Months in Fleet: Ten
Mileage to Date: 35,876
Another month, another major road trip for the 2009 BMW 750Li. Technical editor Don Sherman usurped our BMW for a recreation of Sherman's March to the Sea with his son, and former Automobile Magazine gopher, Steven Sherman.
The two Shermans set out for Altanta, Georgia and then made their way to Savannah. Don's March to the Sea wasn't quite as destructive as the historical offensive. Our Shermans "kept the raping and pillaging to an absolute minimum." Instead of plundering the South, Don and Steven covered 2030 miles in 4 days while maintaining an average speed of 63 mph and recording an average of 22 mpg.
Long distances and high speeds are particularly easy for a car with a substantial, 126.4-inch wheelbase, 400 hp, and a 21.7 gallon fuel tank. During previous excursions with the 750Li, Don bemoaned the "L" and its extra 5.6 inches of wheelbase compared to a 750i sedan, but things were different this time. "The 750Li cruised nicely and its needlessly long wheelbase was, for once, no major issue," remarked Sherman upon his return.
While the wheelbase posed no problem on this trip, Don found a few faults with the luxurious interior: "I consider BMW's toy shift lever a major annoyance. Nor do I like how the inside door handles and turn signals operate. My biggest pet peeve is the lack of a convenient place to stash the lock-operating fob. In my pocket is not the proper solution, nor is in the cupholders or ashtray. Also, the 12-volt power socket interferes with use of the right cupholder. Just this morning I spilled hot Tim Hortons brew trying to extricate the cup from the too-far-forward left cupholder. For $100k+ I expect a more astute solution to that fundamental need."
As expected, the technology BMW packs into a 7-series made the Shermans' drive much easier: "We used all the toys - lane departure warning, active night vision, active cruise control - to good advantage. The navigation and satellite radio were crucial to our speed and comfort."
When our BMW 750Li isn't vacationing in Georgia, its Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 tires are doing a good job providing traction on cold, slick roads around Michigan. We haven't experienced any major snowfall yet this winter, but that's not likely to be the case for long.
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