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2008 BMW 7 Series

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2008 BMW 7 Series Review

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There is no sweeter reward in life than vindication, which is why BMW's styling guru Chris Bangle must now be sporting a smile wider than the Mississippi river. Known as the father of the current 7 Series, Bangle's critics delivered him a horrible thumping after the car's unveiling, yet the same bulbous curves and distinctive bustle trunk that so offended five years ago has begun showing up on a number of new designs, most noticeably such stalwart vehicles as the Toyota Camry and Lexus LS 460. Vindication indeed! For its part, the 2008 BMW 7 Series continues to serve as the company's flagship and offers unparalleled levels of luxury, interior space and overall performance. Available with a choice of regular or long wheelbase, a V8 or V12 engine and, for the lucky few, the 500-horsepower Alpina B7 trim, the 7's appeal grows stronger as its once controversial design becomes the new norm.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like a car with an IQ higher than yours, the 2008 BMW 7 Series is sure to please. There is almost nothing this car can't do, and the stretched L version makes a perfect rolling office for the businessperson (or rap star) on the go.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You may not like the 7 Series if you are a traditionalist driver who is not willing to relearn the BMW way. Just about every feature, from the gearshift lever to the temperature control to the starter, operates differently than in a standard sedan.

What's New for 2008

The 7 Series is essentially unchanged for 2008.

Driving the 7 Series

Driving Impressions If you're lucky enough to be the one behind the wheel, you'll be surprised at the level of steering response, control and acceleration the 2008 BMW 7 Series possesses. The...

braking, the way it turns into corners, the turning radius and the vehicle stability are all exemplary. You can push the 7 Series into the tightest turns and maintain exceptional control. Even when the traction control is prompted to intervene, a simple easing off of the throttle brings the car back into line. Assisting you is BMW's six-speed automatic transmission, which offers crisp, precise shifts and eliminates off-the-line lag. The 4.8-liter V8 is smooth and powerful, and you can feel the added torque when passing. If you are truly power-happy, the 760 offers a direct gasoline injection V12 engine that develops over 400 horsepower.

Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls
Just about every function can be controlled from the steering wheel-mounted touch controls. There is even a "soft button" you can set to operate any number of automated functions.

20-Way Comfort Seats
If you can't get comfortable in these, you should lie down in the back seat and let someone else drive.

2008 BMW 7 Series Details
Interior

If you're not driving, the 7 Series is a great place to stretch out and relax. Rear-seat passengers can recline and have their backsides heated or cooled. Front-seat passengers can speak commands to the audio and navigation systems while they get comfy in their 20-way adjustable seats. BMW has improved the functionality of the audio controls, leaving you the option of avoiding the iDrive system when making simple adjustments such as frequency and source settings.

Exterior

The 2008 BMW 7 Series strikes an imposing pose even standing still; the car looks substantial because it is. Riding on enormous optional 20-inch wheels and wide tires, the 7 Series takes a bulldog stance that says to all other traffic "don't even try." Its exterior size translates into excellent comfort inside, especially in the long-wheelbase version.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

When it comes to notable standard features, there are almost too many to list. We like the flawless six-speed automatic transmission with hill-holder device, electronic parking brake, hands-free phone and the myriad of airbags that surround the interior. Other 7 Series goodies include xenon adaptive headlamps, Park Distance Control, GPS navigation, 13-speaker Logic7 Surround Sound Audio (on the 760Li), auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, 20-way power front Comfort Seats with three-stage heating, Active Roll Stabilization and an interior loaded with yards of leather and wood.

Optional Equipment

Most 7 Series options can be found bundled into packages. Among the available features are the Logic7 premium Surround Sound system with 13 speakers and a six-disc CD/MP3 player, the Adaptive Ride Package with self-leveling rear suspension, power-closing doors, power trunk lid, Adaptive Cruise Control, rear side-impact airbags, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Night Vision and rear climate control. The Cold Weather Package adds a heated rear seat and steering wheel, and the Sport Package adds 20-inch wheels, sport suspension and sport steering wheel.

Under the Hood

The 4.8-liter V8 is yet another example of BMW's masterful engine design process. The increased power and torque are much appreciated, as a loaded 7 really packs on the pounds. The V8 is more than adequate for most drivers' needs, but the V12 is as much a status symbol as it is a performer so, if you have the cash, go for it.

