Surprisingly, BMW isn’t doing much to help turn attention away from Mercedes-Benz’ amazing new S-Class, but there are still plenty of reasons to choose the 7 Series instead.
Base 315-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder brings V8 power; 4.4-liter V8 sports two turbochargers and 445 horses in 750i and 540 in Alpina B7; ActiveHybrid 7 ditches V8 for 349-horsepower electrified inline-six-cylinder; 535-horsepower V12; all use eight-speed automatic transmission with rear- or all-wheel-drive.
Although the potential exists for lots of confusion when purchasing such a technologically advanced high-five-figure luxury limousine, thankfully, Following last season’s 7 Series refresh, BMW has made it easier for customers by saying yes to everything. So every model – bar the ActiveHybrid and top-end V12-powered 760Li – can be had in either rear-wheel drive or optionally xDrive all-wheel-drive. All models also use an eight-speed automatic. Easy, right? If the 740i badge is on the tail, there’s a turbocharged six-cylinder under the hood that makes 315 horsepower. It serves as the base engine in both the regular- and long-wheelbase (by 5.5-inches) Li models. The 7-series is also offered as the ActiveHybrid 7, which uses the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six as the 740i but gets a 55-horsepower electric motor for a combined 349 horsepower and significantly better fuel economy. The 750i and Li still use the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 with output pegged at 445 horsepower. The aforementioned 760Li V12 delivers 535 horsepower to move this big limo to 60 mph in a sports-car-like 4.5 seconds. The Alpina B7 performance flagship returns for 2014 with a specially tuned 540-horsepower version of the turbo V8. BMW does make driving the 7 relatively easy. It’s capable of working with you in an intuitive and interactive manner to make your journey more enjoyable and safer. Adaptive speed control keeps the 7 at a safe distance from the vehicle traveling in front of you at all speeds. Active rear steer adds mobility in tight turning situations and provides greater stability during emergency maneuvers. Active Roll Stabilization collaborates with the all-aluminum suspension to reduce body lean in turns and Active Ride shrugs off the bumps. The optional night vision can identify individual pedestrians that might be in your path. Standard four-zone climate means that everyone on board can have the temperature they desire. There’s blind-spot detection and adaptive LED headlights that pivot with the steering. Finally, the latest Bang and Olufsen high-end sound-system features 16 speakers to perfectly reproduce whatever music or sound you’d like. And that’s just the tip of the Teutonic iceberg when it comes to the technological and safety systems.
Base price (incl. destination): $75,100; $85,700 (ActiveHybrid)
Type: Four-door sedan
Base engine (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbocharged (315)
Optional engines (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbocharged, electric assist (349); 4.4-liter DOHC V8, turbocharged (445, 540); 6.0-liter DOHC V12, turbocharged (535)
Layout: Front-engine, rear- /all-wheel drive (opt.)
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
MPG (city/hwy): 19/29
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; front knee airbags; rear-side airbags; head-protection system; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 4,340