BMW 7 Series (2009 – 2016) Review

BMW 7 Series (2009 – 2016) At A Glance


+High quality luxurious interior. Huge amounts of space in the back. Long wheelbase versions available. Efficient Dynamics means good economy and low CO2.

-Too much tyre roar makes it probably the the harshest limo.

Insurance Groups are between 45–50
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

A lot of us have invested in things we might have avoided if only we'd known the world economy would start behaving like a grand piano chucked from the top of a tower block. Things like expensive shoes, shares in Woolworths or perhaps a new car. Which brings us to BMW.

It's spent about one billion Euros on a car, the latest 7 Series, which is big, complex, expensive. Around £54,000 buys the poverty version, £100k plus for one with all optional the bells and whistles and likely to be viewed by many as the last word in vehicular conspicuous consumption.

This a problem for BMW which wants to sell the 7 Series to people with a lot of disposable income, in a world where those that still have money are hanging onto it. Those that don't are now saving up for something like a lightly soiled Kia Pride, rather than a flagship uber saloon.

Then there are the private hire companies which bought the diesel versions of the outgoing 7 Series to waft captains of industry to airports and posh hotels. However, for the benefit of the five remaining people who can still afford one, let us consider the 7 as a car.

Visually, it's a clever evolution of its immediate predecessor, who's monumental, New Brutalist looks made a lot of people wince. Styled by an engaging American with a beard called Chris Bangle, some thought the old model's tail appeared to have partially melted and others found its iDrive control system a nightmare to use.

BMW 7 Series 2009 Road Test and Video

Real MPG average for a BMW 7 Series (2009 – 2016)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

18–45 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Why does the suspension on my BMW 7 Series creak so much?
"My 2011 BMW730d suspension creaks and groans a lot, but the main dealer cannot find any cause. Any idea what could be causing it?"
Inevitably bushes, but finding which ones could be a long and expensive business. One way would be to spray each bush in turn with WD40 until the creaks stopped and identify the failing bush that way.
Answered by Honest John
Diesel bug in BMW 7 Series - any advice?
"I have been told by my BMW dealer after spending £1000 that the reason my car stops running is that I have a diesel bug that has damaged the high pressure fuel pump and now has put small bits of metal into the fuel system. BMW say that the whole fuel system will now need changing at a further cost of £7,000. I only ever put Shell V Power Nitro Diesel in the car from the same garage. The garage say it has not had any problem with water in their fuel tanks. Shell Head Office say they have no other complaints in the UK of fuel contamination from a diesel bug although the BMW dealer has sent photos of the diesel bug in the low pressure fuel tank like tar and a photo of the inside of the fuel tank showing the metal bits. Do you have any advice?"
This explains what 'diesel bug' is: I never called it that. I always called it 'globules of emulsified fuel'. But I have never heard of it breaking up a low pressure immersed lifter pump and anyway any shards of metal pumped through would have been caught in the diesel filter before it got to the high pressure pump. What could have damaged the high pressure pump is excess moisture in the fuel leading to a lack of lubricity that resulted in the pump grinding metal to metal. You don't say how old your car is, how often you fill it up, or what sort of mileage you do. If you do a very low mileage, then it could be that your tank became contaminated.
Answered by Honest John
BMW 730 head gasket failure
"I have a BMW 730 petrol manual. A few weeks ago the engine warning light came on, relating to the MAF sensor. The car seemed to drive fine, so I ignored it. Just under a 1000 miles later the car struggled to start and I'm now told the head gasket has gone, which is a result of me not rectifying the original sensor fault. Is this correct?"
Ah, I think what they are trying to tell you is that the mass airflow sensor fault led to the engine running unduly lean, which would raise the temperature in the combustion chambers and could have led to the head gasket failure. That's the logic, anyway.
Answered by Honest John
Is a September 12 2013 BMW 7-Series the latest derivative?
"My first question is whether a BMW 7-Series registered in September 2012 would be the very latest derivative of this series? Secondly, is £44,000 a fair price for a BMW 740D registered in September 2012 with 50 miles on the clock?"
Happily this car-by-car entry is very detailed: The model was revamped in July 2011, then again in spring 2012. But the entry tells you all the changes, including that the CO2 for the May 2012 revamp of the car is 149g/km. If it's more than that on the V5C of the suspect car, then it's an older build. The 740D is not listed in Glass's Guide. All I can do is tell you the original list price (before extras) was £65,305.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a BMW 7 Series (2009 – 2016) cost?