Update: 2013 BMW 740Li xDrive
By Brandon Turkus
June 27, 2013
When we originally tested the BMW 740i, it was a rear-drive, short-wheelbase model. To say we liked it is an understatement. We went so far as to call it the 7-Series to get, as it offered all the same optional goodies, much improved economy, a lower asking price, and enough performance for everyday driving.
Now, we’ve gotten some seat time in a heavily equipped, long-wheelbase, all-wheel-drive 7-Series. So, with the extra length and a beefy all-wheel-drive system, is this 740Li xDrive any less charming than the standard car? No, not really.
The 740’s engine, the 3.0-liter, turbocharged, inline-six found in most of the BMW range, feels right at home in this application. It revs freely, and generates just enough of that sweet, inline-engine howl that BMWs are known for. Goose the throttle, and there’s even a subtle blow-off noise at speed.
Power has been amped up to 315 ponies and 300 pound-feet of torque, but with 4525 pounds of weight to haul around, the 740Li xDrive is towing around about 14.4 pounds for every horsepower. Still, a 5.4-second sprint to 60 is possible, and the 7-Series will happily climb to its top speed of 149 miles per hour.
Translated to the real world, that means the 740Li is perfectly usable in everyday traffic. It’s not going to accelerate you to triple digits like the 750 or 760, but it’ll make short work of passes or ramps, and is a bit of a hoot on a twisting section of road. And did we mention it sounds fantastic?
Opting for the inline-six also has a practical benefit on the 7-Series’ handling. While this is a porker at 4525 pounds, it’s still a lot lighter than the 4800-pound 750Li xDrive. And considering that weight comes right off the front axle, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the 740Li is a more entertaining steer.
It feels sharp and pointy, and far more agile than a car this size should. The inclusion of BMW’s Active Roll Stabilization on our tester also added to the car’s agility. Handling was flat and balanced, delivering a goodly amount of feedback. The adjustability of the seats, always a strong suit of BMWs, improved the driving experience even more.
So, if you’re in the market for a BMW 7-Series, don’t be afraid to check out the 740Li. It might not have the badge presence of a 750Li, but it’s every bit as luxurious and rewarding to drive. And if the badge really matters that much, well, we recommend a hair dryer and some fishing line. You’ll have an unmarked 7-Series in no time.
2013 BMW 740Li xDrive
Engine: Turbocharged inline-six, 3.0 liters, 24v
Output: 315 hp/300 lb-ft
0-60 MPH: 5.4 sec
Top Speed: 149 mph
Weight: 4525 lb
Fuel Economy, City/Hwy: 19/28 mpg
Base Price: $80,300
Price As Tested: $106,245