BMW 7 Series saloon (2008-2015) - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.2 out of 5

It’s fair to say the BMW 7 Series is one of the best luxury limousines to drive (for those that want to drive themselves, of course). Only the Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class can truly match its driving experience. Plus, the 7 Series’ engine range means the car feels quick no matter what engine you choose.

All models feature Dynamic Drive Control, which offers five different driving settings: ECO PRO, Comfort, Comfort+, Sport and Sport+. The system changes the how firm the suspension is, but even in the softest Comfort+ setting, the 7 Series isn’t as smooth as the latest Mercedes S-Class. The Sport modes provide the 7 Series with a firmer set-up for when you feel like taking the back roads home.

Electric power-steering is fitted to all models. Some people criticise this electric systems like this for being numb and not providing the driver with enough feedback on the road, but the one fitted to the 7 Series provides enough feel.

BMW 7 Series petrol engines

Overall, the petrol engines are quicker than the diesels, but the 740i lets the side down by being slower than its diesel counterpart. Its 5.7-second 0-62mph sprint does come close, however. The ActiveHybrid model manages that time, too, thanks to the extra power from its electric motor.

The 473bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 in the 750i is marginally quicker, taking 4.8 seconds to do 0-62mph.

The huge 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 is exclusive to the long-wheelbase 760Li and is probably the closest you can get to a high-performance 7 Series. While you can get AMG versions of the Mercedes S-Class, there’s no BMW M7, so if you want the quickest 7 Series, it has to be the 760Li. Capable of a 0-62mph time of 4.6-seconds, this 544bhp supersaloon is quick enough to worry serious sports cars, but the feels quite heavy and subdued in hard cornering.

Diesel engines

Two versions of the same 3.0-litre diesel are the choice here, with the less powerful 730d still managing a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds. The more powerful 740d’s 0-62mph time stands at 5.5 seconds.

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