BMW 7 Series Review 2024

Written by Al Suttie

8/10
heycar ratingSupreme comfort wrapped in bold styling
  • 2022
  • Luxury
  • PHEV

Quick overview

Pros

  • Effortless comfort
  • Impressive turn of speed
  • Top-drawer infotainment

Cons

  • Looks not to all tastes
  • Some tech is more for show than substance
  • Not quite as cushy as a Mercedes S-Class

Overall verdict on the BMW 7 Series

“The BMW 7 Series makes a statement in the way it looks and drives, and with a cabin packed full of technology. Not everyone loves the styling, but the big 7 remains at the pinnacle of the BMW range for comfort and class.”

BMW 7 Series Review 2024

In a sector that is noted for the restrained - even conservative - approach of many of its customers, the BMW 7 Series has stood out for more than 20 years for its bolder styling. In that time, the 7 has evolved into a car that dresses in a sharp contemporary suit while still keeping all of the traditional luxury points you want from this type of car.


As well as the considerable amount of cabin space, sumptuous seats, and a ride that mops up gnarly roads with graceful ease, the BMW now comes with a vast array of technology. Some of this whirrs away in the background, but there is also a good deal inside the car for the driver and passengers to indulge in.


This tech really defines the BMW 7 Series over its key rivals from Audi and Mercedes, which have plenty of clever kit but don’t shout about it quite so much. In the BMW, for instance, you have an interactive bar that works as a supplementary dashboard display.


Other tricks in the BMW that you may love or loathe depending on your definition of luxury are the widescreen television for those in the rear. Or how about touchscreen in the rear doors to work various options? There is even an internal camera you can use to take selfies, which possibly says a lot about the type of customer BMW is hoping to attract with the 7.


More traditional comforts come with the leather-clad seats with generous cushioning and a cabin that insulates you from the hubbub outside.


The 7 Series also does a great job of isolating any engine noise from the cabin, though it’s not quite as hushed as its sister car, the all-electric i7. However, the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid power for the 7 Series is as refined as any you’ll experience.


Power comes from an electric motor and a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol engine that together offer 489PS in the 750e xDrive that is the entry point to the range. Go for the M760e xDrive, and the power is upped to 571PS for 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds.


Aficionados of BMW will recognise the xDrive name means that all 7 Series models now come with four-wheel drive as standard, which helps give this large saloon sure-footed handling to go with the luxurious comfort. The BMW is also one of the most fun cars in its class to drive, and gives the Maserati Quattroporte plenty to think about.


As for efficiency, the 7 Series can travel up to 80 miles on a full battery charge, which is more than enough for most urban needs. Combined fuel economy is as high as 282.5mpg if you make the best use of the EV range.


All of this makes the BMW 7 Series a thoroughly modern take on the luxury saloon, and a car that should be on every plutocrat's list of cars to consider.


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There are more traditional offerings within the luxury segment, but the BMW 7 Series is an opulent saloon that unashamedly aims to bring plenty of tech to the party, too. It does this in its drivetrain, which is a plug-in hybrid set-up that delivers plenty of performance and EV driving range. Inside the 7, you’ll find a huge array of standard technology plus a long options list to turn the interior into something resembling a spaceship control room. Aside from this, the basics are covered, with thickly padded seats and brilliant refinement.

The appeal of the BMW 7 Series in M760e xDrive form, with its stupendous 571PS of power and 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, is undoubtedly very strong. However, the slightly less potent 750e xDrive still comes with 489PS for pounding performance, effortless cruising and an EV driving range of up to 80 miles. This is the one to go for, and you have a choice of Excellence or M Sport trims to pick from, depending on whether you want a more luxurious or more sporting bent to your 7 Series ownership experience.

It’s impossible to consider the BMW 7 Series without talking about the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class. Audi brought all-wheel drive to the sector, as well as weight-saving aluminium construction that is now common to all cars in the segment. The Audi is a more restrained car than the BMW but no less high tech. Mercedes has the lion’s share of the sector with its S-Class, which has a broader range of engine options than the BMW. Others to look at include the Maserati Quattroporte for a more performance-based drive, while the BMW i7 delivers a fully electric alternative.

Comfort and design: BMW 7 Series interior

“BMW has gone big on tech inside the 7 Series both literally and figuratively. It makes the rear of the car like a cinema on wheels, which is great if you’re the one sat back there.”

BMW 7 Series Review 2024 Interior

As well as the huge screen available to those in the rear of the 7, there are smaller ones in the doors to operate the usual functions of seats and climate control. Couple this to the large volumes of space for two - or even three - adults back here, and the BMW is every inch the limousine.


Just as important as the high-tech gizmos is the rear bench, which is amply padded for comfort so you can sit back and relax.


Up front, it’s the same story as the dashboard mixes a techy approach with the old-school comforts of big armchairs for the driver and front passenger. All-round vision for the driver is not quite as good as you might expect, but the 7 comes with a host of aids to counter this.


