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BMW 7 Series (E65): Buying guide and review (2002-2008)

BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65)
It’s not unfair to say that the droopy headlights and awkward rear end treatment of the 2002-2008 BMW 7 Series tended to elicit a strong reaction. And generally not a complimentary one. When viewed next to the previous generation model, there was no doubt that the new car was a challenging visual phenomenon. Look at the design today however and it’s clear to see that the Chris Bangle design has aged exceptionally well, like many truly cutting-edge designs. 
 
Moving on from its divisive looks, under the skin the new Seven was a technological tour-de-force, debuting a number of BMW’s latest innovations. It offered a number of firsts in its class, from the i-Drive infotainment system to infinitely variable intake manifolds and active anti-roll bars.
 
In a world where the latest is greatest, nothing depreciates quite like a previous generation luxury car. Once the CEO’s and high-end hotels are done with them they tend to free fall in value, offering fantastic value on the used market. This is potentially great news, but big bills can be lurking around the corner if you’re not careful, so to bag that luxury bargain read through our guide to avoid the usual pitfalls.  
 

Which BMW 7 Series to buy?

 
The increase in demand for top level executive cars at the turn of the century meant that there were a lot more variants of the 7 series to choose from than ever before – from the efficient 730d right up to the range-topping V12 760i, a hydrogen powered model and even a supercharged 493bhp Alpina B7. Standard specification was extensive, and the options list included a number of segment firsts, some of the more desirable ones were keyless go, remote heater activation and multi adjustable ventilated seats front and rear. LWB models offered even more space for rear seat passengers.

The 2005 facelift saw a much improved exterior with revised lights and colour options. The interior received higher quality finishes and an updated iDrive controller. High beam assist and night vision were also offered from 2006. That iDrive controller may be ubiquitous today with a number of manufacturers employing similar systems but it was initially heavily criticised for its clunkiness and received a number of updates to improve usability. Post ‘05 versions are best. 

In general, owners have either had no issues or a great number of them. Early cars had the most teething problems so in a used car context it is best to stick with newer more developed cars, mechanically they tend to be strong and the majority of niggles were ironed out over the years.

For our money, we would stick to the face-lifted post-2005 cars. While the diesels are potentially cheaper to run, it’s the silky smooth V8 petrol variants that we would aim for. A nice 740i or 750i in long wheelbase form on sensible rims could be the ultimate budget friendly luxury limo.
 

Performance and specs

 
BMW 745i (E65)
Engine 4398cc 32 valve DOHC V8 
Power 328bhp @ 6100rpm 
Torque 332lb ft @ 3600rpm
Top speed 155 mph (limited)
0-60mph 6.7 seconds 
Fuel consumption 25.9mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed automatic
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2990mm
Length 5029mm
Width 1902mm
Height 1492mm
Weight 1945kg
 

Common problems

 
• The condition based servicing system that BMW introduced with the new 7 tended to extend oil change intervals way beyond what would normally be recommended. This could cause issues down the line requiring replacement valve guide seals. Sluggish performance and blue exhaust smoke are the early indicators.
 
• The same applies to the gearboxes which are ‘sealed for life’ units, but will have a greatly increased lifespan with regular oil changes carried out every 60,000 miles.
 
• Diesel engines can suffer damage from inlet manifold swirl flap deterioration. An early sign is a lumpy idle, getting a specialist to give your car a once over could save you a lot down the road. 
 
• Parts are widely available but can be pricey, so walk away from cheap cars with running gear issues. There are a number of specialists who can maintain your car for far less than what the dealer will charge.
 
• Cars with large diameter rims suffer from a harsh ride, non-sports models still handle well and are less prone to cracked wheels.
 
• A number of recalls were carried out, mostly in the first few years of production. Check if your car was affected and whether the work was carried out or not.
 
• It is quite likely that some of the extensive electronic motors and relays powering the seats and other systems will not be functioning correctly after all these years, as repairs can be prohibitive it is best to factor these into your offering price and learn to live with minor niggles. 
 

