I recently found myself looking at a photograph of an "E38" BMW 7 Series — the one that was made from 1995 to 2001. It was in perfect condition with gorgeous lines and the right wheels — the "M Parallel" wheels they put on the "M Sport" models near the end. And it dawned on me: This is the best-looking sedan ever made.
In fact, I think there’s some chance it’s the best-looking sedan that ever will get made. I say this because, no matter what you think, the sedan is dying; people are migrating to the SUV, and fewer and fewer people are interested in sedans. Combine that with the general automotive trend of lookalike cars, and you’re going to have fewer sedans and even fewer standout designs. Simply put, the best days of the sedan are behind us.
And as I looked at the 7 Series, I pondered all that. And then I pondered exactly what other sedan models are similarly attractive.
For many people, the "E39" BMW 5 Series is one of the most attractive sedans ever made. I, personally, never loved the E39 as much as the boxier E38; it was a little too curvy for me and never quite meant business the way BMW’s boxier designs do — and even the way its predecessor, the E34, did. With that said, I always felt the E34 was among the best-looking sedans ever made.
I also love the original version of the "W221" S-Class, which was sold from 2007 to 2010 before receiving a slightly overstyled facelift. That car is starting to get cheap, and it’s starting to wind up in the places where you’d expect to find a cheap used Mercedes — but when it first came out, it was truly gorgeous. It’s also aged a lot better than the S-Class that came before it.
These are my opinions, of course, but yours may differ — although any disagreements with me are entirely incorrect. What do you think deserves the title of the most beautiful 4-door sedan? Find a used BMW 7 Series for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.