1998 BMW 7 Series 740IL 8 cylinder from North America


Feels fun and safe, but this is my last 7 series


It's the small things that drive me crazy!

Drink holders were broken the 1st month.

Lighted letters and numbers go out CONSTANTLY.

General Comments:

This car is a dream to drive. I've always had BMW's because they feel so safe, and this car rates at the top. It is smooth and fast and heavy, yet the brakes are fantastic and can stop on a dime.

Maybe it goes without saying the the 7 series is wickedly expensive to maintain when things go wrong, so I'll not complain about the thousands I've spent on too many things to count between 100,000 and 125,000 miles. As much as it hurt the pocketbook, the repairs were always fixed the first time around and car never felt anything less than totally dependable.

It is however, a big disappointment that the little stuff (the bells and whistles)inside the car doesn't hold up to use at all. The inside equipment breaks at a glance. Cup holders, seat controls, the entire center console as well as those orange lights in the stereo and dashboard just do not pass! This is stuff I've never considered fixing because it is too expensive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2006

10th Aug 2007, 08:54

Hi! I've got a 1998 740il and this car has 320000miles (320k). These are highway miles. The car runs strong and very quiet; no noise coming out of the engine. I mean, i am suprised that its got so many miles and more to come! I recently did a complete timing ($3100). BUT I LOVE MY B.M.W.

1998 BMW 7 Series 740i M62 - 4.4L V8 from North America


The Ultimate Driving Machine


First off I would like to say this car has been in the family since new, that said, I know most of the service/maintenance history.

The taillight died on me around 78K miles, this was about $400 for a new OEM (original equipment manufacturer) assembly.

The splash guards under the front end before the wheels were damaged, and replaced at 78K miles for about $100.

The little button on the seatbelt that makes it so when you take it off the belt only falls half way, and not to the floor fell off. It was only approx. $20 to replace, but while it was broken it was hard to reach between the door and the seat to find the little seatbelt head!

Front brake assemblies needed replaced at about 76K miles, and ran approx. $800 installed.

About 45K miles the front left headlight needed replaced, and while I don't recall the cost, but I know it was high!

All air filters (cabin air purification system) were replaced at the 80K mile service, as well as a lot of other basic maintance. The cost was pretty high, but they also tuned everything up, new air filter, and a bunch of little things like that.

I also somehow cracked the radiator side (it was a cheap piece of plastic and it broke along the molding). This little crack was in the side of the retaining tank. The entire radiator was pulled, and new reinforced composite components were installed onto the sides. This whole procedure with reinstallation was about $600, but should not have to be done again. Apparently this is a fairly common BMW flaw... I don't really know.

Hood emblem needed replaced, as the paint all started to chip off around 68K miles, the installation would run about $150 with parts. This you can do yourself with a flat head screw driver, and a cloth. It takes about 10 minutes, and you can buy the parts from any bmw auto supply company, or even on ebay for about 20-25 bux! I supplied my own parts, and they put it on for me at the 80K mile service for $21. I figured let them mess with it!

General Comments:

This car rides very nicely. Unlike the 740iL models the 740i from 96-98 came standard with a lowered front end, and sport suspension. The sport package upgrades the 16 inch wheels to slightly larger "M-parallel" rims, normally found as stock on the M5 of those years. The 740iL was not set up the same as their shorter wheel base counterparts, so if you wanted the lower, more aggressive look, then you needed to go with the sport package.

The 740i weighs in at 4250 with a spare tire and a full tank of gas. At that weight the little 4.4L V8 is still capable of getting 282 HP down to the wheels, and shooting the car off like a rocket. Stock wheels and tires will get you from 0-62 MPH (0-100 KPH) in about 6.7 seconds. If you upgrade tires this can drop down to about 6.1 seconds, and even less if you get the proper wheels. Change your air intake, or even upgrade to a high performance, low resistance, K&N air filter and you can enhance it even more!

Today I have seen people changing exhaust on the e38 (1996-01 7 series), as well as doing several other modifications. From the facelift with the 99-01 style headlights on the 96-98 models, to full out Hamann body kits and wheels.

I find this car to be much more comfortable than most, yet much more sporty than the 745i or 745Li.