Model history

 
2002: New E65 7-series launched, initially available in 268bhp 735i and 333bhp 745i flavours. 760i, 740d, 730d and 730i phased in shortly afterwards.
2004: 750i and 745d (not for UK market) introduced
2005: Mid-life face-lift carried out on all models. Much improved exterior looks and upgraded iDrive.
2008: Final year of production for E65 7 Series. Over 343 000 units sold globally making it the most successful 7 series to date.
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.bimmerforums.co.uk – BMW forum 
• www.bmwcarclubgb.uk – BMW UK car club
• www.the7seriesregister.co.uk – 7 Series register
 

Summary and prices

 
Last-of-the-line 2008 model year cars are still upwards of £13,000, but real value is to be found much lower down the price range. Early cars start as low as £2500, this gets you a high mileage 2002 745i, which could either be a massive bargain or a money pit. 
Our preferred choice would be a face-lifted 750Li; £7000 is where good ones start, and while huge mileages are common, the thing to look for is a comprehensive service history. For the bargain hunters, there are many more diesels out there to choose from, and at £5000 a 2006 730d could also make for a great long distance cruiser. The ‘Bangle butt’ 7 Series is a car that improved greatly with age, and a good one can offer many years of cosseting luxury for very little outlay.

Words: John Tallodi
BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65) BMW 7 Series (E65)
Last updated: 17th Oct 2016
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BMW 7 Series cars for sale

213 Search results
BMW 7 Series
5995 89995 GBP
  • BMW 7 Series

    £25,000 £25,000

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, BMW Assist, BMW Online, Heated Seats, Voice Control, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Xenon Headlamps, High Beam Assist, DAB Digital Radio, Headlamp Jetwash, Powered Folding Mirrors, BMW Apps Interface, Front Centre Armrest, LED Daytime Running Lights, Full Leather, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Push Button Start, USB Interface, Memory Seats, Electric Seats, Auto Lighting, Brake Assist, Auxiliary In, CD Player, Isofix, ABS, Alarm, Radio, Stereo, Air Bag, Immobiliser, Side Air Bags, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Stability Control, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Head Restraints, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, Trip Computer, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Colour Coded Body, Height Adjustable Seat, 18'' Alloys For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, vehicle documents and the HPI certificate on our web site. Just click on the green 'visit web' site button above. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars.

    • Mileage: 20952 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
    Big Motoring World - BMW & Mercedes
  • BMW 7 Series

    £14,995 £14,995

    *** AA INSPECTED CAR *** 2010 Model Year 730d in Black Sapphire with Black Dokota Leather interior. Specification includes : 19'' Multi Spoke Style 225 Alloy Wheels, Heated Front Seats, Sports Leather 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, Rain Sensor, Auto Headlights, Xenon Headlights, Electric Seats, Rear Climate Control, Satellite Navigation, Front & Rear Parking Sensors. Private Plate included (J888EDX) Full BMW Main Dealer Service History with services recorded at 12k, 22k, 39k, 42k, & 53k. Bookpack with all manuals. 128 POINT AA INSPECTION INCLUDED WITH FULL REPORT. (report can be viewed at AACars.com) Car is in excellent condition, runs and drives beautifully. Call us to discuss delivery anywhere in the UK on this car. Have a look at our testimonials on our website to read more about us and the services we can offer our clients. Video walk around of this car available on our website and YouTube. 'Like' our page on Facebook for stock updates. All our vehicles HPI Checked and supplied with an AA Inspection & 12 Months AA Roadside Assistance. Car Care Plan Warranties Available for 3,6,12 or 24 Months. UK Nationwide Delivery Available. Finance Available - We have a range of lenders for all circumstances - CHALLENGE US TO BEAT YOUR FINANCE QUOTES. PX Considered. Tracker Fitting Available. Ceramic Paint Protection Available. View our website - WWW.GEORGEKINGSLEY.CO.UK - Prestige & Performance Specialist

    • Mileage: 64880 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £26,995 £26,995

    *** VAT QUALIFYING CAR *** AA INSPECTED. Very High Specification Limo built with £10,235 worth of factory fitted extras including : Rear-seat entertainment - BMW Professional with iDrive control £2,370, Comfort seats - rear £2,205, Comfort seats, front £1,485, Folding tables in rear compartment £1,320, Electric glass sunroof £1,100, Surround-view £565, Bootlid operation, powered £400, Reversing Assist camera £355, Seat heating, rear £305, BMW Apps interface £130. Black Leather Interior. Power Folding Door Mirrors. Xenon Headlamps. 2 Keys. Full BMW Main Dealer Service History with services recorded at 16k, 29k & 44k. 128 POINT AA INSPECTION INCLUDED WITH FULL REPORT. (report can be viewed at AACars.com) Car is in excellent condition, runs and drives beautifully. Call us to discuss delivery anywhere in the UK on this car. Have a look at our testimonials on our website to read more about us and the services we can offer our clients. Video walk around of this car available on our website and YouTube. 'Like' our page on Facebook for stock updates. All our vehicles HPI Checked and supplied with an AA Inspection & 12 Months AA Roadside Assistance. Car Care Plan Warranties Available for 3,6,12 or 24 Months. UK Nationwide Delivery Available. Finance Available - We have a range of lenders for all circumstances - CHALLENGE US TO BEAT YOUR FINANCE QUOTES. PX Considered. Tracker Fitting Availa

