March 30, 2010
Another exercise in distance driving and found myself again with the BMW 750i in my driveway with about 1000 miles over the weekend in front of me. You can't help but look at the thing and wonder if there's too much car here to have much fun, all 199.8 inches of it from tip to tail and 4,599 pounds.
February 08, 2010
Oh yeah, the BMW 750i also has a heated steering wheel. Of course, it does. I'm surprised it doesn't have a latte machine in the dash.
Heated steering wheels are a feature I never paid attention to before I tried it in our Dodge Ram. Now, it's my new favorite thing. The BMW 750i's heated steering wheel is subtler than the Ram's but still cozy.
I was on the road early this morning and really wanted to pull over, rest my face on the steering wheel and take a nap.
Do you think heated seats and steering wheels would put you to sleep on a long road trip?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 25,324 miles
December 08, 2009
Last night in my sleepy beach community, we were rocked with high winds after a day of rain. Of course, the day before I had put up my outdoor Christmas decorations. I found them all over my lawn when I got home. It was also trash night and the containers were tossed all over the street. Part of my next door neighbor's roof was in my yard.
The funny thing was, that I didn't realize how windy it was while I was driving home. There were some traffic lights out in my neighborhood and I wondered about that. But I felt no tugging on the car. And I didn't hear anything. It was only when I pulled onto my street and saw the mess that I noticed it was windy. And it wasn't until I opened the car door that I realized how severe it was.
Our luxurious 7 Series kept it all away from me. My commute home was rather peaceful and toasty.
This video is very dark. It was late and the moon was nowhere in sight. But it's the sound that I wanted to capture anyway. I drove to the beach and recorded with the window up, then I put it down so you can hear the crazy wind and turbulent ocean waves, then up again so you can hear how well the BMW 750i keeps you insulated. The window goes down and up twice. So, turn up your speakers and be glad you were safely in your home last night.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
October 29, 2009
This morning it was a bitter 56 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Monica, but I survived the wintry turn thanks to the heated driver's seat and heated steering wheel of our long-term 2009 BMW 750i.
October 13, 2009
There is a thing here in LA, that I'm sure is not unique to the Southland, called Dine LA. Basically a bunch of restaurants, typically nice places, have a prix fixe menu at a somewhat lowered cost. My girlfriend is really into the festival and we try a few places every year.
When she told me we were going to a steak place on Sunset Boulevard, I thought of her run down Jetta with a broken headlight and squeaky death trap brakes. "I'll drive. I insist."
If you knew me, you'd know I have no business driving a car such as the 750i. I don't shave everyday, I get dirty all the time being a photographer and I dress down accordingly. But in a weird twist of fate, looking like I rolled out of bed at 3 in the afternoon and dressing kinda sloppy works in the Hollywood crowd. Especially when you mix in a 7-Series.
"FANCY!" exclaimed my girlfriend as we approached the car heading out for dinner. No doubt it is. The sumptuous leather, nicely polished wood and uber-comfortable seats are worlds above my means. As a cherry on top of this luxury sundae is a meaty engine that can deliver when called for. It was going to be a fun night out on Sunset Boulevard.
When we got to the restaurant, I was glad I insisted on taking the BMW over my girlfriends' car. In front of the place was parked a Phantom, a 911 Turbo and a murdered Quattroporte. Our 7-Series gave us a hallpass. This place was oozing with haute culture. There were men in $3k suits and women in cocktail dresses wearing sunglasses. At night.
Then we two comparative hillbillies walked in. They spot us for who we are right away and seat us next to the kitchen door. I enjoyed our dinner, but I all honesty I didn't need the organic Hungarian Beet Mustard and a micro-greens salad with my steak. I just wanted a good steak. I was ready to go before the check arrived.
On the way back to my place, I knew this car didn't suit me. It's not what this car represents that bothers me, because honestly I could care less. What it offers is almost completely wasted on me. I can appreciate it for what it is, but I don't need rich Corinthian leather or fancy wood. If I had a choice between a Tacoma and the 750i, I'd take the Tacoma without hesitation.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
October 05, 2009
I'm not really that into outlet shopping but my girlfriends talked me into taking a trip up to the Camarillo outlet mall.
As usual, I was the designated driver because of my car choices. Actually, one of my friends doesn't even have a driver license. She grew up in New York City and never needed nor bothered to get one.
