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Now in its sixth generation as the full-size flagship sedan of BMW’s lineup, the 7 Series was totally redesigned for the 2016 model year. In the 740i sedan, an inline six-cylinder Twin Power Turbo engine generates 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, driving an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. All 7 Series models are long-wheelbase (126.4-inch) sedans. Joining the initial rear-drive 740i during 2016 is a 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid sedan with all-wheel drive.

What's New for 2017

All-new last year, the 740i gains a standard Display Key, which shows information about several vehicle functions. New standalone options include M Sport brakes and Remote Controlled Parking. With the latter feature, the driver can maneuver toward a narrow parking space, leave the car, then use the Display Key to move the car all the way forward.

Choosing Your BMW 740i

In the 740i, BMW’s 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine mates with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Paddle shifters are standard. Acceleration to 60 mph takes a claimed 5.4 seconds. (The similar but V8-powered 750i comes with either rear-drive or all-wheel drive.)

High-tech features include the world’s first Gesture Control, which can respond to hand movements near the console. The “active” kidney grille includes an Air Breather that automatically opens grille bars and flaps in five stages when additional engine cooling is needed. BMW’s iDrive 5.0 system uses touchscreen technology.

BMW has called the latest 7 Series a “benchmark” in lightweight design, and in “intuitive operation.” Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic is extensively used in the Carbon Core passenger cell structure. Central-console controls are framed by wood or aluminum surfaces. Trim strips are made individually for each car. BMW claims the largest head-up display in the industry; it’s optional for the 740i.

With an MSRP of $81,500 (plus $995 destination charge), the 740i includes an air suspension, rearview camera, keyless entry, leather upholstery, soft-close automatic doors, panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof, heated power front seats with driver’s memory and lumbar support, four-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights and foglamps, and a navigation system.

All-season run-flat tires are mounted on 18-inch alloy V-spoke wheels. Park Distance Control, an in-dash CD player, satellite radio, Harman Kardon surround-sound system, wireless charging and a wi-fi hotspot also are standard.

Introduction of the sixth-generation 7 Series also served as the premiere of Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview. Offered as a package in conjunction with active steering, this optional active-chassis control system works with the air suspension and Dynamic Damper Control to improve driving comfort. Ride Preview gives advance information for regulating the chassis systems. Driving-style analysis readings derive from the data within the navigation system.

  • The optional M Sport package features an M aerodynamic kit with model-specific front/rear aprons and side skirts, plus 19- or 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, an M driver's footrest, and wood and metallic interior trim.
  • An Autobahn Package includes active steering and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview.
  • A Driver Assistance Plus group includes lane-departure and front collision warnings, a surround-view system with 3-D view, and Parking Assistant.
  • The Executive Package includes power side-window shades, multi-contour seats, ventilated front seats, a head-up display, and ceramic controls.
  • The Luxury Rear Seating Package adds heated and ventilated rear seats with massaging, plus a heated steering wheel.

The 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid uses a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, working with an electric motor. A console button selects from three modes: AUTO, which uses electric drive to boost power when accelerating; MAX, for running up to 23 miles on battery power alone; and Battery Control mode, to raise or maintain battery charge. The 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid is priced at $89,100.

CarsDirect Tip

When you consider what you get in the 740i, including a prestigious machine and BMW’s brand of handling talents, its lofty price starts to sound almost reasonable. As usual, however, excessive use of the option list can send that sticker price soaring. Most buyers will be quite satisfied with the six-cylinder engine, with no need to upgrade into a V8-powered 750i sedan

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