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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
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  #1  
Old 05-26-2013, 05:38 AM
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BMW...what were you thinking? (E66 vs. F01)

I bought a CPO 2006 BMW 750LI some time ago. It is the best car I've ever owned. I just flipped 100,000 miles and started to give some thought about which BMW I should get to replace it, a 750LI or 740LI. I've spent so much time enjoying the car I have, I never spent much time really looking. Naturally, I saw the F01 on the road, but it never seemed like a huge departure from what I had.

So I wind up at my local BMW dealership and start to look at new and CPO BMW 740's and 750's. I was shocked. What a huge disappointment. These vehicles have been so down-sized it blows my mind. To me, it feels like BMW reduced the size of the car, provided cheaper materials, and increased the price! I sat in one 2012 BMW 740LI where the fan control buttons on the A/C had already had their writing worn off from use. I hit my A/C buttons on my 2006 all the time and they look the same as the day I bought the car. The seats felt noticeably smaller in the new 740's and 750's when compared to the E66. The trunk, my goodness, the trunk, are you kidding me? The trunk in my 2006 750LI feels like an apartment it is so big. I felt like I was looking in to a Honda Accord when looking at the new BMW's.

I then drove some of the vehicles. Are you kidding me? More road noise and wind noise. My 2006 feels like it was etched out of granite it is so solid. These new cars did not feel like that at all. Also, my 2006 is incredibly quiet on the interstate. These new vehicles had pronounced wind noise. The road noise wasn't horrible in comparison, but I still felt it was worse on the new vehicles which certainly should not be the case. The handling and throttle response was OK. For me, I really need to drive a car a while to see how I feel about a vehicle in these areas. I can't really say it was bad, just different.

Overall, I was hugely disappointed and it left me wondering two things:

1) How could BMW made such a monumental mistake? After looking at some of the 5-series it appeared to me they made decent strides with those vehicles. It sort of feels like they tried to make the 5-series more like the 7-series and the 7-series more like the 5-series. Remember how the 5-series used to compare to the 7-series during 2006 - 2008? It was night and day. They were both good cars, but you knew you were getting something special when you stepped in to a 7-series back then. It certainly doesn't feel that way now. They are now much closer in my mind.

2) I'm not sure if anyone else feels the way I do, but if there are others of you out there I would be very curious to hear what recent vehicle you might be purchasing to replace your E66? For me, I'm almost certain it can't be one of these BMW's. It would just leave me frustrated all the time knowing that I've bought a new car, but felt as though I got something less than what I had before. Two cars come to mind for me at the moment, the Lexus LS and the Hyundai Equus. I can't believe I'm lumping a Hyundai in to this category, but given how much BMW has backslid and Hyundai has improved I must admit I would consider it. The Equus Ultimate seems sort of nice to me, but I do have concerns around long-term quality.

Anyway, enough of my rant. Thanks for listening. This has been therapeutic for me just to write it down.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2013, 07:29 AM
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BMW...what were you thinking? (E66 vs. F01)

I feel very much the same way - I hope the 14/15 7 steps it up as of right now I'm not really impressed. The new 5 is much nicer than the new 7 in many respects.


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Old 05-26-2013, 07:49 AM
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BMW...what were you thinking? (E66 vs. F01)

I test drove a 5 and it was way better then the 7. Im not impressed at all! It seems like everything has switched this time around. It used to be the old 7 was better then the 5 and Audi A8. But now the A8 and new 5 are better then the new 7. I yawned when they revealed the new 7. Its something about the 2002-2008 7's that stands out against any BMW ever made


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Old 05-26-2013, 11:26 AM
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I also went and drove one and as much as I like the interior and exteriors appearance, I am a bit disapointed in how small and cheap the interior felt. Also kinda sucks how it looks like a larger 5er. Hate Chris Bangle all you want but at least you could tell all his cars apart.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:30 PM
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MOPAULY MOPAULY is offline
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BMW...what were you thinking? (E66 vs. F01)

The 7 looks like it was an after thought to the 5...I don't get BMW's thinking on it.


