"I bought this car in 2007 with 68K miles on it and have put 17K more on it since. The car looks and runs great, It has a nice Steel blue color and sport package and nice interior. This is the most expensive used car I've bought and continues to be expensive to maintain. I've owned 20 year old American cars with 150K miles that broke less than this car. I've had to replace the squeeky brakes which weren't worn out yet, 2 window regulators ($400 each), grill inserts and front suspension bushings ($800). The windshield washers and GPS quit working, Windshield and other seals cracked, etc, etc. That's why I'm on this website; I'm selling it."
"I have read about half the reviews here, the individual comments, most of them very flattering, and as I read each one of them they reminded me of my own mostly excellent experiences.
I bought my Magnificent 7 Bondmobile (an identically styled and Arctic Silver colored 7 starred in "Tomorrow Never Dies", except it had the V12, I believe) 1998 740iL in Oct 2005, at the peak of the gas prices. Its owner drive it 120 miles a day but needed the large trunk of a Yukon and was selling it. He would give it to me for only $9k as is, or $10.5 k fully fixed and detailed, and I chose the latter.
I took a risk, did not even take it to a mechanic, test drove it twice first, though. But I thought, even if it proves a total lemon, what did I lose? $10.5k is not even half the first year depreciation of a new 7, and mine looked better than the Bangle-butt next gen back in 2005.
I bought it with 113k miles and now it has 127.5 and still drives like new. It is a Decathlete Renaissance car, not only good on the highway, where its weight, size and Loooong Wheelbase brilliantly contribute to a fantastic enjoyment, but also, amazingly, in narrow one-lane country roads and in the city as well!
This is a no-compromise car, more than enough power, excellent handling, good highway MPG (22-25 at high speeds too!) excellent interior, luxurious wood and leather, tasteful design. This is not a Buick! It is a DRIVER's car.
Reliability has not been as bad as Consumer Reports would lead you to believe. I change the oils every year with expensive synthetic. I had one or two repairs in 4 years that were serious, but not Engine or Transmission, I also replaced the (original!) battery.
On the downside, the car hates very cold weather, I garage it in the winter but my work has no close garage and more than twice last winter its new battery needed a jump. Also don't expect more than 15-17 city MPG, and on short cold trips it can go below 12.
I have not owned an S class but I see many owners here who have, say the 7 is far superior in driving experience.
I gave it 5 stars everywhere, except in Quality (it is unacceptable that some interior trim can fall off, like door clips etc) and reliability (because of an oil leak and a belt break which required a new radiator and hoses and belts, and left me stranded until a friend picked me up)"
Pros: ""Cool to own", Fast, Drives like a dream, Quiet."
Cons: "Expensive to own and maintain."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This car has been a double edged sword. It's cool to "have" and fun to drive. However, it has been the most expensive car to own and maintain that I have ever had - and I have owned 44 cars. Now, at 14-years old, it is unreliable. I have spent over $1000 trying to find an intermittent electrical leak that causes it to drain the battery overnight. Sometimes it's fine for months. Then all of a sudden it's dead in the morning. this makes it practically useless as a daily driver. Conclusion: I loved it, but now I hate it - and it will be worth almost nothing if I try to sell it with the electrical problem. Good Will, here it comes..."
Cons: "Maintanence costs; gas mileage around town"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle has been in the family all 129,500 miles. Serviced properly. Maintenance is expensive; mileage around town very poor; some rubber / plastic deterioration. Otherwise, everything is good. Fifteen years old and like new in many ways. Has the prospects of being a good auto for another fvie years. The BMW dealer says, quietly, that the new cars can not match this car in quality and performance."
"2001 BMW 740 iL, am original owner, 65,000 miles. The main point is that just because you buy an expensive luxury automobile does not mean it will be reliable. To this point have replace 2 front grills, radiator, coolant resevoir, navigation system ($2000), radio amplifier, 4 brake rotors at 55,000 miles (are you kidding me?), 3 oxygen sensors, mass air flow sensor, and the AC compressor leaks (not yet replaced). On the plus side the car is well engineered and the ride is great. Will not be buying another."
"Was a good car in all. Frame felt solid. Think it was a little short on some of the appointments and build qualities, like having effective cup holders for a $65k car. Exterior rubber was dissolving towards the end of us having it. Window regulators broke all the time (every window broke twice at $400 a whack!). Everything was overly expensive to fix. Bought a MBZ to replace. Let's see if that is any better. Had the car for 13 years, so you can't say we didn't give it our best, and gives you a good idea of BMW endurance."
