BMW 7 Series Saloon 1994-2002

BMW 7 Series Saloon 1994-2002

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016


  • Model gives decent ride and good handling
  • Luxurious and comfortable vehicle


  • Wide range of niggles
  • Failure in the seal of rear tail light
  • Older V8 engine can degrade it


The BMW 7 Series E38 Saloon is a very accomplished vehicle which has been well received by both journalists and the general public. This led to good sales levels and some very happy customers. This was the first car featured with Xenon headlights and was featured in several Hollywood movie's including The Transporter and Tomorrow Never Die. Global success and promotion helped to boost it's sales in 2001, its last year of production. The BWM 7 series is a real pleasure to drive and passengers will benefit from the comfort and quality it provides.

Exterior and Interior

BMW have listened to customer feedback and the iDrive technology is far simpler to use and anybody used to a mobile phone will find it very easy. To improve ease of use the designers puts short cut buttons for commonly used systems like as the stereo and sat-nav. The 7 Series came with multiple adjustable seats with the drivers' seat coming with a three position memory setting for various drivers. The drivers' seat is extremely comfortable for drivers of all sizes thanks to its adjustable seats. The continuous-motion active comfort seat technology was installed in cars from 1998 onwards which helped to prevent fatigue in both the driver and passengers. The BMW 7 Series E38 model had a plenty of head and legroom in the back, and even more in the long wheel base models. The boot space is also very spacious with its 500 L capacity, but is a little bit narrow in shape. The BMW 7 series is equipped with quad zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite-navigation and electrically adjustable leather seats. Some V8 engine models are also available with a sunroof. It also has a "head-up" display that projects the sat-nav instructions and the speed limits onto the windscreen. The 7 series even provides a lane departure warning system.

Performance and Economy

The BMW 7 Series E38 (95-02) Saloon's 3.0 liters diesel engine gives a delightfully quick, quiet and smooth ride as well as being the most economic engine in this range. Other options include the twin turbo 3.0 straight-6, a super fast 4.4-litre V8 engine and the entirely superfluous 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine. Later the 7 series also added an 8 speed auto gear box into the V12 engines which helped it to run smoothly in all conditions.

Like to Drive

The BMW 7 Series E38 was ranked 15TH in several Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Reliability might be a concern for the users though as are the repair costs. However, it performs well offering perfect handling around corners, well balanced steering while still being a comfortable and enjoyable car to drive. The 7 series E38 is much more luxurious and capable than its predecessor with its headlight washers, Xenon lights, 14 speaker sound system, CD changer, sat-nav, new style steering wheel, rain sensing wipers and climate control.

Faults and Repairs

There have been a few problems over the years with the 7 series, the majority of which are with the electrics. The V8 engines are also prone to premature bore wear on some vehicles. The E38 can also suffer problems with the water pump due to plastic impellors in the pump. There are also reports of the seals on the rear tail lights corroding and letting in water into the bulb. The 7 series can be expensive to maintain especially if taken to a BMW workshop where the hourly labour charge will be high.