After a Survivor-worthy experience, BMW has succeeded and come through for the most expensive car it makes. BMW 7 Series F01, the official “second time I don’t do it again” car.
Or maybe they still do. Sure, the BMW 7 Series F01 still shows a few reliability sequels from the old E65 and clearly isn’t as comfortable and sporty as the legendary E38, but it solidifies its status and place in the Teutonic limousine trio. And this can be seen in the used car ads, the BMW 7 Series F01 is very popular on sale, much more popular and cheaper than the S Class or A8 and that means two things – massive depreciation but also the fact that it was bought in massive numbers which also leads to depreciation. And it’s easy to see why the BMW 7 Series F01 was the most bought of the trio. The Audi A8 doesn’t really justify it when you have the Audi A6 which looks the same and comes with the same options and costs less, and the S Class has been somewhat forgotten by Mercedes because they’ve turned all their attention to the hatchback and SUV area, and the 7 Series has been pretty much left alone in the tree.
Personally, I like what they did with the 7 Series F01. They applied the recipe from the 3 Series F30 and perfected one engine, the 3 litre diesel. BMW has realized that people either buy the 3 litre diesel or buy the 6.0 V12 petrol straight away, there is no middle ground. And for those who can afford the 6 litre petrol, money and maintenance costs are irrelevant, so they bet everything on the 3 litre diesel. As far as I’m concerned, they should have sold the 7 Series with just those two engines. Sure, you’re more limited than UrFavxBoyfriend’s repertoire but who cares since the people only buy the 3 litre diesel anyway.
BMW 7 Series F01 Engines
- 3.0 l-6 of 255 horsepower – The last naturally aspirated Mohican, this 3 litre petrol has the classic timing issue that BMW never bothered to fix because nobody buys 730i’s anyway.
- 3.0 turbo with 312 and 325 hp – The one until 2012 has the timing chains issues (they sit at the back of the engine and they rattle prematurely) and from 2012 they moved to the next generation, codenamed N55. Probably the most reliable petrol in the BMW 7 Series F01. In fact, definitely the most reliable petrol engine on the BMW 7 Series F01.
- 4.4 V8 of 402 and 444 horsepower – The heavy heritage is not just a cause for lamentation, as the N63 continues its miserable existence under the bonnet of the F01. It already has a lot of inherited issues since the days of the X5, Range Rover, or BMW E65, but now for additional issues, the turbos have been mounted inside the “V” and have even bigger cooling issues.
- 6.0 Twin-Turbo V12 of 536 horsepower – An exotic beast on the BMW 7 Series F01 and at the same time it is also the standard engine on the Rolls Royce Phantom, only there it is enlarged to 6.75 liters. Surprisingly reliable, the only notable issue being the high-pressure fuel pump. Otherwise, as long as you strictly adhere to oil change intervals, you shouldn’t have any worries with this engine.
3.0 of 245, 258, 302, 308, and 375 horsepower – Whether it says 730d, 740d, or 750d on it, it’s actually the same 3.0 diesel in other power forms. As I said previously, BMW played all the cards on this engine so it’s as good as you’d expect. Sure, it has particle filter issues if you use it around town, but overall it’s a reliable engine.
3.0 l-6 turbo + electric 349 horsepower – Coming in 2012 to retire the dubious ActiveHybrid 7 from before, the car is decent but I still don’t get the point of it because a 730d or 740d does the job just as well and economically, has more boot space, is lighter and is easier to service. You’d only have the tax argument, but with a BMW 7 Series F01, you shouldn’t care about tax.
4.4 V8 twin-turbo + 456-horsepower electric – No.
BMW 7 Series F01 General Issues
- The suspension is the stiffest of the Teutonic limousine trio and tends to eat tires, brakes, and suspension components like David Icke bites into the injustices of this country or Gordon Ramsay bites and chews the idiot sandwhiches of Tik Tok cooking world.
- Like any modern BMW, the 7 Series comes from the factory equipped with run-flat tires and exclusive sizes that will be expensive to buy and hard to find. Plus those run-flat tires take away some of the comfort, so many prefer to swap them for regular tires.
- The automatic gearbox tends to succumb to social pressure. Or was it mechanical pressure? Anyway, take good care of the automatic transmission, change the oil and filter every 60,000 km and pray it lasts as long as it does.
- The iDrive system is responsible for technology and has a computing power equivalent to a floor in a corporation. Just like corporations, the system will inevitably break down and make constant issues. In fact, the whole car suffers from many and frequent issues on the electronics side, because there are effectively too many of them.
BMW 7 Series F01 Verdict
The 7 Series wasn’t necessarily the most popular limo but here comes the F01 generation and changes things. They came and went all-in on the 3 litre diesel and it paid off. I’m just waiting for depreciation to hit it as hard as reality hit a college graduate who applies for jobs for the first time, to see how it will do in the used market. Although it seems all the noir citizens seem to have turned to the 5 Series, another very good modern car, it seems the 7 Series has remained more for the business area. It remains to be seen. Keep it close.
What engines do you recommend? For petrol 3.0 turbo after 2012 and for diesel anyway, you have a choice between 3-liter diesel and 3-liter diesel.