By KBB.com Editors
There are certain attributes one comes to expect in a large luxury sedan – supreme levels of comfort, cutting-edge technology and, of course, prestige. The 2013 BMW 7 Series delivers these qualities in spades in a manner that is tailored to the driving enthusiast. Powerplants range from a turbocharged 6-cylinder to a monstrous V12 and even a new hybrid. The 7 Series is also offered in standard or long-wheelbase "Li" versions, the latter providing an additional six inches of rear legroom. The upper-echelon of the automotive realm is a demanding arena, particularly when faced with competition from such segment stalwarts as the iconic Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and the new Lexus LS 460. But with the help from several key refinements, the 2013 7 Series' exclusive mix of dynamism and elegance remains stronger than ever.
If you have always longed for the opulence of a large luxury sedan, but crave the athleticism of a sports sedan, the 2013 BMW 7 Series deserves your consideration. With more than a dozen variations, including two lengths, five engine choices and available all-wheel drive (AWD), the 2013 BMW 7 Series sedan offers something for just about every affluent buyer.
High-dollar cars predictably include high-tech features. That said, the 7 Series and its wealth of sophisticated gadgetry can be a bit overwhelming for the average user. For a more user-friendly experience, we recommend you take a closer look at the Lexus LS 460.
The 2013 BMW 7 Series sees a number of improvements to its powertrains and exterior styling. Chief among these changes are a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, a 45-horsepower increase for 750 models and newly available LED headlights.
Driving Impressions BMW suspension engineers have evidently discovered a method that sidesteps the laws of physics, as the 7 Series' sharp handling belies its near 4,300-pound curb weight. Braking power is remarkably...strong and easy to modulate, while the steering provides more balanced weighting and truer response than any of its rivals. Power from the standard turbocharged 6-cylinder is adequate for day-to-day driving, though for a marginal penalty in fuel economy we recommend opting for the 445-horsepower, turbocharged V8. Both the all-out-enthusiast Alpina B7 version and the range-topping 760Li deliver the type of performance numbers once reserved for dedicated supercars. In terms of ride comfort, the 2013 7 Series dispatches bumps and road imperfections with a hardly a shake of the cabin. Selecting the Sport or Sport Plus driving mode increases suspension firmness, alters steering effort and improves throttle response.
We have all been there – wrestling our way back to the car, arms piled high with shopping bags, only to struggle further in an attempt to open the trunk without dropping our items. Luckily, BMW offers a solution: an optional hands-free trunk that opens with a simple kicking gesture under the rear bumper.
iPhone users can access various BMW-developed and 3rd-party smartphone applications like Web Radio, Facebook and Twitter through the 10.2-inch navigation system display.
As a flagship model, the 2013 7 Series is a rolling showcase for BMW's in-vehicle technology and design. The optional "multicontour" front seats adjust 20 ways to suit a variety of body shapes and sizes, while rear-seat passengers are provided an assortment of luxurious features such as seat massagers, rear-seat entertainment with two 9.2-inch displays, and power-sliding sunshades for the side windows. And while it may not be the most intuitive infotainment system on the market, the latest iteration of BMW's iDrive is light-years ahead of the 1st-generation system when it comes to ease of use.Exterior
Compared to the controversial designs of its predecessor, the 5th-generation BMW 7 Series is visually sleeker and more refined, particularly when outfitted with the striking body and wheel modifications of the available M-Sport package. The Alpina B7 offers the ultimate in individual expression on account of its signature 21-inch 20-spoke wheels, aggressive front-end styling and prominent quad exhaust pipes. Optional LED headlights complement the 7 Series' contemporary architecture, though practical-minded buyers will prefer the standard xenon setup for its superior light output.
Given its $74,000 starting price, the entry-level 2013 BMW 7 Series comes equipped with an array of high-end accouterments. Highlights include 4-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, navigation, a 16-speaker audio system with two subwoofers, adaptive headlights that swivel with the steering wheel for greater visibility around corners, and BMW's driving dynamics control with a choice five separate vehicle performance personalities. On the safety front, the 7 Series includes eight airbags, an active protection system that automatically pretensions the seatbelts when sensors detect an imminent crash and BMW Assist with emergency services like collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery and roadside assistance.
A/V buffs will find a lot to like in the new Bang & Olufsen sound system as well as the full-color head-up display, which projects pertinent driver information like speed limits and directions onto the windshield. A cabin chock-full of distracting tech features necessitates the Driver Assistance Package, which includes lane departure alerts, side- and top-view cameras that provide a more comprehensive look at the vehicle's surroundings, and an active cruise control system designed to automatically maintain a prescribed distance behind the vehicle ahead. Bespoke adornments from the BMW Individual menu are available for buyers looking to take personalization to the next level.
