2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test


2009 BMW 750i: Family Chariot

April 14, 2009

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This past weekend, I used our long-term 2009 BMW 750i to shuttle my wife and two-year-old daughter to my in-laws house for Easter. There would have been quicker or more versatile long-term cars to put about 600 miles on, but for all-around style, comfort and luxury, the 750i was hard to beat. (And I would hope so, seeing as how it's priced at nearly $90,000.)

Most of what Erin wrote in her various posts about her long trip to Arizona proved to be true for me as well. A few more thoughts on using this executive sedan as a family sedan follow after the jump.

This is one impressive highway cruising machine. At speed, it just powers down the road with poise and presence. I could see where a small minority of people would find the car's ride quality to be a little firm. But for everyone else, it rides supremely. Meanwhile, the front seats are very comfortable and adjustable, and the max cruising range of 400 miles or so is nice to have.

Oh, and I was able to kill some time after Easter brunch by showing off the car to various family members. Side-view cameras, full-surround power rear window shades, voice-command bird's-eye nav, secret compartment to store stacks of cash from golden-parachute executive bonus payouts... it's the full uber-sedan experience. And then there was this conversation: Uncle Len: "This is a 750i? So does it have a 5-liter engine?" Brent: "No, it has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8." Len: "Oh. I thought BMW numbers matched engine displacement." Brent: Well, they used to..."

09_bmw_750i_crg_500.jpg There were a couple things that were disappointing from a road-trip standpoint. First, the trunk just isn't very big considering the size of the car. While the 750i's trunk capacity is listed at a decent 14 cubic feet, I found the shape -- it's fairly deep but narrow -- to be limiting. The trunk in our Pontiac G8, to single out another large rear-drive sedan, is a lot roomier. Additionally, there's just not that much interior storage space for road-trip related items. The center console bin, glove box and door bins are all small, and there are just two cupholders up front.

Was it nice to be rolling in style for this trip? Certainly. But the ho-hum real-world usability was a minor disappointment, and at times it did seem to be too ostentatious for what I was using it for. Maybe I just need a different career to appreciate it more.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,310 miles

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