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When looking at any 7-Series sedan, most shoppers will find little to dislike. Of course, no model is flawless, but the BMW 740 comes close.
The most fuel-efficient but least-powerful 7-Series model, the 740 is equipped with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 producing 315 hp. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the forced-induction engine can race to 60 mph in only 5.6 seconds. A heavy foot on the gas pedal will hurt mileage, however, which is rated up to 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
In addition to the short-wheelbase 740i, BMW offers the long-wheelbase 740Li and 740Li xDrive, which features all-wheel-drive. The major advantage in the Li models is rear legroom, which gains 5.5 inches.
BMW has treated the large sedan to many eco-friendly updates for 2013. Along with a more efficient engine, new features like automatic engine stop/start and an EcoPro drive setting all contribute to conserving fuel.
The 740i uses the shorter of the two available wheelbases. Standard equipment includes: four-wheel ventilated disc brakes; multi-link front and rear suspensions; gas-pressure shock absorbers; heated side-view mirrors; 18-inch alloy wheels; LED foglights; rain-sensing windshield wipers; and heated windshield washer jets.
All passengers are treated to Dakota leather seating, and the front seats are heated. A four-zone automatic climate control system with rear outlets is also standard.
The 740Li comes with the longer of two available wheelbases. The interior has enhanced soundproofing and a 10-speaker sound system with two bass speakers and a digital seven-channel amplifier. A 20 GB on-board hard-drive can be loaded with music files through an easy-to-access USB port. Adding to the safety of the German sedan is BMW's Active Protection System, which detects imminent accidents and automatically prepares the vehicle for impact by closing windows and applying tension to safety belts.
The 740Li xDrive is the ultimate six-cylinder 7-Series model. In addition to all-wheel drive, it has Hill Descent Control, which is exclusive to xDrive trims. The rear air suspension is self-leveling. BMW's Driving Dynamics system allows owners to choose between normal, sport, comfort, or ECO PRO drive modes.
Front seats are power-adjustable -- including lumbar support -- and have a memory system that can be programmed with multiple driver's keys. Offered only on long-wheelbase models are ventilated rear seats packaged with a massage action function. SiriusXM satellite radio comes standard with a one-year subscription, and MP3 players can feed audio using the auxiliary input in the center console.
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|Build & Price|
Expensive, even for a luxury sedan but roomy
The 3.0T has more horsepower, though it does not feel as sporty as the 740i
A thrill to drive but options are pricey
Has a big but relatively slow V8, while the interior is luxuriously appointed