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View Full Version : Shopping for a 7 series, any advice


dierks321
11-24-2005, 11:33 PM
Many years ago, in my younger days I owned a 2002Tii. It's now time to once again own a BMW. I have been shopping for a 2004 745Li. I'd like to purchase a car with less than 20000 miles. I'm on the west coast any idea on what i should be paying? Is the idrive as horrible as many say? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

dierks321

Malibubimmer
11-25-2005, 07:38 AM
My dealer (Bob Smith of Calabasas) has dozens of what must be 2004 745is, made a little less desirable since the 750s have come out. A lot of them are new. I would go for one of those, with the iDrive computer updates, over a used model.

Dierks321 - I almost bought a 2002 Tii - in 1972 (the first year). It was an awesome car.

ssbimmerx5
12-02-2005, 07:36 AM
I really don't think the I-Drive is super hard to use. I've personally not owned a bmw with that system, but a lot of my friends have the newer 5 and 7 series. I have used it and its fine, pretty user friendly if u ask me. If people just take the time to learn how to use it, there wouldn't be problems. I cannot deny though that the software sometimes has glitches and that updates are necessary, but using the system itself isn't that bad.

ssbimmerx5
12-02-2005, 07:37 AM
good luck purchasing your 7er by the way :)

gbelton
12-02-2005, 08:07 AM
dierks321,

I started with the first model line 745Li 2001 and I've seen it all. I have had the pleasure (Good or Bad) to owned every model year except the 745Li 2004. The 2003 model was so well put together (All the bugs worked out) I did not need to purchase the 2004 but I will say at the end of the day you cannot go wrong with the Flagship. As you can see I still own a 7, the new one but it is truly a piece of fine machinery.

Now to your questions...

Is the iDrive hard? A little if you are a person who finds computers unfriendly. But just like the gentleman said earlier, take some time to use to the new interface. It should take you know more than 1 hour to master the core functionality. Caution!! You must have you manual at hand for reference or read the book. It's an easy read, trust me my 10 year old did fine with it.

Here is another advantage I had that I believe BMW dealerships do not do anymore and they should! I received a VHS/DVD on the new iDrive system and it took me through every function, basic, core and enhance operation you might want to use. Ask your dealer for one before you buy it or even test drive it. You will thank me for it.

What should you pay for a <20K 745Li 2004, hmmm. Based on the market and the need to sell cars on the lot, the dealer should be happy to sell you the car but will not give it away without some work. I believe 50K based on options the car has but don't hold me to that number...

Give me a feel for what options you are looking for and I can give you an accurate number.

Hope this helps.

GMAN

dierks321
12-02-2005, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the input! I went down to the Bay area this past week and visited five dealerships with 745li's. All cars were <20000mi and pretty much loaded. If they didn't have the sport package they had luxury seating, all had conveniece packages, comfort packages, premium sound, parking control, and most had sunshades. Two cars were CPO and the rest not.

Prices ranged from $56K to $68K. The $56K car was scheduled to go back to the auction the next day so I didn't bother to drive it. The fact that the car was bought at auction then held for a few months then going back told me that the cars may not be moving very quckly. It was a very clean car as were the rest. Based upon the fact that one car was actually selling for 56K at a dealership and that edmonds and kbb put the private party price in the same price range I offered $56500 to one dealer who had a CPO car (thinking that would be a good starting point) and was immediately blown off. Go away and don't come back!! The second dealer was much nicer but with basically the same message. Obviously I must not be in the ball park.

At this point I don't think I'll be driving a bimmer. I could opt for a different model but I'm old and I want the luxury.

Dierks321

bimmer7
12-02-2005, 08:18 PM
Thanks for the input! I went down to the Bay area this past week and visited five dealerships with 745li's. All cars were <20000mi and pretty much loaded. If they didn't have the sport package they had luxury seating, all had conveniece packages, comfort packages, premium sound, parking control, and most had sunshades. Two cars were CPO and the rest not.

Prices ranged from $56K to $68K. The $56K car was scheduled to go back to the auction the next day so I didn't bother to drive it. The fact that the car was bought at auction then held for a few months then going back told me that the cars may not be moving very quckly. It was a very clean car as were the rest. Based upon the fact that one car was actually selling for 56K at a dealership and that edmonds and kbb put the private party price in the same price range I offered $56500 to one dealer who had a CPO car (thinking that would be a good starting point) and was immediately blown off. Go away and don't come back!! The second dealer was much nicer but with basically the same message. Obviously I must not be in the ball park.

At this point I don't think I'll be driving a bimmer. I could opt for a different model but I'm old and I want the luxury.

