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.

Best Value

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

Performance

BMW 7 Series

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.

Style

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?

BMW 7 Series

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.