BMW 7 series driver review.
The first 7 series I drove was the earliest model, the E23 first imported here to Australia in 1978.
A couple of things stood out immediately.
- It handled amazingly well for it's size.
- It had spectacular brakes.
The motor was the M30 12 valve 6 cylinder as used in other earlier models and performed really well for the time, although I had a bit of trouble recognising it's performance, having just stepped out of my Jensen Interceptor SP3 with 7 litres of injected hemi under the bonnet!
BMW were soon to offer a lot more in the way of horsepower though, starting in 1979 the 732i offered the 3205cc motor which they kept till 1986.
The later 7 series went on to develop the long wheelbase model, and even had a moveable back seat in later models with massage included.
BMW 7 series
BMW 7 series
The thing that was striking about the car was it's marvellous comfort to drive.
It was much more accurate to steer than the Jensen, had better air conditioning and the transmission was very well suited to a car of this size, providing glass smooth changes.
Pushed to the limit the brakes did fade, but only when I kept hammering them constantly coming down from over 100mph.
The worst thing about the early 7 series was how it looked in my opinion.
I found it to be too bulky looking at the rear and pretty unexciting all over as far as looks are concerned.
The ride quality was better than the big Mercedes, it was faster and had safer brakes.
Fortunately front discs were cheap to replace. I say fortunately because they wore out fast!
The disc pads did not last long, and that's acceptable when you are pulling up almost two ton of auto, but the disc rotor wear was to my mind, unacceptably high.
BMW 7 series
The 7 series BMW has been around for more than 30 years, so it's market is well established with a strong middle management buyer group amongst corporate types, owners of successful small businesses, and professionals alike.
As time went by, the 7 became more refined with changes to suspension and tail shaft balancer among the more important improvements.
It has been a good looking car for many years now, and the ugly plump E23 is long forgotten, as they don't have a lot of reasons to be considered a classic car.
Most of the running gear was from earlier models anyway.
BMW 7 series.
BMW 7 series.
Models and engine sizes.
725 2494 cc 1977−1980
728 2788 cc 1977−1979
728i 2788 cc1979−1986
730 2985 cc 1977−1979
732i 3205 cc 1979−1986
733i 3205 cc1977−1979
735i 3453 cc 1979−1982
735i 3430 cc1982−1986
745i 3205 cc I6 1980−1982
745i 3430 cc 1983−1986 North America and Japan
733i 3210 cc 1978−1979
733i 3210 cc 1980−1981
733i 3210 cc 1982−1984
3430 cc 1985−1987,
L7 1986–1987 South Africa 745i 3453 cc
BMW have managed that great automotive feat of appearing to stay the same while evolving into something better over time.
This applies to both the interior and exterior of the whole range. Differences are minimal from model to model and even year to year, the changes are subtle.
For example although the grill has changed on the new series yet again, you would always know it is a BMW even from a distance.
The same can be said for the interior. The dashboard has remained with the same layout for many years, always leaving the passenger area clear of instrument clutter.
The seats in the BMW appear a bit solid and square, but when you sit in them you discover that they are supportive rather than firm.
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