Performance and luxury sometimes mate well, and in the case of BMW’s large sedans, they’ve gotten along very well from the day the 7-Series sedans were introduced. For the 2000 7-Series, BMW has decided to plow most of its efforts into the next-generation car due in a couple of years — but in the meantime, they’ve made many of last year’s options standard features for the millennium model year, while keeping the performance edge unique to their largest sedan offering.
After the 1999 7-Series received a freshening that encompassed the powertrain, exterior and interior as well as the introduction of a new Sport Package for the 740i, the 2000 models boast a wealth of new standard equipment. The millennium-turning 7-Series also offers two models with Protection packages, becoming the first auto manufacturer to offer a light-armored vehicle in the U.S. market.
The sportiest of the 7-Series line up, the 740i, is the most compact model in the series with its 115.4-inch wheelbase. Both the 740i and its long-wheelbase brother, the 740iL, are powered by the 4.4-liter, 282 horsepower V-8 engine that was introduced in 1999. This year, the sibling 740s see over $4400 worth of options now as standard equipment.
The newly standard equipment includes a navigation system with integrated computer and monitor. This CD-based system has an in-dash monitor which houses all the navigation controls as well as audio, ventilation and other functions. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are new to the 7-Series and are standard equipment as well. Other former options that are now standard include a high-pressure liquid headlight cleaning system, the super-premium audio system and xenon low-beam headlights. The xenon headlights feature dynamic auto leveling, which automatically adjusts the lights’ aim even during quick changes, such as acceleration and braking.
Options on the 740i and 740iL are few. Electronic Damping Control system (BMW’s electronically controlled suspension) and self-leveling rear suspension have been combined into the Adaptive Ride Package for a better overall value. The Cold Weather Package, which formerly included the now-standard headlight washers, now includes heated front and rear seats, marking the first time these options are offered on the 740 models. A second wheel choice, ellipsoid alloy wheels, are also available at no extra charge as an alternative to the standard cross-spoke wheels.