So, I showed up on Saturday with the roomy and luxurious 2009 BMW 7 Series. My friends couldn't be more pleased. From its soft, quiet ride, to the individual climate controls and heated seats, to the navigation system with traffic notices, to the entertainment features, the BMW served us well. Driving can be a little numbing but the 7 Series is a great passenger car.
As Ed mentioned in his M3 post, iDrive is no longer a hassle. It is much improved and actually easy to use and extremely helpful.
As you can see from the photo, we shopped 'til we dropped. The BMW 750i's 17.7 cu-ft trunk swallowed our packages with room to spare.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 18,513 miles
October 01, 2009
Our 2009 BMW 750i has seat massagers! Score! I couldn't wait to try them out as rarely am I ever in a car with seat massagers. So luxurious! And, yes, I've read Al's post on the "rump shaker" but wanted to check it out for myself. I love seat heaters. I'd love having my backside massaged, too, right?
Wrong. It's so distracting trying to drive when there's a small ball moving around on my butt cheeks, sometimes even lifting me up. It almost felt like I was rocking back and forth on a boat. After several minutes of that, I turned it off. But then the small ball stopped in an uncomfortable spot so I turned it on again until it moved elsewhere. But I felt that ball regardless of where it moved. So I just turned it off in the least annoying spot. Cool thing was that after awhile in the off position the ball got absorbed back into the seat. Neat.
This seat massager reminded me of the chair massagers my dad used to have an affinity for when I was growing up. So relaxing when kicking back in front of the TV with a TV dinner and beer. But when you're out on the road? That's no time to relax! Maybe when you're sitting in the car waiting at the curb for your kids to get out of school or something like that but I don't see using it while commuting to work. Especially when you're like me: the type to fall asleep during a massage.
September 23, 2009
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.
September 21, 2009
It seems our 2009 BMW 750i is the natural choice for road trips. It lays waste to mile after highway-mile effortlessly. This week's installment of the Edmunds Family Vacation takes us to Crystal Cove State Park south of Newport Beach, California. The Park is has a strange and complex history (Native-American habitat, Rancho San Joaquin, the Irvine Co., the burgeoning film industry, Japanese-American farmers, a small, eclectic colony of surfers who built most of what remains, and finally the State of California ownership who refurbished 21 of the original 46 structures), but the public may now reserve one of the cottages--if you've got the determination of a person trying to get a U2 concert ticket with a high-speed internet connection--for about between $65-$350 per night depending on the cabin and the season.
It seems strange that the State owns this ramshackle collection of surf cottages, but the unspoiled views and walks on the beach are there for the public to enjoy; just like they did in their heyday of the '40s and '50s.
You'll notice there's not single photo of the car because there's no vehicle traffic allowed in the Park and you must park on the East side of Pacific Coast Highway and hoof it to your cabin. They do offer a bellman service for your luggage, however.
What I will say about the car is that I'll echo the entire staff's sentiment that the marrying of awkward throttle mapping and busy transmission calibration do not make for a seamless experience in Friday bumper-to-bumper traffic--where I believe I achieved the worst fuel economy to date with an agonizing 7.7 mpg from Fullerton to Crystal Cove.
Click below to get a rough idea of what the cabins look like prior to and just after the renovations. Bummer the sun didn't burn through until we were leaving the next day.
September 16, 2009
Hey 750i -- we had a good thing going there for a while. You showed me things I'd never seen before with your sideview cameras. You had this way of making me feel important when I slid behind your wheel. And though I never really got into it, I thought it was really cool that you offered to tenderize my rump roast after a long day at the office.
You were everything I ever wanted in a luxury sedan. But then I met the S550, and it was like someone turned a giant spotlight on your flaws. That rough, herky-jerky attitude you've got when driving me around town? The S550 doesn't have any of that -- that baby is smooth, smooth, smooth. Compliant. Acquiescent. Luxurious. And the S550 also has a nicer cabin.
I'll still drive you
whenever I can get my greedy little paws on your keys every now and then. But while doing so, I'll probably be thinking of the S550. Mentally comparing you two, and having you fall short.
Just thought you should know. Have a nice day!
