I investigated the car's history ( in general E38 - V-12's, for over a year ) and looked at many poor examples -- I'm a bit amazed, how people treat a $100,000 car -- but in the end result, that favored me, ( the cars rep suffered -- BMW dealers contributed to that, along w/ the recession ) I bought a well taken care of 98 750 in 2007, w/91M - for $6250 ----- but I adopted this schedule -- oil & filter changed between 4-5000 mi. -- transmission fluid & filter every 40,000 mi. -- rear end -- 25,000 mi. -- power steering . brakes and coolant flushed every 30,000 mi. ------ I had to replace the entire cooling system - give it a complete tune-up and 70% of the suspension -- but I consider this normal for the 92,000 mi. I put on the car ----- so what went wrong out of the ordinary ? no wd. regulators, no electrical gremlins, starter, alternator, abs -- only an auxilary water pump -- bypassed it. The car never left me stranded -- the real key for me, is I have a mechanic I pay $50 an hr. to -- doesn't charge by the book - only for the time it takes ( prides himself on being faster ) and replacing all items at once - not piece meal - saves considerable labor----- I spent $ 4783 for 9 yrs. to keep it on the road --- sold the car to a neighbor 2 months ago ( I was tired of the black/black combo ) he was always impressed, how I took care of the car -------- so I went on a nation wide search for a white E38 - 750il -- found a 96 in Orange, CA - w/97m very clean - flew out picked it up and made a road trip out of it ( Bryce canyon in Utah is spectacular ) back to Minneapolis --------- here we go again --
Looking for what to buy next, I'm reviewing my decade with my 750iL. Bought off lease at 62K mi now has 160K. Fabulous handling given the sheer size of the car. Great brakes, turns are fast and precise, and the engine is nearly great. It's underpowered. For a v12 that could put out 1000hp it does about 380. Smooth and powerful but not as impressive as it should be. Precise shifts at all times. Cost to maintain is about $4K per year but I paid that gladly for love. Electrical and plastics break or wear out too fast. Best time has been 140K mi and up- no more problems, but 14 years of dings, scratches, kids, time for a new car. I never liked the new 7s and M5 and i-drive so whats next? MB S65?
Handles like it's on rails. Smooth, quiet, strong. Never a fuss. Great colors (green/tan) and body style. Classic imperial looks. V12 is far better than the V8. Room inside for a family to live in. Massive trunk. Good mixed driving(18.6) MPG.
Electrics are poor - dash displays have all been replaced, switches, engine sensors. All big $$. Cat converters died 4x. Two on warranty, then 2 not (2000 each). Motor is underpowered.
The calling card of the 7 is how capable this car is. The performance, handling and comfort combine for an impressive driving experience. The V-12 effortlessly moves the car and highway passing is especially stellar. Even years later, the features are still contemporary such as heated steering wheel and heated/reclining seats front and back. These cars are not reliable in the way of a Toyota. Maintenance is required however the upside is that they maintain their level of performance along with fit and finish very well. A cared for '96 750iL looks and drives like an impressive BMW not a 10 year old used car. In one line, a great car to drive!
All of the features work well except the famously mediocre cup holders.
I bought my 740 used with 65k mi. Have had two years and have loved car. Amazing comfort on highway. Huge back seat. Good handler. Amazing ride. Great seats, precise steering. Engine is quiet and smooth but could deliver more power. Car still looks great after 11 years. However if you buy one of these, be pepared to spend a lot of money to repair and keep it going. I've spent $3000 on maintainance and repairs in the past 30 months. I've purchased 2004 Lincoln LS V8 to replace BMW because tired of the big repair bills. Even though my BMW is 11 years old, it still is in many ways a nicer car to drive than the almost-new Lincoln.