BMW 7 Series review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
Only the diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the new 7 Series will be kind to your wallet
If you’ve got the money to splash on a car like the 7 Series you may not be fazed by how much it’s likely to cost you to run.
However, for those taking the plunge while wishing to keep as much cash in the bank as possible, petrol options can be ruled out straight off the bat. Even if you cover an average number of miles you’re likely to be looking at some big fuel bills.
BMW claims 31 to 34mpg for six-cylinder 740i models, depending on specification. Similarly, the 750i ranges from 25.7mpg to a best case scenario of 26.9mpg. To top it off, their list purchase prices don’t offset against the diesel options, which will cost you just as much to buy but will be cheaper to run.
The M760Li really is in a class of its own for high fuel consumption. BMW claims, 20.8-21.6mpg, but the average prospective buyer of a V12 powered BMW these days is unlikely to be bothered.
Under the latest WLTP tests, the entry-level 730d returns up to 44.8mpg. While the old economy test put this car at 60.1mpg, it doesn't mean the 7 Series isn't any less efficient, it just means you're more likely to hit 45mpg than you are the older figure. The extra weight of the long wheelbase 730Ld doesn't harm economy much, with a maximum quoted figure of 44.1mpg. Adding xDrive four-wheel drive imposes a bigger penalty, with a best of 42.2mpg quoted.
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
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- BMW M760Li xDrive 2017 review
- BMW 740e plug-in hybrid 2016 review
Used car tests
Go for the 740d which has xDrive as standard, and the difference between it and the 730d xDrive is marginal, with a best quoted figure of 41.5mpg, which is the same for long and short wheelbase versions.
In terms of efficiency, the best performer is the plug-in 745e. Its battery assisted drive system has a best quoted economy of 141.2mpg, while the 745Le xDrive version manages 117.7mpg. How close you get to those figures will depend entirely on how often you can charge the battery up, but the 745e's emissions will be more relevant to company and fleet users. While the standard 7 Series has emissions ranging from 138-282g/km, the 745e manages 48-57g/km, depending on wheel size and drive layout, which means low Benefit In Kind rates. BMW claims a maximum range of 36 miles on electric power only, up to speeds of 68mph.
You’ll have to pay extra for a rapid charging cable, however – BMW only provides a 13-amp cable as standard. An array of optional extras related to charging are offered, including home wallbox installation.
Unsurprisingly for a large and expensive car residual values aren’t great, with most of the line-up predicted to retain around 37 to 38 per cent of purchase value after three years/36,000 miles. The powerful petrol 750i and M760Li models fare worst, with the best option by far either the 745e or 745Le plug-in hybrid, which is predicted to keep 42 per cent of its value over a typical three years on the road.
In this review
- 1VerdictBMW’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 Costs - currently readingOnly 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