Bmw 7 Series Saloon
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Review Of The BMW 7 Series Saloon
The new BMW 7 Series Saloon is a rare sight on British roads. The preserve of those few people with enough cash to afford it, it’s a state-of-the-art, highly desirable machine that glistens wherever it goes.
It also offers an unbeatable driving experience, an exquisite interior, and surprisingly low running costs. And if you’re in the mood to treat yourself, you could get your hands on the fastest BMW on earth right now.
Two versions are available – a short and long wheelbase. Even the shorter variant is 26mm longer than last time, which means you’ll have more legroom than you could ever wish for. And now that it’s armed with much more advanced tech, it’s a proper rival to the Mercedes S-Class.
Sound good? OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2017 BMW 7 Series Saloon review.JTNDY2VudGVyJTNFJTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGTUlLSmFBXzRoZTAlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBnZXN0dXJlJTNEJTIybWVkaWElMjIlMjBhbGxvd2Z1bGxzY3JlZW4lM0UlM0MlMkZpZnJhbWUlM0UlM0MlMkZjZW50ZXIlM0U=
On The Road
This is a big luxury saloon, but it’s still impressive to drive. In fact, it’s the most entertaining of its type. Despite being essentially a “chauffeur” car, it’s a lot of fun. It’s agile, involved, and more engaging than its rivals.
Each engine comes mated to an 8-speed StepTronic automatic gearbox that changes gear effortlessly. It also helps you to save fuel.
Rear wheel steering, which costs a further £1,195, fine-tunes the driving experience, making it even more agile.[vc_single_image image=”58737″ img_size=”article-image”]In terms of the engines, we like the 3.0-litre diesel that powers the 730d variant. It develops up to 216bhp, has plenty of shove even at low speeds, and produces a good burst of speed. It’s a comfortable model, too, that comes with adaptive air suspension as standard. It does 0-62 in only 6.1 seconds, before maxing out at 155mph.
The long-wheelbase version is fractionally slower. We’re talking one-tenth of a second slower.
A 740d diesel model is a worthy shout, too. It’s quick, and can do 0-62 in 5.2 seconds. But it’s only available with four-wheel-drive, which negatively impacts on running costs.
A 740Li petrol engine hasn’t been fully rolled out yet, but we expect it to be a force to be reckoned with. It will have more power than the diesels, but for the price it might all seem a bit unnecessary.
The M760Li x Drive is the fastest in the range. Powered by a colossal twin turbo 6.6-litre V12 engine, it delivers a whopping 602bhp. That’s enough to launch it from rest to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, before maxing out at 189mph.
This range-topping model – which is the fastest BMW on earth at the moment – is heavy. But it still manages to be both involving and agile. A minor criticism, though, would be that its engine sounds a tad too sedate. We’d love a bit more drama.
A plug-in hybrid rounds the range off. This 740e model develops 322bhp, has a good economy, and does 0-62 in 5.4 seconds. You can get it with four-wheel drive for more grip, but that’ll cost you an extra £6,500.
BMW 7 Series Saloon Interior, Design & Build
[vc_empty_space height=”8px”][vc_single_image image=”58738″ img_size=”article-image”]The 7 Series Saloon houses a stunning interior that’s exquisitely put together. Rich in advanced tech and high-quality materials, it’s a great place to spend your time.
It’s also super quiet, and you can cruise along and barely hear a diamond ring drop. It’s pillowy ride is just gorgeous too, while the striking design is cat-nip for the eyes.
The dashboard is brand new. It comes stuffed with hi-tech gizmos, including a large infotainment screen and touch-sensitive climate control. The dials are big and clear, and a heads-up display will prove useful.Even the short wheelbase version is considerably longer than its predecessor, which means interior space is good. Meanwhile, the longer variant is some 14cm lengthier than the standard 7 Series.
You can specify the type of rear seat you want: You can either have two reclining armchairs, or the usual three-seat bench. Whichever you choose, rear seat passengers will have plenty of room. And if they don’t, it’s easy to tilt or move front passenger seat forward.
Rear passengers also benefit from a massaging function if you specify it.
The boot measures 515-litres, which is competitive in this class. It’s worth remembering that families are not the target demographic here, so the boot will cope easily with your suitcases and golf clubs.
Equipment & Safety Of The BMW 7 Series Saloon
Standard kit is excellent – just as it should be. All models come with LED brake lights, 18” alloys, four-zone climate control, and a 10.25” colour screen. They also come with a reversing camera, a triple-spoke leather steering wheel, Bluetooth, and cruise control.
If you go for the long wheelbase variant, you get an electric glass sunroof, an upgraded interior trim, and 19” alloys.
Careful you don’t get too carried away with the list of optional extras, or you may blow all your money The list includes sunscreens, a self-parking system, an infrared night-vision camera, and a tow bar.
Euro NCAP hasn’t crash tested it, and won’t be doing anytime soon. This is because the 7 Series Saloon just doesn’t shift enough numbers. But thanks to some neat safety tech and a standard safety kit that includes stability control, a full compliment of airbag’s and anti-lock brakes, we think it’s going to be reassuringly safe.
Costs Of The BMW 7 Series Saloon
Prices for the new car start out from £61,300 and rise to £135,300. For more information on our lease deals, check out our page here.
In terms of its running costs, the 7 Series isn’t the gas-guzzler you might think. Thanks to the addition of fuel-saving measures and a more sophisticated diesel engine, the economy is much improved. Despite being such a desirable and huge engine, the 725d model can return 60.1mpg. A few years back, that would have been unthinkable.
