2009 BMW 7 Series Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2009 BMW 7 Series Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW 7 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.4 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 400 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 BMW 7 Series

  • Now with less controversial styling and less technological aggravation, the 2009 BMW 7 Series is a greatly improved luxury flagship sedan and a clear choice for those who favor an involved driving experience.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and powerful turbo V8 engine, excellent ride/handling balance, adjustable driver-preference settings, sublime seats.

  • Cons

    High-tech features may overwhelm, ride on the firm side for some.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 BMW 7 Series has been fully redesigned. Highlights include new exterior styling, a revised iDrive interface and a new and more powerful turbocharged V8 engine.

Full 2009 BMW 7 Series Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 BMW 7 Series has been fully redesigned. Highlights include new exterior styling, a revised iDrive interface and a new and more powerful turbocharged V8 engine.


The last-generation BMW 7 Series made people mad. Many car fans and Bimmerphiles hated its styling so much they turned its designer Chris Bangle's name into a derogatory term. From now on, to be "Bangled" is to have a previously attractive automotive design ruined. While subsequent BMWs took on many of the 7's controversial styling cues, the big flagship sedan remained the most visually challenging, and a lightning rod for critical wrath.

Now we have an all-new 2009 BMW 7 Series, and thankfully, designer Karim Habib won't be turned into a derogatory verb. While there are certainly some brash elements -- particularly the flared nostril grilles -- BMW's flagship has been significantly de-Bangled. The body work now appears tauter, the light clusters are more harmonious and the bulbous "Bangle-butt" trunk lid has been excised (he had a derogatory noun named after him, too). In short, the new 750i now looks more like a BMW.

Styling isn't the only issue BMW took on with the 2009 7 Series. As you likely know, iDrive has long been vilified for its clumsy operation and needlessly complex menu structure. The system has been improved over the years, but then so has the acting ability of the Rock, who still won't be taking home an Oscar any time soon. For the revised 7's iDrive, the multipurpose knob and large LCD screen remain, but physical menu select buttons have been added and the menus themselves laid out in a more logical manner. Dash-mounted preset buttons have also been added (other BMWs with iDrive had them, but the 7 didn't), and much of the climate control system has been put outside iDrive's jurisdiction. The result is a thumbs-up.

One thing not in need of help was the 7's driving dynamics -- the previous car was the most rewarding to drive in its class. The 2009 750i and 750Li carry on this tradition and gain a bevy of high-tech vehicle control systems. The new twin-turbo V8 is a remarkable engine, and the vehicle's handling remains a class benchmark. The new Dynamic Driving Control features four different settings that alter the aggressiveness of damper control, steering assist and ratio, antiroll bar stiffness, shift calibration of the six-speed autobox, throttle sensitivity and stability control. It's complicated, and we'd bet good money most folks will leave it on Normal, but it should reward an owner who likes to customize a car to his or her own driving tastes.

The 2009 BMW 750i and long-wheelbase 750Li are substantial improvements over the cars they replace -- and not just because of Bangle and iDrive. The 7 Series is a lavish, rewarding luxury flagship sedan designed for those who prefer to be involved with their car. This is a highly competitive class, though, that contains such premium choices as the Audi A8, Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes S-Class, They all have their own merits that appeal to specific buyers and are worth a look. Given the 7 Series' adjustable driving settings, though, it certainly stands a better chance of meeting more people's wants and needs. Plus, not being Bangled should help, too.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 BMW 7 Series is a large luxury sedan available in 750i and extended-wheelbase 750Li styles. Standard equipment on the 750i includes 18-inch wheels, run-flat tires, adaptive xenon headlights, an adaptive adjustable suspension, front and rear parking sensors, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, power-folding and auto-dimming exterior mirrors and keyless ignition and entry. On the inside, you'll find four-zone automatic climate control, 16-way-adjustable front seats, driver and passenger seat memory functions, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats and leather upholstery. Standard electronic features include Bluetooth, the iDrive electronics controller, a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and voice activation and a 10-speaker stereo with HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and digital music storage (8GB). The 750Li adds a self-leveling air suspension and a longer wheelbase for more rear seat space.

Options are bountiful. The Sport package adds active four-wheel steering, a sport steering wheel, 19-inch wheels and active roll stabilization (the last two items can be ordered stand-alone). The Cold Weather package adds heated rear seats and steering wheel. The Luxury Seating package adds ventilated front seats, power rear sunshades and manual rear side sunshades (available as stand-alone), active adjustable driver seat bolsters and the Cold Weather package. The Convenience package adds a power trunk lid and soft-close doors. The Driver Assistance package adds a blind-spot warning system, lane departure warning and high-beam assistant. The Camera package adds rear and sideview parking cameras. The Premium Sound package adds an iPod/USB audio jack, a six-CD/DVD changer and a premium stereo. The Luxury Rear Seating package available on the 750Li adds rear ventilated, multiadjustable seats.

Stand-alone options include adaptive cruise control, a rear-seat entertainment system, a head-up display, infrared night vision and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

Both the 2009 BMW 750i and 750Li are fitted with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 good for 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control sends the engine's power to the rear wheels. There are four settings for shift response and speed as part of the Dynamic Driving Control system, which also provides different settings for throttle response, shock-absorber firmness, power-steering assist and stability control.