Naturally, all of the seats are heated and ventilated to keep you comfortable no matter what the outside temperature is, and the seats can be adjusted electrically to suit any individual.


Perhaps the one area where the BMW might put some off is the overall style of the cabin. It’s designed much like a new-build mansion for a footballer, rather than the stately home feel of the Mercedes S-Class.

As its flagship car, BMW’s 7 Series has to be on the money when it comes to fit and finish, and this one certainly is. As well as the solid feel to the handles, buttons and switches, the techy gadgets all have a pleasingly high-grade look and finish.


The cabin materials give off the air of everything being hand-finished, while even the doors close with a barely perceptible shush thanks to their power closing mechanism.


All of this imparts that important sense of letting the customer know where their sizeable money transfer has been spent, and the BMW 7 Series is a car that will last a very long time.

The infotainment in the BMW 7 Series could fill a book if we were to write about every facet of its ability and appearance. In short, there are digital screens for almost every function and need inside the car, as well as a head-up display with augmented reality and smartphone app.


In place of a standard dashboard, the 7 Series comes with a BMW Interaction Bar, which is a display that spans the dash and front doors. It also comprises some of the interior lighting and it acts more like a personal assistant than mere provider of important driving data.


In the back, the infotainment steps up another notch with the tablet screens in the doors, plus the option of a glass rotary iDrive dial for the main infotainment system.


As well as that, there is the vast 31-inch BMW Theatre Screen that does exactly what it says when it’s lowered down from its resting position in the ceiling. It’s an 8K widescreen television that uses an Amazon Firestick to let you watch whatever you fancy. A cripplingly expensive optional extra, but one that many well-heeled customers won't be able to resist ticking.


This is backed up by a Bowers & Wilkins stereo with 18 speakers, or 36 speakers if you go for this option.

When it comes to boot space in the BMW 7 Series, you will have no trouble whether it’s a trip to the local golf course or a month’s golfing tour of your favourite links resorts. At 525-litres, it’s a little smaller than the Mercedes S-Class’ but not so you’d really notice or worry about.

Handling and ride quality: What is the BMW 7 Series like to drive?

"If there’s one area where the BMW 7 Series has always distinguished itself from its closest rivals, it’s handling. Yes, the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class can be hustled with more verve than you would think dignified, but the 7 Series has always seemed more up for this sort of behaviour."

BMW 7 Series Review 2024: front static

This latest 7 Series is no different, and pulls off the trick of feeling like a smaller saloon when you want to make a bit of progress on winding roads.


Select Sport mode from the drive options and the car hunkers down by 10mm to give a more athletic feel and response. It puts the BMW very much on a par with the Maserati Quattroporte for driver involvement and entertainment. Add in the standard four-wheel drive, and the 7 is virtually unflappable.


Driven in a more sedate style, the 7 is just as impressive, as the air-sprung suspension brushes away any bumps or ripples from disturbing the cabin’s calm. There’s barely any tyre noise or wind rustle, either.


Around town, the 7 Series may be a 5.4-metre long luxury saloon, but it can negotiate tight, narrow streets with ease. It’s helped along by rear-wheel steering that helps tighten the turning circle whether you’re pulling out of densely packed side streets or parking the BMW in a barely big enough space.


This is accompanied by power steering that manages to feel light in the city, completely stable on the motorway, and yet delivers surprising amounts of feel on country lanes.

Both versions of the BMW 7 Series come with the same 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine. It’s a turbocharged unit that on its own would probably do decent service in the 7 Series.


However, the 7 is now only available as a plug-in hybrid thanks to the use of a 203PS electric motor that can work on its own to deliver up to 80 miles of zero tailpipe emissions.


Charging up the 7 Series should not take too long with a rapid charger, so expect to spend no more than an hour hooked up to the grid for this. Or you can plug in overnight at home to have the full benefit of the EV range for driving in town.


In the 750e, the 7 Series comes with 489PS, which would have been the preserve of the most outrageously fast luxo-sports saloons no so long ago. Some of this power is needed to deal with the 7 Series’ considerable mass, but it doesn’t prevent it from covering off 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.


If that just doesn’t sound like nearly enough power or pace for your needs, BMW handily offers the M760e xDrive with an uprated version of the same powertrain. This gives 571PS for 0-62mph in a mere 4.3 seconds, which is only a whisker slower than a BMW M4. Both 7 Series versions have their top speed electronically curtailed to 155mph.

When pulling away briskly from a standing start, such as you might when joining a roundabout, there is a distant purr from the petrol engine in the 7 Series. It’s a pleasing sound but never intrusive.


Alternatively, you can drive the 7 Series in EV mode and you won’t hear very much at all other than the whisper of some wind noise and the very faint burr of the tyres on tarmac at motorway pace.


BMW has pulled off an impressive feat in the way it has insulated the 7 Series’ cabin from outside noises and any thump from the suspension as it passes over lumpy roads.


