Months in Fleet: Four
Mileage to Date: 17,752
Our 2009 BMW 750Li continues to rack up the miles and retains its position as the most in-demand vehicle in our long-term, Four Seasons fleet. The Seven's latest big voyage took executive editor Joe DeMatio and one of his brothers to Boston, Massachusetts, for a college graduation, a trip of more than 1800 miles.
DeMatio took a leisurely route to Boston: "We meandered our way to the East Coast over two days and two nights, stopping first south of Buffalo and then in the Berkshires before gliding into Cambridge." The leisurely progress allowed DeMatio to explore the new iDrive interface; he points out a few needed improvements relating to the navigation system: "I used navigation constantly; some of its submenus were less than useful, and I found it to be only marginal at finding specific Points of Interest. I ended up searching for most things on my BlackBerry, making my decisions based on that information, and then entering a specific address into the nav system." Once the address is entered, though, the system "does a perfectly good job of delivering you to your chosen destination."
A more troublesome fault is the need to hit the stop/start button more than once to power down the car and turn off accessory power. There isn't a quick and easy way to power down the car and all related accessories if you are in a hurry to get out of the car. This may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it quickly becomes annoying while running errands and going on other short trips.
Opinions are split when it comes to the big BMW's city manners -- Web producer Evan McCausland thinks the steering binds in slow, tight corners and the car is a chore to maneuver in such circumstances. DeMatio reported he "had no problem dicing with city traffic in Boston and Cambridge, even with four members of my family on-board, all of whom already think I am a maniac driver. Given the 750Li's length, parking spots had to be chosen with care, of course." Cars such as the 7-series and its competitors are clearly designed for gobbling up highway miles, though.
DeMatio took the scenic route on his way home from Boston and thoroughly enjoyed the ride: "Growing weary of the sameness of the Turnpike, we turned off the highway and spent about five hours on very entertaining two-lane roads in southern New York state and northern Pennsylvania, including through the Allegheny National Forest, and the 750Li was completely in its element. I was covering ground at a rather rapid clip, but the Seven was so composed, my brother barely blinked. Our detour was a great way to break up what otherwise would have been the pure drudgery of a 75-mph freeway cruise."
Sadly, once it was back in Ann Arbor, our BMW 750Li made contact with a support pylon in the parking garage and suffered damage to the right-rear door and quarter panel. We are in the process of getting the car repaired, but it will likely be out of service for several days while the body shop makes it pretty again.
2009 BMW 750Li
Base Price: $86,025
As Tested: $103,420
Body Style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5 passenger
Construction: Steel unibody
Engine: DOHC 32-valve twin-turbocharged V-8
Displacement: 4.4 liters
Power: 400 hp @ 5500-6400 rpm
Torque: 450 lb-ft @ 1800-4500 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 14/22/17 (city/highway/combined)
Suspension, Front: Double wishbone-type
Suspension, Rear: Multi-link, coil springs
Brakes: Ventilated discs, ABS
Wheels: 18 x 8 in BMW alloys
Tires: Goodyear Eagle LS2
Tire size: 245/50R-18
Headroom F/R: 40.8/38.9 in
Wheelbase: 126.4 in
Track F/R: 63.4/63.4 in
L x W x H: 205.3 x 84.0 x 58.3 in
Weight: 4640 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 51.5/48.5%
Fuel Capacity: 21.7 gallons
Est. Range: 369 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane