2016 BMW 740i

Jul 11 19:36 2016 carol leung Print This Article

if you have a car

After 120,Guest Posting000 miles divided among a 2012 BMW 328i sedan(with opel navi), a 2014 BMW 328d xDrive wagon, and a 2015 BMW M3, we’re ready for a respite from the sixth-generation 3-series. Each one of those recent long-termers left us cold: too disconnected, too expensive, or too flinty, but most of all, just short of totally satisfying. BMW’s quest to adapt the 3-series for mass-market appeal has watered down our decades-long love for the car that once combined control, practicality, and fun like no other.


Instead of hunting for the ghosts of BMW past with yet another long-term 3-series, we’ve redirected our focus toward a 2016 BMW 740i. We’ll spend 40,000 miles determining if BMW’s apparent new priorities—luxury and comfort before sport—have been perfected in the company’s flagship.


The 7-series is less about driving and more about riding, and these days, that means a car packed with electronics. The sixth-generation 7-series takes the first baby steps toward automated highway driving with optional adaptive cruise control and brief stints of self-steering lane keeping. We assume that BMW(with bmw gps navigation) designers also are fans of Minority Report, because the latest iteration of iDrive allows passengers to wave a hand or twirl a finger in front of the 10.2-inch touchscreen to accept an incoming call or to adjust the audio volume. Yes, the gesture controls are every bit as gimmicky and imperfect as they sound. Looking beyond the silicon and semiconductors, this new G11 chassis blends high-strength steel, cast and extruded aluminum, carbon fiber, and magnesium for a lighter unitized structure.


We’ve been conditioned to think of the 7-series as a six-figure car, so we impressed ourselves when we ordered our long-termer with a $96,095 price tag. It helped to start with the least expensive 7-series, an $82,295 rear-wheel-drive, six-cylinder 740i, because from there we positively splurged on indulgences. The $3900 Luxury Seating package with Cold Weather brings heated, ventilated, and massaging power rear seats; a heated steering wheel; heated front and rear armrests; and a 7.0-inch Samsung tablet in the rear console that allows control of just about everything in the car except for the steering wheel and pedals. The $4100 Executive package adds power side-window shades, ventilated 20-way adjustable front seats, a head-up display, and ceramic trim for the shifter, the iDrive controller, and the radio. What about install an Android Car stereo?

We went for the $1900 Driver Assistance Plus package, which includes front-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, speed-limit display, automatic parking, and blind-spot detection but is most notable for the included surround-view camera system with a 3D view. BMW uses four cameras to stitch together an image that looks as if your personal cinematographer is filming the car from 10 feet away, and you can pinch the air and wiggle your wrist to rotate around the car for different angles. The jury is still out on whether this is more useful than the bird’s-eye or traditional vantages (these are also selectable views in the 7-series), but this bit of tech feels less like a gimmick and more like something truly innovative. Notably, we skipped the Driver Assistance Plus II package that adds adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping for $1700. We don’t expect to miss either feature much. Our drivers typically prefer traditional cruise control, and, based on experience, we know that the BMW’s steering assistant is merely a lane-keeping aid rather than a stand-in for two human hands.


Sundries include $2600 for 20-inch wheels and $900 for a larger panoramic glass roof with LED accent lighting. We also spent $250 for what we’ve taken to calling a “key foblet.” It features a tiny touchscreen that allows you to precondition the cabin and to check the status of the door locks or the windows. It was probably money we shouldn’t have spent. There’s a phone app that accomplishes the same thing, and the key is merely one more electronic gizmo to keep charged. Finally, we dropped $150 for a space-saver spare, which adds some additional security against being stranded, over and above the standard run-flat tires, but comes with the penalty of raising the trunk floor by about six inches. If installing a  vauxhall sat nav in your car, that would be great!

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carol leung
carol leung

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