BMW 7 E65 vs E66- The Difference Explained!

BMW E65 and E66 are fourth-generation models of the BMW 7 Series. Both are four-door luxury sedan cars with a sitting capacity of five passengers. The E65 and E66 were launched in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Their production continued till 2008 and in the same year, they were replaced by BMW F01 7 Series.

Most people don’t know the BME E65/E66 difference since the difference is very subtle, therefore often people get confused between the two. In this article, you will get to know the difference between both models and which one is better to buy.

What’s the Difference Between BMW 7 E65 and E66?

BMW E65 is the standard model and the E66 is the long-wheelbase model of the same generation. The E66 was badged as “Li” and has a longer wheelbase and length, while the height and width of both models are the same.

The difference in length is not that much, and all the extra length of the BMW E66 is being utilized to give more rear legroom in the back. Both models are available in petrol and diesel engines, but the BMW E65 has more engine options than the E66. It comes with multiple engine types like I6, V8, and V12.

Both models have the same maximum cargo capacity of 18 cubic feet. All versions of E65 and E66 are rear-wheel drive and have six-speed automatic transmission. They were the first models of BMW to include an iDrive infotainment system, night vision, and electronic smart key. Another variant E67 was also launched in 2003 with high-security features.

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BMW E65 vs E66: Exterior Dimensions

BMW E66 is basically a longer version of the E65 and has extra length and wheelbase. The length of BME E66 is five inches larger than the E65. Similarly, the wheelbase is also five inches larger. Other features like the height, width, and rear track of both models are the same.

BMW E65 has a total length of 198 inches and the E66 has a total length of 203.5 inches. The wheelbase of E65 is 117.7 inches and that of E66 is 123.2 inches. The width of both models is the same as 74.9 inches.

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They also have the same height of 58.5 inches. Exterior styling on both models is also the same. They got the facelift in 2005 and the wheelbase was increased by 14 mm.

Below is the table that summarizes the exterior dimensions of both models:

Item DescriptionUnitBMW 65BMW 66
Rear Trackinches117.7117.7

BMW E65 vs E66: Interior Dimensions

Almost all the interior dimensions of both BMW E65 and E66 are the same, except the rear legroom. The extra five inches added to the length of E66 were utilized to increase the rear legroom space by five inches.

BMW E65 has a front legroom space of 41.3 inches and the front headroom space is 39.2 inches. The front shoulder-room space is 59.3 inches. All of these front dimensions are the same in the BMW E66 model and you will not find any difference while sitting in the front seat of any of the above models.

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Below is the table that summarizes the interior dimensions of BMW E65 and E66:

Item DescriptionUnitBMW 65BMW 66
Front Head Roominches39.239.2
Front Leg Roominches41.341.3
Front Shoulder Roominches59.359.3
Rear Head Roominches38.538.5
Rear Leg Roominches37.243.4
Rear Shoulder Roominches58.758.9

BMW E65 has relatively smaller rear legroom space, and someone with a height close to six feet might find it difficult to adjust his or her legs in the back seats.

On the other hand, BMW E66 has a bigger rear legroom space of 43.4 inches, five inches more than the E65. Other interior dimensions like headroom and shoulder-room of the rear seat are the same in both models.

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Is BMW E65 More Expensive than BMW E66?

During the time when they were sold by the BMW, the E66 was a little more expensive than the E65. The last E65/E66 was produced in 2008 meaning the latest year of any model available in the market will be at least 14 years old.

Therefore the current price will depend upon the condition and specs of the car rather than the model. The initial selling price of the BMW E66 was a few thousand more than the E65.

For example, 4.8L 750i (E65) had a price tag of $76,800 in 2008 and during the same year, 4.8L 750Li (E66) had an initial selling price of $79,900. Meaning the longer wheelbase version E66 was $3,100 costlier than the standard E65 model.

Now after 14 years most of the E65 and E66 models would have already passed their recommended total mileage unless they were not used for many years. But people still demand more money for the BMW E66 models compared to the same conditioned E65 models.

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Do BMW E65 and E66 Have the Same Reliability?

Both BMW E65 and E66 have the same reliability as both models belong to the same generation and series. Although the fourth generation of BMW 7 Series has a very bad reputation when it comes to reliability. So, both E65 and E66 are equally unreliable.

BMW E65 and E66 were the first models of BMW to include advanced high-tech features, therefore the initial models were plagued with many problems. The maintenance and repair costs of these models are also very high, and one can expect to pay $2600 to $3500 per year only in terms of maintenance costs.

Due to the complexity of these models, the labor costs are also very high and only a few technicians can identify and solve the issues of BMW E65 and E66.

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Is it Better to Buy a BMW E65 or E66?

Both E65 and E66 have similar performance and reliability therefore the buying decision will depend upon the preference and use case.

If you are someone who has a small family and likes to drive by yourself, then BMW E65 will be suitable for you. The E65 has also more engine options and you can choose from 3.0L to 6.0L I6, V8, and V12 engines.

The E66 will be a better choice if you have grown-up children and want more legroom in the back. It will also suit you better if you use the rear seats more often and have a driver for your daily commute.

But in any case, you must remember that both of these models have poor reliability and cost a fortune to maintain.