Better than Mercedes in enjoyment, but not as reliable
IDRIVE central control knob failed. Was not able to use the control knob to change the idrive screen.
IDRIVE locks up in the same screen; need to restart the car to reset IDRIVE.
FAULTY fuel gauge. Saying no fuel when it's got a full tank, this only happens if the car stands still.
OIL Leak - Rubber seal was replaced, but was an environment friendly part, so wears out quicker.
FAULTY transmission failure warning via IDrive.
The most advanced sedan of 2002, which I believed set the standards for today's BMW, and possibly the S-Class has followed this model's design.
My father purchased this new in 2002. It had galaxies of electrical problems related to IDRIVE. This was the first batch of the 7 in 2002 that offered Idrive with lots of safety features.
I am driving the car now with 57000km on the clock, I live in Taipei, the most dense city in Taiwan. The KM is normal; we do not travel far in daily congested city driving.
My family have E - Class and G- Class. We run an export business in AC motors.
Overall we liked Mercdes better for reliability and services in Taiwan.
We like the Seven Series as it offers a better drive than the S-class. I personally like the engine note of the small 3600cc V8. I feel the Seven Series understands what my mind wants the car to do. The Mercedes on the other hand is lesser communicative than the BMW in my opinion.
This 7 series is a great car to drive, with very good suspension; even with large wheels, the car is capable of soaking up bumps and uneven roads of Taipei city.
What I don't like about the 7 series is the electronic aspect of Idrive. I am sure now it's better, but why can't they do the electronics as good as Lexus in terms of reliability? However, no cars are perfect in the world. The 7 series does the chassis, the engine, better than Lexus in my opinion after my recent drive of LS460. I love the LS460, but I find it too quiet for my needs, I really like the BMW 7 Series engine note; that humming note.
The 735 is a very fuel economic car, I get many ks in this car; about 12ltr per 100km. It is very cheap to run for a V8; then it's only 3600cc. They made this engine well.
What makes the running cost up is the service cost in repairs. The Idrive knob cost 1400USD to fix; I find it ridiculously expensive.
I would buy another BMW, even though a few years ago I gave a bad review on a 130; that report has been removed.
I don't like the service of BMW in Taiwan, I don't find them as friendly as Mercedes Benz here.
I would buy another BMW as long as I have a mindset of facing minor problems. Overall this 7 Series and the 130 I had, had more minor problems than the Mercedes Benz I had. But on the other hand, I like the intuitive drive, and the communication of what the BMW offers.
BUY BMW if you can take the fact that more repairs could be needed comparing with Mercedes.
I would like to suggest BMW to improve their customer service in the Taiwan region.
Thanks for reading.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd January, 2010