2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test


2009 BMW 750i: Headlights Are Superb on Dark Back Roads

April 03, 2009

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You run out of daylight in a hurry when you keep detouring onto back roads, and so the long-term 2009 BMW 750i and I found ourselves on some really dark sections of U.S. 491 and Interstate 40. However, I think it just might have the best headlights I've ever experienced on a vehicle because I've never felt so relaxed while driving on unfamiliar roads at night.

Our car doesn't have the High-Beam Assistant (part of the $1,350 Driver Assistance package) that automatically shuts off the high beams to avoid blinding other drivers or otherwise causing offense. But, the standard adaptive bi-xenon headlights are exceptional on their own. "Adaptive" in this case indicates that the lamps will swivel laterally to see around corners and also adjust the beam vertically to compensate for uphill/downhill travel or changing loads (like when you brake hard).

I wasn't aware of the lateral and vertical beam adjustments as I drove, but I undoubtedly benefited, because the 40 has quite a few turns and elevation changes between Gallup, NM, and Williams, AZ (my stopover for the night). What I did notice was the impressive reach of the light spread both in normal and high-beam mode.

Obviously, the 750i's excellent road manners contributed to the pleasant nighttime driving experience, too, but after my experience last night, I'll never underestimate the importance of high-quality headlights. (This photo was snapped in Williams before I set out this morning; the bug layer will be addressed promptly.)

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 5,805 miles

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