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BMW 7 series driver review.

Updated on August 18, 2011

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

This is the early body shape.
This is the early body shape.

BMW 7 series

This is the later BMW 7 series body.
This is the later BMW 7 series body.

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

A late model 7 series BMW. The body has kept it's style and enhanced it's beauty. I find the new 7 series to be a beautiful looking car.
A late model 7 series BMW. The body has kept it's style and enhanced it's beauty. I find the new 7 series to be a beautiful looking car.

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.

Nice wheels! A late model 7 series BMW. This one is beautiful in black.
Nice wheels! A late model 7 series BMW. This one is beautiful in black.

BMW 7 series.

Showing engine and drive train layout of the BMW 7 series.
Showing engine and drive train layout of the BMW 7 series.
The stunning interior of the 750 series.
The stunning interior of the 750 series.
The rear seats. 7 series.
The rear seats. 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

735i/L7 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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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      / Toufik, mil felicitaciones!!!!!!!!! Te mando un arbzao grandedsimo, te lo mereces, cuando vaya a Francia damos la vueltica en tremendo carro, definitivamente estamos en el mejor negocio del mundo, con el mejor staff del mundo y con los mejores ledderes del mundo, el medo viene en camino pronto :-).

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Kristof raises the same issue that the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and even Sarah Palin have raseid. Crony capitalism is the problem and it needs to be fixed. The problem is that the solution to the problem is hard to grasp. I think fundamental tax reform would be a step in the right direction, but it wouldn't be the only step we need to take to get rid of crony capitalism.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you Right On Time, You're right about it being fun. It was at the time, the most exciting car I had ever driven.The only brakes I had seen that worked that well were on racing cars. The big BMW was rare then. The 7 series are common now, and I usually see a couple every day.

    • Right On Time profile image

      Right On Time 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Very informative. Must have been fun to test an E23 then in Australia - I'm sure it would've gotten plenty of stares, cos no one had Bimmers in Australia then.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I'm linking to the hub on the 850i GmaGoldie.

      The reasons for not producing the rag top may have been to do with the 6 series producing a sweet one in 2003.

      Still a great buy second-hand by the way.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Where's my favorite - the 850i? My dream car would have been an 850i convertible - which they didn't make - why?

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you world2info, I hope he find it useful and enjoyable.

    • world2info profile image


      8 years ago

      Hello very interesting information on the BMW 7 will forward the details to my son who will find this hub a great help.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you for reading Hello, hello! I can plainly see that you love your son. I hope he knows that!

      I am reviewing all the BMWs.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      An interesting hub but for my son.


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