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Car reviews - BMW - 7 Series - 735iL

Our Opinion

We like
Interior space, on-road competence, build quality
Room for improvement
Dated styling, not a lot cheaper than 740iL

3 May 2001

THE base model BMW 735iL's specifications and feature list might suggest it is the 7 Series range-topper.

There's leather trim, CD player, side airbags, self-levelling suspension, alarm, power sunroof, Steptronic automatic transmission, automatic stability and traction control devices, a TV/telephone/on-board computer control centre screen, and an electrically adjustable airbag-equipped steering wheel with control buttons for the phone, cruise control, ventilation system and radio.

The roomy and inviting cabin features large analogue dials in the instrument binnacle that are models of automotive clarity.

The engine is satisfyingly smooth and quiet all the way to the red line and pulls more strongly low down than its autobahn- suited predecessor.

Producing 173kW, up 13kW, the 3.5-litre engine's greatest asset is an abundance of low down torque, 320Nm no less, produced at 3300rpm. This provides for improved fuel economy and lower emissions over the previous 3.0 litre V8.

The Steptronic transmission in normal automatic mode allows for seamless gear-shifting while pushing the lever forwards or backwards to move up or down a gear in a sequential manner allows the driver some manual control.

Ideal for spirited mountain road driving, it turns the lumbering 7 Series into an athletic sportster.

Meanwhile, the rear passengers can luxuriate in the long wheelbase car's exaggerated footwells, complete with individual footrests behind the front seats. The silence - like the plush ride - is golden with thick carpets, thick glazing and thorough sound insulation from road, tyre and engine noise.

The magnificently large 7 Series is an outstanding luxury limousine that happens to be an entertaining driver's car.

- Automotive NetWorks 05/07/1999

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