: Test Drive Review: 2001 BMW 740iL. I'm in love with this car.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-01-11, 01:06 AM
The 1995-02 BMW 7 Series (E38) is my favorite BMW of all time. It's got the classic '90s era BMW design before Bangle got in and mucked everything up. It's a big, mean looking executive sedan that's quite light on it's feet, quick and fun to drive. I've always wanted to drive one, especially after I got that '99 S320 Benz, to see how they compare. Well I got my chance tonight and I came away pleasantly surprised.

I prefer the BMW to the Benz.

Why?
The BMW is simply much more fun to drive.

In American-car terms, the 1992-99 Benz S-Class is rather like the 1993-96 Fleetwood Brougham. They were both the biggest luxury cars made in their respective countries, they were both very smooth riding, very comfortable and directed at the passenger, not so much the driver. The 7 Series is so much more the driver's car, much like comparing an STS to a Brougham. Between the Benz and the BMW, the steering in the BMW is much tighter and much more communicative. The Benz's steering is much softer and smoother...number.

The BMW is a heavy car, but it never feels heavy, isolated or clumsy. It can go over a bump on a driveway and you won't even feel it, it almost as if it's floating over it, but it's very, very sharp on it's feet, especially in the corners, curves and around a roundabout. I was able to take it down a curvy, fast road and it held up very well, even in the roundabouts. I was able to take a 45mph curve at about 60 and it didn't feel strained at all, and able to floor it through the roundabout at 20 and it just clung in there. Not many other cars in this class can even compare in here, it's truly awe inspiring.

The 4.4L V8 feels much bigger than the 268cid that it puts out. 282hp and 324 lb/ft and a very linear powerband makes it get up to speed very quickly (0-60 in 6.6) and it just keeps pulling...and pulling...and pulling. The 4.4 is about as quick as the Northstar, but the 4.4's powerband is much more linear than the Northstar's. The transmission works fantastically and shifts very quickly, while the power doesn't stop being transmitted to the rear wheels. It's a joy to go WOT in this car, not because it's just fast, but because it's fast and all works so well and so smoothly. The entire car feels like it was designed as one machine.

The BMW's design, like I said before, was untopped in the BMW world. All other 7 series don't look as nice as this one does IMO. The lines are so clean cut, well tailored and handsome. This is a car that I could look at for years and still be satisfied. I think the W140 looks better, because it's bigger and more grandiose, but the 7 Series is a good looker too.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_21-58-27_196.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_19-22-31_323.jpg

The interior is very well built, but not as over the top as the W140. It doesn't feel as vaultlike, lacks the power closing doors and the leather in the BMW doesn't feel as high quality, and it wasn't as quite as quiet as the Benz, but like I said earlier, the Benz is designed for ultimate luxury for everyone, and the BMW is still a very luxurious car, but it's definitely more of a driver's car. I think that the BMW had more rear seat legroom, and it seems as though the BMW has more comfortable seats (not as firm, more sculpted around my body) and I liked the very indepth trip computer and HVAC controls on the BMW more. The Benz lacked any sort of a trip computer and the HVAC controls were huge and not as easy to use as the BMW's.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_22-23-53_729.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_21-50-09_612.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_21-50-27_718.jpg

10 year old cell phone. Still turns on, but no service.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_22-22-12_384.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/2011-03-31_22-20-39_429.jpg


So in summation, I like looking at the Benz more, inside and out, but the BMW is more fun to drive. In a perfect world, where I could afford either of these (S500 or 740iL), I'd go with the 7.

This is my favorite full size car. I've never driven anything that so well combines the full size luxury with the adrenaline pumping feel of a smaller, sprightlier car.

ThumperPup
04-01-11, 01:29 AM
wow that phone brings back memorys lol 1999 the star tech phones and the sprint z phone also lol
going back a long time there

im trying to remember what year they started the full size nav screan was it 2000 or 01 i think it was in 2000 when they stoped the half screan did not like that little thing

something about that shifter
when did they start that
i thout i remember more of a bar shifter like a t -handle almost in the mid to late 90s

Playdrv4me
04-01-11, 01:41 AM
The nav screen was changed in mid-2000. It's not hard to change it anyway, since all you do is swap out the front part.

