2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test


2009 BMW 750i: Yet Another Road Trip (part III)

September 23, 2009

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The final leg of our 2009 BMW 750i weekend trip was to See Canyon, about 8 miles south-west of San Luis Obispo, California. It seems See Canyon enjoys a micro-climate that's particularly well-suited to growing apples, and it's apple season y'all.

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There was a time in See Canyon when picking your own basket of apples was the only way to purchase said tree-ripened fresh, apples, but it's getting harder to find orchards that will even let you do that now. We found one small family-owned orchard that still will (if you've got an apple-pickin' escort), but most cite liability issues and lawyers as reasons that all-American tradition is dying. What's this world coming to?

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Anyway, the 750i again was a worthy road-going luxo-cruiser. Here's a list of things nearly every staffer has already blogged about, to which I add my votes:

Good Things

It certainly goes like stink when you put the spurs to it. The Comfort setup is appropriately named (at cruising speeds - more on this below).

The new iDrive is so much better that BMW should've called it something else.

Three-zone HVAC plus heated/ventilated seats is the key to family harmony.

Actually earns decent fuel economy with cruise control set to "something above" 70-mph.

Bad Things

That whole bog-'n'-burn throttle tip-in (especially in Comfort mode) might be a deal breaker if I were considering this car, at this price.

The trunk might also be a tad too small for the size/class of this car.

No Comfort Access seems like more than a simple oversight (should be standard on a 750i).

Same goes for real-time tire-pressure display with tire locations. Why isn't it standard?

I'd probably not order light carpet (due to propensity to get dirty quickly).

I'd probably not order a light colored dash pad (due to glare on the windshield)

Final fuel tally turned out to be rather impressive considering the twin-turbo V8 that drives this thing: 721.1 miles traveled with 35.748 gallons of premium fuel consumed = 20.2 mpg.

I'm glad we chose this car for our trip, but I think I'd try something else next time. Sure, it was comfy, rapid, and impressed the neighbors, but there were a couple times when the car threw-up an error on the dash. One concerning a power steering "failure" had self-resolved by the time I got the camera out. Ghost in the machine? And after reading Brian's post, I can't help but worry that I might get stranded a very long way from a BMW Service Center one day. With so many electronic gadgets, there's something very uncompromisingly neat about all the tech in this car, but there's also something very spooky, too.

Chris Walton, Chief Road Test Editor @ 16,830 miles

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