicely-no sloppy levers...

Despite the performance figures, this vehicle is heavy and is best at wafting around. If you are worried about fuel consumption, don't buy it!

The ride is surprisingly clonky on poor surfaces, even with everything in order. High speed cruising is very quiet and its very easy to exceed speed limits because of this.

Rear seat comfort is better than the fronts, which are rather flat. The steering wheel is much too large, given the assistance available.

Much vaunted build quality is let down by rather flimsy and brittle plastics, and trim items. Boot trim is satisfactory, but not sturdy like my Saab 9000.

Although the dash is uncluttered, you have to learn the functions of lots of small buttons-and this takes time. You can't jump in and have everything learned in 2 minutes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th November, 2004

9th Dec 2005, 17:49

Could you please compare this car to your SAAB 9000? I will buy one of these two in the future and would like to hear it from an owner. Thank you.

17th Mar 2007, 21:35

Can't believe that someone has mentioned a Saab even in the same sentence as a BMW, particularly a 7 series. SAAB they are a Vauxhall aren’t they, nowt wrong with Vauxhalls, used to have one (long time ago) but a SAAB is a Vauxhall bits Heinz 57! ABBA made more money for Sweden then them!

29th May 2007, 01:59

Hi there.

Agree with last comment, you simply cannot compare BMW 740i with SAAB... Found one this week with 100K miles on in mint cond. and the wife is going to love it!!! (Me too if she lets me near it...)

11th Jan 2009, 13:01

Hey fellow enthusiasts, Which would you choose for the same $$$$, add comments also.

1) 1990 750il, mint, 56K original.

2) 1997 740i, good cond, 168K.


16th Feb 2013, 20:20

The 1990 750il mint. I'm jealous. You make damn sure it's been VERY well maintained.