2007 BMW

2007 BMW 3-Series

Completely revised for 2006, BMW's compact 3-Series continues be a benchmark car for handling, agility and overall performance. For 2007, a 300 horsepower version of BMW's famous six-cylinder engine joins the lineup. Two-doors versions get restyled exteriors to differentiate them from the sedan versions. The base engine in 328i models is (somewhat confusingly) a 3-liter in-line six, up-rated for 2007 to 230 horsepower. The 335i replaces last year's 330i designation. All-wheel-drive versions now include coupes and wagons, which get an "xi" designation, as previously. Later in 2007, an updated retractable hardtop coupe is expected to appear. Both a standard six-speed manual transmission and six-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox with manual shift capability are offered. An array of new braking technologies includes Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Drying and Comfort Stop. In addition, Start-Off Assistant (on manual versions) is on hand to automatically hold the car while stopped on an incline. It is a modern version of the "hill holder clutch" system once offered on Subarus. A CD stereo, rain-sensing windshield wipers and alloy wheels remain standard, with rear side airbags, a navigation system and the latest version of BMW's iDrive system (which combines various systems like the climate control, navigation and audio functions into a single array that's operated via a center-console knob) optional.

2007 BMW 5-Series

BMW's mid-size luxury sports sedan and wagon receives minor updates for 2007, including a standard four-year subscription to BMW Assist (like GM's OnStar system, BMW Assist can summon help in the event of a crash), the addition of an iPod jack to the standard audio system and a new Sport Package that includes revised front seats and steering wheel. A night vision system may also be ordered. Otherwise, the 5-Series is a carryover for 2007. It continues to be available in 525i, 530i and 550i forms -- with all-wheel-drive "xi" versions of the 525i and 530i available. The V-8 550i is only offered in rear-drive form, however. And the wagon comes just one way -- 530xi with all-wheel-drive. The standard 3 liter engine in the 525i and 525xi is a 3.0 liter in-line six rated at 215 horsepower; the 530i and 530xi get a 255 horsepower version of this engine (up-rated from last year's 225 horsepower). The top-of-the-line 550i is powered by a 4.8 liter, 360 horsepower V-8 engine. All 5-Series engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed Steptronic automatic available optionally. Also available is an electronically-controlled "clutchless" Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG). This transmission is a true manual transmission but one which uses a computer to engage and disengage the clutch, leaving the driver to concentrate on gear-changes. The 330 wagon comes with a Soft Close two-way tailgate -- available in a power-operated version when the Premium Package is ordered. This package also includes a dual-panel Panorama moonroof. Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering is now standard on all 5-Series models. Like the larger 7-Series, the 5-Series comes standard with BMW's complex iDrive control system, which combines various systems like the climate control, navigation and audio functions into a single array that's operated via a center-console knob. Some drivers find this system annoying and overly complex. The V-8 550i includes both standard adaptive brake lights and adaptive headlamps that automatically pivot during steering maneuvers to help illuminate the road around curves. For the serious enthusiast, the M5 is available with a 500 horsepower V-10 engine and numerous chassis and other upgrades.

2007 BMW 6-Series

The 6-series coupe and convertible were added to the BMW line in late 2005, slotted between the 5- and 7-Series cars. For 2007, the model designations change to 650i to reflect the larger, more powerful 4.8 liter, 360 horsepower V-8 that powers the car. It can be paired with the choice of three six-speed transmissions, including a six-speed manual, a Steptronic six-speed automatic, and BMW's Sequential Manual Gearbox, which features shift paddles on the steering wheel. A Dynamic Driving Control system allows the driver to engage a "sport" mode gives quicker throttle response, reduced steering boost and more aggressive shifts with the automatic or sequential-shift transmissions. Other technical features include Active Roll Stabilization, Active Steering, run-flat tires, a head-up display (HUD) and BMW's iDrive system. A high-performance "M" edition of BMW's large coupe was added to the line for 2006. Like the M5 sedan, it is powered by a 500-horsepower V-10 engine that comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission; it can reach 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds.

