BMW 7 Series Review logo

BMW 7 Series Review

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1/10

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2/10

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2016
      Body type
      Luxury
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“High-tech, high class luxury ”

Best bits

  •  Superlative ride comfort
  •  Huge cabin space
  •  Hybrid option

Not so great

  • Can be tricky to park
  • Petrol engine running costs
  • Vague steering feel

Read by

BMW 7 Series Driving Front

Overall verdict

BMW 7 Series Interior

On the inside

BMW 7 Series Exterior Front

Driving

BMW 7 Series Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

BMW 7 Series Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Luxury cars are all about wafting around with the minimum of fuss and maximum of comfort, and the BMW 7 Series is impeccable when it comes to how it deals with lumps, bumps and potholes. Its predecessor didn't ride very well but there are no such problems with this generation."

BMW 7 Series Driving Front

This BMW 7 Series was launched in 2016, updated in 2019 and is the largest car the German brand has ever produced. The long wheelbase version is huge and stands at more than 5.2 metres long, yet thanks to those familiar BMW proportions it hides its size well, looking more like a 6 Series Gran Coupe. This is no bulky four-door but a surprisingly sleek and good-looking saloon.


BMW has ditched coil springs and dampers in favour of what the Americans call 'air ride', where cushions of air take the place of more traditional steel springs to absorb the blows dished out the by the road’s surface.


This sophisticated self-levelling air suspension system comes as standard and means the 7 Series is wonderfully smooth over even the poorest of surfaces. It really comes into its own at motorway speeds where the lack of road noise and its ability to effortlessly glide along make this a relaxing car to drive or travel in. This sort of effortless ability makes it one of the main contenders for your attention and cash at this pricey end of the market.


Performance is all that you'd expect of the flagship BMW model, with the mainstay engine being the impressive 730d. It offers all the power you need with 265PS but it's the strong in-gear acceleration that makes more of an impression in everyday driving as you just don’t expect a car of this size to build speed with such ease. It's also available with xDrive four-wheel drive for added traction and security in wet or wintery conditions.


Alternatively, there’s a more powerful 740d model or the silky smooth 740i or 750i with petrol V8. If you have bottomless pockets, the V12-powered 760i is the ultimate BMW limo in many ways, but others will prefer the frugal charms of the petrol-electric hybrid 745e.


When it comes to technology, the 7 Series can give the Starship Enterprise a run for its money. It has an iDrive system, an excellent head-up display and an incredible 360-degree camera. You can even remotely park it using the key.


There is, of course, acres of space inside, particularly in long wheelbase models, although the lengthy rear doors mean you have to be wary of standard parking bays which the 7 Series dwarfs. The interior quality is impeccable with a truly luxury feel and great attention to detail.


The only criticism of the 7 Series is the steering, which feels light and overly assisted even in its sportiest setting. Then again, this isn't a car designed to tackle tight corners. What it does do is offer more standard equipment than its S-Class rival for the same sort of money, making the BMW one of the best luxury saloons around.


Is the BMW 7 Series right for you?

BMW claims the 7 Series is the car for the people who drive the world, or in other words those wealthy enough to fund the car and may well prefer to sit in the back. If that’s you, congratulations because you are in for a treat with the 7 Series because it is one of the most silkily smooth riding cars in a class where this is a vital skill.


For those in the rear seats, there’s acres of space to spread out and BMW offers a long wheelbase 7 Series to give the full limousine treatment. All of this can be upgraded with various options packs to make the car even more luxurious and comforting.


As standard, the Seven comes with a raft of luxury, labour-saving and high-tech gadgets. It also gets the basics spot on, so you get large, comfortable chairs with masses of cushioning and adjustment to give all-day support to all of the BMW’s occupants.


What’s the best BMW 7 Series model/engine to choose?

Some will choose the big, powerful petrol engines just because they are a statement of outright status, but most will pick the more frugal but no less creamily smooth 730d with its 3.0-litre turbodiesel engine. It’s the one to have for most owners, thought he 740d offers a bit extra in the way of overtaking oomph.


If you do choose the punchy 750i or V12-engined 760i, you get the sort of pace and overtaking power more normally associated with cars bearing BMW’s M badge.


Or there’s the 745e with its 2.0-litre petrol engine and additional battery power to deliver up to 128.4mpg and 29 miles of EV-only driving. This is an intriguing option and one that’s well suited to those who spend most of their time in city traffic. The 3.0-litre turbo petrol engine is every bit as refined as the other engines the range, so you don’t need to be committed to going green to make this decision.


What other cars are similar to the BMW 7 Series?

The clear rivals to the BMW 7 Series both hail from Germany and are the usual suspects of the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The A8 is constructed from lightweight aluminium and enjoys a degree of sprightliness that you don’t normally connect with luxury saloons.


Mercedes’ S-Class is, for many, the default luxury car choice and it’s easy to see why thanks to its relaxed drive, calming interior and smooth ride. However, it’s not quite as much fun in the driver’s seat as the BMW.


If you value driving pleasure, the Jaguar XJ is a good bet, though it makes compromises in cabin space and ride comfort. You could also look to the Lexus LS that is only offered with hybrid power or the Maserati Quattroporte for a very different take on luxury motoring. 


Learn more

BMW 7 Series Interior

On the inside

BMW 7 Series Exterior Front

Driving

BMW 7 Series Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

BMW 7 Series Exterior Side

Prices, versions and specification