Men hate to ask for directions. It's a credo that must be written on every Y chromosome in existence: when in doubt, do not stop do not ask for directions do not show fear always protect your ego. It drives us women crazy. Men just keep driving in circles, assuring you that they'll easily figure out the way to the out-of-state countryside home of your third cousin twice removed in a blinding dust storm. Relax, they say, it's probably just around the next bend. Well, thirteen bends and a tank of gas later, you're still driving and the family reunion you were heading to has just about ended. And as you fold yourself out of the car later that evening, clutching your Tupperware container full of uneaten potato salad, you secretly vow to yourself that next time, you'll be the one driving to the family reunion.
What if I told you the scene above will never, ever happen again if you buy a BMW 740iL with the optional GPS navigation system? It's true. The GPS system that was installed in our test car makes it virtually impossible to ever get lost. Simply punch in the address of your destination on the keypad and start driving. You can view your progress on an impressively detailed map or just listen to the voice commands that tell you when to turn, what lane to be in and how to get back on track if you miss a turn. But if somehow you still manage to get lost, there's nothing to fear: just punch the emergency button on the screen and it will spit out your exact position, including the road you're on, the county you're in and which way you're heading.
This system will get you to your destination so surely, in fact, that you'll probably be disappointed when it's over. The driving experience of the BMW 740iL is so enticing and enjoyable that you may never make it to cousin Tillie's after all.
The license plate frame on the 740iL we drove late this spring said: "The Ultimate Driving Machine." That phrase was also plastered on the window sticker in large bold letters and written on every piece of paper that contained information about the BMW. Wow. Talk about an ego, I thought. After we took it for its first spin, though, we were all saying the same thing. Maybe it was a not-so-subliminal message, but it was a truthful one, by God. The Ultimate Driving Machine may even be an understatement in this case. There's absolutely nothing negative we can say about this car without making up lies, so we'll just tell you why we liked it so much.
First of all, it is fast. With a 4.4-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 engine making 282 horsepower coupled with a smooth-as-silk five-speed automatic transmission, the ride was both elegant and fun-an experience you didn't want to end. One editor said it handled like a sports car and he felt completely in control, even at high speeds. The steering was responsive and effortless, even while running slow-paced errands around town.
It was also comfortable--not comfortable like sitting on your couch watching sitcoms, but comfortable like soaking in a bubble bath at a five-star hotel. The plush leather seats seemed to make everyone happy, from big guys to small women. The rear seat passengers had adjustable footrests to encourage relaxation, extra trash compartments on the doors to help keep things tidy, climate controls, reading lights, an outlet for cell phones or computers, one-touch power windows and interesting seatbelts that originate on the inside of the seat near the flip-down armrest and buckle on the side by the door. Front seat occupants had just as many niceties, including automatic seats that can move in a gazillion positions, lumbar support and solid headrests. The light tan leather seats were pretty and the wood trim accented the interior in an elegant and understated way.
We were delighted that the radio controls were placed above the climate controls so that when the cupholders popped out they blocked the a/c rather than the stereo. Ergonomics were commendable, with large controls and displays, but we sometimes had to look in the manual to make sure we weren't going to eject through the sunroof when we pressed a poorly marked button. We would have liked a larger cubby in the center console area, but were happy that the top of the center console slid forward for people who need to sit closer to the power adjustable steering wheel. Other features included a mixture of digital and needle gauges on the dash, big pockets in the doors for maps and suntan lotion and a huge trunk that holds mountains of gear and luggage.
We were lucky enough to have snagged the 740iL on the same weekend we had planned a mountain getaway with my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. They had flown in from Cincinnati, Ohio, to enjoy some fresh mountain air and weren't expecting a first-class ride to the chalet in Breckenridge, but that's what they got. The big V8 had no problem navigating through the Rocky Mountains and the vehicle's weatherband radio kept us informed of lingering storms. On the highway, the truck in front of us lost a bag of aluminum cans that rolled all over the road, but the BMW responded quickly and we avoided hitting any of them. If we had, though, we're sure the 740iL could have handled it, since the suspension soaks up potholes and irregularities in the road without ever losing its sporting nature.
