Review

BMW 7 Series saloon

BMW 7 Series saloon

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Fun to drive
  • Top-quality interior
  • Brilliant diesel engines
Cons
  • Firm suspension
  • Poor resale values
  • Uneconomical petrol engines

At a glance

The greenest
730d 4dr £64,530
The cheapest
730d 4dr £64,530
The fastest
740Li 4dr £72,060
Top of the range
740Li M Sport 4dr £75,710

"The BMW 7 Series is great fun to drive, even if the suspension is too firm for a luxury car."

The BMW 7 Series is that rare breed: a luxurious and well equipped car that's also fun to drive. Its rivals include the elegant and understated Audi A8, the luxurious Range Rover and the hugely capable Mercedes S-Class. A new 7-Series arrives later this year bristling with technology, which means that the current model should be available at keen prices.

The existing 7 Series comes with a wide choice of engines: everything from the impressively economical 730d diesel (which does 50.4mpg and costs £145 a year in road tax) to the range-topping, money-no-object 760i with a V12 petrol engine (21.1mpg and £505 tax). In between is an ActiveHybrid version that's actually less efficient and more expensive than the 3.0-litre diesel.

The 7 Series is as good to drive as the Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class. Regardless of the engine chosen, it feels quick, too. Some well judged ride and performance settings, from comfort to sport, allow you to change the car's character to suit the road and your mood.

Inside, the 7 Series looks every inch the luxury car and is spacious enough for four large adults. A Range Rover will obviously be more practical, but the 7 Series has plenty of storage spaces, a roomy rear cabin and a low, deep and reasonably large boot.

There are five trim levels, ranging from the basic yet extremely well equipped SE, to M Sport. Even an SE owner will want for little, with full leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, climate control and a Bang & Olufsen stereo all standard.

The 7 Series feels extremely well built, so reliability shouldn’t be a concern. The car was never independently crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but given its size and suite of safety equipment (a full set of airbags, traction control and electronic brake force distribution, which helps you stay in control when braking heavily) it should protect you very well.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.3 / 5

Servicing costs are reasonable, but BMW 7 Series resale values are low

Engines, drive & performance

3.2 / 5

The BMW 7 Series manages to be one of the best luxury limousines to drive

Interior & comfort

4.3 / 5

Supportive seats and high-tech optional extras help the BMW 7 Series feel luxurious

Practicality & boot space

3.8 / 5

Space inside the BMW 7 Series is competitive, but it falls behind the similarly luxurious Range Rover for practicality

Reliability & safety

3.7 / 5

The BMW 7 Series has robust controls and proven parts

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"Viewed in isolation, the BMW 7-Series is a remarkable car. Little can touch it for hi-tech features, while the engine and transmission combination is one of the best in the business."
7 / 10
"An all-new Seven that actually doesn’t look like it. It's a great car – but some reservations about the ride and driving dynamics remain. Which is a weird thing to say about any BMW. Engines and gearboxes are superlative though."
3 / 5
"Hugely accomplished in many areas, but the BMW 7 Series just not comfortable enough to rival a Mercedes S-Class as our favourite luxury car."
What owners say 
4.3789473684211
4.4 /5 based on 38 reviews
76%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
20 Aug 2015
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