BMW / 7 Series / 735i sedan
IT'S hardly appropriate to describe a $170,000-plus luxury saloon as "entry level" but that's the least you can pay to sample the delights of BMW's latest 7 Series.
The nearly two-tonne 735i asks a lot of its 3.6-litre engine, but it manages well, what with 200kW and a surprising serve of torque.
In fact, most passengers are hardly likely to notice the 735i buyer has invested a good deal less in automotive indulgence than the bigger-engined 745i.
The car is dynamically outstanding, extremely well equipped apart from the lack of a sunroof, and as comfortable as you'd expect a flagship model to be.
There are two things to get around: the mysteries of iDrive, and the quirky styling.
Model release dates: January 2002 - May 2005
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The E65 BMW 735i's direct predecessor is the E38 735i, which appeared Down Under in October 1998.
The E38 7 Series had, in fact, arrived a few years earlier, with the 3.0-litre V8-powered 730i going on sale in November 1994.
The 735i was offered alongside short and long-wheelbase versions of the 740i and V12 750i, until being replaced by the 735i Highline in January 2001.
The Highline was replaced by the current, E65 735i (tested here) in January 2002.
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