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

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

225 Search results
BMW 7 Series
7995 79990 GBP
  • BMW 7 Series

    £26,000 £26,000

    ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 18'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW emergency call, BMW information plus, BMW online + Apps interface, BMW professional radio, BMW remote services, BMW teleservices, Body colour bumpers, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Parking distance control, Fuel cut off safety device, Headlight wash

    • Mileage: 14084 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
    Big Motoring World West Malling - BMW & Mercedes
  • BMW 7 Series

    £24,000 £24,000

    ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 18'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW emergency call, BMW information plus, BMW online + Apps interface, BMW professional radio, BMW remote services, BMW teleservices, Body colour bumpers, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Parking distance control, Fuel cut off safety device, Headlight wash

    • Mileage: 16903 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • 2008 BMW 7 Series 730d LWB

    £7,995 £7,995

    BMW 73oLd SE 124,000 Miles3.o Turbo DieselFull Black Heated Leather InteriorSatellite NavigationBluetoothDigital Radio (DAB)Automatic10 Stamps In Service Book (Full-Service History)TV’s In Rear (Rear Entertainment System)Automatic BootSoft Close DoorsRear Wheel DriveAir ConditioningTracker Fitted2x KeysElectric WindowsElectric MirrorsPower Steering20” Upgraded Alloys With Great TyresABSAirbagsThis car is fitted with £9000 worth of optional extras from new including rear heated seats, rear automated blinds, rear & front TV screen and much more!

    • Mileage: 125000 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £27,000 £27,000

    ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Front Fog Lamps, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 19'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW emergency call, BMW information plus, BMW online + Apps interface, BMW professional radio, BMW remote services, BMW teleservices, Body colour bumpers, Body colour roof rain channels, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic Drive, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front fog lights, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Park

    • Mileage: 37883 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 SERIES 730LD M SPORT 2011

    £21,998 £21,998

    Own from GBP 412/month with 10% Deposit. Full dealership history, Excellent bodywork, Black Full leather interior - Excellent Condition, Tyre condition Good, SILVER, Viewing by Appointment, GBP 21,998 p/x welcome. ;;Rear Entertainment System Professional, TV Function, Comfort Seats Front, Head Up Display, Hi-Fi Logic 7 Professional Speaker System, 20in Light Alloy Wheels Double-Spoke 303 M, Comfort Access, Seat Heating For Driver/Front Passenger, Seat Heating For Rear Seats, DAB Digital Radio, Sunbl. For Rr Windscreen/Rr Side Wind. Elec(Ld,Li), Soft Close Automatic (SCA) For Doors, Ash-Grain Anthra. Fine Wood Int. Trim/High Gloss, Adaptive Headlights, Bootlid Operation Powered, Lane Departure Warning System, Reversing Assist Camera, Bluetooth Telephone Audio Connection, Dynamic Drive, Sun Protection Glass, USB Audio Interface, Voice Control, Navigation System - BMW Professional Multimedia, Air Conditioning, Automatic with Four - Zone Control, Park Distance Control (PDC), Front and Rear, Cruise Control with Brake Function, 19in Light-Alloy Wheels V Spoke Style 302 M, 19in Light Alloy V Spoke Style 302 M Wheels with Run - Flat Tyres and Locking Wheel Bolts, Dakota Leather Upholstery, Bluetooth Telephone Preparation with Telematics, Rain Sensor, Alarm System (Thatcham 1) with Remote Control, Metallic Paintwork, Tyre Puncture Warning System (TPWS), BMW Professional Radio with Single CD Player (with MP3 Playback Facility) and Auxiliary Input Point for Auxiliary Playing Devices, On-Board Computer (OBC), Electric Windows - Front and Rear, with Open/Close Fingertip Control, Anti - Trap Facility and Comfort Closing Function All Round, Seat Adjustment - Front, Electric with Driver Memory

    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £18,500 £18,500

    ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Front Fog Lamps, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 18'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW apps interface, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW ConnectedDrive - Online, BMW professional radio, Body colour bumpers, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front fog lights, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Parking distance control, Fuel cut off safety device, Headlight wash system, Heated front seats, Heated washer n

    • Mileage: 70189 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £20,500 £20,500

    ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, CD Player, Front Fog Lamps, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 19'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW apps interface, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW ConnectedDrive - Online, BMW professional radio, Body colour bumpers, Body colour roof rain channels, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic Drive, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front fog lights, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Parking distance control, Fuel cut off safety device, Headlight w

    • Mileage: 54571 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £24,000 £24,000

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Full Leather, Front Centre Armrest, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, ABS, Air Bag, Alarm, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, CD Player, Front Fog Lamps, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 18'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW apps interface, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW ConnectedDrive - Online, BMW professional radio, Body colour bumpers, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front fog lights, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Parking distance control, Fuel cut off safety device, Headlight wash system, Heated front seats, Heated washer n

    • Mileage: 31560 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
  • BMW 7 Series

    £26,500 £26,500

    Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Full Leather, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, Xenon Headlamps, Front Centre Armrest, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, ABS, Air Bag, Side Air Bags, Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Alarm, Traction Control, Central Locking, Remote Central Locking, CD Player, Front Fog Lamps, Stability Control, Brake Assist, Rear Headrests, Automatic Electric Windows, Radio, Head Restraints, Isofix, 19'' Alloys 4 Zone automatic air conditioning, Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Ambient interior lighting, Anthracite Velour floor mats, Anti-lock Brake System + Electronic Brakeforce Distribution + Brake assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW ConnectedDrive - Assist, BMW emergency call, BMW information plus, BMW online + Apps interface, BMW professional radio, BMW remote services, BMW teleservices, Body colour bumpers, Body colour roof rain channels, CD player, Central locking fuel filler cap, Colour information display, Comfort exit stepless door brake, Cornering brake control, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Cup holders, DAB Digital radio, Diesel particulate filter, Driver and passenger airbags, DSC-Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic Drive, Dynamic safety, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electric folding and auto dimming door mirrors, Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Electrically heated door mirrors, Electromechanical parking brake + automatic hold function, Emergency boot release, Enhanced bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics, USB audio interface + voice control, Follow me home headlights, Footwell lights at rear, Front fog lights, Front footwell lights, Front head restraints, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front reading lights, Front seatbelt force limiters, Front/rear centre armrests, Front/rear Park

    • Mileage: 20663 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. All cars + £196.39 admin Fee

    • Mileage: 17972 mi
    • Engine size: 2993
    For sale
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