4.8-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
360 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

4.4-liter Supercharged V8 (Exclusive to Alpina B7)
325 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
330 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/21

6.0-liter V12
438 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
444 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20

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2008 BMW 7 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 281 Ratings for the 2002 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

The very best car I ever had (and had a few)

By on Sunday, August 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"actually looking just fr a newer one because I cannot think of a better car. Has 500HP and everything else you can imagine and hope for."

There are issues

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"i have a 2002 745i, which was BMW's first year of current body style. I have owned it since new and have 49100 miles on it. I agree with everyone about how well the car drives....enough said about that. I drove a Lexus before this car and got pretty spoiled on reliability. After 14 years of ownership I couldn't even start to list the shop visits. I will say I just replaced the torque converter for $5,000.00 and it has had a number of rides on the back of a flat bed to the shop. All in all counting depreciation it cost me since new about $2.50 a mile to drive not counting gas. I will say that two years ago with the Car being 13 years old at the time, I was invited to a BMW dealer party at a local country club. The valet Parker thought it was the display model for the dealership and parked it at the entrance of the club and people were sitting in the car and commenting on how nice the BMW looked, thinking it was a new car. Style and beauty it has but maybe my last BMW."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Wouldn't Own Anything Else (BMW Only)

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 166,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Super Drive powerful (beaten Vettes, Mustang, etc)"

Cons: "This year: no USB : ("

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have driven BMWs since 1990. Had an "88 M5 E34 and was hit by a drunk driver that crunched the car in half and saved my life. Would only buy a BMW after. Tried to get back into a 5; maybe the shock of the accident, but when I drove the 7, I felt safe. The comfort of this car is great with the extended seats (I'm tall). iDrive makes it easy to manage the car from a single point ... outstanding. I have LOW PROFILE staggered wheels, keeps the car low to the ground with a tight drive. Have not had problems with my car. Under warranty: exhaust replaced at 2 yrs. It has 166k miles on it and as long as I keep up the oil changes get 19 city, 25 hwy. My mechanic can't believe it. Had the oil pan changed a yr ago, the rear shade recently broke, hmmm, nothing else to date. I have people stop me on the street offering me $ for the car. Still not for sale and I'll keep it as long as it drives. Excellent ride, short or long."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

The "Ultimate Nightmare" Machine

By on Monday, June 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Nice road car and handling."

Cons: "Mech. issues too soon, outrageous repair costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Bought a 2006 in 2010 with approximately 46,000 miles on it. Began having problems almost immediately after purchase. After about 55,000 miles, just about EVERYTHING went bonkers...oil leaks, front headlight malfunction, parking brake malfunction, transmission malfunctions.....you name it!! In total, cost of repairs exceed $12,000! You would think at the high price of BMW there wouldn't be so many mechanical issues. I had a 2005 Toyota Camry before this car that I gave to my daughter and the Camry still runs like a dream with minimal repairs! Stay away from BMW.....stay far, far away! I have now gone back to reliable, dependable, and cost efficient Toyota!!"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

replaced transmission (40k) and engine (78K) -

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I drive is is insane - it is a race horse when it works. The worst car I have ever owned - I have a RX 350 Lexus SUV - the best vehicle I have ever owned"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Best BMW -- second one with the 4 liter engine

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, acceleration, comfort cooled seats"

Cons: "Rear tires only last 20k. $165.per hour labor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought it with 24k on the speedo three years ago. Only replaced battery and seeping transmission seal - $1300.both paid for by the warranty. Never got to use more of the $3600. warranty. I pass trucks at 90-130 mph, and slow down. Superior handling,use it for coast to coast trips a couple of times a year. A 3, or even 5-series doesn't come close to this car in comfort, or performance. Everybody said too complex to work on, and trouble prone -- not so. I change the oil myself and replace the $350.rear tires every 20k that is all The anti-paparazzi side and rear power window shades, cooled/heated massaging seats and rear foot rests spell luxury for the next starlet you date. I would buy another used one in a heartbeat. On a flat Kansas interstate I get 26.8, around town 19.8 I have the regular suspension and premium 19" wheels. Best car I have ever driven."

20 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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