Luxury Cars

BMW Alpina B7 buying guide

Unfortunately, you don’t hear much talk about this sedan.

Today I wanted to change that because honestly, it’s one of the most underrated four-doors on the market.

I’m of course talking about the BMW Alpina B7.

The Alpina B7 is unique in terms of both class and hackability. It follows the 7-Series lineage, but has some serious differences that make it a better car and a better hack than the big Mafia cars you might be more familiar with.

Many may be wondering what an “Alpina” even is, since BMW is more known for putting an “M” next to its high-end/performance models. The M is exactly that: a performance car. A daily driver with racing DNA imprinted on it, slightly toned down to make supermarket shopping easier but also fun.

The Alpina is the other side of the coin, it’s all about luxury. But that doesn’t mean they neglected to optimize the engine. So not only do you get a finely tuned, handcrafted engine, but also a more luxurious and customized design feel. This gives you a beautiful touring car that can still zip around the streets and corner like an M car.

Read on to learn why it should be your next hack.

Experience behind the wheel

I read something once and it stuck with me: “The M is the car for the racetrack and the Alpina is the car that gets you there.”

Alpina is an independent company, but affiliated with BMW, a manufacturer of automobile bodies. They build the engines specifically by hand and design the interior differently than any other BMW model. Once this is done, they ship all the mechanical parts to a BMW factory where the car is finally assembled. This adds some individual flair to a more machine-made brand.

The Alpinas are not intended to be sporty racing cars like the Ms, they are designed more as powerful and luxurious everyday cars, offering both functionality and the ability to enjoy every moment behind the wheel or strapped in the front or rear seats.

However, in true BMW style, the hand-built engine packs a ton of power. With a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine, this magnificent beast is tuned to produce up to 600 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque, giving it the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds, which is an amazing technical achievement.

Inside, you won’t hear the roar of the engine or the roar of the turbos. Instead, you’ll hear silence and experience what it might feel like to have a cloud drifting across the local highway. The interior is incredibly spacious, making road trips or long-distance trips with the family an easy task. There is also plenty of space in the trunk for storing suitcases, golf clubs and much more. The BMW Alpina B7 takes you to your destination with performance, comfort and luxury.

BMW Alpina B7 General problems

Although certain parts and components of Alpinas are designed separately from those of other BMWs, they all contain the same essential parts and therefore appear to share the same common problems that many other BMWs are known to have, such as:

Electrical problems

Water pump problems

Oil pump problems

Wastegate/engine rattling issues

All of these problems can usually be predicted or diagnosed during a pre-purchase inspection. You should do this for any vehicles you plan to purchase for your next hack.

There are also some open recalls for the BMW Alpina B7 that you can check out HereMake sure that either the previous owner has completed these recalls with documentation, or make an appointment with the dealer to have these recalls completed soon after taking delivery of the vehicle.

BMW Alpina B7 Operating/maintenance costs

Many will claim that BMWs are incredibly expensive to repair, and that is 100% true if you continue to take them to the franchise dealer for service after the factory warranty/service period has expired.

It is the result of clever marketing, which we have always believed in. Take it to the dealer and they will do the best job possible, and for a car this expensive you want the best work.

However, this way of thinking is wrong.

You don’t have to have as much cash as the car is worth to buy it, and you don’t have to take the car back to the dealer for service. BMW has some of the least qualified mechanics in its workshops. It is MUCH better if you go to an independent doctor.

Heck, even my Porsche 918 goes to a third-party repair shop for most work. BUT it’s not just any third party shop, it’s one that’s well-known in the community, well-reviewed, and one that I’ve built a relationship with, starting with a Maserati Quattroporte, over time, and ending with my hypercar Collection has further developed This now also includes my McLaren P1, Bugatti Chiron, Porsche 918, Ford GT etc.

Although it can be scary to trust an independent third-party store, following their guidelines, reading reviews, and building a relationship with them can help allay these fears. You will also be happy with the difference in your repair bill.

You’ll find that many reputable third-party vendors are former factory-trained technicians who left to pursue their own entrepreneurial dreams – who wouldn’t want to support that?

Alpina B7s are special, but their engines still use the same BMW parts that are usually available in any workshop and that a well-trained mechanic can work on.

Oil changes at BMW dealers typically cost between $300 and $800, and that doesn’t include major services like spark plugs, cabin filter changes, etc. However, with a third-party provider, you may be able to get this work done with routine service and more for half the price.

Another good option is to also hire services yourself when it comes to things the car needs throughout its lifespan. Buy your tires yourself from a site like Discount Tire Direct, take the tires to the shop and simply pay for installation/mounting and balance.

You will find that the overall price is much cheaper than if you asked the dealer to order and install the tires for you.

BMW Alpina B7 Trim differences

There are no other equipment variants for the Alpina B7, as it is the highest equipment variant in the BMW B series.

However, there was a generational change from 16-19 to 19-today, with the 19+ models having some additional features such as a new internal display interface, an updated facelift, etc.

BMW Alpina B7 Options

Even though Alpinas are built slightly differently than the regular BMWs or the Ms, their option structure is still relatively the same. BMW doesn’t offer as many a la carte options as Ferrari or McLaren, but rather packages that include options.

While it’s nice to have more packages from a sticker perspective, the Alpina itself is already an upscale car, featuring a premium interior, an upgraded engine, as well as standard yet high-quality wheels and other options. So, above all else, you want to make sure you’re getting a relatively and consistently hot color combination with a good mileage/year ratio and a clean PPI from a trusted dealer.

If you would like to take a look at the package list as well as a configurator for the exterior and interior color options, you can do so Here

Preferably BMW Alpina B7 Buy

If you are looking for perhaps the cheapest variant of the B7, you should go for the 16-17. Since the B7 is the highest trim level, it’s all about finding a car with a strong color combination and good miles.

If you want to pay more for the newer technology and slightly updated facelift, then go for a second-generation 19-inch model.

A good rule of thumb for mileage: Take how many years old the car is and multiply it by 5,000. So a 17 is 5 years old (2022) and that would mean good mileage would be 25,000 miles on the odometer over mileage.


The BMW Alpina B7 may not be for everyone. For some it’s an understatement because they want to drive something more brandy and well-known like a Mercedes S63 or an Audi RS7. But for others, this car might just be perfect, offering you a “if you know, you know” approach to ownership and might just be the answer to the question of which daily driver you should choose next.

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