    • Mileage: 53983 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £25,500 £25,500

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, BMW Assist, Heated Seats, Voice Control, Parking Sensors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, High Beam Assist, DAB Digital Radio, BMW Apps Interface, Front Centre Armrest, LED Daytime Running Lights, Full Leather, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Push Button Start, Metallic Paintwork, I Drive System, Memory Seats, Auto Lighting, USB Interface, Electric Seats, Auxiliary In, CD Player, Isofix, ABS, Air Bag, Alarm, Radio, Stereo, Immobiliser, Side Air Bags, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Head Restraints, Adjustable Steering Column, Power Steering, Electric Mirrors, Colour Coded Body, Height Adjustable Seat, 18'' Alloys For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, vehicle documents and the HPI certificate on our web site. Just click on the green 'visit web' site button above. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars.

    • Mileage: 17972 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £27,500 £27,500

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, BMW Online, Voice Control, Heated Seats, Parking Sensors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, DAB Digital Radio, BMW Apps Interface, Front Centre Armrest, Full Leather, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Push Button Start, Metallic Paintwork, I Drive System, Memory Seats, USB Interface, Auto Lighting, Electric Seats, Brake Assist, Auxiliary In, CD Player, Isofix, ABS, Alarm, Radio, Stereo, Air Bag, Immobiliser, Side Air Bags, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Stability Control, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Head Restraints, Power Steering, Adjustable Steering Column, Trip Computer, Electric Mirrors, Colour Coded Body, Height Adjustable Seat, 19'' Alloys For a no obligation test drive, finance quote or part-exchange valuation call us today. You can find more photos, enhanced specification, vehicle documents and the HPI certificate on our web site. Just click on the green 'visit web' site button above. This car has been inspected by trained technicians and passed a multi-point inspection. For a hassle, haggle free buying experience and drive away the same day visit Big Motoring World today.Award winning Big Motoring World stocks up to 2,000 BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW cars.

    • Mileage: 14586 mi
    • Engine size: 2979
    For sale
  • BMW 7 SERIES 760LI 6.0 V12, MASSIVE SPEC, JUST SERVICED, MOT, LOW MILEAGE, 3 OWNERS, FSH, INCREDIBLE 2004

    £10,995 £10,995

    BLACK WITH BLACK LEATHER, JUST SERVICED + FRESH MOT, FULLY REFURBISHED ALLOYS, FSH, 3 OWNERS FROM NEW, LOGIC 7 HIFI, ELECTRIC REAR SEATS, NAV, XENONS, COMFORT ELEC FRONT SEATS, E/SUNROOF, IDRIVE, E/BOOT, DOUBLE GLAZED WINDOWS, DYNAMIC DRIVE, EDC, THE SPEC LIST GOES ON....!;;Just arrived directly from its last previous keeper is this incredible 2004/04 BMW 760 li E66 LWB 6.0 V12 Auto finished in metallic Schwarz 2 (Black) with full black leather seating. For those of you unfamiliar with these cars, the 760Li is the Flagship model and is fitted with a 6.0 V12 engine running 438bhp that propels it to 60mph in just 5.4 seconds and restricted to 155mph. Additionally it is built on a long wheel base platform with an absolutely incredible factory spec. These cars had a 6 figure price tag new and are extremely rare to come across, particularly in this condition with only 3 owners. Full Service History and just fully inspected through our BMW Specialist Workshop (see our reviews on our website - ranked 2nd out of over 3,500 Garages nationwide via Freeindex!). Fresh MOT applied with no advisories. 3 x remote keys and all original book packs. Lots of receipts to accompany with recent work that includes a major Gearbox Service (with new filters, oil and seals) and new Brakes all round at 56k miles. Drives and performs incredibly plus everything internally works just as you would expect. Very good cosmetic order throughout and fully refurbished alloy wheels. A truly magnificent car that wont disappoint and tipped to rise in value due to their rarity (you only need to look at previous generation E32/ E38 7 series prices and anything rare/exclusive is climbing). All in all, a stunning, low mileage example in the right colour combination without any immediate work required.;;Upgrades - Hifi System Professional DSP / Logic 7, Automatic Boot Lid, Dynamic Drive Control, Protective Double Glazed Windows, Electronic Damper Control (EDC), Electric Glass Sunroof with Vent Function, TV Function, Teleservice Prep, Voice Control, Second receiver in rear (cordless), 6 CD Changer, Self-Levelling Suspension, Electric Steering Column, Side Airbags for rear passengers, Soft-Close Automatic Doors, Electric Rear Blind, Built-in retractable rear window blinds, Interior/Exterior auto-dip mirrors, Cup Holders, Comfort Seats with Memory, Electrically adjustable rear Comfort Seating, Lumbar Support - driver and passanger, Headlight Cleaning System, Car Telephone - Professional, Electric Folding Mirrors, Tyre Pressure Control, Front and rear Parking Sensors with display, Full service history, Black Full leather interior, , Metallic Schwarz 2;;Standard Features - Satellite Navigation, Air-Conditioning (Automatic), Parking Aid (Front/Rear), Computer, Paint Metallic, Telephone Equipment (Fixed), Upholstery Leather, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Alarm, Electric Windows (Front/Rear), Double Glazed Windows, BMW LA Star Spoke 95 Alloy Wheels - Fully refurbished with excellent tyres all round, Xenon Headlights, Rain Sensor, Navigation System - Professional, Chrome exterior trim to windows, Long Wheel Base, Remote Central Locking, Cruise control, Front Fog Lights, Immobiliser, Leather seats.

