Drive BMW 7Series Used Car Review

17 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Drive BMW 7Series Used Car Review отключены
BMW 7 Series Electric Cars

David Morley

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Owner rating:

None yet.

Make BMW Model 7 Series Year 2005,2004,2003,2002 Fuel Consumption 12.0/7.0 litres per 100km (3.5 and 4.5-litre); 6-litre not listed Safety rating Transmission/Driven Wheels 6-auto

We tend to think of BMW cars as vehicles that are well made and likely to hold their value well. For the most part, that’s true, but there have been the odd exceptions.

The current-shape 7-Series BMW has been with us now since 2002, and while a few question marks have been raised over its long-term reliability overseas, that hasn’t been the model’s biggest hurdle.

No, the bigger problem for those likely to purchase a 7-Series has been the car’s depreciation. Earlier 7-Series (from the late 1980s, for instance) depreciated like a brick off a balcony, and that unfortunate trend has extended to subsequent models.

Of course, the big BMW is not alone there, the funnel effect is alive and well in the Australian car market and applies when there are enough captains of industry to lease these expensive luxury cars new, but not enough private buyers willing to pay for the thing as a second-hand car of three or four years of age. Inevitably, prices tumble and that’s what has happened with the 7-Series.

The current-shape car has two other main problems. The first is its (depending on your point of view) looks. BMW’s head stylist, Chris Bangle, has been widely criticised for the latest trends in BMW styling, and it remains that the rather incongruous shapes that defined the 7-Series haven’t grown on everyone.

The bootlid with its double-decker appearance and weird headlights that look almost upside down are a couple of the main culprits, but even as a whole, the BMW is imposing rather than genuinely handsome.

The other major stumbling block is the degree of electronics required to make the car work and the car-driver interface that confounds many would-be owners.

BMW heralded iDrive as the next step forward in the way we relate to and operate cars. Which it might have been — if more people had been able to fathom the menu-driven system with its central control that works more or less like a computer mouse.

Again, in a 1 or 3-Series, which are selling to younger, computer-oriented buyers, that mightn’t have been such a problem, but the 7-Series was priced and marketed towards a group who were older and more likely to rely on a personal assistant to perform their computing tasks. BMW still argues that iDrive is logical and quick once you’ve learned to use it. Large sections of the car-using community counter that they resent having to relearn how to drive a car.

Ergonomically, a combination of iDrive, scattered buttons and an unusual wand-mounted gear selector could be disorienting. Even operating the audio system can be a challenge.

There is, however, better news once you get the 7-Series rolling.

Available here with a choice of engines, the line-up kicked off with the 3.5-litre 735i with its 200kW V8 engine. The next step up was the 745i with a 4.5-litre V8 that was good for 245kW, and a few months later, in 2003, the 760i arrived, bristling with its 6.0-litre V12 engine that cranked out a mighty 327kW.

Both the 735 and 745 were available in either standard or long wheelbase for extra rear-seat stretching room, while the V12 was only offered here in long-wheelbase form.

BMW 7 Series Electric Cars

Standard equipment was vast no matter what engine you chose and safety is covered by the full suite of electronic active and passive measures. And although there’s no independent crash-test data available for this model 7-Series, it’s pretty fair to assume that its standard gear and its sheer bulk put it in the box seat in the event of a bingle. But while safety is a given, the 7-Series’ trouble-free status is slightly more questionable.

With the electronics, some E66 7-Series had an intermittent problem with the sensors that detect whether a seat is occupied or not.

In the worst-case scenario, this could lead to a seat-belt pretensioner or airbag not triggering because the car didn’t know the seat in question was occupied. A safety recall for this problem was instigated in 2005, so the best bet is to check with a BMW dealer to see whether a particular vehicle has been checked and/or fixed.

While we’re on the subject of electrical fittings, it’s worth remembering that a 7-Series has literally dozens of electrical motors to make things work.

On cars built in 2004 or before, we’ve heard a dodgy electrical contact can cause the sunroof to malfunction. Specifically, the one-touch function won’t work. But this time, a quick, simple and free fix is usually enough.

Hold the sunroof button in the roof-raised position and leave it there for at least 20 seconds. That should be enough to reset (or effectively reprogram) the body computer so that it recognises the one-button command again. If this trick doesn’t fix it, then there’s something more fundamental (and expensive) wrong with the roof.

Make sure they all work perfectly now and bear in mind that time, vibration and general wear and tear could see them begin to fail at some point in the future. The BMW is no better or worse than any other brand in this sense, but an elderly car as complicated as this could eventually break the bank.

On a similar tack, be aware that a big, heavy, powerful car like a 7-Series will also be hard on tyres and brake pads.

Some early cars were also subject to a recall to check that the fittings of the power-steering system had been tightened correctly at the factory. The at-worst scenario involved the power steering fluid leaking out and leaving the steering without assistance or even causing a fire.

Again, a BMW dealer should be able to identify whether a particular car was affected and whether it’s been checked or not.

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