If you want the V12 engine then BMW offered the 750iL (now replaced with the 760Li) and while it has over 300HP its acceleration is a little slower than the V8. It is heavy, guzzles gas, and is not as fast, but has a great sound to it! Not to mention the V12 is amazingly smooth and refined, obviously more so than the V8 once you start cruising at around 150 MPH.

The 7 series are all about the same in price, so you can decide if you want the V8 or the V12 now for about the same price tag. Just keep in mind the bigger engine is about 75% more expensive to maintain, and is less reliable. Not to mention the fact that it has the normal BMW maintenance costs for the rest of the car!

The steptronic transmission is nice, and allows you to shift if needed while still being in automatic. This means for faster stopping or acceleration it can be used. Left in automatic it will still shift and not cause engine or transmission damage. If you switch it to manual it will allow you to over rev if you aren't careful, and it is easy to forget to shift! I have found a car you dive in auto normally is hard to shift as a manual as there is no clutch, and you are not used to the extra thought involved in shifting. If shifted into 4th gear in automatic it automatically goes into "sport mode" which is more more sport oriented driving (ie, more aggressive). It can be left in 4th at all times for a better RPM range and acceleration, as well as faster downshifting, and some braking assistance when letting off the accelerator. It is, on the other hand, a much fuel efficient mode and not for the driver looking to be green friendly!

This is a very easy to drive car with the advanced traction system left on and is pretty forgiving. Take the traction computer off and it is a very different machine! You notice the overpowered steering associated with most Porsches! The back end can break loose (especially if you take the traction off as well as use the sport mode/steptronic), and it is no longer designed for use by an amateur road driver!

For you power heads I have a story... after prom night at 2AM I went to the local Home Depot parking lot. It was empty completely, and there was no risk of an accident so I figured it was safe. Putting the car in low gear sport mode, and switching the traction off I turned the wheel and nailed the gas. I did 3 complete 360's before I decided I wanted to keep my tires intact! These were full burn outs... smoke everywhere, the tires screaming the whole way around! This was not anything you could do in a Honda, that's for sure! This car is a true RWD rocket!

The hardest thing I have found with this car is keeping the supreme sound package on low, and not speeding! A great, fun, fairly reliable car! The repairs are pricey, but what you would expect from any BMW.

One complaint is that the bass in the sound system (even the factory premium system) is a little lacking in the low range. Trebs are great, but that low end bass just isn't there! The rest of this 12+ speaker system is amazing!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2004

9th Jun 2005, 23:59

This review was very helpful for me, due to the fact that I am looking for a used model. The maintainence history and suggested upgrades were very useful. Thanks!

1998 BMW 7 Series IL 4.4 V8 from North America


It's a boat not a car. In other words, it's a German Buick


After just 11,000 miles this thing needed a new transmission because the old transmission lost oil and seized. At 21k miles one of 8 fuel injectors stopped working and needed to be replaced. At about 25,000 miles I had to pay for a new mail fuel pump because the old one just plain stopped working.

Good thing this was just a lease. I wouldn't be caught dead owning this money-eating monster.

General Comments:

This car handles no better than Acura, or Audi. I don't know why BMW calls it "the ultimate driving machine."

My ex-wife wanted a status symbol so we leased this monster, but I'd never pay to own it. This car always needed some extra money, be it for a new fuel pump or other small parts under the hood.

Just try to park this thing downtown. It's thirsty and not as innovative as most of Japanese cars or the new Audi models.

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

Review Date: 14th June, 2001

16th Jun 2001, 17:12

I think you're missing the point.

You don't buy a 7 series BMW and worry about the extra costs. They're superb, expensive, eye catching monsters that guzzle money. Genuine owners know this, but its not a worry to them.

If you can't afford it, don't buy it! Stick to your Acura.

I've had my 1997 740i from new and it hasn't missed a beat. I'm waiting for a new M5 which should be here the beginning of 2002. Can't wait!!

1998 BMW 7 Series 750I 5.4 V12 from UK and Ireland


A very quick, very comfortable, grown-up hooligans machine


Nothing as yet.

General Comments:

Brilliant - The fastest automatic car I have ever ridden in - and that includes the latest Jaguar XJR - It's quicker, despite the stats saying the Jag's faster. £80Ks worth of car for less than half that after 2 years. It looks fantastic as well on 18" alloys.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2000