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BMW 750I END OF TERM REVIEW
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Well it has gone now. And left me with mixed feelings.

Background : After testing all the possible A8 replacements, specifically trying diesel models I came to the conclusion that diesels are still not refined enough for luxury barges and are too expensive compared to their petrol counterparts. So I ended up with the 750i

Initial reaction: Brilliant! I loved the smooth power delivery, the refinement, the ride, the gearbox, tha handling. All were in a league above the A8. It was also more practical than the XJR. Didn't like the quality of the interior. Ergonomics were appalling with hidden switches, too many stalks, lots of rattles and felt cheap compared to both Audi and Jag. Fuel consumption display was scary, but more accurate than the Audi.

But then it all started going wrong. Random error messages started appearing and disappearing, relating to different electrical systems, the gearbox sump cracked, then the gearbox went into limp home mode. Thankfully wasn't a gearbox issue but linked to those dodgy electrics and fixed with an (expensive) new alternator and battery.
So my faith in the car was a bit shaken.

Then over time it seemed to feel rougher in all respects. The ride didn't feel quite as smooth, the engine felt a little lumpier. Then the engine became very lumpy as a coupe of coil packs gave up... Replaced those and all was well, although possibly still not as smooth as I remember. No actual faults displayed though. I swear the level of wind noise increased as well. No actual clear problems as such, just felt like it had aged and was getting worn out.

And the steering started to annoy me as well. It artificially weights up with faster corning. Doesn't feel pleasant at all. Not a good feature.

So in the end, frankly I was glad to see the back of it. It just felt like a ticking financial time bomb in the end, the contrast with the A8 was stark. That car felt like it would go on forever.

I would now hesitate to put my own money into a BMW. Great cars, but I get the impression that they are like old British car manufacturers. Full of great technology and ideas but poorly implemented with respect to detail and longevity. I would expect to have to give one a bit more TLC than normal, which is fine for something special like an M3 or M5, but just annoying otherwise.

How they compared:
Jaguar XJR:

easily the fastest, but too much power for the chassis setup. Best ride, best interior. Least space, least useful shape boot.

A8:

most reliable, very very dull though. Not very refined, road noise, engine noise. No wind noise though (double glazed).

BMW 750i:

Most refined at first.. (although non-superchargerd XJR would beat it without the whine)
Most interior space. Best stereo. Cheapest feeling

Which one would I choose now? Without any doubt at all the Jag. It just feels special in a way that the others cannot match. And the experience of my brothers XJ6 along with my XJR suggests that reliability isn't an issue.

Maybe I was just unlucky with the BMW, maybe it was due to being the first non-development 750i made. But considering we had two Lotuses and a TVR that were far less hassle it has been the worst car we have had (not counting the MGB)

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Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

Your 750i issues sound like a combo of the problem I had in my first 545i and the first problem I had with the second. First one cracked its gearbox sump and leaked oil, which took ages to be identified and fixed (under warranty); second one had alternator problems which at least were fixed relatively quickly.

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JL said...

Oh b*llocks you're right

My cousin had very similar experience with his 645i (second gear was very clunky, cracked sump, coil packs etc).

--

Don't play with a girl's heart, it's easily broken and she only has one. Play with her boobs instead, they're bouncy and she has two of those.

The reliability of modern BMWs (their gearboxes, to be exact) really is cause for concern, isn't it. Well done for getting out before it got painful. Lovely-looking car though.

JL said...

The reliability of modern BMWs (their gearboxes, to be exact) really is cause for concern, isn't it. Well done for getting out before it got painful. Lovely-looking car though.

:?::?::?: unless you mean the Jag, even the Audi at a push.

JL said...

Lovely-looking car though.

You think? Still think it is a bit ugly. The A8 has a timeless grace, and I really like the looks of the Jag, but that is more of a personal taste thing

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Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

No, really! Ever since the original Bangle'd 7, I've always had something of a stiff spot for the 7-Series, in a home-James-watch-out-for-the-Russians type of a way. I think the Audi looks very bland in comparison, and the Jag looks like an anachronism.