The absolute best iteration of the E38 7 Series was the 2001 740i Sport. Why the 740i? Because it was the only version that had tiptronic as an option, and it works WELL in the BMWs. Unfortunately, there was no short body 750iL and thus, even though it had a sport package option, it was not available with tiptronic. The sports also had some exotic M series colors, including Imola Red (my favorite).

http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/curtiswitt/original/image2_cropped.jpg

The best part is these aren't terribly expensive machines to keep rolling. There are a few weak points, but if you find yourself a good independent german mechanic, operating costs for a 7er and FWD N* Cadillac wouldn't be all that disparate.

ThumperPup
04-01-11, 01:59 AM
few years back i was looking at a 99 740iL it had i think around 60k on it but they only wanted 8k at the time all the other ones in that year and miles where going around 11 12 14k
so i felti t was to good to be true
ended up going out looking for a good lincoln couldn't find anything i liked
then went to the late 90s deville saw a few concourses that where good but everyone seems to scare me away from the 99 and older said go with a 2000 or newer was not fond of the body style thats when i looked into the Seville and found mine
had just under 78k for 6200 all the other 2000s with that mile even up to a 100k where all selling ofr like 8k around here
i actualy found a good deal with her
it was not one of those to good to be true storys for me cause i got a good 70k onto her before anything major went wrong
normal persons driving that would have been 3 maybe even 4 years my driving that was 14 months i think lol

77CDV
04-01-11, 03:23 PM
Chad, put the 7 down, and slowly step away. If only for the sake of your checkbook.

hueterm
04-01-11, 03:38 PM
The nav screen was changed in mid-2000. It's not hard to change it anyway, since all you do is swap out the front part.

The absolute best iteration of the E38 7 Series was the 2001 740i Sport. Why the 740i? Because it was the only version that had tiptronic as an option, and it works WELL in the BMWs. Unfortunately, there was no short body 750iL and thus, even though it had a sport package option, it was not available with tiptronic. The sports also had some exotic M series colors, including Imola Red (my favorite).

http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/curtiswitt/original/image2_cropped.jpg

The best part is these aren't terribly expensive machines to keep rolling. There are a few weak points, but if you find yourself a good independent german mechanic, operating costs for a 7er and FWD N* Cadillac wouldn't be all that disparate.

That is SICK...there was one on eBay a few weeks ago that was incredible. As to the $$$ my friend's 750iL cost him as much in repairs as my ETC did me.

Jesda
04-01-11, 03:43 PM
Its pretty much the ideal driver's limo, and its only gone downhill from there. Maybe Jaguar's new XJ comes close, but it doesn't have the look.

V-Eight
04-01-11, 04:43 PM
Wow, 0-60 in 6.6 is pretty surprising. Good review.

ThumperPup
04-01-11, 04:49 PM
i like this one here 2001 750il and its the perfect color
if i where in the market for another vehicle id buy it
oh wait i just paid of one car loan maybe ill take another one out lol

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-7-Series-750il-2001-bmw-750il-pristine-condition-low-mileage-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem3f0892ebc0QQitemZ27072 6785984QQptZUSQ5fCarsQ5fTrucks

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-01-11, 05:22 PM
I love a job that allows me to drive cars like this without any supervision or time restraints. I got permission from my boss and grabbed the keys after hours and took it out for 20 minutes. I've got a few videos too, but I can't figure out how to upload them to youtube from my phone, considering I can't get access to my youtube account from my phone.

ThumperPup
04-01-11, 06:06 PM
what do you do that allows you to do that work for a dealer ?

im asuming that its not a dealer and probably company car or something cause it doesn thave dealer plates but maybe im wrong
sometimes the dealers around here had regualr plates on there loaner cars

billc83
04-01-11, 10:22 PM
Coolness, Chad. Pure coolness.

BMWs before Bangle had extremely clean styling. Funny how no one thought how a dealer-installed cell-phone would look goofy after a decade!

thebigjimsho
04-01-11, 11:18 PM
Nice review, Chad!

Playdrv4me
04-01-11, 11:31 PM
Actually, that particular phone was available in a CDMA version (Timeport CPT8000) and technically, should be fully able to make and receive calls on either Sprint or Verizon. The only reason they may not activate is because it doesn't have any GPS security features which, for some reason, is a requirement now.

hueterm
04-02-11, 12:54 AM
Big brother...

ga_etc
04-02-11, 04:32 PM
Love the styling on the 7-series. As we said on the phone, late '90s to the early '00s was BMWs time to shine. The new ones just don't compare.

