The new 7 Series is an imposing-looking car, a fine example of modern Teutonic elegance. Very much a saloon in shape, it also manages to add elements of sportiness in the way that the curved surfaces and feature
lines break up what could otherwise be a slabby-looking car, because of its size. This is enhanced by the headlights that sweep around to the wings and the first use of BMW’s new
Active Air Stream kidney grille design, which is aimed at improving aerodynamics.
An executive saloon is largely about the experience of being a passenger inside – and in this department, the 7 Series delivers, in spades.
Luxurious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Beautiful Nappa leather comes as standard, enveloping seats that you can just sink into. Elsewhere, the finest materials are used throughout: you can opt for the finest woods, if you’re of a traditional frame of mind, or choose a modern-looking aluminium. You can take the luxury to the next level with an optional
Design Pure Excellence package, which adds an Alcantara headliner and more wood trim.
The seats also have a massage function, while the passengers at the back have an array of rear-seat entertainment options, including screens and a removable tablet controller.
There’s also an Executive Lounge Seating option, which folds the backrest of the front passenger seat to offer the rear passenger more legroom, complete with an electrically operated fold-out footrest. This is the way to travel.
And to complete the luxurious, lounge-like experience, the 7 Series also has ambient lighting and a system that releases selected scents (choose from eight alternatives) into the cabin.
If you think the design is impressive, wait until you see the tech on offer.
In addition to the latest version of the iDrive infotainment system – now with touchscreen and gesture control, which uses 3D sensors to register them – the 7 Series also has Bluetooth streaming, USB, smartphone syncing and ConnectedDrive,
BMW’s connectivity tech that includes real-time traffic information and a host of online services and apps.
The tablet controller in the rear lets occupants not only control functions such as seat adjustment, interior lighting and air conditioning, but also the infotainment, navigation and communication system. External audio and video files can be played, works as a games console or for surfing the internet (there’s a wifi hotspot built into the car) and any content retrieved using the tablet can be shown on the two 10.2-inch screens in the rear.
There’s a range of twin-turbo six-cylinder engines (740 petrol units and 730 diesels) that are more efficient than ever, with BMW claiming that their impact on the environment has been reduced by 25%, compared to the previous generation.
Indeed, the 7 Series also has plug-in hybrid options, the four-cylinder 740e and 740Le xDrive (with four-wheel drive) that return up to 134.5mpg and emit just 49g/km – despite an output of 322bhp – and an electric-only range of 25 miles.
If you want performance, though, there are also eight-cylinder 750i version and a stonking V12-powered 760i.