BMW 7 Series - Used

Car Review

BMW 7 Series, 2009, front
BMW 7 Series, 2009, side
BMW 7 Series, 2009, rear
BMW 7 Series, 2009, interior

THE people who buy big luxury cars new - mostly companies or company owners - take the big depreciation hit over the first few years and you can enjoy the savings.

Such limousine motoring comes very much cheaper a few years down the line and that's just as true of the cars that hold their value like the BMW 7 Series.

Most of these big BMWs will still look marvellous thanks to a life of dealer cosseting, and they have serious performance in all the various models.

The 7 built between 2008 and 2015 is amazingly comfortable, beautifully built and delightfully hushed, but as with most such cars, don't expect it to be cheap to run!

This elegant car came with a new low level of emissions in the class, and every model has satellite navigation and leather upholstery.

Many will also have been upgraded with some of the high-tech gadgets from the options list, such as night vision, a head-up display and side-view cameras.

There were three engines at launch - 730d, 740i and 750i. The 730d is a smooth and refined turbo diesel six with an excellent 245bhp and it will do 39 miles per gallon, with acceleration from zero to 60 miles an hour in just seven seconds.

The 740i is also a 3.0-litre six and is used in other models across the range. Here it's fitted with twin turbos to give 0-60 in 5.7 seconds and a top speed limited to 155. Power output varied at different times but was around 320bhp.

The range-topping 750i has a 4.4 litre V8 with 407bhp and it obviously performs even better but is going to be thirstier than my uncle Mike at a wedding reception!

In late 2009 a more powerful 740d was added but it actually has the same 3.0-litre diesel boosted with an extra turbo to give 306bhp.

It covers the benchmark sprint in 6.1 seconds but will also manage 41 miles per gallon with great care.

At the same time the engine in the 730d was revised for better economy, boosting it to 42mpg, while performance remained the same.

Despite its size, this 7-Series feels agile and focused, taking the corners with far less roll than the previous model.

It has sharper, more responsive steering, better feedback from steering, brakes and chassis, and quicker gearchanges from the standard automatic ‘box.

Ride comfort is very good but the stiffness of the suspension can be adjusted from the driver's seat, with Comfort, Normal and Sport choices.

Comfort softens the suspension slightly at the expense of handling, while Sport stiffens it to give a sharper feel. Most owners will leave it in Comfort I would hazard a guess.

Although cruise control is standard in many, it was upgraded to an active system in some that automatically keeps a consistent distance to the car in front.

The 7 Series has an elegant and refined interior, with large, supportive seats, an excellent straightforward dash, and a upgraded 'i-Drive' system that had owner input to the design.

Other equipment includes traction control, heated electric front seats, alarm, parking sensors, alloy wheels, headlight washers and audio remote,

All are fairly bulletproof and can stand long mileages as long as they are properly serviced - so check that all important history!

Pay about £12,800 for an '11 11-reg 730d SE Luxury, or £15,100 for a '13 13-reg 740i SE.

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