The 730d is expected to be more popular, but it returns the exact same economy. Happy days.
Opting for the longer wheelbase version will punish you slightly – but only slightly.
And when it comes to tax, you’ll pay £450 per year regardless of model.
Pros and Cons Of The BMW 7 Series Saloon
Lots Of Tech
There is a stunning amount of advanced tech inside the cabin. It includes something called gesture control, which lets you fiddle with the stereo, take calls and more using just your hand gestures. The 7 Series also gets a pair of HD displays.
For such a powerful car, it’s incredibly hushed.
The diesels can return over 60mpg. Enough said.
We can’t help but feel that BMW got a bit lazy when it came to designing this one. It looks too much like the 5 Series.
Expensive Optional Extras
BMW 7 Series Saloon vs Mercedes S Diesel vs Audi A8 Diesel
Let’s find out how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2017 BMW 7 Series Saloon review.
BMW 7 Series Saloon vs Mercedes S Diesel
The luxury saloon class is awash with talent. In other words, the Mercedes S Diesel is just as hard to beat as the BMW. If only you had the money for both, eh?
As it is, most people don’t have enough money for both. Which means your decision might hinge on whether you want thrills and spills driving experience, or comfort and refinement.
The BMW nails the former, and the Mercedes nails the latter.[vc_single_image image=”58739″ img_size=”article-image”]Indeed, comfort has always been this cars’ ace in the pack. It’s not much fun, but Mercedes have never made any attempt to make it so. There is plenty of grip, and body lean isn’t excessive. Moreover, the brand’s Magic Body Control enhances the extraordinary levels of comfort.
For the purpose of this review, we’re focusing only on the diesel engines. There are two, with the 3.0-litre V6 engine expected to be the bestseller. It powers the S350 BlueTEC model, and makes a lot of sense. It delivers 255bhp, and spreads that power evenly over its rev range.
A diesel hybrid completes the narrow selection. It powers the S300h model, and develops up to 228bhp. It’s on the slow side (relatively speaking), and lacks the refinement of the V6 engine.
In terms of its running costs, the S-Class is as surprisingly affordable to run as the BMW – as long as you stick to the diesels, at least. The hybrid is the most frugal, and can return over 100mpg according to Mercedes. It’s free to tax, and is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
The V6 is likely to be more popular, though. It’s the cheapest to buy outright, and returns an impressive 47.9mpg while costing £180 per year in tax.
We can’t find fault with the interior, no matter how far and wide we look around the leather upholstery, brushed aluminium and wood veneer. We’ve even poked our noses underneath the thick, soft carpets and found nothing to criticise! It’s an interior that’s deftly put together. The dual 12.3” TFT screens sparkle, the COMAND infotainment system is useful, and a touchpad is a great touch.
It’s also a practical interior. Like the BMW, it’s a big car, which means you’ve got plenty of interior space. Question is – how much do you really need? Like the 7 Series, there is a “short” and long wheelbase version, and both offer more than enough leg and headroom.
The front seats deserve special mention for being so comfortable and super adjustable But all seats are comfy.
The boot in the short wheelbase version measures 500-litres. Go for the longer variant, and you get a 530-litre boot. You’ll get penalised if you go for the hybrid, as the boot shrinks to less than 400-litres.
Ultimately, the Mercedes costs more than the BMW. Will that be what sways your decision?
BMW – £60,000 +
Mercedes – £70,500 – £186,000
BMW 7 Series Saloon vs Audi A8 Diesel
[vc_single_image image=”58740″ img_size=”article-image”]The new Audi A8 Diesel is Audi’s prized asset. It’s just as well-rounded as the Mercedes, but is priced more on par with the BMW.
What sets the Audi’s driving experience apart from both its German rivals is how much lighter it is. From the look of things, the A8 is just as big. But because Audi has used lightweight aluminium to put it together, it doesn’t feel as heavy.Add the range of powerful engines, and you’ve got a seriously quick car. The diesels can’t quite match the BMW’s scorching M760Li model. But even its entry-level 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine can do 0-62 in less than 5.9 seconds.
Meanwhile, a 4.2-litre diesel produces up to 380bhp, which can see it sprint from rest to 62mpg in 4.7 seconds. That’s quicker than most sports cars.
You don’t get hugely punished for such extravagant speeds when it comes to running cost. The 3.0-litre TDI diesel can return almost 50mpg and emits 149g/km of CO2. However, exactly what you return depends on the size of the alloys you specify. Opt for bigger ones, and those numbers drop.
The bigger diesel returns 39.2mpg and emits 189g/km of CO2.
Inside, the Audi A8 Diesel Saloon can rival both the Mercedes and BMW when it comes to comfort. The brand’s Drive Select system lets you modify the way the car is setup for extra comfort.
The dash is well put together as always, and features a big infotainment screen. It also comes with a handy touchpad.
Overall, the interior is a no-expenses-spared cabin of opulence. There is brushed metal here, veneers there, and leather everywhere. However, if we had one criticism it’s that the A8 looks dated compared to its two rivals.
It’s practical, though. Being such a big car means that lots of interior space is a given, and even the tallest adults can sit comfortably. There is a standard and long wheelbase version available, and both are super accommodating.
The boot measures 520-litres, which is competitive. You can’t extend that space, though.
Audi – £65,000 – £101,400
Verdict Of Our 2017 BMW 7 Series Saloon Review
BMW have armed the 7 Series with lots of advanced tech to make it a proper rival to the Mercedes S-Class. Technology has also brought running costs down and helped create the fastest BMW on the planet right now.
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