2003 745 New Car Test Drive
BMW has launched a revolutionary line of 7 Series models. After driving the all-new 2002 745i, we're here to tell you this is a fantastic luxury-performance sedan. Its powerful engine, amazingly responsive six-speed automatic transmission, magic-carpet ride quality, brilliant handling, and awesome brakes deliver the ultimate in driver control.
No matter where you sit, its interior is beautiful and wonderfully comfortable. A longer 745Li model is available for even greater legroom in the back seats. The best-sounding stereo we have ever experienced is available for this car. The cabin is whisper quiet, a great place for quiet conversation, listening to music or solitude. A plethora of features ensure travel will never be dull.
Known for brilliant high-performance sedans with conservative styling and straightforward interiors, BMW has stepped out of the box with this design. The new 7 Series models offer stunning styling and a fresh approach to ergonomics that have sparked controversy among the automotive media. The styling is well thought out, however, and we think it deserves to be given time and consideration before being dismissed. We are growing to appreciate it.
This car stretches the bounds of driving technology to new horizons. But could it be ahead of its time? No question there's a learning curve to operating some of the more advanced secondary features. You'll need to read the owner's manual to fully master all of them, though that's not necessary to enjoy this car. It is conceivable, however, that some owners may tire of telling valets how to start the car, release the parking brake, put it in drive, and put it back in park.
Driving the 7 Series is fun and easy, however, as the car quickly and efficiently achieves any of the driver's wishes, even bending the laws of physics when necessary. In addition to its brilliant performance, this is probably among the safest cars on the road.
Indeed, as big luxury cars go, the new BMW 7 Series is the ultimate driving machine.
Two 7 Series models are available for 2002: the 745i ($67,850) and the long-wheelbase 745Li ($71,850). A brand-new engine supplies gobs of power yet impressive efficiency. A 4.4-liter V8 rated at 325 horsepower, the new engine comes with a new six-speed automatic transmission.
Before the year 2002 is over, BMW will launch an all-new 2003 760Li powered by a new 6-liter V12 engine. That will complete the new 7 Series line.
The 745i rides on a 117.7-inch wheelbase while the 745Li and 760Li ride on a 123.5-inch wheelbase. The long-wheelbase Li models are 5.5 inches longer overall than the standard 745i. BMW says about two-thirds of its 7 Series customers opt for the longer Li models.
BMW's new iDrive system is standard on all 7 Series models. And, of course, the 7 Series comes standard with a long list of luxury features, including beautiful interiors trimmed in a choice of rich leathers and woods. Standard tires are V-rated 245/50s on 18-inch alloy wheels, with optional 19-inch 245/45s on front, 275/40s on the rear.
Twelve airbags are available: two frontal airbags, two knee airbags, two side airbags, and the Head Protection System, or HPS, which is a tube-shaped curtain designed for head protection in a side impact. Active Head Restraints move the head rests closer when a collision is detected. As an option, side-impact airbags and the HPS are available for rear-seat passengers ($550). An optional tire pressure monitor ($300) is available. And there's a host of state-of-the-art active safety features designed to help drivers avoid accidents in the first place.
Options include an Adaptive Ride Package ($1900), which includes a self-leveling rear suspension, and stepless Electronic Damping Control that automatically adjusts shock damping according to conditions. A Cold Weather Package ($1100) adds a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, and a ski bag. A Convenience Package ($1000) includes soft-close doors, which draw them in for easier, quieter closing, and power trunk opening and closing. A Luxury Seating Package ($2500) adds 20-way adjustments, fans to blow air through the seating surfaces, and an automatic massager. Why go to a five-star resort if you're driving one of these? Some of these features are available as separate options so you can choose exactly what you want.