19 Best & Worst BMW 7 Series Years (Explained)

The BMW 7-Series is a large and comfortable luxury sedan that was first introduced in 1977.

Being a flagship sedan, the 7-Series is always the first to showcase BMW’s latest automotive tech and features.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the best and worst model years of the 7-Series.

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The BMW 7-Series Are:

The best BMW 7-Series model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2001. The worst model years of the 7-Series are 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003 and 2002. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

2023 BMW 7-Series

The 7-Series received a striking and bold redesign with the introduction of its seventh generation model for the 2023 model year.

Older models of the 7-Series leaned towards the subtle and sophisticated side of the spectrum when it comes to styling.

The seventh generation G70 is not only more forward-looking with its design language than ever before, but also has the presence of an ultra-luxury vehicle.

Inside, the 2023 7-Series now features a panoramic display that combines the infotainment and digital gauge into one panoramic screen. 

It also has an optional 31-inch theater screen that drops down from the ceiling for the rear passengers.

In addition to the mild hybrid inline-6 and V8s, and the plug-in hybrid model, there’s also the all-electric BMW i7 that makes over 500 hp and has around 300 miles of range.

2023 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: NA
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2023 BMW 7-Series, Edmunds review:

“The car drives like an SUV, which I love. It’s high and smooth, not bumpy at all. Very COMFORTABLE, roomy and nice looking software once I figure out how to use it. It’s a very luxurious car, but worth every penny. Only con is that it’s very long in the front, which I’m not used to but it has sensors everywhere, so shouldn’t be an issue.”

2022, 2021 & 2020 BMW 7-Series

The 2020 to 2022 model years of the sixth generation come with LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) updates. 

These later models have a more up-to-date infotainment, which includes Apple CarPlay, a bigger front grille, and a few other styling updates.

The 7-Series PHEV was renamed the 745e and it got a bit more range at 16 miles and more power at 389 hp compared to the older 740e.

The rest of the gas-powered lineup also got a slight power bump.

Self parking, adaptive LED headlights, 20-way power seats, and a heated steering wheel also became standard on all trim levels.

All the extra standard features for these model years make even the regular 740i with its 320 hp a great value proposition.

2020 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2021 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2022 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100

2020 BMW 7-Series, Edmunds review:

“I imagine this must be about as close to flying a jet as I’ll come. Fast, comfortable, steady, remarkable handling, quiet, luxurious. Hard to find anything to quibble about. Yes, expensive, and you feel as though it’s worth it. The new styling gets a lot of head turns and comments how great the car looks.”

2017 BMW 7-Series

For the 2017 model year, the sixth generation G11 7-Series got a new version of iDrive and Apple CarPlay as an option.

The new iDrive infotainment system adds a touchscreen and gesture control functionality.

In addition, the 740e plug-in hybrid and the M760i V12 models became part of the lineup.

The base 740i also gets all-wheel drive as an option which makes it safer in the winter and more planted on slippery roads.

2017 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2017 BMW 7-Series, Edmunds review:

“The engine output is more than enough, the ZF 8 speed transmission is seamless and response quick. Love the vehicle and very satisfied. The B58 engine is very quiet which is way better than my X5 35i (N55 engine).” 

2013, 2014 & 2015

The 2013 to 2015 models are the last years of the fifth generation F01 7-Series and have newer and more reliable engines.

The 740i’s N54 inline-6, which had lots of reports of carbon buildup, was replaced with an updated version of the N55.

The N63 V8 engine also received a technical update which addresses the oil consumption concerns of the older models. 

The 2013 model also has a newer version of iDrive compared to the previous years of the fifth gen 7-Series.

The 2014 model added a foot-operated kick-to-open functionality to the optional power trunk.

In 2015, the 750Ld diesel model was also added to the lineup.

2013 BMW 7-Series 

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2014 BMW 7-Series

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2015 BMW 7-Series

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.3 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 72 / 100

2013 BMW 7-Series, Edmunds review:

“Woooow, what an improvement over the 2012 model. The 2013 750i has not only BMW’s new larger twin turbo V8 (which is also more fuel efficient), but also the next gen iDrive. The new iDrive is much quicker to respond, better screen quality, and easier to use. The ride is amazing (as it should be for $100K). I test drove the 2012 last year and liked it, but didn’t buy. I told myself I was going to wait, and I am soooo glad I did. This car is also very comfortable for 4 6 footers on a long trip.”

