BMW 7 Series saloon

BMW 7 Series saloon

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

"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 the perfect limousine for top-level executives in need of a car that's both luxurious and fun to drive. Its understated looks help it slice through busy city traffic almost unnoticed; yet inside it's one of the most stylish and well equipped cars on the market.

It faces some tough competition from the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, while the more utilitarian nature of the Range Rover, which can cost a similar amount of money, has its own advantages, too.

The 7 Series offers a huge choice of engines. The cheapest option is the 730d, which is powered by a 3.0-litre diesel. It's the most efficient engine in the range, returning up to 50.4mpg. The ActiveHybrid, despite its green credentials, emits more CO2 and is heavier on fuel. Its boot is also smaller due to the electric motor's batteries, so that model is best left avoided. If efficiency is last on your list, there's the 760Li with its massive 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine. This is the fastest 7 Series available, but it's far from cheap to run and the big, heavy engine doesn’t help the handling. 

The ‘entry-level’ model comes with bags of equipment – enough to justify its £50,000-plus starting price. Full leather seats, climate control, satellite navigation and a Bang and Olufsen stereo make up the standard kit list, while the interior is suitably well built. The dashboard doesn’t necessarily compare with the super-luxurious Mercedes S-Class, though, due to a dated steering wheel and a slightly confused button layout. 

The 7 Series’ size is a massive plus point when it comes to interior and boot space; rear-seat passengers have acres of room and the boot is competitive compared to rivals. But the BMW is nowhere near as practical as a Range Rover for the price.

The diesels are our pick of the range – both the BMW 730d and BMW 740d use the same basic twin-turbo 3.0-litre, but the 740d's extra performance makes it the star of the show. The less powerful 730d is only slightly less appealing however, as it offers low CO2 emissions and can return combined fuel economy of around 50.4mpg.

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 
4.4 /5 based on 38 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
2 Jun 2015
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