In 1980, L’Auto-Journal tested the BMW 728i (strengths, weaknesses)

In 1980, L’Auto-Journal tested the BMW 728i (strengths, weaknesses)

At the very beginning of the 1980s, BMW attacked the decade from the top by launching an ambitious 7. series with the best 6 cylinders: the 728i and 732i…

BMW 728i and 732i: quotes from 1980

“Resurrected from nothing twenty years after the end of the last war, the Bayerische Motoren Werke – or at least its automotive sector – has been able, thanks to endless changes, to rise to an unexpected level.”

“This rise has been facilitated by the status of some of its competitors, but BMW, supported by this highly valued Bavaria, is a great example of industrial success in a narrow area, that of high-performance sedans.”

“With the 7 Series, the Bavarian manufacturer has deviated from its usual framework. By designing a large car powered by an important 6-cylinder in line – and this, in our time of austerity -, it is the power of Daimler Benz that we wanted to attack, among other things.

“Decisions taken by French public authorities sometimes give off such a bad smell that one has the right to doubt the truth of their actions in other areas. Indeed, what can have an influence on the use of French oil to put in circulation of a few thousand cars to prepare financial power more than 16 HP?

“By approving a “big” engine with a 5000 F sticker, we are only satisfying the envious feelings of a few people, and this, without the benefit of public visibility.”

“You have to have driven both versions to notice the practical differences in behavior, to the point that the 728i seems insignificant compared to the 732i.”

“These BMW cars do not let go of the current low control behavior – this weight of the front provided as a fuse for the driver’s shortcomings – and its overall balance remains the same for a long time, allowing entry into corners at very high speeds. , even on the road.

“If you know how to do it, you have to press harder so that the back starts to slowly come apart. However, the speed at which it appears is very high and, considering the dimensions and weight of the car, I would not advise anyone to try it for the first time on a narrow invisible road.

“Without having what I would call “hydraulic smoothness”, the big BMW suspension represents a valid compromise between durability and comfort.”

“I don’t think we should get lost in long rounds of praise. The 728i and, even more, the 732i are beautiful and pleasant cars, whose comfort and space do not come at the price of losing the pleasure or safety of driving.

BMW 728i and 732i: its characteristics

  • Satisfactory performance

“The two tested cars were undoubtedly brought to the Montlhéry speedway, the hydrometric conditions have undoubtedly been better for the 728i.

“However, this model gave a top speed on the ring in the fifth gear of 193.5 km / h while in the fourth gear – in the gear – it rose to 201.6 km / h. As for the 732i, it reached 201.2 km / h in the fifth and 203 km / h in four.

  • Very good maintenance

“Even in heavy rain and rough crossings, the 732i is very easy to drive at all speeds. Not only is it quiet in a straight line and stable on its course, but its behavior in bends and corners is that of a lighter and more compact car. “

“We can only praise the braking. It is strong, progressive – at least when warm and at high speeds – and the balance of the car remains healthy, even under the action of high-speed power on wet roads.”

BMW 728i and 732i: its flaws

  • Questionable gearbox grill

“The fifth is, as usual, dropped to the right and up. When the last gear is used as it is used in the 7 Series, this arrangement does not seem logical. It would be better to see a regular H with 2-3-4-5 , with the first being aligned horizontally, left and down.

  • Too much driving

“It seems to me that 4 turns of the steering wheel from lock to lock is a large gear ratio for a car with similar driving characteristics.”

  • Ineffective high speed windshield wipers

“Visibility is satisfactory, except in wet weather where, surprisingly for a car of this class, the windshield wipers lose their effectiveness at speeds from 170 km / h.”

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BMW 728i and 732i: in specifications

  • (728i) L/w/h: 3.86/1.80/1.43m
  • Weight: 1580 kg
  • Power: 184 hp DIN at 5800 rpm
  • 1000 m da: 30 s
  • V.max. speed: 193.5 km / h
  • Consumption at 90 km/h: 9.05 l/100 km

Seen today: by Thomas Riaud

Over the course of four decades, the 7 Series has managed to rise to the top of its class, even as the Mercedes S-Class remains the best seller in the region. But over the generations, the sleek and slim 7 Series has become an increasingly unattractive machine.

Witness the seventh and final edition – released for the first time in an electronic version. He’s definitely a must-have in terms of technology, but his divisive body almost makes us regret the Bangle era!

Get our retro BMW 728i and 732i test inside Auto-Journal No. 1130 of 03/23/2023.