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Old 05-27-2013, 08:27 PM
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I feel you as well. I keep hearing same thing over and over and over again on the F1 forum. Im in the same shoes but I have not test drove the car yet. I love the F1 but all those things you mentioned are still holding me up. I have about 70K and car is running great (knocking at the wood).
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2013, 03:34 PM
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I am driving a 2013 535 Loaner (as my 7 is having the tranny replaced, under warranty, had the dreaded slip-slam issue talked about here on other threads) I will agree with some of the members that it seems that BMW did a reversal. The 535 feels great and road noise is no where to be found. I have friends whom have told me to go and test drive the 550i. I love my 2006 750i and my baby is loaded with every option but where is the suitable replacement?? I have driven audi...not impressed and MB, just can't see myself in it. But I did see a Coral Blue 550i w/tan leather interior on Autotrader. It was very nice looking. I am really torn as I do love my 7 but within the next year or two there will be a decision made.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:53 PM
Jsedita74 Jsedita74 is offline
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They gave me a 5 as a loaner when I brought my car in for the mechatronic sleeve and my review is as follows : first of all the interior too me was "blah". Nothing at all stood out to me. The plastics the pleather all seemed cheap to me for a BMW . I don't care if it was a base car w no amenities or not . The only thing that impressed me on the interior was the nav/infotainment system which in the month I had the car I still hadn't fully figured out. But at least it seemed up to date and almost on pat with some of the Japanese counterparts in this area. The styling seems pretty boring to me overall. The white font on the dash is an exact copy of my uncles Audi A8L .. No originality here at all.
Moving on to mechanics all I can say is WOW WHAT A DISGRACE. First of all what's w the automatic start/shutdown of the engine at stop lights? Are they kidding me? The transition is horrendous . You feel it every single time. And it feels terrible. After the first couple of days of driving it the car felt so underpowered that I actually pulled over and lifted the hood to examine the power plant . I was shocked to see a little 4c under there . Are they serious? Really? Ppl WANT this? Where? Don't get me wrong the car was great on gas but if I wanted a car that was great on gas I'd buy a fiat Abarth or something (which I've driven mind you and it feels sensational just like an M3). The brakes felt up to BMW standards and the steering was ok.
The best part though was when I opened the glove compartment and pulled out the window sticker. The price you ask??? A WHOPPING $62000 !!!!! BMW in my opinion has OFFICIALLY LOST THERE MINDS ... Are they nuts? They better go back to making luxury sports sedans and coupes and stop trying to water down the brand w the 300 different models they offer these days. It's affecting build quality and overall design if you ask me.
Feels good to let that out. Think ill go twist one up now ... Lolol
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2014, 08:21 AM
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I can't believe it has been over a year since I made this post, but I thought I might follow-up and offer some closure and likely my departure from the forum (at least temporarily).

As the title reflects I've been increasingly surprised at what BMW did with the 7-series. I found the E66 to be a pretty awesome vehicle, but the next generation felt smaller, degraded fit and finish, and the overall driving experience wasn't what I had come to expect from BMW. All this with an increased sticker price? Not to mention, personally, I had become very frustrated with BMW dealerships. Sometimes they were fine, but I also had some really poor experiences.

So what car should I be looking at? It took me a while since I felt everything fell short of my 2006 750LI. I found the Mercedes transmission that would cause the vehicle to "brake" just by letting off the gas to be incredibly aggravating. The Audi A8L was more expensive than its BMW counter-part and I didn't feel like I was getting a whole lot more. I gave the Hyundai Equus a look, but I felt the suspension sort of fell short. I looked at the Cadillac XTS, but found the handling way too soft and was surprised by how buggy the dash controls were.

So what did I end up with? I think some might find this surprising, and if anyone would have ever told me I would be driving a Lincoln, I would have told them they were crazy, but that is what I ended up with, a 2013 CPO Lincoln MKS Ecoboost (twin-turbo, 8900 miles, $39,000).

With each passing day now I'm becoming more and more surprised how much I love this vehicle. First and foremost, the torque on this car is ridiculous. The twin turbos spin up immediately at any given speed. Just a touch of gas and it takes off (0 60 in 5.3 seconds). This has been lacking from so many of the 7-series I've driven. You press the gas and it seemingly waits to respond.

Secondly, I find the handling excellent on the MKS Ecoboost. Lincoln uses a damping controlled system to immediately adjust the suspension as you drive (similar to magnetic ride control). I find the comfort mode is too floaty for any driving. Normal mode feels sporty while still retaining some comfort. And sport mode feels much like my 7-series BMW. It corners very flat, but admittedly has more body roll than the 7 did. The E66 7 was just an exceptionally well handling vehicle, but this MKS is not far behind. The steering is light and responsive both for city driving and highway driving. My E66 7 did a great job on the highway, but the city driving wasn't as nice. The MKS feels sort of like a controlled cloud in any environment.

Third, the MKS is dripping with technology. It has radar-guide cruise control, a lane departure system that keeps the vehicle in the lane when enabled, the ability to parallel park on its own (this actually works and does so efficiently), bluetooth A2DP protocol for music, an excellent stereo system, ambient lighting that can have the color changed to your liking, a WIFI hot spot in the vehicle, etc..

What do I miss? The E66 7 was a true long wheelbase vehicle. The MKS is not. I love long wheelbase vehicles for two reasons: 1) the longer wheelbase greatly smooths out the ride. I actually would not purchase a short wheelbase 7 because I felt the handling felt somewhat nervous in comparison to the long wheelbase version. 2) the longer wheelbase allowed for an incredible rear seat experience. The rear seat legroom in an LI is exceptional. This was something I had to give up by moving to the MKS. My kids even complain that they are cramped (spoiled) in the MKS.

One surprising benefit of the MKS having a shorter wheelbase is the size of the trunk. This truly appears to be an optical illusion because I would have never dreamed this was the case, but the MKS is slightly bigger than the 7-series. You certainly don't feel it in the interior. So where is all this space? It is actually in the trunk. On the MKS it is insanely big. I commute a fairly long distance to work and pile quite a few things (mostly tennis equipment, tennis ball machine, a case of tennis balls, bag of racquets, etc.) in the trunk so I've actually found this refreshing. One huge dink on Lincoln regarding the trunk is that it isn't powered. No luxury car nowadays should come without a powered trunk. This has taken some getting used to since my E66 had a great powered trunk and I loved it.

Also, wind noise is more pronounced on the MKS when compared to the E66 7. Something interesting is I feel the 2013 750LI is actually worse in regards to wind noise than the E66. The 2013 750LI has about the same wind noise as the MKS. Engine noise is higher on the MKS as well, but that tout that as a good thing. Tire noise is better on the MKS than either 7-series. I think the lower profile tires on the 7-series point to why this is. Overall the MKS is still a quiet car and very close to the new 7-series, but the E66 was like driving a coffin it was so quiet.

What else do I miss? There isn't really any getting around this, but BMW is a premium label and carries more elegance and distinction than Lincoln does. No one, and I mean no one, is seemingly buying the MKS. For me it was only dumb luck that I stumbled on it because it would have never made my list of vehicles to consider. I just happened to rent one in Dayton, OH because it was all they had. Throughout the trip I was left scratching my head to try and understand how this could be a Lincoln. I'm still surprised I ended up buying one.

Ultimately, I don't mean for this post to be a full on "go buy a Lincoln" post. Personally, I just found it interesting that if you were going to make the jump from an E66 to something else, this is what I ended up with, and since it surprised me so much I thought others might be interested. It didn't come up on my wish list and it is likely not on yours, but I'm finding it a blast to drive.

I would be interested in hearing from others if they have also chosen different vehicles (BMW or otherwise) to move to after their E66. Also, in case you are curious about seeing the Twin-turbo MKS a little more there is a good video on youtube around it. The link is below. It will give you an idea of the torque and the handling as well as some of the embedded technology.

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  #10  
Old 06-05-2014, 08:55 AM
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I had a 745 and then moved to the 750, I also feel the newer body is less than impressive and with all the issues Its made me hold off. I was looking into an s550 amg but ive been holding off.
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  #11  
Old 06-05-2014, 09:20 AM
Jerry 745Li Jerry 745Li is offline
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Take it from a guy who has a 2003 and a 2012; the 2003 is a better built car. My 2012 has the horse power and technology, but it simply does not ride as nice as the E66. The F01/02 feels cheaper. My 03 is quieter inside and doesn't even have the double paned glass that the 12 has. The new Mercedes S is hands down the winner of the big 3 currently, and a 2014 Audi A8 would be the CPO car to get in a couple of years. Just look at the performance figures on the A8, 0--60 in 3.9. Faster than an M3, right there with an M5. My mistake was not spending enough time behind the wheel before purchasing the car. Make sure you don't let a salesman dictate your test drive route. Right now I'd have to vote thumbs down to the F01/F02. However, it's hard to ignore a depreciation of 50% after a couple of years on many 7s. So getting into one at a good price is possible. You can get 2012 740's with low mileage in the low 40s now and that value may be enough for some to overlook the shortcomings of the vehicle.

