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2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive Debut

BMW throws in all of the bells and diesel whistles.

2014 BMW 7-Series Research Click to hide

What's New

BMW's current-generation 7 Series has been on the market since 2008 as a 2009 model, and BMW has done its best to keep the car current in the six years it has been around. With BMW working in seven-year model cycles and the company discovering that Americans will, in fact, buy a compelling diesel-powered car if it's good enough, BMW is sticking its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel inline-6 engine into its biggest sedan. In long-wheelbase form. With all-wheel drive only.

Who It's For

BMW has always been considered the performance brand of the big German luxury car makers. But as Audi and Mercedes-Benz have both introduced diesel engines, BMW has to get into the fuel-miser game, too.

BMW has been using its six-cylinder diesel engine in the X5 and 5 Series for a while now. The 255-horsepower engine with an astounding 413 pound-feet of torque was even used in the previous-generation BMW 3 Series for a while as the 335d. Since the engine had already been certified for U.S. smog regulations, it was a natural fit for economy-minded affluent customers. The all-wheel drive and long-wheelbase-only configurations were just part of the packaging deal because BMW needed to figure out a way to justify this car's $83,425 asking price.

Key Features

That diesel engine, a gem if we say so ourselves, is the highlight, but the 740Ld also has:
  • 25-30 percent better fuel economy than the 740Li xDrive, which is rated at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway.
  • BMW's upgraded, next-generation iDrive suite.
  • All of the rest of the upgrades made on the 2013 7 Series refresh.

What We Think

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: BMW's 3.0-liter diesel is a gem. We like it. We love it. We want some more of it.

But the segment is moving on very quickly, with the vastly more expensive Mercedes-Benz S-Class leading the way. At least it's vastly more expensive until such time as Mercedes releases pricing on what should be a cheaper diesel variant.

The 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive is important because it helps spread diesel love in the U.S. But we wonder how much good it will do in the segment versus newer competition. The 7 Series isn't a coddling luxury car; it's a luxury car that doesn't quite forget that it's a BMW. Knowing that, we're wondering if the mixed messages of this new car might not muddle its marketing.

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