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LIFE'S A BEACH WITH A 740d; IT'S EASY TO SEA WHY DIESEL 7-SERIES BMW IS BEST CAR IN THE WORLD.

Byline: Brian Twomey

NOT THAT long ago the idea of a diesel BMW, let alone a prestige 7-series model, was almost sacrilege.

Luxury cars do not use the same fuel as post vans and conventional wisdom stated that high-end machinery like BMW's biggest saloon should be petrol powered. Thanks to a couple of oil shocks, some global warming and a few nasty budgets the diesel powered luxury saloon is now king. BMW's 740d bears testament to this.

EUR103,160 gets you a 740d like this one although some of the trimmings such as the M-Sport steering wheel, 19-inch alloys, a powered boot lid and side view cameras pushed the price of our test car to EUR113,173. That said it is still cheaper than the petrol-powered alternatives and less prone to depreciation too.

After spending a good hour pushing all the buttons and trying out all of the toys I finally got around to driving the 740d which, it must be said, is pretty impressive on the road. Firstly there is the refinement.

It is all top drawer stuff; wind noise is well contained, the ride is pretty much flawless and the noise from the engine is well subdued. The engine is a twin-turbo 3-litre straight six.

Impressively, this 302bhp item is all aluminium despite it being diesel. Even more impressively BMW's efficient dynamics means that power sapping devices, such as the alternator, can be disengaged under acceleration to allow more power to the wheels and less wasted fuel.

On the road it is a masterpiece of an engine; smooth with a linear power delivery and quite quick when pushed too; 100km/h comes up in 6.3 seconds and 250km/h top whack and this is combined with a respectable 6.9l/100kms in normal driving.

This blends with a chassis that is not only cosseting but entertaining too. The steering is unbelievably talkative, communicating constantly with the drive while body control, even in the softest suspension setting, is unflappable. The only qualm I have dynamically is with the fly-by-wire automatic gearbox which is very slow to change down in a hurry meaning that a sudden burst of decent acceleration means either a manual change or resorting to sport mode.

At 1880kgs it is actually quite light for a car of its size although the dimensions, it is over 16 and a half feet long, makes it a tricky car to place in a tight spot despite all the parking sensors and cameras to hand. If I am honest some of the options are pricey too, soft closing doors are EUR900 for example, but that said it is the first 7-series to honestly lay claim to being the best car in the world, diesel and all.

TECH FILE

MODEL: BMW 740d

PRICE: EUR103,160

SPEED: 250km/h

0-100KM/H: 6.3 seconds

ENGINE: 3-litre, twin turbo, straight six

BHP: 302bhp

ECONOMY: 6.9l/100kms

CAPTION(S):

World beater.. The new BMW 740d lays claims to being best car in the world
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2010
Words:502
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