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2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan Review By John Heilig

2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


MODEL: 2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan
ENGINE: 3.0-liter DOHC diesel I6
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 255 hp @ 4,000 rpm/413 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-3,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 126.4 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 205.5 x 74.9 x 58.3 in.
TIRES: P245/45R19
CARGO: 17.7 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26.1 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 21.1 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,685 lbs.
STICKER: $96,350 ($950 destination, $12,900 options)
COMPLETE 2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan SPECS

BOTTOM LINE: No surprises. The 7 Series is BMW's biggest sedan and by adding the extra inches to make it an "L" (long wheelbase) version only makes it better. The car is excellent, including ride quality, fit and finish, comfort and provides top notch power from its 3.0-liter quiet quiet diesel engine. The BMW 740Ld xDrive is a true all around luxury sedan.          

Over my long career as an automobile journalist I have driven and evaluated many BMW models, including most of BMW's sedans, coupes, convertibles and sport utility vehicles but only occasionally have I taken an opportunity to report on my test of a 7 Series, it’s simply that the lower numbered series comprises the bulk of BMW’s US sales (and my readers interest) so that’s has been where I concentrate my time and efforts.          

However, now and then I take a break from the ordinary and get to share with you my thoughts that might give just a few if you information that will help you in your ultra lux sedan next car research. The tester this week is the 2015 BMW 740Ld X drive sedan. Going through the numbers, the 7 refers to a 7 Series, the 40 refers to a 3.0-liter double overhead cam inline diesel six and the “L” means it’s a long(er) wheelbase version, the X means all-wheel drive.          

Generally speaking, this 3.0 diesel engine, although providing lots of early torque, performed just like a powerful gasoline engine would, except at fill-up time. There was none of the old diesel knock or smoky exhaust that was prevalent from older diesel engines, in fact the engine was so smooth and quiet it was difficult to tell if it was on. Fuel economy was pretty good at 26.1 mpg for our test over primarily local roads (we couldn’t figure out an “adventure” ride that week), with its performance, very good.          

The long wheelbase was the big factor. Adding about five inches to the wheelbase and overall length turned a nice car into a very nice car. You can really notice the difference in interior space. Rear seat legroom, for example, is excellent, and could qualify the 740L as a limousine or a comfortable hauler for a 6'10” son-in-law.          

With the long wheelbase comes excellent ride quality, although I have suspicions that the “base” 740 would also have excellent ride quality. Add to the base is a curb weight of 4,685 lbs. and you have all the ingredients of an ultra-fine ride.          

This 2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan has two drive modes, “Comfort” and “Sports” coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission. With the car in Comfort mode you get to see nice white-on black instruments plus a heads-up display. In Sport mode, though, the instruments change with a digital speedometer showing up on the left (where the tachometer was in Comfort mode), and a red-backed tachometer on the right with the gear indicator in the center. There’s no forgetting which mode you’re in, but with the only difference between the modes in the transmission shift points, I didn’t notice a lot of difference between the two in my normal driving.          

The 740Ld is a very comfortable car to drive. Front seats have good side support if you should choose to stretch the cars legs a bit. There’s a “BMW shifter” that has either reverse, drive or park, It takes some thought before you shift, which should reduce mis-shifts.          

Being a BMW, there are “M” influences all throughout the car. The doorsills, for example, have M badging. The M steering wheel has cruise and audio controls on it, with paddle shifters behind. For infotainment, there’s a clear screen. The split screen shows audio information on one side and position data on the other. Position data is town, latitude, longitude and altitude of your present location.          

On the console is the iDrive controller for navigating among multimedia, radio, telephone, navigation, office connected drive, vehicle information and settings. It’s best to learn this when you’re parked.          

Rear seat passengers have their own temperature controls as well as heated seats. Rear passengers can also access vanity mirrors that drop down from the roof. The rear seats also have excellent side support, but there is only room for two passengers back there because of a tall center hump.          

While I thought the BMW 740Ld is a beautiful, sweet driving car, I was amazed by what it did not have; almost standard safety features like blind spot warning, cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Many vehicles in much lower price classifications have all these features, and I'm sure they and more willl be included as standard on the 2016 models.          

But of course many drivers can live without these features, and have for years. It’s just that they are conveniences I have come to expect.          

Still, the 2015 BMW 7 Series 740Ld xDrive Sedan(all-wheel drive) is about as nice a car as you can drive. Sure, there’s was significant sticker shock for me, but if you are in the market for a super sedan it’s worth a close up look and serious consideration...and don't forget to bring you son-in-law along for the test. Copyright 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate