2016 BMW 7 Series road test and review.
I’m trying to think of superlatives for my review of the extraordinary 2016 BMW 740i.
You would expect BMW‘s flagship 7 Series limousines to be luxurious, quiet, comfortable and beautifully finished. It almost goes without saying.
What will come as a wonderful surprise however is the driving experience. Spirited? Absolutely! Performance is glorious, the engineering that backs it up is amazing, and it’s the sort of car that restores the joy of motoring.
Yes, there’s space in the back – hectares of it but being behind the wheel is where the fun starts.
For the plutocrat being whisked between high pressure appointments, there are many distractions in the back seats. Start with a tablet residing in the armrest between the seats. Created by Samsung, it does all manner of things; it provides access to the internet.
You can also move the front passenger seat if you need more legroom, or choose what fragrance you would to waft through the cabin. A stressed managing director might even welcome a few minutes of Candy Crush before that all important board meeting!
There are controls for the blinds, air conditioning, you can enjoy heating as well as cooling through the seats, a massage should the need arise, and of course it is all presented with quiet, reassuring comfort.
However, the chauffeur has the best deal by far. Just get behind the wheel of the BMW 740i and press the start button.
The usual choice of driving modes is on offer – Sport is where I spent much of my review time, although Eco mode is almost as satisfying.
The car I drove is the 3.0 litre twin-turbo model, but the performance felt more like a 5.0 litre V8. This has been achieved by putting the 740i on a strict diet, with the use of carbon fibre, composites and high tensile steel providing strength and rigidity.
So, stunning performance from a relatively small engine. Fuel consumption averaged about 9.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
All this from the 3.0 litre, but there’s also a 4.4 litre V8 in the BMW 750i if you prefer.
BMW engineers have performed miracles with the handling. This is a large luxury limousine, but throw it into a corner and you’d swear you were driving a sports coupe. Longer journeys too are to be savoured in this remarkable vehicle.
You will love the light show in the cabin. Not quite up to the Wurlitzer levels found in a MINI, but effective, and you can choose your favourite colour.
Another not strictly necessary extra is the finger gesture option. Don’t laugh, it’s not for use on drivers who cut you off in traffic… It actually works with the entertainment system. Want to change radio stations? Gesture hypnotically to the entertainment/information screen and… Hey presto, it’s done. Well most of the time!
It is of course transport for the well-heeled. This technical marvel would set you back $225k as tested before on-roads. Buyers in this market should also be aware of the depreciation in resale value of cars from any manufacturer in this upper luxury sector.
But if your motoring budget extends beyond $200k you should take this remarkable vehicle for a test drive… It deserves every superlative you can think of, and then some!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 BMW 740i
Engine: 3.0 litre twin-turbo six-cylinder producing 240kW and 450Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $224,200