Cars from the Bavarian Motor Works have the well-deserved reputation of being all about the "driving experience." For myself, the experience of the new 7 was exhilarating, challenging, fun, comfortable, thrilling, sexy, educational, and confident. The 4.4-liter, 325-hp Valvetronic V8 with 330 lb-ft of torque is an ever ready outburst of power, delivered with smooth assurance at all speeds. Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) levels corners and smoothes the ride between them. Combine this with the optional 19" wheels and fat tires, and you've got sporty, road-hugging handling that is just "vunderbar." Even with the 18" tires that are standard, the 7 handles more like a 5 or a 3. This is a heavy car that is very light on its feet.

Given the spurs, it goes like a bat out of hell.


The swift, sure, "stop on a dime" braking power can be attributed to the fact that the new 7 series has the largest, most powerful brakes ever fitted to a production BMW. Another technical revolution is the new six-speed automatic transmission offering three different driving modes: standard, sporty, and manu-matic. Once familiar with the new transmission it's simple to use, and quicker and smarter than the average driver. The 745i has it all in regards to new, newer, and newest technology. Despite all that - bottom line, going back to the basics of the driving experience - the new 7 series is a high spirited and well-behaved automobile. Unlike some of its high-tech competitors, you never get the feeling that the car is doing the driving for you. Reflecting on the technology under the experience, I do wonder if this "time machine" has taken away the days when I could offer to bake someone a home-made apple strudel in exchange for a tune-up and oil-change. Is it even possible for the "mechanically-inclined friend" to tinker around by hand anymore? As a 7-Series owner, would I even care? Likely not. BMW's reassuring 4-year/50,000 mile warranty with roadside assistance, along with the free maintenance program for 3 years or 36,000 miles is today's solution. The truth is, these days I'd probably "nuke" up a frozen strudel anyway. The new 7 may come from tomorrow, but BMW is banking on customer loyalty from yesterday's models to generate sales. Although the new design is clearly a gamble, it looks to me like a terrific hand. A few miles behind the wheel, and you will enter into the new sensation. The experience is sweet excellence, and so is the price - starting around $70,000. The new 7 series is the language of the future for luxury automobiles.

Carol Green - email link

  • List Price : $68,495 delivered
  • Drivetrain : Front engine/ Rear-wheel drive
  • Engine : 4.4-liter DOHC 32-valve V8
  • Power : 325 hp @ 6100 rpm
  • Torque : 330 lb ft @ 3600 rpm
  • Transmission : 6-speed automatic
  • 0-60 mph : 5.9 seconds
  • EPA Mileage : 18 city/26 hwy
  • Curb Weight : 4,376 lbs
  • Length : 198" Wheelbase : 117.7"
  • Height : 58.7" Trunk : 18 cu ft