Up: Super light, amazing tech, starting price is kind of a bargain
Down: A fully optioned M760i is a completely different car than the 740i
Neutral: If in your price range, the 7-Series needs to be test driven
In the ever growing list of luxury sedans such as the Mercedes Benz S-Class, Audi A7 or A8, Cadillac CT6, Porsche Panamera, Jaguar XJ, and many more, I almost always forget about the BMW 7-series. I mean, of course a large German brand such as BMW would have a flagship land yacht, but I see so few of them on the road in my area that one would almost think they didn’t exist. Luckily there’s a new one on the lot and it’s got everything; elegance, performance, and gadgets… lots and lots of gadgets. And after spending an afternoon with the all new 2018 BMW 750i xDrive, I’ll never exclude it from my list again!
So what is the 7-Series for BMW? The average person who likes cars, but isn’t as obsessed as me, typically associates Mercedes with the luxury defining S-Class, Honda with the Civic, Porsche with the 911, and BMW with the M3. Despite the 3-Series being BMW’s most popular model, the ultra-luxurious 7-Series has actually been around since 1977. BMW has also made their models easy to identify starting with the 1-Series as the smallest and most lightly equipped, 2-6 in the middle, and 7 as the biggest and boldest. (There was briefly an 8 series but I’ll get into that if I ever get to review one!). If you want performance, just add an “M” in front of any of the respective BMW models and there you go, you’re an expert!
By far the first thing you will notice about this car is the key fob. No, it’s not super heavy and no, it’s not made of exotic materials, but it is gigantic and it does have its own touch screen! I have never seen anything like it. I’m not sure why BMW doesn’t just issue an app for your phone but the fob functions well and gives you something your friends definitely don’t have. Among its many functions you get the ability to tell your car to park itself (yes, really), fuel status, estimated range, and you can cool your car down or heat it up before you get in. In hindsight I wish I would have tested the self-parking, but I didn’t want to be the only one it didn’t work for.
After I was done ogling the key fob, I hopped into the gorgeous leather, wood, and suede interior of the 750i. At first glance the layout is reminiscent of every BMW since the early 2000s, but with a much higher level of sophistication. The gauge cluster was entirely digital, buttons, knobs, and dials were all machined metal, the headliner was an extremely soft suede, and the leather seats have a swanky diamond cross-stitching on both the front and rear seats. Everything is built with extreme craftsmanship that takes the familiar BMW interior to an entirely new level.
But wait, there’s more. BMW has added what’s called a “Panoramic Sky Lounge LED Roof” in the 7-Series. The long title equates to two huge sunroofs, one in the front and one in the rear, that have over 15,000 etchings in the glass. The etchings aren’t for UV safety though, they’re made to emphasize surrounding LED lights of which you can choose between 6 different colors. Another special touch that your friends definitely don’t have! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of LED Sky Lounge partially because it was daytime and partially because I couldn’t figure out how to work the rear sunroof. Facepalm!
There are also a few features that my 2018 750i xDrive didn’t come with but are available. S-Class admirers may boast that the back seat is really where you want to be in a luxury sedan and will note the BMW’s lack of creature comforts. On the contrary! For $5,750 you can add the Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package that includes power rear seats and footrests, removable 7-inch tablet in the armrest, and rear seat entertainment with screens behind both headrests of the front seats. Not comfortable enough? You can also add an in-car Wi-Fi Hotspot. Now you’re riding, not driving, with the big boys!
Now let’s say you’re reclining in the back streaming the latest episode of Game Of Thrones and you start to wonder if your chauffeur is enjoying driving your new 2018 BMW 750i xDrive. Does it drive as good as it looks? In short, yes. I drove the new 7-Series, 5-Series, and 4-Series in the same day and this felt no larger than the 5-Series and no less agile than the 4-Series. That’s mostly to do with BMW’s new Carbon Core chassis. The short version of Carbon Core’s definition is that BMW has put carbon fiber in some places of the 7-Series’ aluminum and steel chassis to reduce the weight by nearly 50% and move the center of gravity as low as possible. The result? This car handles and feels lighter than cars half its size!
To add to the fun of a super lightweight but giant luxury car, BMW has also included a twin-turbo 4.4 liter V8 engine with 445 horsepower and 480 torques in the 750i. That power combined with the Carbon Core chassis sends BMW’s largest car from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds! For a reference point, a Volkswagen GTI does that in around 6 seconds. And when you combine the M-Sport package’s aero (which this one has) with the Sport drive mode activated, the 7-Series is no longer a family sedan, it’s a borderline grand tourer. It accelerates really fast in the straights, feels completely poised on the curves, and is genuinely a blast to drive.
The last of the insanely long list of features on this car I want to touch on is the Adaptive Drive Mode. The 2018 BMW 750i xDrive comes with three drive modes, Comfort, Sport, and Eco, and an all around Adaptive mode. By 2017 you’re probably familiar with the three primary drive modes, which BMW even allows the driver to customize, but the Adaptive mode is a new technology that was really interesting to play with. Once Adaptive mode is activated, the car picks up on your style of driving and monitors the weather to implement the correct mode at any given moment. If you put your foot down, it goes to Sport, if you’re stuck in stop-and-go traffic, it goes to Eco, and if you’re on the interstate it switches to comfort. I had Adaptive mode engaged for my entire drive back to Luxury Auto Mall and it adjusted seamlessly and didn’t feel like it was interrupting the driving experience.
The 2018 BMW 7-Series price starts at $83,100 for the 740i sDrive (RWD). The 2018 BMW 750i xDrive (AWD) I tested started at $99,400 and ended at $117,445 with all of the add-on packages including M Sport, Parking Assistance, Executive, Driver Assistance and Driver Assistance Plus, and Cold Weather packages. The 7-Series comes stuffed to the brim with features as it is and everything added is just icing on the cake. Just for fun, a fully packaged 2018 M760i xDrive with every option selected can hit $181,000. That’s Bentley territory!
After returning the 2018 BMW 750i xDrive to it’s parking spot I did not want to get out, and that doesn’t happen often. I felt like I only discovered half of what this car has to offer and I’m sure there is even more hidden deep inside the iDrive menu system. The 750i seems to check all of the boxes for car enthusiasts. It’s a luxury car, a sports car, and a forerunner in automotive technology. But that’s the beauty of modern vehicles like this one. You’re no longer saving up to buy one $100,000 car, you’re buying multiple cars in one $100,000 package.
Thanks to Luxury Auto Mall of Sioux Falls, SD for letting my drive this beautiful car. Stop down and ask for Jake Fredrickson to test out any of the new and used BMWs on their lot!