Everyone agreed that the 740iL was a sedan to be reckoned with, and at least two editors said they would put one in their garages if they had enough cash. With a base sticker around $66,000, the BMW is pricey but not overpriced. Some competing models are priced lower, like the Cadillac Deville Concours, which stickers at $43,000, while others are much higher, like the Mercedes-Benz S500 at $88,000, so the BMW falls about average in the scheme of things.
If you're going to spend that much money on a car, though, go ahead and order the optional $2500 navigation system. It's too cool to pass up. Sort of like the sedan itself. For instance, one editor was rendered speechless when asked to describe his experience in the BMW, but finally managed to blurt out, "It's quite a chariot!"
It is, indeed.
1998 BMW 7 Series Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 1998 BMW 7 Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 1998 7 Series featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 1998 BMW 7 Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 1998 7 Series 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 1998 7 Series.
Review Yes, i purchased a 1998 for my first car and it wasnt a mistake. ive had dreams of buying one for my first car since i was 14 and i finally found one. it had 117,000 miles when i bought it and i havent had any serious problems. Everyone told me it was a bad idea to get a car like this because it was so impractical. They said it was bad on gas and parts would be so expensive but so far ive had to replace a water pump and a few other repairs of that sort and i could comfortable affford them on my minimum wage salary. The gas isnt bad in this car at all. Its actually quite good for a 2+ ton v8. I love this car and i hope it will last for a very very long time.
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Available BMW 7 Series 1998 Submodel Types: Sedan, Hybrid, M760i xDrive, Diesel
Exterior Colors: Jet Black, Black Sapphire Metallic, Alpine White, Dark Graphite Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Magellan Gray Metallic, Titanium Gray Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic, Azurite Black Metallic, Cashmere Silver Metallic, Jatoba Brown Metallic, Midnight Blue Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Toledo Blue Metallic, Deep Green Metallic, Orient Blue Metallic, Michigan Blue Metallic, Singapore Gray Metallic, Arctic Gray Metallic, Citrin Black Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic II, Milano Beige Metallic, Barbera Red Metallic, Midnight Blue, Moonstone Metallic, Orinocco Metallic, Oxford Green Metallic, Ruby Black Metallic, Slate Green Metallic, Special Order Color
Interior Colors: Black Nappa premium leather, Black premium leather, Black Dakota leather, Beige premium leather, Saddle/Black Nappa premium leather, Cognac Nappa premium leather, Ivory White/Black Nappa premium leather, Oyster Nappa premium leather, Canyon Brown Full Merino premium leather, Black/Black, Basalt Gray/Flannel Gray, Black/Black premium leather, Oyster premium leather, Champagne premium leather, AmaroBrown premium leather, Dark Beige/Beige III premium leather, Flannel Gray premium leather, Light Saddle Dakota leather, Zagora Beige Nappa premium leather, Veneto Beige Nappa premium leather, Amaro Brown Full Merino premium leather, Amaro Brown premium leather, Basalt Gray/Flannel Gray premium leather, Black leather, Black/Natural Brown premium leather, Canberra Beige Nappa premium leather, Cognac Dakota leather, Dark Beige/Beige III, Ivory White/Black Dakota leather, Opal White Full Merino premium leather, Black/Natural Brown, Fiona Red/Black Full Merino premium leather, Gray, Oyster/Black premium leather, Platinum premium leather, Saddle/Black premium leather, Beige III, Champagne Full Merino premium leather, Cream Beige premium leather, Mocha Dakota leather, Mocha Nappa premium leather, Natural Brown, Natural Brown premium leather, Oyster Beige/English Green, Oyster/Black Nappa premium leather, Tartufo Full Merino premium leather
Popular Features: Alarm, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Leather Seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Navigation, Stability Control, Sunroof/Moonroof, Trip Computer, Upgraded Headlights, Rear Bench Seats, Power Driver Seat, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Post-collision safety system, Parking sensors, Tire Pressure Warning, Bluetooth, Automatic Emergency Braking, Heated seats, USB Inputs, Aux Audio Inputs, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Back-up camera, AWD/4WD, Pre-collision safety system, Heads up display, Keyless Entry/Start, Mobile Internet, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Cooled Seats, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Adaptive Cruise Control, 360-degree camera, Upgraded Stereo, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Rear Entertainment System