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Old 06-05-2014, 12:50 PM
ssdriver27 ssdriver27 is offline
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The interior is really nice in that Lincoln but I cant stand the look of the exterior. the front is hideous imo. nice car no doubt though. avge mpg read 2 mpg higher then in my 7. these days 5.3 0-60 isn't all that fast. regardless its a nice new car.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ssdriver27 View Post
The interior is really nice in that Lincoln but I cant stand the look of the exterior. the front is hideous imo. nice car no doubt though. avge mpg read 2 mpg higher then in my 7. these days 5.3 0-60 isn't all that fast. regardless its a nice new car.
I couldn't agree more. Pictures of the MKS are awful and I always thought it was probably the ugliest car on the road. However, and yes I know how weird this sounds, it is one of the very few cars I've seen that looks different in person versus pictures of it. My Father and Uncle are car guys and they went through the same experience. We all saw pictures of it online and said that was the ugliest car there ever was. Then when we saw it up close it sort of changes your mind. It appears bigger and more substantial up close. I don't really understand it either, but now I actually like the looks of it.

The true MPG difference is almost insignificant comparing the E66 to the MKS Ecoboost. The title of Ecoboost was a horrible name for a car that has twin-turbos. The truth is the Ecoboost very of the MKS gets worse gas mileage than the non-Ecoboost, which is a 3.7 liter without the twin-turbos. Ultimately, I got 20 mpg in my E66 over the same commute versus 22.5 mpg in the MKS Ecoboost Twin-turbo.

Also, you are right about the 5.3 secs 0 - 60 being more commonplace nowadays. Don't forget the E66 has a 0-60 of 5.6. But the difference between the two is night and day and I can't emphasize this enough. The responsiveness between these two vehicles is so very different. I can remember once making a turn in my E66 and as a car came in to my lane I slammed on the gas. The car seemingly did nothing. The engine revved up and it seemingly took forever for the transmission to figure out what to do. By the time it truly launched it do so sluggishly and any need to really move had passed. I guess you could call it torque or responsiveness, but this is where the MKS Twin-turbo truly shines. The slightest pressure on the gas and this car is gone. You can do it at 0, 20, 40, or 60 mph. It is probably the closest experience I've seen in a gas-powered car to the Tesla Model S. The Model S has serious torque and responsiveness as well (no transmission).

Jerry mentioned the Audi A8 does 0 - 60 in 3.9. That is truly astonishing and I wasn't aware. I need to go test drive that car some time to see what that is like.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:15 PM
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Remember what I was saying earlier about the hesitation that exists in so many of these high-end luxury cars nowadays? Well, the comment regarding the Audi A8L having a 0 - 60 time of 3.9 peaked my interest, but check out the third paragraph of the article below. The "lazy throttle" and "lethargy" that is mentioned is EXACTLY what I'm referring to. In my mind this is completely unacceptable for a $100,000+ vehicle and oddly enough Lincoln got it right in their MKS Twin-turbo.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...0t-test-review
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:23 PM
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First_745Li First_745Li is offline
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Originally Posted by JPW1 View Post
Remember what I was saying earlier about the hesitation that exists in so many of these high-end luxury cars nowadays? Well, the comment regarding the Audi A8L having a 0 - 60 time of 3.9 peaked my interest, but check out the third paragraph of the article below. The "lazy throttle" and "lethargy" that is mentioned is EXACTLY what I'm referring to. In my mind this is completely unacceptable for a $100,000+ vehicle and oddly enough Lincoln got it right in their MKS Twin-turbo.



http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...0t-test-review

As a current owner of an '07 A8 and current AudiWorld forum member.. I have read many threads that states The "lazy throttle" was resolved with a software update. I'm looking forward to getting into a 2010+ Audi A8.


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Old 06-06-2014, 03:07 PM
mws mws is offline
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It's interesting that you all seem to love E65-66s, but feel compelled to move to something else, maybe even used, and not just get a creampuff of a lower miles E65-66. That is what I plan to do when my now 158k mile 760 needs replacement. And yes, I'd buy another 760Li. I love it, so does my wife. I can take turns in it on windy roads I used to take at the same speed with my souped-up 1992 300zx turbo.

And for a replacement for that 300zx I plan to buy an E63 M6 sometime within a year or so. Keep the 7 and have a coupe as well. These two cars coming from what I believe is the last of the great dynasty of the long running "BMW-did-it-right" reign.

Agree with laggy throttle stab on Audis. Can't get past that. Also, the past Audis I have driven have their engines in front of the front wheels, practically.

