The BMW 7 Series is a fantastic car with an all-around appeal, but more lavish competitors in the super luxury sedan class shine brighter. Yes, it’s powerful, comfy, and attractive, but those are expected features in the flagship car of a luxury company. Its handling isn’t its finest attribute, and its dramatic new outward design — particularly the grille — may take some getting used to, but there’s no mistaking this for anything other than a slick executive interstate missile. It’s still a good luxury sedan, with a smooth ride, a quiet and comfortable interior, and refined engine performance.
Major Changes Over The Years
The following are the most significant changes to the BMW 7 Series in recent years:
2016: completely overhauled with a standard extended wheelbase, a refined eight-speed automatic transmission, improved aesthetics, extra trunk space, and a new suspension system.
2017: the 740e plug-in hybrid, Alpina B7, and M760i trims were introduced.
2018: saw no significant changes.
2019: Blind spot monitoring, front collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and Apple CarPlay, which were previously optional, become standard.
2020: new exterior appearance; increased power for 740i and 750i levels; 745e plug-in hybrid replaces 740e.
2021: no significant changes.
The BMW 740i includes a 335-horsepower turbocharged inline-six engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive as standard. All-wheel drive (xDrive) is an option. This engine is an excellent fit for the 7 Series. It runs smoothly and quietly, and it quickly gets the 740i around town and up to speed. The sprint from zero to sixty miles per hour takes about five seconds. Highway passing power is also abundant, thanks in part to the eight-speed automatic transmission’s slick and well-timed changes.
The BMW 745e is a step higher, with a 389-horsepower plug-in hybrid six-cylinder engine. Even in all-electric mode, the 745e feels quick in normal driving, and it can reach 60 mph in five seconds.
Most drivers should be delighted with the 740i and 745e versions. Choose one of the higher-performance models if you want more muscle. The BMW 750i and Alpina B7 have twin-turbo V8 engines that produce 523 and 600 horsepower, respectively. These V8s can propel the 7 Series to 60 mph in less than four seconds, with a snarling exhaust noise to match. The M760i is powered by a colossal 601-horsepower twin-turbo V12. It’s roughly as fast in a straight line as the V8 vehicles, but it costs significantly more upfront—and at the gas pump.
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Ride and Handling
For a sedan of its size, the used BMW 7 Series boasts excellent driving dynamics. The soft suspension helps the 7 Series glide gently and silently over uneven pavement. Highway driving is a peaceful and relaxing activity. At city speeds, the 7 Series feels fairly steady around curves and is relatively straightforward to park. The brakes offer dependable stopping force.
It’s just not a lot of fun to drive, which seems at odds with BMW’s athletic image. The steering is swift, but it delivers little feedback, and there is considerable body lean and sway when maneuvering high-speed turns such as highway on-ramps.
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The interior of the BMW 7 Series is elegant and well-trimmed, fitting the mold of a premier luxury vehicle. There are numerous padded leather surfaces, as well as high-quality metal and wood embellishments and soft-touch plastics. At greater speeds, the compartment remains quiet. It’s not as luxuriant as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or as modern as the Audi A8, but it’s still a pleasant place to be.
Leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, heated front armrests, a heated steering wheel, and a rear window sunshade are standard features. Front seats with vented and massaging functions, heated and ventilated rear seats with massaging capabilities, and rear side window sunshades are available as options.
The BMW 7 Series is a five-seater four-door car. For extended road trips, the front seats are plush and supportive, and the driving posture is comfortable. Outside vision is excellent in all directions. The regular rear seats are extremely comfortable, but if you want first-class accommodations, choose the optional Rear Executive Lounge Seating package. This upgrade adds a footrest on the passenger side and replaces the rear middle seat with a center console and touchpad. Regardless of the layout, both rows offer enough head and legroom, especially for taller passengers.
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The BMW 7 Series’ tech features are hit or miss. First, the positive. The 10.2-inch iDrive touchscreen features straightforward menus, sharp visuals, and quick answers. In addition to touching and swiping on the screen, you can use a knob and touchpad on the center console, as well as buttons on the dashboard and steering wheel, to control the system. Because of these redundant controls, this infotainment system is relatively simple to use while driving.
Hand gesture recognition and “Hey BMW” voice recognition systems are less intuitive. Both have a tendency to misinterpret or ignore commands.
The well-known Apple CarPlay system is included, allowing customers to smoothly merge their iPhone interface on-screen. Unfortunately, Android Auto is not supported.
- Standard infotainment features: a 10.2-inch touch screen, navigation, Apple CarPlay, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice and gesture recognition, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and wireless device charging
- Available infotainment features: a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system and a rear-seat entertainment system with two 10-inch touch screens
- Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, a hands-free power trunk lid, power soft-close doors, quad-zone automatic climate control, and a panoramic moonroof
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The BMW 740i achieves 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is fairly respectable for a super luxury car (20/27 mpg with all-wheel drive). The 750i and B7 models achieve a respectable 17 mpg in town and 24 mpg on the highway. The M760i gets only 13/20 mpg.
The 745e plug-in hybrid achieves 22 mpg combined city/highway, but it can also travel up to 16 miles solely on battery power. It takes roughly 10 hours to charge its 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack using a 120-volt domestic power source. A 240-volt household outlet or a Level 2 public charger can fully recharge the pack in around three hours.
Key safety features include:
- Standard low-speed automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Available lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Over the last decade, the 7 Series has evolved from its roots as a high-performance sedan to something more akin to an executive cruise missile. That’s great for us because there are plenty of smaller sedans that offer a satisfying balance of performance and luxury (such as BMW’s own 5 Series). So, despite its lack of razor-sharp handling and solid body control, the 7 Series is a fantastically exciting car to drive simply by sinking into its gas pedal on a wide-open road.
Its style — particularly the wider kidney grille design — is a little too harsh and aggressive for our tastes, but we’re sure many will enjoy it. There’s no way it could be confused for anything other than a BMW.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is the BMW 7 Series a good car?
Yes, the BMW 7 Series 2021 is an excellent luxury vehicle. The 7 Series impresses with its smooth ride, large and quiet cabin, comfortable seats, and a plethora of standard technology and safety features. Its infotainment system is mostly user-friendly, and the majority of the cabin materials appear and feel high-end. There’s also no shortage of engine power. The 7 Series comes with a powerful six-cylinder engine, a plug-in hybrid, two V8 engines, and even a gigantic V12.
The 7 Series doesn’t have much to dislike; nitpicks include a lack of Android Auto compatibility and the finicky nature of its gesture and speech recognition features.
Is the BMW 7 Series reliable?
The 2021 BMW 7 Series has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.
Where will the BMW 7 Series be built?
BMW will manufacture the 7 Series in Germany.
How long can a BMW 7 Series be expected to last?
When properly maintained and driven responsibly, the BMW 7 Series should survive for roughly 200,000 miles on average, though it could theoretically last longer. Given that the average American driver travels 15,000 miles per year, a 7 Series should last you 13 years.
Why are older BMW 7 Series models so inexpensive?
The reason the BMW 7 Series costs much less than a little older model is straightforward. It is considered a luxury automobile. Used car buyers will not pay top prices for equipment that is practically obsolete in a used car, even if it is only a year old.