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    • Engine size: 5.972
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £7,745 £7,745

    Price Includes OAKWOODS TOTAL CARE See Main Advert, Huge Specification, Over £5000 of Factory Options, BMW Professional Colour Sat Nav, BMW Professional Hi Fi System, BMW Park Distance Control (PDC) Front and Rear, Tracker Security System, Electric Drivers Seat with 3 Position Memory, Rear Blind Pack, Detailed Service History with Invoices , Heated Electric Memory Seats, Electric Park Brake, Park Assist, Electric Rear Window Sunblind, Privacy Glass (Laminated), Electric Steering Wheel Adjust, Push Button Start, Front and Rear Heated Seats, Rain & Light Sensors, UK Specification, UK Supplied, Service history SERVICE AND MOT RECORD..3rd April 2009 - VOSA MOT Test - 35,352 Mile..21st December 2009 - BMW Oil Service + Brake Fluid Change - Cooper BMW - 43,144 Miles..1st April 2010 - VOSA MOT Test - 46,475 Mile..21st October 2010 - BMW Oil Service + Front Brake Service - Cooper BMW - 55,230 Miles..9th February 2011 - BMW Oil Service + Micro Filter Service + Fuel Filter - Cooper BMW - 59,404 Miles..5th April 2011 - VOSA MOT Test - 60,917 Miles..26th July 2011 - BMW Oil Service + Rear Brake Service - Cooper BMW - 64,890 Miles..29th December 2011 - BMW Oil Service + Brake Fluid Change - Cooper BMW - 69,788 Miles..4th April 2012 - Service + VOSA MOT Test - 72,089 Miles..16th April 2012 - Oil Service - Cooper BMW - 72,332 Miles..19th February 2013 - BMW Oil Service - cooper BMW - 79,000 Miles..2nd April 2013 - VOSA MOT Test - 80,482 Miles..25th September 2013 - BMW Oil Service - Cooper BMW - 86,455 Miles..2nd March 2014 - 90,038 Miles..16th March 2015 - VOSA MOT Test - 94,017 Miles..17th August 2016 - VOSA MOT Test - 107,450 Miles....****OAKWOODS TOTAL CARE PACKAGE*****..Our WEBSITE Price INCLUDES our TOTAL CARE PACKAGE which comprises of the following items:..NEW VOSA MOT + Comprehensive Pre Sale Vehicle INSPECTION and Vehicle SERVICE..24 Month NATIONAL, UNLIMITED MILEAGE, Premier PLUS Warranty, UNLIMITED CLAIMS with NO EXCESS, 2,000 pounds Per Claim Limit, Redeemable at ANY UK VAT Registered Garage, Up to 60 days EUROPEAN Cover..Official HPI Check + Quarter tank of FUEL + PROFESSIONAL Ve

    • Mileage: 107000 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 SERIES 740LI SE 3.0 2013

    £25,500 £25,500

    1 Owner From New, LWB BMW 740Li 3.0, Imperial Blue Xirallic Metallic, Saddle Tan Dakota Leather, Professional NAVIGATION, Glass Sunroof, Sports Steering Wheel, Side and Rear Blinds, Front and Rear Comfort Seats, Heated Front and Rear Seats, Memory Front and Rear Seats, Soft Close Doors and Boot, Has Just Been Serviced and has the Benefit of BMW Maintenance Package until Next Year. Shows incredible value for a vehicle costing over GBP 71,345 when new and covered such a low mileage.;;