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
September 07, 2009
Hey, look at this - not every place in California is full of crazy people and pavement. There's plenty of wide open spaces and normal people when you get away from the large cities. Look at that behind the BMW, I think it's called nature (no people, crazy or otherwise would pose for this picture). Here's a few things I will and will not miss about the 2009 BMW 750i and Northern California:
August 27, 2009
I need a car for a family vacation - Ford Flex is the obvious choice. Or is it...
Yes, the Flex's DVD player is nice, so is the spacious interior and built in cooler. But I chose the BMW 750i. For one thing, I only have two small kids, so a sedan like this is plenty big enough. Here's another good reason I chose the BMW:
August 24, 2009
I ventured up to Santa Barbara on Saturday to have lunch with my vacationing parents, then ferry them down to LAX afterward. To their pleasant surprise, I showed up in our long-term BMW 750i -- a rather significant improvement over the Kia Amanti rental car they'd been tooling around in. Although our long termer isn't the extended wheelbase 750Li, it should come as no surprise that it still managed to provide tons of space (even with the seats set for my 6-foot-3 self and 6-foot Dad).
Here are some of the features they had at their disposal in the back seat of our 750, which includes the Luxury Seating Package (ventilated front seats, power rear and rear-side sunshades, adjustable driver seat bolsters, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel).
August 21, 2009
This is how I like to roll:
iPod playing: check
Air conditioner running: check
Seat heaters on high: check
Does anyone else like to drive with the A/C and seat heaters on at the same time?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 14,083 miles
July 28, 2009
I attended an automotive unveiling of the brand new ****** ******* today at Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes. Last time I ventured to the Donald's ocean-side links, Sadlier and I went in our departed long-term Honda Accord. A nice car to be sure, but when visiting a place adorned with more gold than Louis XIV's bathroom, it's just better to drive a fancy car.
Scanning the key board, I boosted the 750i, eager to see if my initial impressions from back in March still held true. In short, abso-freakin-lutely. The BMW flagship is a remarkable engineering and technological tour de force. Lay into the twin-turbo V8 and it rushes forth with almost the same sort of hushed, effortless lack of drama as Rolls-Royce's V12. The ride, regardless of suspension setting, soaks up broken pavement better than almost every other car on the road. And the seats, oh boy the seats. My back feels like crap at the moment, and yet they have the ability to coddle and support in ways that would make my mother jealous.
As I looked out upon the Pacific Ocean, I had the sudden urge to jump in the 750i and just start driving until I hit the Atlantic in Florida. I'd probably regret it somewhere during my seventh hour through Texas, but I could think of few other cars I'd rather make the journey in than the 7er.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor
July 23, 2009
Trying to stay alert during that long haul to Monterrey?
Or did you just have a particularly killer Pilates workout that left your glutes sore?
Perhaps you may be interested in a seat feature that BMW offers.
Our long-term BMW 750 has the Active driver seat equipped with butt massage.
July 21, 2009
I was planning to write about the wonderful seats in our long-term BMW 750 and the dizzying number of adjustments, heating and cooling, and butt massage.
But all that got tossed when I came across this in the iDrive display under Front seats:
The Gentleman function.
What the..?? This should be interesting!
July 08, 2009
Our 2009 BMW 750i pulled shuttling duty again this weekend, as I'd family in town keen on hitting some of the sights. With as much four-up running as our 750i has had in the past few weeks, you're probably wondering if we're pinning away for the 750iL and it's more capacious back seat.
After last week's run up to San Luis Obispo, I was thrilled to snag the 750i again, as few machines have the sort of impact to impress out of towners. On the San Luis escapade, the 750i's back seat was plenty spacious with front seat passengers setting their perches at a comfortable distance from the dash, but not pushed back into another zip code. With no one in the cabin over six feet, there was plenty of stretch-out room for all.
With my bro (6'2") and nephew (6'0") in town, they were plenty comfy in the back seat with me (5'10") behind the wheel, and my better half (5'4") scooting the passenger perch up just a bit, but still far enough away so that her feet couldn't reach the firewall even if she stretched her legs out. So with an average mix of folk in the car, the 750i is still plenty spacious for all-day tours from Venice Beach up to Hollywood. If your family is all basketball players, you'll want the 750iL, which has stretch out room for all but the lankiest of passengers at every seating position.
