BMW 7 Series saloon (2008-2015) - Interior & comfort
Supportive seats and high-tech optional extras help the BMW 7 Series feel luxurious
Comfort and luxury are two of the most important things a limousine like the BMW 7 Series should offer. The good news is that it delivers on both counts, with a long list of high-tech optional extras and a well built interior that remains quiet on the move.
The suspension fitted to the 7 Series is a compromise between sporty performance and comfortable luxury, but the balance isn’t always perfect. Driving along bumpy surfaces can be more uncomfortable than you'd expect in a large luxury saloon car, while twisty or uneven roads can cause it to pitch around when travelling quickly.
While the adaptive suspension system certainly makes the 7 Series feel agile, it can cause problems when the car hits bigger potholes, with bumps felt through the cabin. Altering the Drive Select system's setting to Comfort or Comfort+ does help in this regard.
BMW 7 Series dashboard
The 7 Series dashboard is very typical of the BMW range – solidly built with high-grade materials. The driver is cocooned in a centre console that wraps around them, with most of the dashboard angled towards them.
The only slight letdown is the low-rent steering wheel. It’s a fairly old design for BMW, and one that’ll look remarkably familiar to BMW 1 Series owners. Considering lesser models like the BMW 3 Series have a far more modern steering wheel, the 7 Series offering is markedly under par. The steering wheel – and the rest of the dashboard for that matter – doesn’t look or feel quite as good as the wood-finished dashboard of the Mercedes S-Class. Some of the controls aren’t quite as easy-to-use as they should be, either.
The entry-level model in the 7 Series range costs well over £50,000, but for that you get full leather seats, climate control, sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, BMW's iDrive infotainment control system and a Bang & Olufsen stereo as standard.
While even the cheapest model in the 7 Series range is very well equipped, some elements of the interior aren't as plush as those found in rivals like the Mercedes S-Class. The range-topping 760Li M Sport costs considerably more than £100,000 before any optional extras have been factored in, so be careful when speccing a car like this from new.
The vast array of choices open to prospective 7 Series buyers means it's doubtful that any two are exactly the same. Built-in TV screens, automatic window blinds, electrically adjustable rear seats and large glass sunroof all make the options list. Long-wheelbase versions offer huge amounts of head and legroom and all 7 Series are very quiet at motorway cruising speeds.