And I'm one of the oddballs who likes the Bangle 5-Series.
http://img03.carview.co.jp/trade/img02/cars/504816/5258777/01w.jpg
550i Sport. :drool:

However, this is classic. And probably my favorite BMW wheel design, ever.
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/$(KGrHqZ,!iIE2Ks46oQoBNj8)mDwCw~~_4.JPG

V-Eight
04-02-11, 08:50 PM
I like the Bangle as well.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-02-11, 08:55 PM
I work at a dealer, detailing cars and arranging the lot.


I took my Regal GS on the same route that I did the 740iL, and doing the same sort of driving, and I found out that the 740 is actually the better handling, tighter car, even considering the fact it weighs 700 lbs more than my Buick.

Playdrv4me
04-02-11, 08:55 PM
In SOME iterations, the bangle 5 is actually growing on me. But it's still a low point for BMW design given what they did in the '80s and '90s.

ThumperPup
04-02-11, 09:09 PM
id say my favorite styling BMW is going to be the late 90-s 7 Series i hate the body of the 02 plus

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-02-11, 10:59 PM
What's really weird is that the day after I drove this '01 7 Series, my boss bought an '02 745Li from the auction. I sat in it today and remembered how much I despise those. I drove one once and absolutely hated it, mainly due to the iDrive and how everything is routed through that big dumb wheel on the center console.

Destroyer
04-02-11, 11:13 PM
I like the big Bimmers and would own one. The S500 would be more comparable than the S320 in terms of performance.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-02-11, 11:23 PM
I also drove a '99 Audi A8 years ago, but don't remember how it compared to the BMW. I do remember it being a lot more nimble and a lot quicker than the S320. Never drove a Jaguar XJ8 though.

JimmyH
04-02-11, 11:46 PM
hopefully you don't get to see any of the repair bills http://www.cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/gif/biggrin.gif

ThumperPup
04-02-11, 11:49 PM
What's really weird is that the day after I drove this '01 7 Series, my boss bought an '02 745Li from the auction. I sat in it today and remembered how much I despise those. I drove one once and absolutely hated it, mainly due to the iDrive and how everything is routed through that big dumb wheel on the center console.

i'v said it before and ill say it again the 02 7 series with Idrive sucks BAWLS lol i hate that thing with a passion dad had one it was in the shop every month atleast 2 x a month for repair if not more dealer bough it back as a lemon but i don't belive that was it at all i bet they took back alot of 02s i think that was hands down one of the worst years for BMW and the 7 series

ryannel2003
04-03-11, 06:49 PM
A friend of mine just got an '07 650i and the iDrive really isn't so bad. It's pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it, even though i still prefer a simple setup over something routed through a knob.

Jesda
04-03-11, 09:18 PM
Later versions of iDrive were cleaned up and simplified. I'd rather have well-organized buttons.


[I'm also a Blackberry fan.]

Playdrv4me
04-03-11, 09:32 PM
The addition of the Home and Back buttons was probably the single most major improvement to iDrive.

Destroyer
04-03-11, 10:51 PM
Never drove a Jaguar XJ8 though.I think you should. I think you'd like it. It's not big car roomy, instead, it feels more like a sports car with 4 doors. Very tight and very luxurious but definitely different from an S-class Mercedes or a big Bimmer. I love it and even without the supercharged motor it moves out. It has an old school feel about it that can't be explained. I want to test drive an '04-up XJR when I decide to give this one up.

Destroyer
04-03-11, 10:52 PM
i'v said it before and ill say it again the 02 7 series with Idrive sucks BAWLSThanks for the great review!

77CDV
04-04-11, 10:41 PM
A friend of mine just got an '07 650i and the iDrive really isn't so bad. It's pretty easy to use once you get the hang of it, even though i still prefer a simple setup over something routed through a knob.

If I have to spend time "getting the hang of it", it's too complex to use while driving. I want intuitive controls that are where I expect them to be and that I don't have to think about using.


I think you should. I think you'd like it. It's not big car roomy, instead, it feels more like a sports car with 4 doors. Very tight and very luxurious but definitely different from an S-class Mercedes or a big Bimmer. I love it and even without the supercharged motor it moves out. It has an old school feel about it that can't be explained. I want to test drive an '04-up XJR when I decide to give this one up.

I second this opinion. I find the Jags (late models anyway, don't know about the current lineup) to be a bit tight inside for my taste. They are beautiful, though, inside and out.

orconn
04-04-11, 11:33 PM
I can see why many, today, would find a Jag a tight fit. I am 5'10" and 160 pounds and have been most of my life and Jags have always fit me fine. But I can definitely see why a larger person would feel cramped. The is why they increased the size of the XJ8, of the last generation, while keeping its classic look. The new jag sedans still feel tight compared to a DTS.