In typical BMW fashion, the engine lineup for the 2013 7 Series is designed to accommodate a wide variety of drivers, from the fuel-efficiency fanatics to the performance enthusiasts and everyone in between. Base 740 trims are powered by a 315-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder, while an exceptionally well-rounded turbo V8 provides motivation for the 750 model. Alpina B7 variants employ the same turbo mill, but churn out an additional 95 horsepower. For those playing the numbers game, the top-level 760Li model's turbo V12 is good for 535-horsepower and an earth-moving 550 lb-ft of torque. The heavily-revised 2013 Active Hybrid 7 enjoys a 3-mpg advantage over the standard 6-cylinder along with a 10-percent increase in horsepower. Every 7 Series model sends power to the rear wheels via a new 8-speed automatic transmission. And for extra control, the 740, 750 and Alpina B7 models all offer the year-round traction of BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system as an option.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
315 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 hybrid
350 net hybrid system horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
360 lb-ft of net hybrid system torque @ 1,300-4,500
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg
4.4-liter turbocharged V8
445 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (RWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD, Li and Li AWD)
4.4-liter turbocharged V8
540 horsepower @ 5,200-6,250 rpm
538 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg
6.0-liter turbocharged V12
535-horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
550 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg
By Bobbo on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is the 740i with the big six. Good fuel economy, a great ride and excellent handling. The twin-turbo six banger is a really good match for this body.The eight-banger is overkill for this car."
21 people out of 40 found this review helpful
By jmpp on Thursday, June 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great to drive ,luxury is top notch,good value"
Cons: "nice if BMW offered a built in radar detector"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Beautiful car exceptional interior and great to drive.I upgraded the interior to nappa leather it is worth the money.The car drives better than anything else in its class,I tried the competitors.I also have the on window display and it is great with the speed limits posted next to your speed.The map directions also post to the windshield and are excellent notifying your of turns audibly well in advance.I also have the surround camera for parking another great feature for the city.The finishings are superb quality and nothing comes close for drive-ability."
19 people out of 32 found this review helpful
By HOSS on Sunday, June 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great suspension, great backseat"
Cons: "Lack of storage space in armrest, bad gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Had this car for about 2 weeks now. Beautiful ride, esp. in the Comfort setting. In the other settings (Normal, Sport, Sport+), it holds the road like super glue! Excellent suspension. I can take a corner or curve at a moderately high speed and the passengers don't have to grab on the handle above to hang on; they just don't feel it. This is my first BMW. It has a very hands-on, "muscular", performance-oriented feel. That does not mean you have to be a race car driver to appreciate it; it is a pleasure to drive in town too. What I mean is that it is a more "engaging" feeling. It is just a pleasure to drive. I don't know how to describe it any better than that. The sound system is great but you have to adjust it for optimum performance. Back seat (on Li model) is huge. Backseat passengers say they can't feel bumps, etc. even in Normal mode. Downsides: Gas mileage. Specs say 14 in town, I barely get 13. Also, center armrest does not have very much storage room. Also, back-up camera makes everything look far away when in fact it is not, and no way to adjust this. But the park assist will beep if you get too close so you should not hit anything. In addition, there is an annoying delay when accelerating due to the electronic throttle control. This is esp. pronounced in Normal mode. Apparently this is due to the drive by cable system. But there are devices that you can buy to counteract this (less than $300). Also feels strange when decelerating, but I think it is due to the ETC also. Sport mode bucks at 30 mph -- not sure if this is the way it is or an issue with this particular car. Before buying this car, I looked at the S550 and the Equus (among other things). The S550 has the better interior, hands down. But the ride is very delicate. The best analogy is a show horse (S550) vs. a good riding horse (BMW)."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Vegaschef on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is my 14th BMW 7 Series since 1992 and I keep coming back to buy the new model every 2 years. This car is the ultimate luxury car. I also own a RR and this car is far more enjoyable to drive. The technology is amazing. I can't wait to take delivery of my new 2015 750. I'm sure the folks at BMW have made it an even more amazing car than the one I currently own but I'm just not sure what they could have added to do it."
9 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Alley Cat on Thursday, May 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Stylish Looks, Speed, Comfort, Handeling, Power!"
Cons: "Fuel Consumption, Turning Radius."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car is responsive, fast but also very comfortable. I just came out of an S Class and although I really enjoyed the comfort, the handling of the 750 is just remarkable. Don't purchase if gas consumption is your #1 concern. Run flats are new to me so I will have to return in about 10,000 miles to let you know how things go but this car is awesome to drive and even better to look at. I wish the trunk space was larger, even with no spare there is little luggage space. The folks in the back seat are super comfortable and have plenty leg room. I'm never there :-) I purchase this vehicle as "Certified" but given I know the previous owners and they loved it but upgraded to the 14 I know I have a wonderful machine."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Mush on Friday, May 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive when it works"
Cons: "Not reliable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"The fuel injector had to be replaced at 15000 miles!!! it stopped without warning on the road. Cannot believe this could happen to such expensive car. So had to wait for roadside assistance which was terrible in middle of night. I plan to sell this car soon. The battery died at 12000 miles!! What a joke. So please look for a better car for the money you end."
11 people out of 14 found this review helpful