View Full Version : So I finally got to spend some time in an E38 ('96-01 7 Series) today....

01-25-08, 11:11 PM
I posted this over on Benzworld, but I figured I'd post this here too.
So enjoy. :)

When I went in for my oil change today, there was a high end dealer in the building next door, and they had a tan/tan '99 740iL in there, and I'd never sat in one of those before today. I had thought about one before I bought my S320, but after I drove the 320, I didn't wanna try anything else. Still though, curiosity lingered and I had thought about driving one, just for shits and giggles, but never had the ambition to do so. Well lucky for me, I had 45 minutes to kill today and this one was waiting and easily accessible.

The interior was very nice, but not as overly luxurious as my car's interior. It lacked the heavy, solid feeling and a lot of the little comfort-enhancing gadgets and gizmos that my car has. For example, no self sealing doors or double paned glass, and the window switches are on the driver's door. Which makes it feel not as unique as the 140. The climate control and radio controls didn't look as pretty and weren't as intuitive to use, and I could not for the love of me figure out how to scroll through the trip computer's information, and the pixels in the display were all messed up, so I couldn't read the info, but I guess that's common in BMW's (http://www.benzworld.org/forums/#). Also, interesting to note that the cupholders, in both front and rear, were much smaller than the 140's, and felt rather flimsy.

The BMW's seats seemed softer, and a little more plush, and the leather was softer too, and it didn't feel stretched as tightly over the seat. The W140 has more guages, and lacks that horrible red backlighting found in all BMWs. But like the 140, build quality and attention to detail were magnificent...everything opened and shut tightly, and this one had 156k on it.

I swear to god that the E38 had more rear seat legroom than the 140 does, and the new 7 Series's have more than the new W221's do...must be a BMW thing. And I liked how the E38s have lots of storage pockets in all the doors.

I did not get a chance to drive the vehicle, so I can't report on the performance. But from what I've heard, the 7 Series drives and feels a lot sportier, and would blow mine out of the water! Hah!

So I guess to sum it up, the W140 feels more unique, and more like an honest luxury car, whereas the E38 feels sorta cookie-cutter, and more businesslike and sterile.

So I've sat in a '93 LS400 and a '99 740iL, and have driven a '99 A8. All I need now is an XJ8. Out of those three, I like the A8's interior the best, but I'd probably say the 7 series is my #2 after the W140, but I might like a 98-00 LS400 a lot more than the '93.

01-25-08, 11:14 PM
On a somewhat related note, this dealer had an '05 DTS and an '07 DTS in the showroom too, and I sat in those also, albeit not for very long, but I got a good taste of that Cadillac feel again. And man, what a feel. :cool2:

01-26-08, 12:47 AM
going to cross the line from benz? to cadillac.

01-26-08, 12:50 AM
I'm 6'3", and I feel tiny in the '07 DTS interior.

01-26-08, 04:00 AM
E38 is one of my favorite sedans, ever. I'd love to get a V12 and rock the earth with it. It lacks the royal treatment of the W140, but makes up for it by being an athletic locomotive.

01-26-08, 03:19 PM
The upgraded DSP stereo in that generation 7 is amazing. As is the sound of that V12.

01-26-08, 10:59 PM
How much was that '99 goin for? Around here, a car like that would be going for at least $10k-$11k, with even higher mileage that that. I love BMW's, just not the price.

01-27-08, 12:17 PM
I didn't look, as I wasn't concerned....not in the market now. I do remember the 7 Series being a lot more expensive than a comparable S Class when I was in the market last summer.