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Used BMW 7 Series review: 2009-2010

With its carefully crafted lines and timeless proportions the new 7- Series returned to the elegance of old.

The BMW 7-Series launched in 2009 was a return to the finer things in life after previous models had diverted down a side road on which performance was a premium.

The F01 and its long wheelbase F02 sibling echoed the old ethos of elegance and driving enjoyment that marked the old BMW flagship out from its great rival from Stuttgart.

With its carefully crafted lines and timeless proportions the new 7- Series returned to the elegance of old; it was certainly less confronting then the earlier model. Inside, it was a mix of classic style and modern practicality. It was quiet, comfortable, refined, and the driver was surrounded with all the mod cons, including BMW's iDrive system, Bluetooth, voice commands, and useful systems like active cruise control and a heads- up speedo display as well as all the expected features.

There was plenty of choice of engines, from the 3.0-litre turbo- diesel, through the twin-turbo six, the twin-turbo V8 and the mighty V12. All were turbocharged, BMW's thinking being that a turbocharged engine could be economical and environmentally friendly when tootling along, but would still have plenty of punch when you planted your right foot. The six-speed auto that is mated to all but the V12, which has an eight-speed auto, has tough shifting and adaptive shift programming.

Less visible were the stiffer, but lighter body and the lightweight aluminium suspension. More obvious were features like night vision, lane-change warnings, heads-up display, improved run-flat tyres and variable light distribution.

IN THE SHOP

The F01/F02 models are still relatively new out of the box, most will have done less than 50,000 km, and so failures and issues are few and far between. While solidly built BMWs are not immune to problems, particularly as they age, but it's fair to think the 7-Series will be relatively trouble-free for another 100,000 km or so. Servicing is important to keep on top of any problems that do crop up, so check for a service record for proof of regular oil changes.

IN A CRASH

There is no ANCAP rating for the 7-Series, but it's fair to assume it would come in at the top end of the five-star scale if it were tested. With dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS brakes and electronic stability control it has the best of everything in the safety world.

UNDER THE PUMP

The big Beemer is a heavyweight of the auto world and that has to be reflected in the fuel consumption. The turbo-diesel is the one to go for if fuel economy is your priority. It returns a claimed average of 6.8 L/100 km, impressive for such a big car. The petrol options aren't as thrifty when it comes to fuel economy, the twin-turbo six averages 9.9 L/100 km, the twin-turbo V8 averages 11.4 L/100 km, and the V12 averaged 13.0 L/100 km. All petrol engines require premium unleaded.

AT A GLANCE

Price new: $198,800 to $386,000
Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cylinder turbo-diesel, 180 kW/540m Nm; 3.0-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder, 240 kW/450 Nm; 4.4-litre turbocharged V8, 300 kW/600 Nm; 6.0-litre turbocharged V12, 400 kW/750 Nm.
Transmission: 6-speed auto, 8-speed auto (V12); RWD
Economy: 6.8 L/100 km (730d), 9.9 L/100 km (740i), 11.4 L/100 km (750i), 13.0 L/100 km (760i)
Body: 4-door sedan (LWB), 4-door sedan (SWB)
Variants: 730d, 740i, 740Li, 750i, 750Li, 760Li
Safety: N/A.

VERDICT

A return to greatness after the 7-Series had lost its way.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2010 $26,400 $68,310
2009 $23,700 $62,260

View all BMW 7 Series pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$26,990
Based on 5 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$26,990
Highest Price
$28,950

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
750li 4.8L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $39,400 – 50,380 2009 BMW 7 Series 2009 750li Pricing and Specs
740i Executive 4.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $31,200 – 40,920 2009 BMW 7 Series 2009 740i Executive Pricing and Specs
750i Sport 4.8L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $28,900 – 38,280 2009 BMW 7 Series 2009 750i Sport Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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Lowest price, based on 4 car listings in the last 6 months

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