BMW has made a name for itself by developing cars that are enjoyable to drive – hence the “Driving Pleasure” campaign. It's something the German automaker has incorporated into every one of its machines. The BMW 7-Series is the brand's flagship sedan and while it has the same athletic feel as the company's smaller offerings, it's predominantly focused on luxury and technology. Few machines offer the same combination of performance, luxury, and technology as the 7-Series, making it a front runner in the segment.
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2019 BMW 7-Series Overview
What's New for 2018
The 7-Series arrives for the 2019 model year without any significant changes. The flagship sedan is expected to get a facelift for 2020.
Choosing Your BMW 7-Series
BMW has moved towards a confusing and difficult process to build the perfect vehicle. Fortunately, making your ideal 7-Series is easier than other models, as the vehicle is only available as a sedan. For consumers that want the most in luxury and performance – yes, even more than what the 7-Series already offers – there's an Alpina B7 that's covered separately. When it comes to performance for the regular 7-Series lineup, the vehicle is available with four powertrains. There are also six trims to explore.
Regardless of what 7-Series you choose, every trim comes with 18-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, chrome accents, a panoramic moonroof, and heated and power-folding exterior mirrors as standard exterior features.
On the inside every model features 14-way power seats, Dakota leather upholstery, Fineline Wood trim, a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system, a rearview camera, a 10.2-inch touchscreen, automatic four-zone climate control, WiFi hotpost, wireless charging, three-stage heated front seats, extended ambient lighting, an automatic-dimming interior rearview mirror, and Gesture Control.
The 740i and 740i xDrive sedans are the entry-level trims and are powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six. The base motor produces 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. All 7-series models feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. Despite being a luxury yacht with wheels, the 740i has surprisingly good fuel-economy figures. The vehicle is rated to get 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. That comes out to a combined rating of 24 mpg.
The 740i xDrive is nearly identical to the 740i with one exception – it has BMW's all-wheel-drive system. While the 740i xDrive brings all-year capability, it's fuel-economy figures aren't as good the rear-wheel-drive version's. The 740i xDrive is rated by the EPA to get 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, resulting in a combined rating of 23 mpg.
The 750i and 750i xDrive trims are next in line and get a V8 engine. Both models feature a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 445 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Once again, the rear-wheel-drive version is more fuel-efficient than the variant that sends its power to all four wheels.The 750i can get 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which results in a combined rating of 20 mpg. The all-wheel-drive version isn't as fuel efficient with a rating of 16/25/19 mpg (city, hwy, combined).
The range-topping 7-Series is the M760i xDrive is the range-topping trim before moving up to the Alpina model. The trim has a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 that generates 601 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. With its monstrous engine, the M760i xDrive is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to fuel economy. The vehicle is rated to get 13 mpg in the city, 20 mpg on the highway, and has a combined rating of 16 mpg.
The 740e xDrive iPerformance is powered by a 2.0-liter twin-turbo inline-four motor that is paired to an electric motor, along with a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total output for the 740e xDrive iPerformance is rated to be 322 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. As the hybrid offering in the lineup, the trim is the most fuel-efficient 7-Series with a rating of 64 MPGe and a combined rating of 27 mpg.
The 7-Series is available in six trims that are predominantly split into rear-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models. The 740i and 750i come with rear-wheel drive as standard, but can be fitted with an all-wheel-drive system for an additional $3,000. The M760i xDrive is only available with all-wheel drive, as is the 740e xDrive iPerformance.
After choosing what kind of performance you want, the next thing to explore are the available packages. The 7-Series has approximately 10 optional packages that can be fitted to the vehicle.
The Cold Weather Package ($400) is the most affordable of the bunch and brings a heated steering wheel, along with front and rear heated seats. For consumers that want some assistance when it comes to parking the lengthy vehicle, the Parking Assistance Package ($700) is the next package in line. The optional package adds surround view cameras and a parking assistant.
Opting for the Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700) adds a variety of safety features to the sedan. It adds traffic jam assistant that can handle the boring aspects of driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic, active lane keeping assistant with side collision avoidance, active cruise control with stop and go, as well as active driving assistant plus that includes front cross-traffic alert.
Ticking the box for the Autobahn Package ($4,100) includes integral active steering, which is a four-wheel steering system that helps the sedan get around tight corners easier, and active comfort drive with road preview. The latter brings an electromechanically operated stabilization system that helps the 7-Series perform better around corners and rough roads, while road preview aids the dynamic damper control system to actively adjust to road imperfections.
While the majority of packages add more tech features to the 7-Series, BMW also offers a host of options to make the interior of the sedan even more luxurious. The first collection is the Interior Design Package that costs $1,800. The package brings a variety of interior trim choices, three different headliner options, a grab handle in wood trim, luxury rear floor mats, a rear center armrest with wood trim, and a rear seat belt cover in wood trim.
Consumers wanting to add a sporty touch to the 7-Series can opt for the $3,400 M Sport Package. The package brings new exterior colors, different 19- and 20-inch wheel designs, multiple trim choices, three different headliner choices, and an exterior aerodynamic kit.
The Luxury Rear Seating Package is aimed directly at consumers that will be spending more time in the back seats than the front. The package costs $3,900 and brings rear ventilated seats, rear comfort seats, a massaging function to the rear seats, rear heated armrests, and a heated steering wheel.