    • Mileage: 22000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.979
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £5,995 £5,995

    Stunning BMW 728i show car condition inside and out with just 44,500 miles. With just 3 previous owners, this car has been maintained and cared for it’s entire life. There are no marks, scratches, dents or rust anywhere on the body, and the beautiful tan leather interior is flawless. It belonged to a doctor up until we purchased the car and was owned by her from October 2013. The service book shows 8 stamps as follows: PDI in June 1998 (BMW), oil service at 9420 miles (BMW), inspection 1 at 19,466 (BMW), oil and brake service at 29,484 (BMW), brake fluid service at 36,541 miles (BMW), inspection 11 at 37,598 miles (independent BMW), oil service at 39,806 (independent) and oil, filters and levels service at 43,754 (independent). We have every MOT certificate from new to document the mileage. We have 2 sets of keys (and 2 emergency keys) and all BMW books in a branded leather case. Even the BMW torch is in the glovebox, and the toolkit is mint and unused. All tyres are branded and nearly new, and the MOT is due 18th February 2017. The spare is a full size alloy and is mint and unused. • 4 owners • 44,500 documented miles • M-tec steering wheel • Ice cold air conditioning • Immaculate condition inside and out • MOT until February 2017 We are 5 minutes from junction 5 off the M20. Viewing strictly by appointment. Call us on 07711 645465 to view. Part exchange welcome.

    • Year: 1998
    • Mileage: 44500 mi
    • Engine size: 2.8
    For sale
    Wayne Lamport
  • BMW 7 Series

    £20,000 £20,000

    FINANCE PACKAGES AVAILABLE- We offer this Highly Spec'd, One Owner BMW 740i in Fantastic Condition and with Service history. This BMW has over £13,000 Worth of Extras! Here at Auto-Sportiva Ltd we are an AA Approved Garage so Buy with Confidence. Ask about our Extendable AA Warranties. Spec Includes- Full Cream Leather Interior, Satellite Navigation, Rear Entertainment System Professional, Alloy Wheels 20in Star-Spoke Style 253, Glass Sunroof Electric Tilt/Slide, Hi-Fi Logic 7 Professional Speaker System, Soft Close Automatic (SCA) For Doors, Comfort Seats Front, Seat Heating For Driver/Front Passenger, Seat Heating For Rear Seats, Bootlid Operation Powered, Bi-Xenon Headlights, Adaptive Main Beam, USB Audio Interface, Steering Wheel Heating, Instrument Panel Leather, TV Function, Sunblinds For Rear Windscreen/Rear Side Wind. Elec, DVD Changer, Exterior Trim High-Gloss Shadow Line, DAB Digital Radio, Voice Control, Sport Leather Steering Wheel/Three Spoke, Lumbar Support For Driver/Front Passenger, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Electric + Memory Seats, Power Folding Wing Mirrors, Auto Headlights and Wipers, Cruise Control, BMW Online, Alarm, Computer. 5 seats, Metallic Imperial Blue, WE ALWAYS RECOMMEND CALLING OUR SALES TEAM PRIOR TO VIEWING ONE OF OUR VEHICLES TO AVOID ANY DISAPPOINTMENT IF SOLD - FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT - www.auto-sportiva.com. Vehicles Supplied fully inspected, Valeted and with a Comprehensive Warranty and Clear HPI report so Buy with Confidenc

    • Mileage: 28636 mi
    • Engine size: 2979
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £6,000 £6,000

    UK Specification, Air Conditioning, Wood Trim, Heated Steering Wheel, Push Button Start, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Metallic Paintwork, Heated Seats, Electric Seats, Full Leather, Heated Rear Seats, Electric Rear Blind, Xenon Headlamps, 17'' Alloys, Full main dealer service history LOVELY INGREDIENTS ! 13 BMW MAIN DEALER STAMPS, GENUINE LOW MILEAGE, RARE LONG WHEELBASE LIMO, BEST COLOUR BLACK, HEATED STEERING WHEEL ! CHEAPER ROAD TAX, GREAT VALUE ! EX EMBASSY DIPLOMATIC CAR ! EXCELLENT THROUGHOUT AND DRIVES BEAUTIFULLY. HUGE MONEY NEW ! TEL. ANYTIME. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. CLOSED SUNDAYS. JTN11 M25 CHERTSEY, SURREY. PX CONSIDERED. CARS ALSO PURCHASED.

    • Mileage: 68000 mi
    • Engine size: 2996
    For sale
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