BMW 7 Series review
BMW’s latest luxury limo gets a bold look, better plug-in hybrid tech and is closer to the Mercedes S-Class than ever
You certainly can’t knock BMW for the facelifted 7 Series. The new look really won’t be to all tastes but you certainly won’t miss it in passing, and at first glance many may look at this heavily updated G11 generation car as if it is actually a brand new model altogether.
With such a large body and uncharacteristically light steering it's not as rewarding to drive as smaller BMWs, but few models in this segment prioritise sharp handling. Luxury, refinement and technology are areas where these cars are designed to deliver and in that respect, the BMW 7 Series excels.
There's a large range of engines, from six-cylinder options to a flagship V12. A new plug-in hybrid six-cylinder is great too. The amount of tech on board all models is first-rate, while the smooth and relaxing manner in which the 7 covers ground is bettered only by the Mercedes S-Class. On twistier tarmac, the BMW is the best limo of this sort of price from behind the wheel.
A major update to the BMW 7 Series in 2019 has given it a look that will take some getting used to, but there's no arguing that this luxury limo is still one of the most hi-tech cars for sale in the UK today. The range has been revised along with the visual update, but the BMW 7 Series still majors on technology, refinement and delivering some of the best handling in the luxury car class.
Car group tests
- BMW 7 Series vs Range Rover
- Mercedes S-Class vs BMW 7 Series
- BMW 7 Series vs Mercedes S-Class vs Jaguar XJ
- New BMW 745Le xDrive plug-in hybrid 2019 review
- New BMW 7 Series facelift 2019 review
- BMW M760Li xDrive 2017 review
- BMW 740e plug-in hybrid 2016 review
Used car tests
As before, there are petrol and diesel options, while a brand new plug-in hybrid is also available. There are long and short wheelbases and while there's plenty of technology as standard, BMW also offers a wide range of options. Prices start from just over £70,000, while the top-spec M760Li is around double that.
Chief rival for the BMW 7 Series is the Mercedes S-Class, while the Audi A8, Jaguar XJ and Lexus LS are also fighting for sales in the class. Elsewhere, the Maserati Quattroporte is a more extravagant choice, as are the Bentley Flying Spur or the far more expensive Rolls-Royce Ghost.
That imposing grille added to the 7 Series is designed to appeal to the Chinese market. Small changes to the lines down the sides of the car appear, while the rear end is now dominated by a full-width, chrome finished LED taillight. There are standard and M Sport variants on offer, and if you go for the latter you get a slightly sportier look and blue detailing on the brake calipers.
Inside, the 7 Series is well appointed with plenty of wood, leather and Alcantara materials used throughout. It doesn’t move towards BMW’s newer interior designs as used on the brand’s other two luxury offerings: the new X7 SUV and the reborn 8 Series. However, the older, softer-edged design is ageing gracefully and the cabin oozes quality.
While there's an M Sport trim upgrade, BMW expects most buyers to go for the BMW Individual service, which offers a tailor-made car buying experience. It allows you to customise the interior and exterior to your heart's content, as well as add a variety of packs to upgrade the technology and seating as much as possible.
The model line-up comprises 740i, 750i and M760Li petrols, the 745e plug-in hybrid, plus 730d and 740d diesels. The basic models use straight-six petrol and diesel engines, while the M760Li packs a mighty V12. Even the least powerful 730d manages 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds, while the V12 flagship manages it in 3.8 seconds. All cars us an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while rear-wheel drive or xDrive four-wheel drive is offered across the range.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingBMW’s latest luxury limo gets a bold look, better plug-in hybrid tech and is closer to the Mercedes S-Class than ever
- 2Engines, performance and driveA smooth, powerful and very refined way to make progress, but best experienced as a passenger
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsOnly the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the new 7 Series will be kind to your wallet
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe BMW 7 Series' looks divide opinion, but the on-board technology is undeniably impressive
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLong-wheelbase 7 Series is hugely spacious and luxurious; few cars are better to sit in the back of
- 6Reliability and SafetyImpressive driver assistance technology joined by three-year, unlimited-mile warranty