Dierks321

Maybe you should go for an '02 - '03 745 which might be more well-fitted to your budget and also give you the amount of luxury you opt for.
There are quite a few 745's that are pre-certified at the dealerships.
This means a 6 years/100K Bumper to Bumper and No scheduled maintenance (in Canada the latter is the case but not sure about the US)
Anyways those 2 year models should be good buys..... and yes there might be a few I-drive glitches with the earlier 02' 745's but hey they are covered under warranty so that shouldn't be a problem.
My uncle, my cousin and my aunt all drive '02 745's and my aunt and uncle picked there's up in early 2002, and have had no problems at all. On the other hand my cousin jus picked his up last month....no problems yet.

So maybe you ought to explore your options a bit more if you really want a 745 :thumbup:

And if thats not feasible then go for the E38's 99-01 (740's or 750's) they are nice cars as well :)

kd2789mo
12-02-2005, 08:24 PM
Dierks,
A thought for you to consider, which may, or may not be a possibility for you, but an idea nonetheless.
The Bay Area is regarded as one of, it not the highest COL area's of the states. A short flight, or duel-drive to another location may save you several k's.

As example, here in the Midwest, an 04 745li with 20k miles, starts as a dealer asking price around 50-60K. Depending on the dealers inventory, I've heard of the car being purchased for as low as 52K.

You may want to use some online searches in MT, SD, ND, WY, IA, or even KS and MO.
The high-powered rear-drive is not regarded as an outstanding winter car, placing them in more of a buyer's market in the Northwestern states this time of year.

Another thought, is the model year 03. Virtually the same as the 04, and the 7 series is usually a low-mileage easy car to find. Finding an 03 745li with 20-25k miles would not be unusual.

Probably want to stay away from CA, NV, UT and AZ. They're beautiful states, but traditionally pricey when it comes to automobiles.

Just an idea...good luck to you!

dierks321
12-02-2005, 08:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

If I were to look for a car in the Midwest would I need to worry about moisture damage (salted roads and the like) or is an 04 not going to have that kind of problem. How would you suggest that a deal be done. I assume that I would need to arrive at a price before seeing the car? I would also need be able to get out of the deal if I got there and discovered some unknown. Any suggestions?

In the course of my searching I have noticed that the cars east of me seem to be going for less.

If I can't find an 04 and 03 is a real possibility. I was stuck on the 04 because I thought it would have all the kinks worked out. Sounds like the 03 is just fine also.

dierks321

gbelton
12-02-2005, 08:45 PM
Thanks for the input! I went down to the Bay area this past week and visited five dealerships with 745li's. All cars were <20000mi and pretty much loaded. If they didn't have the sport package they had luxury seating, all had conveniece packages, comfort packages, premium sound, parking control, and most had sunshades. Two cars were CPO and the rest not.

Prices ranged from $56K to $68K. The $56K car was scheduled to go back to the auction the next day so I didn't bother to drive it. The fact that the car was bought at auction then held for a few months then going back told me that the cars may not be moving very quckly. It was a very clean car as were the rest. Based upon the fact that one car was actually selling for 56K at a dealership and that edmonds and kbb put the private party price in the same price range I offered $56500 to one dealer who had a CPO car (thinking that would be a good starting point) and was immediately blown off. Go away and don't come back!! The second dealer was much nicer but with basically the same message. Obviously I must not be in the ball park.

At this point I don't think I'll be driving a bimmer. I could opt for a different model but I'm old and I want the luxury.

Dierks321
Tell me exactly what you want and the most you can pay. (Color, etc..)

PM me if you do not want to share all your details live. In either case, if you must have luxury then it might as well be Bimmer. Oh, is the 7er your only choice? Just curious.

GMAN

djw521
12-02-2005, 09:21 PM
Why not give the Oregon dealer that is a sponsor a try. It is Delon I think. Bee has recommended highly in the past.

dierks321
12-02-2005, 10:05 PM
2004 <20K miles, Sterling Gray or ? exterior/interior 'What ever'. 1 owner. At this time, not from the areas effected by the hurricanes. If the car is not from a dealership, the owner is the first owner.

Everything that follows is nogotiable, if I found a great car with a good history I would be open.

Luxury seating or sport package

Comfort seats
Park Distance Control
Premium Sound
Premium Alloys (comes with a sport pkg, as I unstand it)

Electric Sunshades (Nice if its present but not necessary)

CPO Car if from a dealer. If from a private party I would hope to have the owner extend the warranty prior to the sale.

Price: $57K - $59K.

If I'm crazy let me know.

Dierks321