BMW 7-series E38 (1994 – 2001) Review

BMW 7-series E38 (1994 – 2001) At A Glance


+Luxurious and capable, with a comfortable ride and decent handling.

-Hard on tyres. Afflicted by wide-ranging niggles and problems. Bore liners of early V8s can degrade.

The third generation of BMW’s executive saloon – codenamed the E38 – was launched in 1994. Power came from a selection of straight-six, V8 and V12 engines.

Inside it was pure luxury… and packed with kit (as you’d expect from a car in this price bracket). Safety features included traction control, self-levelling xenon headlights, and side airbags. There was also electric damper control, dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, while you could even spec bulletproof glass if you went for the Protection model.

Perhaps most notable is the fact the E38 was the first European car to be available with satellite navigation. While the i-bus entertainment centre included television and telephone. Today, the represent incredible value for money… if your head (and your wallet) can cope with the headaches of owning such a complex car.

Ask Honest John

What is a fair market price for a 1998 BMW 728i?

"What is a fair market price for a 1998 BMW 728i which has done 50,000 miles with one driver? I see prices vary from £500 to several thousand pounds."
E38 models do struggle to appreciate in value, I'm afraid. Many buyers are put off by how big, complicated, thirsty and expensive the car is to maintain - but as a classic proposition (or at least a car that won't cover many miles) there is a case to be made for them. Consequently, an example that's in need of some TLC can go for well under a grand while we've seen one-owner cars with FSH and more miles than yours go through auctions for £4k. Ultimately, a car is only worth what someone wants to pay for it - but it sounds like your example should be at the higher end of the spectrum. If you're in no rush to move it on, ask for £2500 to £3500 and wait it out.
Answered by Keith Moody
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