Back seat accommodations received high ranks from the Seredynski men, especially the long and wide center armrest divide, which gave my nephew his own throne like-space in which to enjoy to his iPod. The rear windows dive towards the beltline, but the small pane in front of the C-pillar gives excellent outward visibility. They were cheered by the individual climate control stack and heated seats for rear passengers, but after hearing the 750i's price tag, wondered aloud why they didn't get the same super slick cooled seats as the front of the cabin. I tried to explain that those are only available on the 750iL, but there's just no pleasing family...
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor, @ 12,043 miles.
June 28, 2009
After a weekend of strafing vineyards near San Luis Obispo in search of some real-estate info, the 750i carried our foursome back to L.A. in serene, coddling comfort. As a machine designed to shuttle a quartet in rapid solitude, you could do far worse than the 750i. When hustled, the 7 Series seems to shrink and begin imitating its smaller 3- and 5 Series brethren. Mechanical grip is far outside the comfort range of all but the most banzai passengers, and few spouses would leap that bar.
Even the spouses, however, were impressed with the afterburner-like thrust that made for drama free jumps onto Hwy 101, often via on-ramps about as long as a carrier-deck. Even when given the boot, and winding it's turbine-smooth twin-turbo V8 up to redline, full-throttle shifts were delivered swiftly but with a muted touch, preventing any frayed nerves inside the cabin.
Constantly inputting addresses into the nav system while moving from listing to listing, we can probably lay most past criticisms of iDrive to rest. The interface works well and rapidly, with a jog wheel that oozes quality through heft and feel. The graphics are clear and tasteful, and the widescreen display sports some impressive resolution.
Effortlessly hauling four passengers and luggage over the weekend, the 750i managed 18.7 mpg, and ranks as the complete package if you've the portfolio for its heart stopping sticker price. It handles superbly, has rocket-ship thrust, is quiet and extremely comfortable for four adults and sports useful and accessible technology. If you have the means and love to be involved with the car you're driving, this new 7 Series is worth a serious look.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 11,809 miles
June 27, 2009
Our long-term 2009 BMW 750i snagged a roadtrip assignment this weekend it seems built for: hauling two couples around the tawny tufted hills of San Luis Obispo (SLO) on a real-estate scouting trip. We couldn't have chosen a more capable machine for the mission. Much like a veteran hunting dog that remains tranquil in its cage before being unleashed on the hunting field, the 750i calmly threaded its way through stop and go traffic out of L.A. Friday afternoon.
XM's Classic Rewind always sounds better with the weekend on tap, but in this Beemer the XM signal seems to carry more fidelity than in other XM applications, and the audio system provides solid mid-bass punch. As the 750 glides almost silently up the coast with the cooled seats set at the lowest position, the mild ventilation is a near perfect counter to the late-day sun parked over the Pacific.
I'm heading north to meet Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor Phil Reed and our spouses, who departed L.A. on the morning train. There's little hope of catching them, but the 750 should at least narrow the gap so we can all catch an earlier dinner. Once traffic finally breaks north of Santa Barbara, the twin-turbocharged V8 displays its own locomotive character. Spilling over with torque, it easily dispatches left-lane lollygaggers, while maintaining it's near silent demeanor. Though not on the same titanic plane as the Mercedes twin-turbocharged AMG V12, the direct-injected 4.4-liter V8 has a more agile feel to the way it revs, while only buttery vibrations make it into the cabin.
With traffic withering, and remaining left-lane squatters (are we in England?) getting a nice view of the 750's taillights, you realize that the 750i is not a machine for this continent. It can sweep down beautiful roads such as California's luscious Hwy 101 at speeds easily double the posted limit, but those are not things we're allowed here in the land of the free, and the left-lane squatters prove we haven't the discipline for it anyway. The 750i is the kind of machine built to make runs between L.A. and New York ...weekly.
Sadly, I'm only headed to SLO, and scythe off the 101 with plenty of daylight left, and spacious wheels to carry us all to dinner.
Paul Seredynski, Executive Editor @ 11,406 miles
June 10, 2009
Our 750i features an adjustable air suspension. There are four settings to choose from - Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Nothing really new here, manufacturers have been offering adjustable suspensions ever since they got too lazy to tune them right the first time.
In this case, the Normal setting is perfectly comfortable for everyday cruising, and if you feel the need to throw a few tons of German steel around with your fingers, the Sport+ mode is quite effective.