Last edited by mws; 06-06-2014 at 03:08 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:47 PM
MBAMF504 MBAMF504 is offline
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It seems to me that a lot of us E65/E66 owners share the same thoughts,veiws and feelings about the F/01 I have always been a 02-08 7 series fan but the 09-014s I don't like them at all I thought I was the only person that felt like this im glad im not alone I feel like BMW watered down the F/01 just like Mercedes did with the 2014 S class sometimes its hard to duplicate perfection the features and style on the E65/E66 are unmatched the F/01 isn't and never was a consideration for me i'll just stick with a very clean 06-08 750Li
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:41 PM
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Hmmm, I've read the comments and I'm torn . I've loved the 02-08 7series since the 1st day I saw it , a couple of years ago I tradedmy 545 for a 06 750Li , the car was huge and with the luxury rear seats everyone drooled when they got inside . I had to rebuild that car with my extended warranty , I traded it a couple months ago for a F01 . There is a diff in the size but I went from a E66 to a F01 , the F01 feels more like a sports sedan and reminds me of my 545 as I really didn't need the space the E66 offered but I couldn't pass on the unique combo sterling grey over beige . I like the all leather interior and so far I feel as though I've upgraded. I'm sure this one will have to be rebuilt as soon as it ages a little more and that's my issue with BMW . I agree with the car feeling smaller but cheap interior I have to disagree I think that was upgraded in comparison to the E66. I looked at the S550 and it felt like a lazy boy inside .
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:43 AM
mws mws is offline
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can you define "rebuilt" ? what does that mean to you?
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:55 AM
Hoop dreams Hoop dreams is offline
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Every part imaginable went bad , valve service $5k which I know isn't resolved on the F01 , driver seat sensor , comfort close doors , metronic sensor, trans pan . I think I encounterd most of the problems listed on the forum except for engine , idrive and trans failure but I still loved the car . In my opinion the F01 is a minimal upgrade but it's def smaller . I'm no mechanic but I've owned a 545, X5 and now 2 750s
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:38 PM
mws mws is offline
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Fair enough. how do you like the power of the F01, vs the E65-E66?
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:59 PM
Hoop dreams Hoop dreams is offline
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Honestly I have no faith in F01.... Yet , I love the car and it feels a little sportier but I haven't opened it up yet . I bought a used honda insight as my daily driver a week after I traded my E66 for the F01 if that tells you anything about my confidence in BMW at this point ,as for acceleration there is a delay if you step on it but I haven't noticed a big difference . I drive it about 3 miles a day to the gym and or grocery store because it's hard to let it sit . I blamed myself for the issues with my E66 , I made it my daily driver and put 80k on it in 2yrs . I'm a rep so it was mostly hwy and I loved the handling and security I felt when driving such a powerful tank. I'm trying to be a little more conservative with the F01 until I get a good feel for the many issues I'll encounter . I'll agree with who ever said it is too close I'm appearance to the 5 but those who know BMW will know right away , overall happy with the F01 but my E66 was my 1st love .
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2014, 01:25 PM
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JPW1 JPW1 is offline
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 135
Mein Auto: 2006 750LI
Hey Hoop Dreams. We are all probably saying the same thing. In your post you mentioned "the F01 feels more like a sports sedan and reminds me of my 545." A 7-series shouldn't feel like a 5-series, but I couldn't agree more, the current 7-series does. Flashback to the E65 / E66 and you could see the difference. There was nothing to remind you of a 5-series when driving a 7-series.
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2014, 08:18 PM
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BobSC BobSC is offline
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Location: South Carolina
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,443
Mein Auto: 07-750LI, 12-X3, 01-330Ci
Just purchased a 2012 750Li, after being in a 2007 750Li for 6 years. I can tell you I loved my 2007...great car and never gave me a lick of trouble.

The 2012 is a great car as well.....but it is "different". Good power, all the gadgets you want, but different from the E66. I think it feels a bit smaller, but I also like the center console and feel of the cockpit better. The 2012 does not feel like a big brother to the E66.....it feels like a completely different car, but not in a bad way.

I remember when they said the bangle butt E66's would not sell......and they have become the best selling 7 series ever.

Oh.....the Service Manager at the BMW dealership bought my old 7 series.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2014, 09:35 PM
Hoop dreams Hoop dreams is offline
Hoop Dreams
Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 77
Mein Auto: 2009 750i
Congrats on the 2012 7 , we all loved our E65/66 . I think BMW went in a slightly diff direction on this one , more sport appearance than luxury. My only concern is that they put more thought in the longevity of the car , I don't mine paying for maintenance but when the problems we all had show up in a supposedly improved model I get irritated with the brand . I'm on my 5th BMW and it probably means nothing to them but just as I'm on this forum discussing my love affair with my car and the brand I can easily say something negative to those I see daily . Unfortunately I'm sure I'll see the next Model 7 and drool over it until I can afford . I'm a little jealous of you warm weather state owners , you always have nice wheels and clean cars . I clean the hell out of my car in preparation for the 7 months of salt and snow .
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