1996 BMW 7-Series

  • 1996 BMW 7-Series 740iL Sedan

    740iL Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.4L V8
    • MSRP
  • 1996 BMW 7-Series 750iL Sedan

    750iL Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.4L V12
    • MSRP
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  • Review

1996 BMW 7-Series Review

A flagship among flagships.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 BMW 7-Series is a line of full-size, luxury sedans manufactured by the German carmaker, BMW. The 7-Series has a long history that can be traced back to the 1970s. The first generation, designed internally as the E23, was introduced in 1977, and it became the flagship car for BMW.

As the flagship model for BMW, the 7-Series has traditionally introduced technologies and design themes for the company before they are added to other sedans and car models in the BMW production line.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 4.4-liter V-8, 5.4-liter V-12
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: BMW 740iL, BMW 750iL

What's New

The 1996 BMW 7-Series is only available in long-wheelbase versions, which means that the BMW 740i is no longer available. On a positive note, the V-8 engine used in the 740iL gets a little bigger and better. Moreover, BMW’s superb, 440-watt sound system comes standard with the 750iL, and as an option with the 740iL. Another optional feature is the new interior-motion theft-deterrent system.


The 1996 BMW 7-Series is fitted with high-pressure headlight washers, a power moonroof, and auto-leveling Xenon HID headlights. The 7-Series no longer has a regular-wheelbase version, and as a result, all models of the 7-Series are bigger and more comfortable.

The wheelbase of the 1996 BMW 7-Series is around 121 inches, while its length ranges from 196 to 201 inches. The width of the car is 73.3 inches, and the height varies from 56 to 56.5 inches.


The removal of the regular wheelbase versions of the 7-Series also makes it impossible to say that any of its models lack space. The cabin and trunk of the 1996 BMW 7-Series have an unprecedented amount of space. The cabins of the 740iL and 750iL are more spacious than most family sedans, and the doors at the front and rear offer surprisingly easy entry and exit.

The seats in front and at the back are comfortable and supportive for long journeys, regardless of the model. Up front, the instruments are clear, and controls are well-placed and easy to access. The number of amenities and features are in line with the BMW’s competitors. However, the large number of features also lead to a large number of buttons, and many of them tend to have vague and confusing markings.

One major complaint that some may have about the 1996 BMW 7-Series is its new in-dash navigation system. The video screen and controls are confusing, and strangely contrast the simple driving philosophy followed by BMW. Apart from this complaint, the 1996 BMW 7-Series offers the same impressive, high-quality, and flawless engineering that is present in other BMWs.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 BMW 7-Series is available in two different engines. The 740iL comes equipped with a 4.4-liter, V-8 engine (increased from 4.0 liters last year) that produces 282 horsepower (hp) and 310 lb-ft of torque. The 750iL comes with a 5.4-liter V-12 that delivers 322 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

As expected, the ride quality offered by the 1996 BMW 7-Series is amazing. This can be attributed to the bump-absorbing weight of the cars and their sophisticated suspension system. The brakes are powerful enough, considering the size and weight of the 7-Series models, bringing the vehicle to a complete stop in a short time and distance.

The V-8 engine offers lots of power at low revs to get the 740iL going from a standstill in an instant. The power is still present at higher revs to give the car brief bursts for passing at highway speeds. In fact, the V-8 is strong and refined enough on its own, leaving the V-12 as a viable option rather than an essential requirement.


There are no safety crash test results available for the 1996 BMW 7-Series.

EPA Fuel Economy

BMW 740iL, 4.4-liter V-8, automatic transmission: 17/24 mpg city/highway
BMW 750iL, 5.4-liter V-12, automatic transmission: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful acceleration
  • Refined ride
  • Responsive steering and handling
  • Comfortable interior

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Confusing controls

Sum Up

A flagship among flagships.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mercedes Benz S-Class
  • Jaguar XJ6
  • Infiniti Q45

See the New 2017 7-Series.

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