Then there's Comfort mode. Dial that setting up and our 750 becomes a BMW Brougham d'Elegance. It's comfortable and soothing in a waterbed kind of way, but it's also a little bit disconcerting. I mean this is a BMW right? I don't care if it was called Vicodin mode, the car shouldn't feel so detached from reality. If Normal mode isn't comfortable enough for someone, then maybe a BMW isn't for them. C'mon BMW don't go down this road, please.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 10,067 miles
May 27, 2009
My parents were in town over the holiday weekend, so I made the not very adventurous choice of requesting our long-term BMW 750i. Honestly, my family was due a little $90K kindness; last time I made them ride in our departed Scion xB.
I've always liked 7 Series backseats, because of one of my relatives used to own a '98 740iL, which had a positively expansive rear seat. But my parents are tall -- 5'-10" and 6'-2" -- and our BMW 7 Series is just the regular-wheelbase model. Would it be enough? In my family, we don't keep mild discomfort to ourselves -- we complain loudly.
The answer is yes. They loved it back there. Ample legroom. Ample headroom. And they couldn't stop talking about the luxurious accommodations. (Actually, as luxury-sedan rear seats go, the 750i is a little basic in its amenities: discrete climate controls plus heated seats. If you want ventilated seats or power adjustments, you'll need a 750Li with the Luxury Seating Package.)
After this weekend, I'm not sure I'd ever order up a 750Li, unless there were 7-footers in my family. The 750i is perfectly adequate in back, and looking at the specs, it's easy to see why.
1998 BMW 740iL -- wheelbase: 120.9 in., rear legroom: 41.9 in.
2009 BMW 750i -- wheelbase: 120.9 in., rear legroom: 38.4 in.
2009 BMW 750Li -- wheelbase: 126.4 in., rear legroom: 44.3 in.
So, yeah, our '09 750i has the same wheelbase as a LWB 7 Series of two generations ago.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor
April 14, 2009
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..."
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
April 02, 2009
My Arizona-New Mexico road trip in our long-term 2009 BMW 750i spanned about 1,900 miles in 48 hours. I'm tired now. More entries are coming tomorrow on fuel economy (over 20 mpg) and the car's adaptive bi-xenon headlights (as used on a very dark road). Right now I want to tell you about U.S. Highways 84 and 64 between Espanola and Bloomfield, New Mexico.
These roads are off the beaten path, but if you're already in New Mexico, the combination of the roads themselves and the scenery along them is pretty enjoyable. Most of the turns are of the fast, sweeping variety, so these aren't the best back roads for a Miata. Still, there's just enough challenge to make you glad you picked something fun to drive rather than renting a Toyota Avalon (I've never seen so many in a 70-mile stretch).
And our BMW 750i is fun. It feels smaller and lighter than the previous-generation 7 Series even if it isn't in actuality. The steering is excellent -- just the right weighting and I could easily get a read on how well the 245/45R19 98Y Goodyear Excellence "grand touring summer" run-flat front tires were gripping.
The big sedan also has amazing body control, and although the pavement was pretty rough in spots (no potholes, though), it never got unsettled mid-corner, which made it easy to settle into a rhythm -- so much so that I didn't lose much time with my back-roads detour. This car is quick wherever it goes. I look forward to doing this again. Real soon.
April 01, 2009
Our long-term 2009 BMW 750i hit the 5K mark last night in a town I'd never heard of between Winslow, Arizona, and Gallup, New Mexico. We'll go as far as Santa Fe before turning back.
I put on about 800 miles yesterday, and much as James wrote in the full test, I was struck by the way the 7 Series managed to be fabulously comfortable while simultaneously shrinking around me: At no time did I ever feel like I was hanging out with a full-size sedan. The 750i hides its inches and pounds quite well.
For most of the trip, I had the Driving Dynamics Control set on "Normal," though I switched to "Comfort" for the roughest parts of Interstate 40. The difference in ride quality was small. Even in Comfort, I didn't feel isolated from the road, but I had the perception of slightly more suspension travel over the roughest patches.
No complaints about the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, well, other than not being able to hear the turbos at all. As you've read, it's strong at any speed, but really starts to feel its oats around 3,000 rpm. And if you keep the accelerator pinned in "D," the six-speed automatic won't upshift until right at the V8's 6,800-rpm redline.
Most surprising was the long cruising range. My fill-ups have been conservatively timed due to the remoteness of the high desert, but with a 21.7-gallon tank, 400-mile tanks would be easily attainable.