BMW 7 Series Saloon 2002-2005

BMW 7 Series Saloon 2002-2005

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • New radical styling
  • Rapid performance
  • Handling is excellent
  • Spacious interior

Cons:

  • iDrive is difficult to use and has caused multiple problems

Overview

BMW introduced the new E66 7 series model after giving it a complete make over. The 7 series now sports a new age style while maintaining the usual 7 series refinement and quality. The new design wasn't as well received as BMW hoped with many people criticizing it. This led to the design being softened in 2005 to appeal to more customers. The 7 series is lavishly equipped and is very comfortable with BMW installing their infamous iDrive into it, although this has caused more than its fair share of problems. The drivers' position is good and leads to accurate and well balanced steering with body roll being well controlled. It comes as the option of either short or long-wheelbase with the long-wheelbase being indicated by a 'Li' badge.

Exterior and Interior

The new 7 series has undergone a complete make over with its radical styling. The new design wasn't well received with many customers criticizing it. Because of this, the design was softened in 2005 to become more appealing. The long-wheelbase is 5 inches longer at 16' 11" than the short wheelbase and is better proportioned with more space for passenger and drivers. New technology has been implemented into the interior of the car. Three-stage electronic dampers are available with a switchable program system, which ties the throttle mapping and gear change speed. Some more options are available including lane departure warning system, a lane change warning system and a Dynamic Drive roll control. The Luxury Seating Package comes with ventilated and heated seats for both the front passenger and driver. The designers of the model have performed a delicate but admirable revamp of the cabin, but the inclusion of BMW's iDrive has caused serious headaches. It is not easy to use and it's illogically layout has proved difficult for most consumers to understand. The other problem is that the majority of equipment in the E66 is controlled by the iDrive, so the stereo, climate control and sat-nav will be hard to use.

Performance and Economy

The E66 us wonderful to drive with its accurate and well balanced steering as well as being able to contain most of its body roll in the corners, without making the ride uncomfortable. The use of the continuous-motion active comfort seat technology helps to prevent fatigue in both the driver and passengers which can prove especially useful when cruise control is engaged. Due to the sheer size of the car it can be unwieldy in tight spaces and could prove hard to park. The addition of parking sensors as standard proves extremely useful especially on the long-wheelbase.

Like to Drive

Servicing of the BMW 7 series is expensive, but should be expected with a car of this quality. There is a one time servicing and maintenance fee of £500 for the first five years, or on 75,000 miles. The service price includes the checking of engine oil, filters, brake pads, wiper blades, air filters, cabin filters, brake fluid, discs and coolant. There have been no seriously catastrophic faults as yet although niggles with the electrics and gearbox sometimes occur. The iDrive has caused the biggest problem with some cars needing to be recalled, but software upgrades have corrected most of the issues with the system.

Faults and Repairs