2001 BMW 7-Series

2001 is the final model year of the third generation E38 BMW 7-Series and has less engine problems than the fourth generation. 

The third generation is now considered a classic and is still very large and comfy even compared to newer models.

The fourth generation E65 7-Series, which debuted in 2002, not only bore the controversial Bangle look, but also had electronic gremlins and the problematic N62 V8 engine which made them difficult to maintain.

Comparatively, the third generation 7-Series are not only very affordable, but can still be fixed up really cheaply.

2001 BMW 7-Series:

  • Edmunds: 4.8 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.4 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2001 BMW 7-Series, Edmunds review:

“I purchased my 740i the summer of 2007 with 122K, it now has 170k. Mechanically i have changed a suspension component ($250), brakes($1100) battery($150) and tires($1100) otherwise just oil service.”

“Recently it has began to slowly leak coolant. The reliability has been excellent and it still feels very much like a new vehicle. Performance is Great but remember it is a large sedan The interior is beyond expectations. Exterior is beautiful with the sport package!!! Overall it is a great vehicle to enjoy for many years. I would never consider trading for anything else of similar value.” 

Consumer Scores For the Best BMW 7-Series Years

Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 BMW 7-Series5.0 / 5.0NA80 / 100
2022 BMW 7-Series4.8 / 5.04.4 / 5.080 / 100
2021 BMW 7-Series4.8 / 5.04.4 / 5.081 / 100
2020 BMW 7-Series4.8 / 5.04.4 / 5.081 / 100
2017 BMW 7-Series4.1 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA
2015 BMW 7-Series4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.072 / 100
2014 BMW 7-Series4.1 / 5.04.3 / 5.079 / 100
2013 BMW 7-Series4.2 / 5.04.3 / 5.077 / 100
2001 BMW 7-Series4.8 / 5.04.4 / 5.0NA

Related: 11 Best & Worst BMW 5-Series Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Are The Worst Years Of The BMW 7-Series?

Aside from the really bad examples, here are some of the worst model years of the BMW 7-Series and some of the issues you have to watch out for when buying used.

2006 to 2008 BMW 7-Series

The fourth generation 7-Series from the 2006 to 2008 model year has the highest number of owner complaints.

This generation’s N62 V8 engine is plagued with leaks that can add up quickly and be expensive to fix.

“Had my 2008 750i (62,000 miles) in for an oil change and was told that I needed 1) Valve cover gaskets 2) upper timing chain gasket 3) battery 4) Vacuum pump and alternator bracket leaking.”

“I have 08 750li and just started pouring out oil yesterday. Mechanic just called back it’s the alternator bracket seal and some valves.”

The valve stem seals of the V8 engines are another known weak point and can cause excessive oil consumption.

“I have a 2007 750li that has smoking at 135k due to valve stem seals. I hear of too many people having the same problem with this car and this should not happen to a $100,000 bmw.”

  • The 2006 BMW 7-Series had a total of 424 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 315 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2007 BMW 7-Series had a total of 182 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 127 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2008 BMW 7-Series had a total of 139 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 91 complaints on the NHTSA website

Common problems of the 2006 to 2008 7-Series include:

  • Electrical issues
  • Oil consumption
  • Oil and coolant leaks
  • Transmission problems
  • Amplifier issues
  • Soft close door problems

2002 to 2004 BMW 7-Series

The fourth generation E65 7-Series debuted in 2002 and has proven to be more problematic than other model years.

The 2002 to 2004 models in particular are even more prone to electrical issues than other years.

The radio and amplifier both have a tendency to fail after a few years and replacements can be quite difficult to find.

“My problem was that I had no sound at all from the left front door speakers and the 2 rear door speakers were very distorted. But I had very strong bass. Once I installed the ASK unit the D/S front door speakers sounded great but the 2 rear door speakers were still distorted. After restarting my car a few times I had no bass. I suspect I need to program the new ASK unit.”