The outcome of this work is the 7 Series is now one of the most calm, relaxing and hushed places to sit whether you are in the front driving the car or sat in the back flicking through channels on the huge TV screen. Even compared to a Bentley or Rolls-Royce, the BMW holds up very well.

The BMW 7 Series takes a similarly techy approach to safety as it does with other elements of this generation of the German luxury saloon. It has the basics, such as airbags and Isofix child seat anchor points, but the list of active systems is extensive.


It includes autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist warning, crossroads warning, speed limit assist, lane-departure warning, traction control, and a warning not to open your door if something is approaching. 


Then there’s the Driving Assistant with active cruise control, which maintains speed and distance to the car in front. It also has steering and lane control to change lanes automatically when you indicate. The optional Driving Assistant Pro reads the speed limit signs to maintain the legal speed limit when active cruise control is engaged.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a BMW 7 Series cost to run?

"BMW’s official combined fuel economy for the 750e xDrive is 282.5mpg, which sounds fanciful for such a large car with petrol engine. However, this is calculated using the car’s EV driving ability factored in, so it is only achievable if you are willing to keep the battery charged up and stick to electric-only travel as much as possible. Even then, matching it will be hugely difficult"

BMW 7 Series Review 2024

The M760e xDrive claims a slightly lower 256.8mpg combined total. In both cases and in the real world, we reckon you’ll be looking at average fuel economy of around 45mpg, which is about on a par with the previous generation of 7 with its diesel engine.

In the most recent HonestJohn Satisfaction Survey, BMW ranked in 12th place out of 29 car manufacturers. Not only is that a decent showing, it also puts BMW well ahead of Audi in 16th spot and Mercedes in 20th position.


The 7 Series should prove to be a reliable and dependable companion. It comes with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, plus six-years and 60,000-miles of cover for the PHEV’s battery.

Both the BMW 750e and M760e sit in the highest insurance bracket at Group 50, so neither is going to be easy on the wallet to get cover for, even with a spotless licence and low-risk address.

Given the large new car price and insurance costs of the BMW 7 Series, it’s reassuring to see you will only pay £10 for first-year Vehicle Excise Duty for any of the 7 Series PHEV range. This is courtesy of their carbon dioxide emissions that lie between 23- and 27g/km.


However, it’s not all plain sailing as the first owner will have to stump up the additional £390 charged for cars costing more than £40,000. That same fee then applies for five years on top of the standard £190 fee for road tax.

How much should you be paying for a used BMW 7 Series?

"Used examples of the latest BMW 7 Series are thin on the ground but it's possible to find nearly-new examples with up to £10,000 off the list price."

BMW 7 Series Review 2024

That sort of reduction makes the high price of a 7 Series a good deal more palatable and will offset the depreciation it will experience as it ages.


The BMW 7 Series has not traditionally retained its value quite to well as a Mercedes S-Class, but the plug-in hybrid drivetrain of this latest model should see it have a more gentle reduction in value as it ages.

Excellence is the entry-level spec for the BMW 7 Series in 750e form, if you can ever describe any 7 Series as entry-level. It comes with a panoramic glass sunroof, adaptive LED headlights and air suspension.


Inside, you’ll find BMW’s Curved Displays, the Interaction Bar with touch sensitive controls, touchscreens in the rear doors, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system, and sumptuous leather seats.


There are various driving modes, as well as active cruise control and a parking assistant.


Upgrade to the M Sport version of the 750e and you get 20-inch Aero M alloy wheels, M Sport brakes in dark blue, and various items of M Sport interior trim.


Go for BMW M760e and you get the full BMW M treatment from exterior styling to performance and driving dynamics.


There are M-specific paint colours and interior trim options to choose from, too, so you can be sure that your M760e is not mistaken for a ‘mere’ 750e.


The extensive options list also allows you tailor your 7 Series to suit you. This could mean choosing from standard options or going full bespoke with the BMW Individual catalogue.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

This depends on your driving needs. If you want a long-distance limousine, the 7 Series will be the better option thanks to its greater driving range than the EV version. On the other hand, for those looking to do multiple short hops or commute through town in luxury, the i7 is the one to have, and the i7’s prices start at slightly less than the 7 Series.
Given the prodigious pace of the existing range of BMW 7 Series models, it’s not necessary for a bespoke M model to be added, and BMW has never offered an M7. Audi and Mercedes both have flagship performance versions in the S8 and AMG versions of their luxury saloons, plus Maserati offers its Quattroporte as a performance biased choice.
A large number of BMW 7 Series will be funded through company lease schemes, either for senior employees or as a chauffeur car. However, if you want to buy one, the starting price now goes from upwards of £105,000 for the 750e xDrive version in Excellence trim. Upgrade to the M Sport model and it costs from £106,000, while the M760e xDrive comes in at upwards of £121,000.

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