Standard safety features include antilock brakes (with brake assist, brake fade compensation, brake drying and a brake stand-by feature), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints.

Interior Design and Special Features

The redesigned 2009 BMW 7 Series features a much more user-friendly interior than its oft-criticized predecessor. The iDrive controller has been improved with new physical buttons that call up the many different entertainment and navigation functions, along with reorganized and redesigned display screen menus. Eight preset buttons (programmable for radio stations as well as other iDrive functions) are a welcome addition, as is the climate control display that's now separate from the main iDrive screen and located with the controls themselves. The electronic gear selector migrates from the steering column to the center console where it belongs, but the selector itself (shared with other BMWs) is still a needlessly complicated solution to a problem that never existed. In the end, the 7 Series remains complicated, but it's no longer as aggravating to use.

The 7 also remains very luxurious, with almost infinitely adjustable front seats and a staggering number of available features. The backseat in the 750i should be plenty large for most folks, while the extended-wheelbase 750Li will meet the added space needs of the large and/or in charge. Available rear-seat cooling, heating and adjustability will make their VIP rides even more posh. The large 17.7-cubic-foot trunk can be outfitted with an auto open and close feature.

Driving Impressions

The 7 Series' new twin-turbo V8 is a marvelous, torque-rich engine that effortlessly moves this huge luxury sedan. It actually feels reminiscent of a normally aspirated V12, with no perceptible turbo lag or vibration. Each of the 7's Dynamic Driving Control modes -- Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus -- provides meaningful distinctions, allowing for a wide variety of drivers to tune the car to their own liking. Those looking to high-tail it up to their mountain ski lodge will find the 7 behaves like a much smaller sport sedan in Sport Plus, while those on a beeline to Las Vegas will find the 750i to be a serene highway cruiser. However, all ride settings are on the firm side compared to a cushier luxury barge like the Lexus LS 460. Steering is a high point with the 2009 BMW 7 Series, and when equipped with the Sport package, four-wheel steering facilitates quicker lane changes and makes parking easier, thanks to a tighter turning circle.

Read our BMW 750i Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Bmw builds another fantastic 7

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

I have owned four BMW 7 series. 1991, 95, 2006' and 2009. This newest one, 2009 750Li is a fantastic automobile. The upgrade in power from a normally aspirated 360 hp v8 to the new twin turbo charged v8 is great. I can really feel the difference. I like the heads up display. I like all of the new features like the lane departure warning, the blind spot avoidance, the lane change vibration steering wheel , the continued excellent leather used, the continued excellent standard of the industry BMW seats.

European delivery

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

Took European Delivery in August for four weeks. Fantastic car on the autobahns of Central Europe. When we had a chance, it cruised effortlessly at 120 mph, and felt fine when we found a section of road where 140 was safe. Unfortunately, never got a chance to get to the limiter. Only knock is that it was too big to park in much of Europe. Back home, it is smooth as silk, and worth every outrageous penny.

Interior design needs major improvement

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

I've leased a 7 series for over the past 12 years. Ranging from the '03 to '07, to now '09 model. The drive is excellent as it always has been throughout the years. It is fast, comfortable, sleek and a pleasure to drive. However, the interior design has been a huge disappointment. The little space that was already in the earlier 7's is gone. The only item you can place at the dash now is a pen let alone the only place my phone can sit is the cup holder. For a business man, this inconvenience makes day-to-day travel to meetings a hassle. So much to the effect where I have even considered that when my lease ends switching to another make who has planned the interior with more practicality.

"without a doubt the best

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

I recently purchased my second 750Li after owning a BMW '07 Li. My first ride was unbelievable. Fast, comfortable, easy to handle, idrive more friendly, head up option and nav system 100% better, so quiet you have to check the tach to know it running, and 0-60 time is really true. This beast is a sports car feel in a limo body. Nothing compares with it. Mercedes can't hold a candle to the 750Li. I've owned both.

09 750li not a dependable

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750Li 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

I purchased a brand new 09 750LI with all the possible options about three weeks ago. Since then I've been visiting the dealership twice a week. First after a day I had a leaking power steering hose. Then the hood hinge got loose and my hood in one corner was sticking up by about an inch then some air vent pipe got loose and was rattling like a broken muffler now the biggest problem that just came up after about 1500 miles is the TRANSMISSION!!! I have a loud transmission sound like you have in a 10 year old Dodge minivan with 100k miles on it. This is my 4th BMW and its the only one with those type of problems. My advice is Watch OUT!!!

Putting my new 750i through

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW 7 Series 750i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 6A)

I stepped up from a 2006 530i and must say the new 750i has noticeably more power and acceleration. It is extremely quiet at all speeds (I sometimes have to look at the tachometer to make sure the engine is running). I haven't put it completely through its paces yet, but accelerating onto the highway is no effort. I guess with 0-60 in 5.2 seconds I shouldn't be surprised. I love the electronics and find the iDrive much easier to use than my 530i. This vehicle is rock solid and top quality.

Talk About The 2009 7 Series

2009 BMW 7 Series Discussions See all Started By

2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test We lived with the 2009 BMW 750i for a year. Read all about our daily driving experiences in our long-term road test....

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Read more about the 2009 BMW 7 Series

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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