Now entering its sixth generation as the full-size flagship of BMW’s lineup, the eagerly-awaited 7 Series has been totally redesigned. In the 2016 740i sedan, an inline six-cylinder Twin Power Turbo engine generates 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, driving an eight-speed automatic transmission. Prior 7 Series models came in two sizes, but the 2016 is long-wheelbase (126.4 inches) only.
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2016 BMW 740 Overview
What's New for 2016
The 2016 BMW 740i and its cousin, the V8 powered 750i, are all-new.
Choosing Your BMW 740i
BMW’s all-new 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine mates with an eight-speed automatic 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. The “active” kidney grille includes an Air Breather that automatically opens grille bars and flaps in five stages when additional cooling is needed. Wireless charging is standard, along with an in-car wi-fi hotspot. A new iDrive 5.0 system uses touchscreen technology.
BMW calls the latest 7 Series a “benchmark” in lightweight design, as well as 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 7 Series has the largest head-up display in the industry; it’s optional for the 740i.
With an MSRP of $81,300, the 740i includes an air suspension, rearview camera, keyless entry, leather upholstery, soft-close automatic doors, panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof, power front seats with driver’s memory and lumbar support, heated front sets, four-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights and foglamps, and a navigation system. All-season run-flat tires are mounted on 18-inch light 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 all-new 7 Series also serves 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 in the navigation system, helping the car to respond appropriately to road conditions just ahead.
- 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 accents in either light or dark chrome.
- An Autobahn Package includes active steering and Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview.
- A Driver Assistance Plus group includes an Active Driving Assistance, 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 Nappa leather instrument panel covering.
- The Luxury Rear Seating Package adds heated and ventilated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rear-seat massaging, and a seven-inch Touch Command tablet.
A 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid sedan will join the lineup during 2016.
When you consider what you get in the new 740i, including a prestigious machine and BMW’s brand of handling talents, its lofty price starts to sound rather reasonable. On the other hand, excessive use of the option list can send that sticker price soaring into unreal territory. Most buyers will be quite satisfied with the six-cylinder engine, with no need to upgrade into a V8-powered 750i sedan. Sales begin in fall 2015.
2016 BMW 740 Review
Full-size luxury cars are the ultimate way to ride in style. Models like the BMW 7 Series offer premium features and a balance of performance that make them some of the best cars to own.
Pricing and Equipment
As a large luxury sedan, we expect a pretty high MSRP on the 2016 BMW 740i, and that we saw, as it starts from $81,300. At this price point, however, there are plenty of standard features including:
- Pushbutton start/stop
- 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires
- Adaptive lighting with automatic high beams
- Dakota leather upholstery
- A 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system
As is usual with BMWs, there are nearly endless lists of options and packages to make your 740i your own. These packages include the Autobahn Package, Driver Assistance Package, Executive Package, Interior Design Package, and more.
We think the 2016 740i has a bit of an identity crisis -- but in a good way. Not only does it deliver a stellar ride, but its turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder is both potent and efficient.
- The 320-horsepower engine launches the sedan to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.
- Fuel economy of 29 mpg highway
- Precise transmission
- A luxurious ride.
Picking a downside to the 740i’s performance is something with which we struggle. However, if we can be nitpicky, we can say that its steering is a little on the numb side at times. Also, a city rating of 21 mpg is good for a big luxury car, but not exactly eco-friendly.
The BMW 740i’s cabin is a great place to spend a lot of time. We find it spacious front and the rear, plus its premium features and options are abundant.
- The massive rear seat can easily haul three adults.
- The cabin is whisper quiet.
Again, picking out bad parts of the 740i’s interior feels as if we are being overly critical. It’s just that nice. However, if we were to choose one thing, it’s that the new, stiffer chassis transmits more feedback from the road into the cabin. It’s not especially noticeable, but it is there.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
While we assumed the cabin would be roomy, the perceived space is even more than we expected. Sure, the measurements are all there, but the airiness of the cabin and the shapes that BMW uses make it feel like there is more room, particularly in the front seats.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The quickness in which the 740i's price jumps with its available options is somewhat of a shock. Things like the $3,600 Executive Package and the $4,100 Autobahn Package all increase that MSRP quickly.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a luxurious full-size sedan and money is not your biggest worry, then the 740i is the car for you. It is loaded with premium features, has lots of high end (and high-cost) premium features, and plenty of pep in its step.