Getting the Luxury Rear Seating Package requires consumers to get the Executive Package ($4,000) that allows you to choose from various leather options for an additional $5,500, a head-up display, a power rear sunshade, rear side window shades, front ventilated seats, multi-contour seats, and ceramic trim pieces. Opting for the Luxury Rear Seating Package and Executive Package raises the price of the 7-Series up by $13,400.
The BMW Individual Composition ($7,100) package is the most expensive option group. Checking the box for the package requires getting the Executive Package, Driving Assistance Plus Package, and the Luxury Rear Seating Package. Going with the BMW Individual Composition really costs $16,700. It brings individual paint options that cost an additional $1,950, six bespoke upholstery options that are priced at $5,500, three trim choices for an additional $1,080, two headliner choices, a unique steering wheel with fine wood, and bespoke door sill finishers.
For a sedan that starts above $80,000, it's mind-boggling to see heated seats as an optional extra. As a high-tech luxury sedan, the base 740i and 740i xDrive have a good amount of standard features and loads of options to choose from. Keeping things simple is key, as the sedan can easily crest the $100,000 mark. The Cold Weather Package is a must, as is the Parking Assistance Package. Regardless of what 7-Series you choose, strap in and relax, because you're in for a luxurious ride.
2019 BMW 7-Series Review
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but the 2019 BMW 7-Series is a leader on the road. It has it all: cutting-edge technology, luxury to spoil a prince, and a chassis package that stays true to BMW’s driver-centric core. This is a segment of heavy hitters – the 7-Series is up against traditional rivals like the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8, plus offerings from luxury marques like Porsche and Maserati. It’s still a compelling package, mostly because of the sheer number of things it does well.
It feels odd to talk about value for a car whose buyers will largely sit in the back, but here we are. Most 7-Series will bear the base engine, a 3.0-liter unit producing a more-than-adequate 320 horsepower, and we think that’s a good thing. The 740e’s hybrid powertrain boosts efficiency, but not by enough to justify the 500-pound weight penalty. And while the M760i’s fire-breathing V12 is mighty, the 7-Series doesn’t seem like the type to get in drag races.
The 740i it is then, preferably with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The car is high-tech and sumptuous from the get-go, with leather upholstery, Harmon Kardon audio, automatic four-zone climate control, a WiFi hotspot, and gesture control all standard. The Cold Weather Package is a good addition (heated seats not being standard is a surprise), as is the Driving Assistance Plus Package for the full suite of safety technology. We’d call it a day at that point, but if you felt the need for more luxury, you could take the money you saved and put it into either the Executive Package (if you sit in the front) or the Luxury Rear Seating Package (if you sit in the rear).
We’d build our 7-Series like so:
- Model: 2019 BMW 740i xDrive
- Engine: 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder
- Output: 320 hp / 332 lb-ft
- Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
- Options: Cold Weather Package ($400, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats), Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700, lane keeping assist, cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control), Executive Package ($4,000, Nappa leather finish, a head-up display, power rear sunshades, front ventilated seats, multi-contour seats, ceramic controls).
- Base Price:$87,645 (including the $995 destination charge)
- Best Value Price:$93,745
The newest-generation 7-Series didn’t put all its technology in the cabin. BMW’s Carbon Core construction keeps things stiff, while shaving over 120 pounds and preserving a 50/50 weight distribution. All that adds up to a car with a sense of confidence on the road. Even the base engine will get a 740i to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, which will be plenty for most drivers. The V12 will tempt those who like a little spectacle, and it drops that time to a blazing 3.6 seconds.
It’s the middle two options, the 740e and the 750i, that feel like the misfits. The 740e is a nice gesture toward efficiency, but it doesn’t go far enough in either direction. The 23-mile electric-only range is easy to squander, and true diesels and hybrids still manage better mileage overall. The 750i’s V8 is a competent engine, but it seems a little redundant – the V6 is already a solid performer, and the V8 is neither as efficient as the hybrid nor as fast as the V12.
The 2019 BMW 7-Series is elegant, but it’s more on the subdued end of the spectrum. The double-kidney grille is bigger than usual, and the beltlines wrap pleasingly around to taillights linked by chrome. The interior is where the action is, with legroom fit for NBA players, fold-out tray tables, and more screens and displays than you’ll know what to do with.
Still, it’s hard to call the 7-Series flashy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The 7-Series is stately enough to be likable, but in a class where half the battle is looking the part, competitors may arrive with more panache.
The Best and Worst Things
Marrying top-level comfort with driving dynamics is no easy task, and BMW does it as well as anyone. We just wish the 7-Series took a few more risks to separate itself from the pack.
Right For? Wrong For?
The 7-Series is perfect for the executive who still likes to step behind the wheel from time to time. It has all the latest tech and the interior won’t disappoint, and it’s still a blast on an ocean-view cruise.
For those who value the image as much as the machine, the 7-Series may resonate less. It can’t quite match the dignity of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the athleticism of a Porsche Panamera. It’s as capable a machine, but it feels as though it has just a tad less identity.
The Bottom Line
BMW redefined luxury sedans by bringing driving dynamics to the forefront, and in an odd way the 2019 7-Series still carries that torch. Parts of BMW’s lineup have grown bigger and softer, but the 7-Series (which was always big) retains a sporty edge. Combined with the level of polish in the cabin, this makes it a compelling package. The competition is worth a look, but in the BMW 7-Series lurks a bit of excellence hiding in plain sight.
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