• (4.8) 13 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: N/A
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 22
  • Engine: 325-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2003 BMW 745

Our Take on the Latest Model 2003 BMW 745

2003 BMW 745 Reviews

Posted on 11/20/02
Vehicle Overview
Introduced during the 2002 model year with V-8 engines, the fourth generation of BMW’s largest series comes in regular- and long-wheelbase forms. The regular-size 745i went on sale in January 2002, and the longer-wheelbase 745Li joined the lineup in March 2002.

Styling that departed from BMW tradition, especially at the rear end, has drawn both praise and consternation. The innovative iDrive control system, which places the most-used controls in and around the steering wheel and others in a rotary-dial controller on a console, has also caused a stir. The six-speed-automatic transmission operates with shift-by-wire technology and an unconventional electronic control system.

A 760Li sedan with V-12 power (which is covered separately from this report) will join the 2003 lineup; no other significant changes are coming for the 2003 model year.

Exterior
Available only with rear-wheel drive, the 7 Series comes in two sizes. The 745i rides a 117.7-inch wheelbase and measures 198 inches long overall. Its extended-length 745Li companion gets a 123.2-inch wheelbase and stretches to 203.5 inches long overall.

Some critics have faulted the new styling, especially the rear end. Styling elements follow BMW tradition and include the familiar twin-kidney grille and a “reverse kink” in the C-pillar. Bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights operate with both high and low beams. Standard tires measure 18 inches in diameter, and 19-inchers are optional. An optional Adaptive Ride Package includes electronic damping control and a self-leveling rear suspension.

Interior
In both regular and long forms, the new 7 Series seats five occupants. The driver gets a 14-way power seat with microperforated leather upholstery. Seats with 20-way adjustment and articulated backrests are standard in the 745Li and optional in the 745i.

Standard features include a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a navigation system, automatic climate control and a 10-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer.

Under the Hood
BMW’s 4.4-liter V-8 engine cranks out 325 horsepower; the previous generation produced just 282 hp. The six-speed-automatic transmission works with adaptive technology.

Safety
Antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and BMW’s Head Protection System are standard. Optional rear-seat side-impact airbags extend BMW’s inflatable tubular structure to the rear passengers.

Driving Impressions
Because it’s packed with so much technology, the first-time driver needs a bit of instruction before his or her inaugural drive. The drive-by-wire technology used for the throttle doesn’t feel especially strange, but the electronically operated steering does. Staying in your lane demands more attention than usual until you get used to the unconventional steering feel. Once you do, it imparts a highly secure sensation.

The best suggestion is to forget the electronics and iDrive for a while and just concentrate on the magnificence of the car and the alluring road experience it provides. With so many ratios, the automatic transmission seems a trifle busy, but each gear change is easy.

Ride comfort is satisfying, but on rougher pavement the optional 19-inch tires may jostle passengers. BMW’s 7 Series is a serious road machine and has always been among the most luxurious models on the market. BMW promotes the fact that the new version lays utterly flat in curves. The ability to slice through curves considerably faster than expected, with no hint of body lean, is a welcome bonus.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2003 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 13 reviews

Write a Review

most comfortable ride I have ever owned.

by ray724 from Upper Marlboro on August 13, 2017

Rides like a limo. A lot of room for anyone. It is hard to go back to smaller car from owning one of these.

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2 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2003 BMW 745 trim comparison will help you decide.
 

BMW 745 Articles

2003 BMW 745 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 4 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

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