Opinions on the BMW 7 series 95 to 01?

Hello everyone!
I am looking at purchasing either a 740I or 740IL from the model year 1995 - 2001. I would love some feed back from those of you out there who either
own or have experience with these cars. I have some questions.
What should I know when looking for a used one? What are differences between the models and years? What model and year would you recommend? How much should I budget (I am in British Columbia, Canada)
I'd Love to hear what everyone says before I buy. I currently own a 1989 525i and have had troubles with it from the start. However I do still like BMW though. I want to do it RIGHT this time. Thanks in advance everyone!
Mark
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Mark: I don't know if I can speak for everyone, but I leased a 1997 740iL for three years as a certified pre-owned car. It was in the shop for over six months of the lease duration. I loved the car, but it is problematic. Anything that fails in this car will cost you big $ to repair. A service manager told me very candidly that BMW puts most of their engineering effort into their bread and butter: 3 series. People that can afford the 7 can afford the repairs. Beware.

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I disagree in part. I think part of the reason is BMW believes anyone willing to pay the big $$$$$ for a 7 Series wants the latest and greatest. The end result is you get a car that is on the "leading edge" of technology, but may be so far out there that its unreliable. "Idrive" and BMW's Nav found in the current E65/66 7 Series and E60 5 Series are prime example. Theoretically, it sounds good. But in reality, the execution is very poor. Yet, BMW has to offer this level of technology if it expects to get the big bucks.
Yeah, you could argue that Lexus, Acura, et al., have similar hi tech AND is reliable. But, maybe its because Japanese electronics is superior.
I suspect BMW rushed the new 7 Series out and buyers of 2002 and 2003 basically bought prototypes. Its my understanding that the revised E65/66 are supposedly alot less complex and a bit more reliable. The same could probably be said of the E38 7 Series.
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Listen not to these infidels. I've owned two E38s and they're wonderful. My current has 170000 miles and no serious problems.
Avoid the 4.0L motor. 1996 had a higher torque/heavier AT (5HP30 vs 5HP24). Things that break: Cupholders in the center console Sun shades on the rear triangle shaped windows Sun shade in rear window gets stuck Pixels in the dash go out
EBay is your friend.
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I appreciate the feedback. Any others have input they can share? Keep it coming. Thanks!
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Thanks for the feedback. Do any others have reasons why thy love or hate this car and have any advice to give me. Keep it coming. Thanks! Mark
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