As BMW’S flagship sedan, the 7 Series boasts the best of the brand’s luxury, style, and technology. It’s the kind of car you want to spend as much time and mileage in as possible in. Well, helping you maximize your stint behind the wheel and minimize your time at the filling station is a new 740Ld…for diesel. So, it’s all aboard for a luxury locomotive road test.

While the 2015 BMW 740Ld xDrive is not exactly a locomotive, the diesel that dwells within feels like it could certainly power one. 

That oil-burner is BMW’s latest Advanced Diesel 3.0-liter turbo I6, and output is 255-horsepower with a stomping 413 lb-ft. of torque. Combined with Driving Dynamics Control with Eco Pro mode and auto stop/start, it delivers over a third higher combined fuel economy rating than a comparable V8 gas 7 Series. 

An 8-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive are standard with the diesel. 

It’s not as quiet as some other clean diesels we’ve tried. But, if you’re seriously looking at a diesel, you’re already expecting something different in the sound department. 

Like all BMWs, it’s designed with the driver in mind, as putting aside the diesel frugalness; this car is truly a joy to drive.

Popping it into Sport Mode firms up the suspension nicely. The all-wheel-drive grip also helps through dry corners, with lots of diesel grunt for snapping out of them. The highway ride is not as plush as a Mercedes S-Class, but we wouldn’t expect that in a BMW. 

Going full speed ahead at our test track, the Ld zipped to 60 in 6.0–seconds. A bit over a second slower than the V8. Still, the throttle is very responsive as the car leaps off the line with no waiting for power to arrive. Shifts come early and often in typical diesel fashion, finishing out the ¼-mile in 14.5–seconds at a speed of 93 miles-per-hour. 

Even more impressive, there’s almost no roll through the slalom for 4,685-lbs worth of luxury sedan. Add in a tight, heavy steering feel, and it’s a lot more fun through the corners than you’re expecting. With stops from 60 averaging a neat 124–feet, braking was also just as good as we expect a heavy car can be. 

There’s fine bolstering in the seats for staying put while doing all of that and they are also beyond comfortable. It’s mostly all praise for the rest of the interior as well. Still, there’s not as many advanced safety features as some in the segment, and not all of our staff liked the “dry lake bed” pattern of the dash material.

Along with room for that morning cup of Joe, high end features include navigation, back-up camera, Dynamic Digital gauge cluster, Head up display, power trunk lid, and a Bang and Olufsen sound system. And of course there’s iDrive on hand to control it all.

Available in the extended wheelbase only means there’s plenty of room for stretching out in the back seats, which are also heated, and protected by a multitude of sunshades. However, for such a big car, more than 14.0 cubic-ft. of cargo room would be nice, but there is some underfloor space as well.

Nothing changes to the classy and conservative exterior, though as with every other 7 Series you can upgrade to the M Sport package for 19-inch alloy wheels, black exterior trim, and extra aero add-ons.  

As for how this diesel does in the official Government Fuel Economy Ratings, they are 23-City, 31-Highway, and 26–Combined. But as is often the case in oil burners, we easily beat those numbers with a stingy average of 32.3 miles-per-gallon. The Energy Impact Score falls in at 14.7-barrels of oil consumed and 6.4-tons of CO2 emitted annually. 

Of course flagship German cars are not for the truly stingy. Pricing starts at $83,450. Still, that’s over 8 grand less than a similar V8, and even with pricey options our car was well under 6 figures.

The 2015 BMW 740Ld is not nearly as flamboyant as some of its rivals, nor does it have all of the punch of even its own stablemates. But, it is an exceptional large sedan, with all the luxury and style expected in its executive class, while retaining the pure driving emotion that defines the BMW brand. The new diesel? Well, that just makes it a totally intelligent choice as well. 


  • Engine: 3.0 liter turbo I6
  • Horsepower: 255
  • Torque: 413 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.0 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 14.5 seconds @ 93 mph
  • EPA: 23 mpg city/ 31 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 14.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.4 tons/yr