Audio_Chris said...

My cousin had very similar experience with his 645i (second gear was very clunky, cracked sump, coil packs etc).

My parents 645 had a fine gearbox. Just the engine went really rough one day (it was only a year old) . Took it to BMW where it took them a month to find and fix the problem. There was a tiny hairline crack somewhere (I don't remember the specifics).

--

How about not having a sig at all?

Mark have you ever tried a Quattroporte?

--

Tim

M135i 8 Speed Auto. Alpine White. Faster than Yu.

Tim said...

Mark have you ever tried a Quattroporte?

Neighbours had one. Never had a chance to go in it though because I stupidly thought their Testarossa would be more interesting.
Whereas it was actually a bit of a let down I'm afraid.

I don't think I'd be brave enough to risk the costs of a Maserati.

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Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

I was looking at these the other day - they're very cheap now. Are they made of cheese, or pasta?

Am I right in thinking it's not getting replaced Mark, or rather a company heap is taking over the role?

Although I applaud the boldness of the new XJ, that last XJR was surely the pinnacle of beautiful fast saloons?
Quattroporte was more beautiful (but not the disgusting new one!) but nowhere near as fast.

--

Share your car adventures.
www.auto-journals.com

Real life with cars

Zonda_ said...

Am I right in thinking it's not getting replaced Mark, or rather a company heap is taking over the role?

320ED company car is the plan. I am after cheapest possible runabout as well.

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Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

Mark BT52 said...

Zonda_ said...

Am I right in thinking it's not getting replaced Mark, or rather a company heap is taking over the role?

320ED company car is the plan. I am after cheapest possible runabout as well.

You gone Permi ?

_Mick_N said...

Mark BT52 said...

Zonda_ said...

Am I right in thinking it's not getting replaced Mark, or rather a company heap is taking over the role?

320ED company car is the plan. I am after cheapest possible runabout as well.

You gone Permi ?

Not me.
Christine got new job.

--

Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

JL said...

The reliability of modern BMWs (their gearboxes, to be exact) really is cause for concern, isn't it.

The box comes from ZF and is shared with Audi, Jag, Land Rover and others. Apparently it's less reliable in 4wd applications (Range Rover and X5 being the obvious ones).

Of course, the ZF boxes in the E46 and E39 were unreliable to the point that somebody set up a website devoted to the issue: http://www.noreverse.org/. So it's not a new thing. I suspect if the service schedules actually included gearbox oil changes, it wouldn't be such a problem.

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JL said...

Oh b*llocks you're right

Jobbo said...

JL said...

The reliability of modern BMWs (their gearboxes, to be exact) really is cause for concern, isn't it.

The box comes from ZF and is shared with Audi, Jag, Land Rover and others. Apparently it's less reliable in 4wd applications (Range Rover and X5 being the obvious ones).

Of course, the ZF boxes in the E46 and E39 were unreliable to the point that somebody set up a website devoted to the issue: http://www.noreverse.org/. So it's not a new thing. I suspect if the service schedules actually included gearbox oil changes, it wouldn't be such a problem.

For some reason the BMWs seem to suffer cracked plastic sumps more than others. They get hotter apparently.

Also, although the boxes are shared, the controlling ECU and software is bespoke per manufacturer and could I guess be responsible for putting variable amounts of strain on the boxes.

Updated November 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM

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Impreza WRX STi Spec-C V-Limited Toshi Arai Edition/ GTR/ Panda 100HP Pandamonium/ 316d

BMW aren't alone in using plastic sumps. Even if they don't crack they do warp over time, but since the filter is integral ZF see them as a simple service replacement item when you change the gearbox oil. They're not expensive or complex.

Of course, BMW aren't alone in having trouble; Mick's S-Type R had the same box and he got rid of the car due to worries about it letting go. Google 'ZF 6HP26 problems' and you get the full spectrum of cars to which it's fitted in the results.

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JL said...

Oh b*llocks you're right

That Jag looks fabulous and so right. Off to Autotrader I go...

Do you have any plans for your GT-R?

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