2015 BMW 740Ld xDriveThe latest and most prestigious U.S. BMW to go diesel.
The diesel education of America continues, and this is BMW's latest lecture. Let's try out the 2015 BMW 740Ld, the most prestigious US BMW to yet get a diesel. And check the tach. The first off, all seven diesels are long wheel based and all wheel drive. That's the only way that they come. I am big on the long wheel base part, because to my mind, all sevens au to be. I don't get buying a car of this size and cost, and then you take out some quests for dinner or something and they're in the back going, it's kind of tight in here and then you've got to move your seat up. Defeats the purpose of this. Now the heart of the matter on any car that has the d at the end of its BMW badge is the d. Here it is. This is your three liter inline six turbo diesel moving a nearly 4700 pound car. This is relatively petite displacement for that job. But because the diesel, the torque's there to get it done. And 255 horsepower, but 413 pound beat of torque, that's the magic number. Zero to 60, despite all this weight, it's just a little over six seconds. Your MPG is 23/31. As I mentioned, all these diesel 7s are going to be all wheel drive, and they all go through an eight speed conventional but very refined automatic. Now this says twin power turbo, that is not the same as a twin turbo, typically you wouldn't do that on an inline. This is a twin geometry turbo. It actually can have multiple geometries, cuz it can change the way the veins inside it operate, so it works better at lower or higher RPM. Notice that red line on the tack is not typically be so low. This guy can run high RPM or grunt down low. [MUSIC] Now, inside, there's not. Whole lot changed here, from a slew of other BMWs we've reviewed, so I'm not gonna spend too much time in here. Let me call out some highlights, though. The instrument panel on this car is now all LCD, including those two ancillary gauges on the far ends. Although they mimic a traditional dial gauge, as do the two in the middle. But notice an interesting trick. The needles visually pass behind the numerals. We know the iDrive system. Of course the seven puts it on a nice big screen with a big controller. The current generation has a handwriting touch pad on the top. And you know I gripe a lot about BMW nickel and diming you on the a la carte options. Cheap for so many things that cheaper cars include standard, but they're getting away from that a bit. Seven series now has BMW online and BMW apps standard, IM Bluetooth kit, and USB jack for audio are now standard, and the driving controls are familiar. Paddles on the wheel, the spatula shaped shifter here, and then of course, your drive mode controls. What might surprise you in a seven. With a smallish diesel is that you've gotten not only an eco mode, two comfort modes, and two sport modes, including a sport plus. You can see it changes up the instrument panel rather markedly, something the old dial gauge car couldn't do. The first thing you notice about 740 D is it's got a certain note or a tone to it, different from the gas engine cars that are. Smoother and less intrusive. Right there. Sporty, actually. I don't think anybody can object, but it is a different sound than a gas engine vehicle. Now the real fun comes when you get into the Sport Plus, you also see that it indicates that stability control is off. Off. I assume that means it's mostly off. Why in God's name would you want to have no stability control on a giant luxury sedan. You're never taking this thing to the track and if you are, you need a new hobby or another one. But I gotta tell you, this car gets around a corner. And uses that torque nicely. The nice thing about a diesel with a turbo is you don't have the same turbo lag as a gas engine because you have diesel grunt at the bottom to get you going even before the turbo fills up. I guess you can tell. This is probably my favorite 7 series. There is nothing wimpy or down-market feeling about it even though it's got a small-ish inline [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC] It's a good sounding car, and by the way, what's not hurting its handling is a near perfect fifty-fifty weight distribution. I was surprised to see that. Okay, a 740Ld is about $83,500 base. I'm not going into the detail CNet style because we're really focusing on its dieselness, so suffice to say, you could spend 12, even 15,000 more pretty easily getting it done our way. Now, the real story here are the numbers around the diesel. The diesel engine in this car adds 1500 above a comparable gas engine 740. It also adds four miles per gallon more efficiency average. Looking at today's price of U.S. diesel fuel versus U.S. premium for a gallon, you're not saving a ton of money per year at the 15,000 miles average. Your payoff on this car's diesel engine would be like 17 years. So it doesn't make total sense financially to pick up one of these diesels, however if you appreciate it's everyday luscious diesel torque as I do, especially this kind of a car. That's a small premium to pay on a car this expensive. Secondly, this is a good hedge against the expected and perhaps pronounced spike in those US fuel prices. I'm comparing diesel now against almost historic lows on gas at the pump. That may not stay that way, but this car and it's owners may end up having the last laugh