Highly Recommended. A car that deserves top marks – a new level for BMW’s flagship.
For decades BMW has been trying to keep up with Mercedes-Benz in the large executive saloon market.
And now, finally, Stuttgart needs to be worried, because Munich is finally on the same level.
Because the new 7 Series is the absolute zenith for BMW so far – aside from the ‘i’ cars, it has got to be the most advanced motor that the firm has ever produced.
Probably for the first time, it can be said that the 7 Series matches the almighty Mercedes S Class in every area.
Innovation is there to see throughout, with a carbon core being used in a BMW – again aside from the ‘i’ range – for the first time.
It helps to bolster the efficiency figures and improve the drive of what is a fairly large machine, of course.
We’ll get to the drive in a moment, but first we’ll visit the Executive Lounge.
BMW isn’t messing about with its titles here, but it fairly accurately describes the experience for rear seat passengers in the long wheelbase version.
Standard accommodation is luxurious enough, with plenty of legroom and comfort from fully-electric seats, but the Executive Lounge experience is on another level, with the front passenger seat featuring an extendable footrest, for example.
Rear passengers can control everything with Touch Command, or they can manage all settings from a tablet-style pad.
Up front, Gesture Control makes for hands-free use of the touch screen system – if you want to turn the stereo volume up or down simply twirl your finger in mid-air to make it happen.
Can’t be bothered to park it yourself? Not a problem. The 7 will slide itself into your garage – or any other tight space – sans humans with remote parking via the key, which is more like a mini-smartphone; you can also warm the car up, check it’s secure and see the fuel range all on the key.
It’ll also waft a fragrance of your choice through the air vents, rather than that normal common air that others have to endure.
We’ve clearly established that the 7 is a luxury, innovative, technology-filled car, but what’s it like to drive?
Well, it turns out, rather good.
You can choose between six-cylinder diesel and petrol, with the petrol getting to 62mph in a mere 5.6 seconds.
The diesels, meanwhile, are not far behind, with the standard rear-wheel-drive car making it in 6.1 seconds and the xDrive in 5.8.
That means that the 7 Series is not only a luxury limo, but also a rather enjoyable car to get behind the wheel of as well.
Get it in Sport mode and it’s a joy, but in any setting it delivers smooth power in absolute abundance.
Ride-wise it’s like floating on air, a waft made possible by two-axle air suspension and variable damper control, yet into the corners the 7 is still sharp.
It’s efficient, too, mind you, with diesel mpg either side of 60 and the petrol in the low-40s, while CO2 gets as low as 124g/km, which isn’t bad at all for such a big car.
The eDrive hybrid will see a theoretical 134mpg and 49g/km.
So the new 7 Series just takes everything to a new level – and it matches the S Class at every turn.
1. Huge comfort and luxury.
2. A joy to drive.
3. Impressively efficient.
We don't like:
1. The styling isn’t overly exciting.
2. That’s it, we’re struggling.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The petrol gets to 62mph in less than six seconds.
Most sensible: The diesels are efficient and clean, while not lacking in performance.
Next: ratings and breakdown