"Having the pleasure of owning 4- 7 series Bmws both in Europe and in the U.S I can honestly say that it is and always will be the ultimate driving machine, Blasting down the Autobahn or tooling around at the 60mph limit, it is impossible for me to keep my foot out of it. But it is costly to get the car serviced and repaired here in the U.S. In Europe there is always a friendly Bosch dealer or parts store around every corner. BMW seems to have the monopoly on parts here. I buy a lot off the internet and salvage yards in California to upgrade or repair. I also bought me a ISO reader to plug in and read the fault codes every time the engine service light comes on. There is no other car for me as the E38 1995 to 2001. All the other 7 series after that look like someone left the trunk open,
owned a 750i,735i,740il"
"I have owned a couple of BMW's and I swear by them. Nothing else drives like a BMW. had a 93' 3 series and put 176,000 on it and the only thing I ever replaced was the Water pump/radiator and the clutch. It started every single day!
I bought this 2001 740il sport with 54,000 miles on it and have had nothing but problems.
glove box latch
2 cam sensors
alignment because front tears were wearing due to toe-in
and for the last month I have had the car in the shop 4 seperate times for radiator fluid leaks, first a hose, then got it out of the shop and that same day drove about 30 miles and the expansion tank blew, then had to replace the cam sensors two days after I got the explansion tank replaced, and now a week later I am leaking radiator fluid again. This is a nightmare to have this on a car with less then 70,000 miles.
BUT- I this is the ultimate driving machine. Comfort is unreal, performance is like nothing else because no other sedan is this heavy. I love driving this car on the highway. The problem is they started making all these part with plactic, so they are cheap and break.
So flip a coin, do you want a car when it is not having machanical problems that is just flat out awesome and stylish, well if you do be prepared to spend a lot of time and money in the shop. Word to the wise get yourself a VERY GOOD/VERY REASONABLE Mechanic, not the BMW dealership mechanics."
"I had always wanted a 7 series or a jaguar and am a bit of a car nut having already driven infinity, stealth, Porsche. Got a 99 jag xj8 with 21K and drove it for 5 years. I loved the jag, but at about 125k miles, it started for feel a little old. I traded for a 2001 740 IL with 72K on the clock. WOW. I couldn't believe the difference. It feels like a new car every time I get in it. The only maintenance beyond normal was power steering hose and radiator at 110K. The ride is incredible, power undeniable and gas milage in the 25 mpg range at 75+ mph. It now has 123K and going strong. I bought 98 740i for my son with 92K on it and it also drives like a new car. I am a believer. The ultimate driving machine is an understatement."
"After owning 2 of these cars, I feel that I could never find another car that is as awesome as an e38. The car is as fast as a 350z and is awesome on long trips. Plus, it has the most leg room of any other car I have ever been in. The v8 has plenty of power, which some people claim 0-60 in 6 seconds flat.
For more info, go to the bimmerforums in the e38 section, and the helpful people will answer all of your questions.
This car gets a lot of attention where ever you go. The only downside is the repairs, which can be expensive, but it was a $60-100k new, so you should expect it. The car is reliable in the sense that it should not let you down very often, as I have only broken down once, and a second time was when there was a crack in the radiator overflow, but the car had 160k miles on it. 10 years of happy owner ship!
The car I think is also the best looking car ever, which you can modify if you want to make it a dream car very easily."
"In the 6 years I have driven the 1995 BMW 740i, I have always been confident that not only would I reach my destination safely, but that I wouldn't be exhausted upon arriving. The car has excellent power and the drive is incredibly quiet. I purchased the car second hand 6 years ago when the car had 24000 miles on the odometer. Other than the usual maintenance requirements (like oil changes), the car has not had any major problems. It has been the best car I have ever owned...I've owned a total of 18 cars."
"I bought my 1996 740iL when it was 8 years old, and had right at 100K miles (now has 146K). I still smile every time I drive it. Had a 1991 525i prior to this, and enjoyed it, too....but it didn't hold a candle to my 7. Perfomance is amazing...luxury a given...and, like many others here, I get about 21/27 MPG! You'll have a hard time finding any new cars that feel as good.
I've driven Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferarri, and many others. While they are a blast, I'll take mine as a daily driver. Same luxury feel, great performance...and you can take 4 or 5 of your friends/family with you. What a deal!
As to the naysayers: This car will cost money to maintain (compared to a Honda Civic), but it doesn't drive/perform/feel like a Honda either (Thankfully!!). You are either prepared for the cost, or you aren't. Another car guy once told me 'If you can't afford the tires, you can't afford the car'. He wasn't specifically talking about tires, of course, but you get the idea. Also, as some have mentioned, there are some great forums for the e38, for you DIY folks. Many of the links I found even include step by step instructions, and pictures! Good luck."
Pros: "Powerful engine, very comfortable, handling"
Cons: "Repairs maybe costly. High city consumption"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had several BMW's and so far the E38 is the best. Extremely comfortable, if you have the full functioning seats. I own two 3 series now and will be looking for a low milage sports package soon. Repairs can be expensive but if you are mechanically inclined you can do most of the work yourself. I have to say any BMW engine is as simple as a honda, you just ge to to know it. I put on average 30k every year on my 7 and never left me on the road except for a blown tire. So yes, if you can find a well maintained 7 series and do not mind the maintanence I strogly recommend the vehicle."