A lot of Jags legendary performance and handling has paled compared to other contemporary luxury cars of late, but they are still decent performers.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-04-11, 11:38 PM
I sat in a '99 XJ8 at a Mercedes dealer while my S320 was in for service. The tight interior of the Jag took me by surprise.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-06-11, 11:01 PM
Finally, got the videos uploaded.

Engine revving in park.
80dtjwAKErU

0-70 on highway entrance ramp.
GfF45hgt9vw

That 4.4 sure sounds nice. Very smooth and melodic, and a little more subdued than a Northstar.

Aron9000
04-07-11, 01:06 AM
Finally, got the videos uploaded.

Engine revving in park.
80dtjwAKErU

0-70 on highway entrance ramp.
GfF45hgt9vw

That 4.4 sure sounds nice. Very smooth and melodic, and a little more subdued than a Northstar.

The sound in your videos makes it sound eerily similar to a BMW straight six. Anyways, if it were my car it would have a magnaflow exhaust or something like that on it for a bit more sound.

Playdrv4me
04-06-12, 04:01 AM
Wow, I can't believe it was almost 1 year ago to the day you reviewed this.

I have to say that after trying out the three pointed star and seeing what those guys go through, the 7 is like coming home. Granted, some homes are termite infested shitpiles in need of demolition, but at the very least, as time wears on the 7 is now the better looker between the W140 and the E38. That of course, applies to sedans only. The coupe is another category entirely.

Perhaps the one area where the W140 absolutely blows the E38 away is the simple Bose audio system in the Merc. BMW ended up pumping 440 watts through a slew of speakers and some very elemental DSP processing which just terminates in a worthless experience overall. I think the biggest flaw is the speaker placement, which ends up sounding somewhat unbalanced and as if the subwoofer(s) are very distant. Rear seat passengers are apparently barraged with bass, while the front seat occupants hear almost none. A small, efficient subwoofer would do wonders for this system.

gary88
04-06-12, 12:16 PM
The E38 w/ sport package is one of the most proper looking BMWs ever.

http://images03.olx.com/ui/6/23/01/1275966382_98722201_3-2001-BMW-740i-Sport-Package-ONLY-58k-Miles-Navigation-Xenon-1-Owner-Cars-1275966382.jpg

On a somewhat related note, I got to drive a brand new 750Li xDrive last year and was completely blown away by it.

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/2888/img0842ws.jpg

http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/9647/img0848aes.jpg

http://img803.imageshack.us/img803/6532/img0852w.jpg

Granted it was AWD which kills a lot of steering feel and hurts the handling a bit, but it still performed much much better than an enormous land barge ever should. The overall package is so well balanced in a unique way. The adjustable dampers are neat too. Put it in comfort mode and it's like every road you're on has just been freshly repaved and the transmission changes gear without you ever noticing. Put it in Sport+ and the suspension firms up nicely, the steering gets quicker, the transmission holds gears longer, throttle response improves, the DSC turns itself off, and it actually feels pretty sporty. Definitely a hell of a car.

Jesda
04-06-12, 12:45 PM
On a somewhat related note, I got to drive a brand new 750Li xDrive last year and was completely blown away by it.


Get that pile of buttholes out of this proper BMW thread.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
04-06-12, 12:54 PM
PRE BANGLE BMW discussion, only.

Jesda
04-06-12, 01:04 PM
Unless its the E92 coupe, which is sex on wheels http://rpmedia.ask.com/ts?u=/wikipedia/commons/5/50/Heart-beat.gif

JimmyH
04-06-12, 04:00 PM
http://cooleywire.com/jimmyh/pics/gif/sauerkraut.jpg

CadillacLuke24
04-06-12, 04:19 PM
Good review Chad :thumbsup:

Which leads me to a show-stopping executive sedan combo:

Sport: 2001 740i

Cruiser: 1996 Fleetwood Brougham, livery styled :D

gary88
04-06-12, 05:13 PM
Get that pile of buttholes out of this proper BMW thread.

F01/02 is a good car.

This is a pile of buttholes.

http://www.streetbeatcustoms.com/productImages_thumbBIG/90be8797_6958.jpeg

thebigjimsho
04-06-12, 08:48 PM
I'd loves me an F01/02...

Jesda
04-07-12, 12:11 AM
F01/02 is a good car.

This is a pile of buttholes.

http://www.streetbeatcustoms.com/productImages_thumbBIG/90be8797_6958.jpeg

Good point, my northern friend.