2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive first drive review: The diesel fits

2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive

2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive

If there’s ever a BMW more appropriate for a diesel engine, it’s the BMW 7-Series. Although the efforts have been made to keep the 7-Series light, there’s still a lot of car there and the size inevitably adds weight. Hence the 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive as ideal.

As its name suggests to those familiar with BMW nomenclature, the new addition to the BMW diesel lineup is available only with the long wheelbase version of BMW maximum sedan, the only configuration available, and only with all-wheel drive.

The engine is the same as used in the 2014 BMW X5 35d xDrive and BMW 535d xDrive—though with different numbering. Like those of its stablemates, the engine in the 2014 BMW 704Ld xDrive is an inline 3.0-liter six with a single turbocharger with variable vane technology, and it provides substantial torque at low rpm. The turbo six is rated at only 225 horsepower at 4000 rpm, but the engine makes 413 lb-ft of torque from a not-far-above-idle 1500 rpm, all the way to 3000 rpm. The result is the ability to thunder to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds.

2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive diesel engine

It’s about time the BMW 7-Series got a diesel engine. (click to enlarge)

The urge from a dead stop is indeed impressive, except that it really doesn’t thunder. The all-aluminum crankcase and hollow camshafts save weight, but also contribute to noise and vibration reduction, as does the timing chain being positioned at the flywheel end on the engine.

The engine uses what BMW calls “the latest generation of electronically controlled high-precision diesel injection system” that can provide multiple injections over a short period of time, which BMW says helps reduce emissions.

Soundwise, the 2014 BMW 750Ld is definitely but not objectionably a diesel, at least from the exterior, though it’s quiet inside thanks to obviously effective NVH insulation. Step on the gas, er, diesel, however, and there’s a bodacious diesel thrum.

2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive badge

A new 740Ld badge will begin showing up on BMW 7-Series. (click to enlarge)

The BMW 740Ld is equipped with Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro and Auto Stop/Start to improve fuel economy. The numbers haven’t been posted on fueleconomy.gov, but BMW notes that EPA numbers have been 25-30 percent better than the gasoline engine it would replace. Our first—and admittedly short—drive fuel economy for the diesel X5 was in the low 20 mpg range and the diesel 5-Series in the high 20’s. Take your own estimates from that.

Still, the 2014 BMW 740Ld xDrive isn’t an economy car, especially if purchase price is considered. The 740Ld starts at $83,425, including $925 destination. Of course, this being a BMW, those options that just can’t be lived without will make the price soar with any self-indulgence on the part of the purchaser.

The diesel engine for the 2014 BMW 750Ld xDrive is a natural, however, and now, oddly enough, diesel is something of a status symbol. BMW big sedan will wear it well.