2007 BMW 7-Series

BMW's flagship 7-Series rear-drive sedan is slated for a major update in 2008 so changes to the current (2007) model are expected to be minimal. In 2006, the exterior styling was revised for a more traditional look, with a larger version of BMW's trademark kidney-shaped grilles, revised bumper and lower spoiler, new headlamps and fog lights and a subtly redesigned hood. The car's rear-end styling is also smoothed out, with the back bumper tucking in at the wheel wells; this helps emphasize the car's slightly wider (by 0.06 inches) rear track. On the inside, climate-control knobs were revised last year to give a more tactile feel and a new "titanium galvanic material" is used throughout the cabin. The infamous iDrive system that controls the climate control, navigation and audio functions was simplified in '06 to make it more user-friendly. Bluetooth wireless interface is standard. Under the hood, the 750i and long-wheelbase 750Li are powered by a 4.8 liter, 360 horsepower V-8 engine. The 760i a and 750Li have a 6.0 liter V-12 engine rated at 438 horsepower; it is teamed with a six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability.

2007 BMW X3

The X3 "Sports Activity Vehicle" is a compact crossover SUV that's based on the 3-Series sedan. It is all-new for 2007 and receives a major infusion of power with a newly standard 3.0 liter, in-line six-cylinder engine producing 260 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel-drive are standard equipment -- with six-speed Steptronic automatic available as a no-cost option. Initially, the new X3 comes in just one form, X3 3.0si -- and features include a panorama-style roof, heated front and second row seats, available heated steering wheel (cold weather package) side-impact and curtain air bags, stability and traction control, park assist and Bluetooth wireless technology. Second row side-impact air bags are available optionally. The new X3 is larger inside than its predecessor, too -- offering 71 cubic feet of cargo space and a new tie-down/rack system.

2007 BMW X5

The mid-sized X5 sport SUV is all-new for 2007 and now offers third-row seating and seven-passenger capability. Compared with the outgoing model, the '07 model is 7.4 inches longer overall -- and 2.4 inches wider. BMW engineers say that the increased track improves stability -- while the longer wheelbase (up to 115.5 inches from the previous 111 inches) should make pulling a trailer with the new model that much safer, too. It is offered in 3.0si and 4.8i versions, with the six-cylinder version producing 260 horsepower while the V-8 delivers 350 horsepower -- in both case, big upticks over the previous generation X5. A six-speed automatic is standard with both models; a manual transmission is no longer available. A "simplified" version of the infamous iDrive mouse controller is standard on both models and there's an available Heads-up Display (HUD). Another major change is the electrically-activated gear shifter, which is similar to the system first used on the 7-Series sedan. A Sport Package is available with 19-inch wheels (20-inch wheels are optional) and other upgrades. All-wheel-drive is standard and all models offer 8.3 inches of ground clearance. The '07 X5 can tow up to 6,000-lbs. when properly equipped.

2007 BMW Z4M Roadtser

At the time of this writing, there was no information as to updates and changes to BMW's compact roadster for 2007. This quick and nimble, athletic-looking two-seat roadster comes powered in its base 2.5i version by a 2.5-liter in-line six-cylinder engine packs 184 horsepower, while the 3.0i includes a 225-horsepower 3.0-liter in-line six. Available transmissions include a standard five-speed manual transmission, a five-speed automatic gearbox with manual shift capability, or a six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox. The high-performance M Roadster (and hatchback coupe) are defined by the 330 horsepower 3.2 liter in-line six under the hood. Dynamic Stability Control, traction control and a limited-slip differential come standard across the line; the 3.0i adds amenities like a Carver audiophile stereo system and heated windshield washers. An available Sport Package includes a tauter suspension and larger wheels and performance tires; an iPod Adapter is also available.