One of our long-time readers and a friend, Jerry, has just emailed me his personal review on the new 2009 BMW 7 Series. I decided to go ahead and post his review, so I can give you a more personal, unbiased angle on the new 7. From time to time, we enjoy seeing reviews from our readers and I believe it’s a great way to hear first time experiences with the car, coming not from our editors, but rather a BMW fan.
First some back ground, currently I own a 2006 BMW 760Li with 40,000 miles. My friend has a 2006 760i with 16,000 miles. He also owns an ’06 BMW 645i and a 2007 Range Rover, so as a result of this, the mileage on his 7er is very low.
Today, BMW North Scottsdale hosted an introduction drive for the two of us. The a 750 Li was fully equipped with every bell and whistle imaginable. The exterior color was Milano Beige with Oyster Nappa leather interior.
Our first impressions: we both like the belt line having been moved up closer to the widows. The side windows appear to be somewhat smaller then the ones on my current 760. My first impression when walking up to the car was that it had taken some styling cues from the new baby Rolls.
I like the slab side look. The “butt” has been de-emphasize,d but that was never a determent in my judgment.
After the test drive, my friend and I did some comparison to our present bimmers. We noted that the doors seem to close a big quieter, if you chose not to use the soft close.
Of course the first thing you notice is that the shifter has returned to the center consul. We both liked that as well as the ability to adjust the ride quality from a dial next to the shift knob.
As far as the ride, our first impression we had was that the ride seemed a bit quieter when compared to our 7er, but after returning to our cars for the drive home, in the end, we both felt the ride quality was comparable to our 760s.
The twin tubo is VERY responsive and VERY quiet. Not much more to say except that that is a great engine.
Now, let’s focus on the new iDrive, since this has been one of my main complaints of the previous generation 7 Series. The LCD screen in the ’09 models has a very nice size and BMW seems to have heard all of the complainers (of which I was not one of them). But we both wondered why BMW resists adding the feature of a touch screen?
As expected, the controller has been improved substantially. The new iDrive has moved towards a very positive direction, not quite there but not that far away from being perfect.
The interior design has been modified for the better. The position of the iDrivescreen is nicely placed for the driver’s viewing. Outside lateral and rear cameras are a nice addition and I can see them being very useful when backing up such a large car.
This car was equipped with the Active Steering, perfect for those situations when the driver might get to close to the yellow or white lines. Kind of weird at first to feel the steering wheel vibrate, but it does make you pay more attention to your lane discipline.
I really like the Head-Up display and much to my surprise. because I had read the contrary, you can see the red numbers through polarized sun glasses.
The first time 7 Series buyer will fall in love with this fine machine, but we decided to put our purchase decision on hold for now. Other then the new bells and whistles (iDrive, shift , adjustable drive, cameras, heads up), nether of us saw no great advantage to trading off the cars we are currently driving. Maybe if I was driving a 550, I would have a greater desire for the new .