"I had the 740iL for 5 months and I can say it is the BEST car I ever owned, from styling to ride quality.
Expensive to maintain, but once you get it up to par, you won't have a problem with it. But find one is decent shape first.
My have 170k mile and performs and handle as if it was brand new.
Prong problem, is the power steering hose and suspension. The hose is simple fix, but the suspension you can spend well over $3K in repairs. Not a easy fix since the suspension system is very complex with multiple component, way more that a normal car.
An the passenger side rear window regulator, will most likely fail if not already.
But, for the most part I would recommend it to anybody if you can find one is decent shape. Take a mechanic with you if you can, if not note every noise and bring it to the seller attention."
"I have owned a lot of cars in my 55yr life. This car is in the top two. It is tied with my 1992 Mercedes 500S. This car always turns heads, someone always chats me up about it at the car wash. Last year for this body style, they had all the kinks worked out by then.
GPS is horrible, but I rarely use it. Just a matter of things have progressed so fast in the GPS world that 2001 is ancient history.
But not for the car, it is as good as it gets, still today. I have had it four years and about 35K miles."
"It would be a crime for me not to say something about it. This truly is an amazing car. At 156k, it still sounds and runs like a new car. The power is unnecessary. You need to leave some of the horses in your garage if you wanna come home without a ticket. The only thing you need to know about this car is- if things go wrong, you'll spend some money but things usually don't go wrong."
"This is an awesome car. It drives and handles like a dream. I have had few problems with my car and I bought it with 70K miles on it. It was on a car lot for a year before I finally bought it. The biggest problem I had is getting a mechanic to tell me the truth about what actually needed fixing. when my power steering hoses leaked, I had a mechanic change all my hoses & belts to include flushing the radiator. it was a bit much at first, but not nearly the cost of dealer work. I changed the thermostat myself and I can do small minor work on my car when needed. This car was worth the money I paid for it. I also changged my right rear window motor also. It was a tough job, but I did it and saved $450.00 during the process."
"This is one great car! It sold for $61,000 PLUS when new and worth half that 9 yrs later.
I bought this car w/87,000 miles on it and she runs, drives and looks 110%. Prior to my ownership this was a lease/fleet vehicle which means it was maintained by BMW and it shows.
Adorned with soft leather and a MANY creature comforts you're in for a treat when you drive this BMW.
The 7 Series is the "flag ship" of BMW and with all the standard options, there is no mistaking BMW's intent of grandeur .
NOTE: When buying USED luxury and non luxury cars. As with EVERY model of car produced on this earth there are always some known issues. Basically things to look out for. My advise is no matter what type of car you own look for an owners forum.
As for this car, search for E38 owners forum(s) and get the real deal on maint, repairs, care and mods.
The ride is strong and flowing, the look is classic BMW, and the feel behind the wheel is sheer enjoyment.
Good luck and go get your 7!"
"The 2000 740 iL body style is one of the best looking cars built in the last 30 years in my opinion. However, in just over 4 years of ownership I have spent $6K keeping it running and have been stranded on the side of the road by it no less than 3 times. I have really enjoyed driving it, but I think I'll go with a Lexus next time around in the hopes of gaining more reliability."
Pros: "fun to drive, fast, V-8, German Engineering"
Cons: "Bad Cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The car handles like a sports car. It is genuinely fast, and has great pick up. They last forever, however, when something breaks it isn't cheap. The car actually has great mileage on the highway, up to 550 miles to a tank. It real fun to drive. Highly recommended"
"We have owned this car since 2003 and 16K. It now has 71k and we haven't had any major problems at all. Honestly it's even been as reliable as our 2003 lexus. This car is truly amazing. It's fast, elegant, comfortable and gets 26 mpg freeway. We keep trying to get something new, but we can't think of anything worth trading for our BMW. At the current low prices, find yourself a low mileage 2001 and enjoy!!!"
"Purchased my first 740il after my friend purchased a 745i. The leg room is great because my husband is over 6'5. I enjoy driving it everyday. Before changing to 18inch wheels I was getting 22-23 mpg around town. Changed tires getting about 19-20mpg now. Could not understand why I owned the 325 or 528 so long. Enjoy Enjoy. Even though its over 9 years old, I am still getting complimented on its appearance"
"I've had the car for almost 70,000 miles (six years) and it's the best car I've owned to date. I bought this one off someone's lease, my previous three BMW's having been new. The car has been outstanding in every respect and I've averaged 20.1 mpg, getting between 25 and 27.5 mpg on the turnpike. It's stylish, very comfortable and a real driver's car. After 9 years, at least six of which the car has been parked outdoors all the time, the car still looks brand new."