Of course, these early model years also have the same oil consumption problems that affected many of the V8 models.

  • The 2002 BMW 7-Series had a total of 116 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 102 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2003 BMW 7-Series had a total of 124 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 97 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2004 BMW 7-Series had a total of 128 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 91 complaints on the NHTSA website

Common problems of the 2006 to 2008 7-Series include:

  • Oil consumption
  • Radio and electrical problems
  • V8 issues
  • Worn valve stem seals
  • Coolant leaks

2009 to 2012 BMW 7-Series

The 2009 to 2012 7-Series are the first model years of the fifth generation F01 model and have many reliability issues with its inline-6 and V8 engines.

The early N63 turbocharged V8 engines also have oil consumption problems like the N62 engine.

“I was putting a quart in every two weeks and had zero evidence of an oil leak on my garage floor at home or my parking spot in the garage at work. I guess it was all going out through the exhaust. Mine is a 2009.”

The 740i and 740Li’s early N55 inline-6 engines had lots of problems with their fuel pumps, injectors, VANOS system and water pump. 

“I bought a 2011 750 LI with 30k miles last year, I put 10k miles on it and now my fuel injectors need replacing.”

The older N54 engine in the 740i models in other markets were also prone to carbon buildup. 

“My car has 38k miles. Last night it started to shake while idling and the Drivetrain Malfunction message came up. I made it to the closest BMW dealership. They ran a diagnostic on my car and said the engine has massive carbon buildup. They said they would have to drop the engine and decarbonize it along with changing all spark plugs and injectors. They quoted me $17,000!!!”

  • The 2009 BMW 7-Series had a total of 44 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 26 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2010 BMW 7-Series had a total of 61 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 44 complaints on the NHTSA website
  • The 2011 BMW 7-Series had a total of 48 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 61 complaints on the NHTSA website
  •  The 2012 BMW 7-Series had a total of 59 complaints on CarProblemZoo.com and 53 complaints on the NHTSA website

Common problems of the 2009 to 2012 7-Series include:

  • Carbon buildup
  • Injector issues
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Oil leaks
  • Coolant leaks
  • Oil consumption

What Years Have the Most Complaints?

2023 BMW 7-Series226
2022 BMW 7-Series011
2021 BMW 7-Series117
2020 BMW 7-Series217
2019 BMW 7-Series113
2018 BMW 7-Series332
2017 BMW 7-Series1070
2016 BMW 7-Series19131
2015 BMW 7-Series224
2014 BMW 7-Series9102
2013 BMW 7-Series19201
2012 BMW 7-Series59532
2011 BMW 7-Series48612
2010 BMW 7-Series61443
2009 BMW 7-Series44263
2008 BMW 7-Series139913
2007 BMW 7-Series1821276
2006 BMW 7-Series4243157
2005 BMW 7-Series64494
2004 BMW 7-Series128914
2003 BMW 7-Series124974
2002 BMW 7-Series1161023
2001 BMW 7-Series59474

What Problems Do BMW 7-Series Have?

Based on the information we have gathered online, here are the most common issues that you may encounter on a BMW 7-Series:

  • Oil consumption
  • Rust (early generations)
  • Electrical issues
  • Radio problems (fourth generation)
  • Fuel system issues 
  • Transmission problems
  • Coolant leaks
  • Oil leaks
  • Faulty valve stem seals
  • Air suspension issues

Related: 11 Common BMW 7 Series Problems (Explained)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The BMW 7-Series?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Genesis G909.3$88,400 – $98,70017-18 City / 24-26 Hwy
Audi A79.0$70,20021 City / 30 Hwy
Mercedes-Benz S-Class8.9$114,500 – $229,000 12-20 City / 21-28 Hwy
BMW 7-Series8.8$95,700 – $116,40018-25 City / 26-31 Hwy
Porsche Panamera8.4$92,400 – $206,80015-18 City / 20-24 Hwy
Audi A88.0$87,80019 City / 28 Hwy
Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class7.5$76,50022 City / 30 Hwy
Lexus LS7.3$76,885 – $112,78517-22 City / 27-29 Hwy

Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: 11 Best & Worst BMW 8-Series Years (Facts & Stats)











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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