Parents from Miami to Malibu can relax. The 7 Series is no longer the fright of small children. With the 2006 BMW 7 Series, the company has toned down the car's styling and shifted the emphasis back to performance.
After a five-year absence, the 750 badge is back for 2006, but this time it carries a big V8, not a V12. A 4.8-liter V8 replaces last year's 4.4-liter and provides a generous increase in power. In fact, this is now the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 in the ultraluxury sedan class.
The 745 model, meanwhile, is history.
A More Classic Look Four years ago BMW decided its 7 Series flagship should be at the cutting edge of fashion. It was a risky move, and the new look proved highly controversial. But it sold like beer on St. Patrick's Day. In fact, worldwide it has become the best-selling 7 Series ever, which is why this midcycle refresh isn't a radical change.
In front, sexier curves define the hood, and the signature twin-kidney grille is larger. The reshaped headlights could have come off the 2005 BMW 3 Series. Around back, new taillights and a strip of chrome take the attention off the overgrown trunk lid. And the whole thing rolls on restyled 18-inch wheels.
We still don't love the way the 7 Series looks. But no longer would the car's styling keep us from buying one.
Refined yet Athletic Like its predecessor, the 4.8-liter has fully variable valve timing and lift. With the new engine's extra torque, though, engineers reverted to a two-stage intake manifold in lieu of the 4.4-liter's infinitely variable induction. With the larger engine comes a modest 100-pound weight gain, but no increase in fuel consumption.
Horsepower comes in at 360 at 6,300 rpm, while 360 pound-feet of torque is available at 3,400 rpm. Compare this to 325 hp at 6,100 and 330 lb-ft of torque at 3,600 in the 745 and you might expect the 750 to run significantly quicker 0-60-mph times, but it doesn't.
BMW estimates a 5.8-second 0-to-60-mph time for both the 750i and the long-wheelbase 750Li (which weighs 66 pounds more). That's only one-tenth of a second faster than the official estimate for the 745i and 745Li. We've timed a 745i at 6 seconds flat. An Audi A8 can run 6.3.
What the 4.8 doesn't put up in performance stats, it makes up for on an intangible level. It's refined yet athletic just like the old 4.4, but its torque band seems to go on forever. Unless you're comparing the supercharged 493-hp Mercedes S55, look no further in this class. If you're shopping 12-cylinders, note that the 6.0-liter V12 in the 760 is unchanged for 2006.
Last year's six-speed automatic continues to handle the shifting duties with no changes to the gearing. It's the perfect partner for the 4.8-liter, as it delivers some of the smoothest shifts we've ever experienced.
Minor Chassis Updates Even after four years, the 7 Series is still one of the best-handling sedans in the segment, so BMW didn't do much to the suspension. The rear track is half an inch wider than before at 62.8 inches, and engineers did some work on the bushings.
As on the 745, you can stick with the standard suspension tuning, or opt for a firmer Sport Package or the Adaptive Ride Package, which combines air suspension with electronic damping.
The 750s we drove had the Adaptive Ride setup, which provided a near perfect blend of ride comfort and handling acuity. Even in comfort mode, body control and steering response are superb.
As we threaded a series of curves in a 750i, we couldn't imagine driving anything else. For the moment, the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class were out of sight, out of mind.
The 750Li rides on a 5-inch-longer wheelbase and is 5.5 inches longer overall. The extra mass is apparent in tight turns, but in a car whose primary mission is to chauffeur passengers in comfort, the driver still comes out ahead.
iDrive for Dummies? Inside, it's obvious BMW's designers took a look at the impeccably furnished A8. Warmer walnut wood replaces last year's black cherry accents, and all the knobs have chrome trim. Additionally, the CD changer is now MP3-compatible, while Bluetooth capability allows 7 Series owners to choose their own phones.
Designers also took a stab at simplifying the iDrive system, which remains standard. Unfortunately, even with the new color-coded menus, frustration levels run high. You still have to cycle through too many menus to search the address book, enter a new destination or manually tune a radio station. For everyday ease of use, this system needs more "quick start" buttons.
If You Like to Drive We'd skip iDrive if we could, but BMW has made it hard to say no to the total package. The return of classic styling cues and the arrival of a torque-rich V8 should restore the 7 Series to the throne in the ultraluxury sedan kingdom.
Is the 2006 BMW 7 Series a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2006 BMW 7 Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2006 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.
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How do people like the 2006 BMW 7 Series? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2006 BMW 7 Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2006 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 2006 7 Series.
Review I have owned BMW's since early 90's - 735i, 745i and now 750i. The 750i is by far the best and worst of the 7 series. if you have a 745 series!! KEEP IT!!! much better car then the 750i... I have had transimission issues " the Jerk or safe mode problems etc" was told everything from need to replace the transimission to it needs a software upgrade. Great looking car but just not worth the investment with today's economy... "Anyone wants to buy a 2006 BMW 750i ? will make you a heck of a deal...
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What options are available on the 2006 BMW 7 Series?
Available BMW 7 Series 2006 Submodel Types: Sedan, Hybrid, Diesel, M760i xDrive
Exterior Colors: Jet Black, Black Sapphire Metallic, Alpine White, Dark Graphite Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Magellan Gray Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic, Titanium Gray Metallic, Azurite Black Metallic, Cashmere Silver Metallic, Midnight Blue Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Toledo Blue Metallic, Jatoba Brown Metallic, Orient Blue Metallic, Deep Green Metallic, Michigan Blue Metallic, Singapore Gray Metallic, Citrin Black Metallic, Milano Beige Metallic, Almandine Brown Metallic, Arctic Gray Metallic, Barbera Red Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic II, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Kalahari Beige Metallic, Midnight Blue, Orinocco Metallic, Slate Green Metallic, Special Order Color
Interior Colors: Black Nappa premium leather, Black premium leather, Black Dakota leather, Saddle/Black Nappa premium leather, Beige premium leather, Ivory White/Black Nappa premium leather, Oyster Nappa premium leather, Canyon Brown Full Merino premium leather, Cognac Nappa premium leather, Black/Black, Oyster premium leather, Basalt Gray/Flannel Gray, AmaroBrown premium leather, Black/Black premium leather, Champagne premium leather, Zagora Beige Nappa premium leather, Amaro Brown premium leather, Cognac Dakota leather, Dark Beige/Beige III premium leather, Flannel Gray premium leather, Light Saddle Dakota leather, Amaro Brown Full Merino premium leather, Black/Natural Brown premium leather, Veneto Beige Nappa premium leather, Basalt Gray/Flannel Gray premium leather, Black leather, Canberra Beige Nappa premium leather, Dark Beige/Beige III, Ivory White/Black Dakota leather, Mocha Nappa premium leather, Opal White Full Merino premium leather, Black/Natural Brown, Gray, Oyster/Black premium leather, Platinum premium leather, Saddle/Black premium leather, Beige III, Champagne Full Merino premium leather, Cream Beige premium leather, Fiona Red/Black Full Merino premium leather, Natural Brown, Natural Brown premium leather, Oyster Beige/English Green, Oyster/Black Nappa 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, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Upgraded Stereo, Rear Entertainment System