When I purchased a very broken 2008 BMW 760Li at a dealer auction for only $4500 a few months ago, I never thought I would actually like it. Most of the broken BMW cars I purchase are used as a prop in my long-running YouTube theater production of “The Phantom of the Engine Bay.” Once the car is sorted or refuses to become a usable car despite my best efforts, I sell it as quickly as possible. In this case, though, I could see myself actually driving and enjoying this heavily depreciated luxury land yacht enough to sell my Rolls-Royce Phantom.
While my Phantom is still the ultimate luxury land yacht, without question, in my mind, there are lots of similarities to the BMW. With Rolls-Royce being owned by BMW, a lot of 7-series technology made it inside this hand-built British car, including the i-drive infotainment system, gear selector, keys and even identical alert chimes. Under the hood of the Phantom is the same V12 engine, albeit heavily modified, but the exhaust note and acceleration figures are very similar. The quality of the ride isn’t that far apart, either, and both cars are capable of whisper conversations at highway speeds. For a BMW that I own for $8000 after repairs, that’s pretty impressive considering the Phantom is worth nearly ten times as much.
Of course, the Rolls-Royce is a much more striking, ostentatious-looking thing and hand-built using the finest materials available. But in many ways, the 7-series is more luxurious. I really like the ornate inlay into the wood found throughout the cabin of the BMW, and the reclining bucket seating in the rear is much better-suited to hauling around CEOs and foreign dignitaries. When looking only at the basic rear bench seat inside the Phantom, it could easily be mistaken for an old Lincoln Town Car.
The BMW also offers much more practicality in terms of visibility and service costs (albeit still high) but a benefit I find most impressive is the handling. Thanks to an electronically-controlled, massive hydraulic front sway bar, the typical body roll associated with cars this size is greatly diminished, but unlike many recent BMW offerings that have sacrificed comfort for sportiness, the ride quality is still sumptuous.
So in a cheap BMW, of all places, I’ve found a car that might finally bring me to sell my Phantom. Having three other luxury sedans on top of that is another motivation. Once I get the repair bills after sorting out the Bentley Turbo R and the Mercedes 500E, I’m sure I’ll have even more motivation. Find a BMW 7 Series for sale or Find a Rolls-Royce Phantom for sale