Skip to main content

2003 BMW 760

Change year or car


starting MSRP

Get notified when this car becomes available. Notify me.

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Seating capacity

198.0” x 58.7”


Rear-wheel drive



1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • Li


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2003 BMW 760 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

2003 BMW 760 review: Our expert's take

By Editors

BMW AG’s flagship sedan — the long-wheelbase, 12-cylinder 760Li — is one of those vehicles that churns up conflicting emotions.

Stratospherically priced from $115,800, the big 7-series fairly bristles with enough high-tech gadgetry to baffle an aerospace engineer, and its distinctively styled rear end has elicited howls of protest from many aficionados.

But the 760Li also comes with a supremely comfortable cockpit, a supple suspension and a potent power plant.

Is that enough to justify the $122,095 sticker on our 2003 test vehicle? Read on.

SHE: What’s not to like about a car that squeezes your behind? I felt like I was sitting on a pulsating whoopee cushion in the 7-series, with its Active Comfort seats, which move each side of your bottom up and down every 60 seconds. Why? To prevent fatigue and improve posture, according to BMW.

HE: I’m not even sure where to go with this little hand grenade you’ve tossed me. It’s mighty tempting, but I think I’m gonna let this one slide. Before we get into the really heavy stuff, let’s talk about that magnificent rear compartment in the 760.

SHE: Well, how can you not love a car with a precious little minicooler built into the back seat? It was perfect for that special bottle of 1990 Morey-Saint-Denis that my neighbor gave me when my dog died. Our test car also had rear foot rests, heated and cooled rear seats, an aircraft-style overhead console with a lighted vanity mirror, climate controls and reading lights. There was even wood trim on the parcel shelf and a suede headliner.

HE: It’s true that the 760Li has a magnificent engine and suspension, but it’s also true that it’s almost more fun to be a passenger than the driver. Let’s put aside your chauffeur-driven fantasies for a second and talk about the driving experience. The twin-cam 6.0-liter V-12 is truly superb. It makes 408 horsepower and 442 pounds-feet of torque, which I suppose you could argue is overkill here in North America. But it sure feels sweet beneath your feet. It’s mated to a six-speed Tiptronic-style transmission which lets you shift manually without a clutch. Here’s where we get into the first major problem. BMW has mounted the tiny gearshift lever on the steering column and programmed it in such a way that it requires a surprisingly complicated set of motions to do something as simple as shifting into reverse to back out of a parking space, then shifting into forward gear to get under way.

SHE: You haven’t even mentioned the dreaded iDrive, which we have sampled on several versions of the 7-series and still find virtually incomprehensible. Picture a big fist-size knob that doubles as a joystick and controls such functions as climate, audio and navigation. It should be intuitive, but it isn’t. BMW just tried to cram too many functions into this unit. And the worst part is you have to take your eyes off the road to play with it. We now have put several hun dred miles on two different 7-series, and we still can’t get used to the iDrive.

HE: On the other hand, I’m seriously impressed with the sophisticated suspension system, which features electronic damping control and active roll stabilization. What that means is that no matter how rough the road, the 760Li does a spectacular job of smoothing out the bumps and potholes. It’s almost impossible to ruffle its poise. The active safety systems are also state of the art, including dynamic stability and traction control, and dynamic brake control. Don’t get the wrong impression. This BMW won’t drive itself, but it will make almost anyone a better, safer driver.

SHE: And if you get into real trouble, there are all those air bags and air curtains to protect your head, your thorax, even your knees in a collision. BMW has done a good job of using technology in other ways to make things easier and safer. The 760Li comes with such features as rain-sensing wipers and park distance control, and you can order active cruise control to help maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.

HE: BMW certainly crammed a lot of electronics into the 7-series, some for the good and some not so good. The drive-by-wire system, for instance, eliminates the traditional mechanical linkages between the gas pedal and the engine, but there is a noticeable and disturbing throttle lag when you first touch the accelerator. Even everyday functions like the radio require additional training. For heaven’s sake, our test vehicle came with a 46-page minimanual plus three regular owner’s manuals!

SHE: Ooh, not good. I haven’t even read the manual that came with my George Foreman grill.

2003 BMW 760Li

Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive, five-passenger luxury sedan.

Price (Includes $695 destination charge): Base, $115,800; as tested, $122,095 (inc. $1,300 gas guzzler tax)

Engine: 6.0-liter V-12; 408-hp; 442 lb-ft torque

EPA fuel economy: 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway

Key competitors: Mercedes-Benz S600

12-month insurance cost (Estimated by AAA Michigan. Rates may vary depending on coverage and driving record): $3,362

Where built: Germany

Anita’s rating: Above Average

Likes: Lovely ambient lighting in doors. Heated/cooled massaging seats. Amazing limo-style rear compartment. Gorgeous suede headliner. Precious little cooler in rear. Power trunk closer.

Dislikes: Front doors are too heavy. Nothing is familiar about the driving experience. Length makes it difficult to park.

Paul’s rating: Acceptable

Likes: Sensational 12-cylinder engine. Supple, compliant suspension. Extremely comfortable cabin. World-class safety features.

Dislikes: Disconcerting initial throttle lag. Gearshift lever difficult to use, especially for simple maneuvers. iDrive forces you to take your eyes off the road. $1,300 gas-guzzler tax. Extremely complex and difficult to operate, requiring 46-page minimanual plus three regular owner’s manuals. Hideously ugly rear end.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior 4.3
  • Performance 4.7
  • Value 4.0
  • Exterior 4.3
  • Reliability 3.6
Write a review

Most recent consumer reviews


Fastest, most capable, most comfortable car ever

I love late model cars. I used to dismiss BMW until I drove my son's 330 CI. I loved it so much I bought a 2003 760 Li. I absolutely love its acceleration, style, and technology (for a 2003). It is a beautiful designed car


Most Executive car available? for the money

As far as styling and features for the year and the money it can not be beat. The car is very classy and everyone thinks it's newer than it is. The seats are great and the cooling function actually works great unlike a comparable Mercedes S600. The 760li is very rare with the V-12. The engine is great but could feel a bit more peppy at low rpms. The transmission I think needs some work to be as smooth as a comparable Mercedes. The idrive system is in it's first iteration in this car, it is a tad slow and complicated for simple things. All the electronics in this car suck up the battery power so make sure that you have a good battery that has been synced to the car, or else things like the Ac won't blow full blast. Watch out for the infamous oil leak because of a $4 seal on the front of the engine. It can be time consuming to fix. The car handles and brakes great for the monsterous size it has. The car can totally throw you back in your seat when shifting manually, which the paddle shifters have unfavorable setup and locations in my opinion. If you find a good example and want something powerful, comfortable but sporty that is very rare this is the car. Just don't buy this car if you can't afford some repairs and downtime.


Remarable in every way

I have never owned a car where each time I drive it, it is as if it were "my first". This car is a "dream". An incredible blend of luxury (limousine like qualities), elegant styling, V12 direct injected power...........sometimes I forget that I'm not flying in a private jet. Of all my cars (I'm 6'-5", 230 LBS) I will own this car indefinitely. It will be a coveted automobile in the future!

See all 3 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by BMW
New car program benefits
48 months/50,000 miles
72 months/unlimited distance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/50,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty
Dealer certification required
196-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors