By KBB.com Editors
For those fortunate enough to afford a premium luxury sedan, BMW builds the 2014 7 Series sedan. Comfort and convenience features on BMW's flagship exceed the norm – almost to the point of excess – yet the 7 Series offers more than just plush accommodations for five. Available engine choices range from a turbocharged inline-6 to an obscenely powerful V12. Whether you choose the standard model or long-wheelbase "Li" trim with six inches of additional rear legroom, you'll be getting a big sedan that loves to drive as much as it does impress. Placed against the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8, the 7 holds its own quite well. It outperforms the Lexus LS 460 and Jaguar XJ, and has no American-based rival to speak of.
If you require a car that lives up to your high standards and stature, but you also love spending as much time behind the wheel as you doing in the back seat, the 2014 BMW 7 Series promises to be your new best friend. The exclusive Alpina B7 warrants particular mention.
If you don't equate supreme luxury with overwhelming in-cabin technology, the 7 Series may be more frustrating than futuristic. The Lexus LS 460 sedan offers a more user-friendly interface, as does the Audi A8.
Changes for the 2014 BMW 7 Series include the addition of a configurable digital instrument cluster (except on hybrid and Alpina models) and an enhanced navigation/iDrive system with a new touchpad controller. The power trunklid gets a motorized open/close feature activated by running one's foot under the rear bumper, and 750 trims can be fitted with the smaller (and less easy to damage) 18-inch wheels at no extra cost.
Driving Impressions Despite weighing nearly 4,300 pounds, the 2014 BMW 7 Series sedan has been designed to round corners at high speed and remain as planted and rock steady as the nimblest...1 Series coupe. The brakes are easily modulated and always strong, and the 7's steering feels more in touch with the road than its nearest rivals. The 740i's turbocharged 6-cylinder engine doesn't quite live up to the status of this car and we would opt for the 750's twin-turbo V8 any day of the week. With 445 horsepower on tap, the difference in fuel economy is marginal (although the difference in price is not). Both the all-out-enthusiast Alpina B7 version and the range-topping 760Li deliver performance numbers once reserved for dedicated supercars. In terms of ride comfort, the 2014 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 and closes 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 sedan, the 2014 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 sedan architecture, though practical-minded buyers will prefer the standard xenon setup for its superior light output.
Given its $75,000 starting price, the entry-level 2014 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 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, pedestrian warning, 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.
The engine lineup for the 2014 7 Series accommodates a wide variety of drivers, from fuel-efficiency fanatics to performance enthusiasts. Base 740 trims are powered by a 315-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder, while an exceptionally well-rounded twin-turbo V8 provides motivation for the 750 model. Alpina B7 variants employ the same twin-turbo mill, but churn out an additional 95 horsepower. For those playing the numbers game, the top-level 760Li model's twin-turbo V12 is good for 535-horsepower and an earth-moving 550 lb-ft of torque. The 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 (AWD) as an option.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (740)
315 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 19/28 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter twin turbocharged inline-6 hybrid (Active Hybrid)
350 net hybrid system horsepower @ 5,800-6,000 rpm
360 lb-ft of net hybrid system torque @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (750)
445 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 16/24 mpg (AWD, Li and Li AWD)
6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 (760)
535-horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
550 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (Alpina B7)
540 horsepower @ 5,200-6,250 rpm
538 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 mpg (rear-wheel drive), 16/24 mpg (AWD)
The 2014 BMW 740i starts right around $75,000, with the long-wheelbase Li version opening right around $79,000. Adding all-wheel drive tacks an additional $3,000 to the bottom line. The limited-edition Alpina B7 begins just beyond the $130,000 mark, while top-of-the-line 760Li models carry an eye-opening sticker price of $143,000. The Lexus LS 460, Audi A8 and the Jaguar XJ also start in the $74,000 range, though the Mercedes-Benz S-Class commands a near $20,000 premium over its fellow flagship rivals. To see what others in your area are paying for the 2014 BMW 7 Series, take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page. In the long-run, we expect the 7 Series to maintain average 5-year resale values, besting the Audi A8 and on par with Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
By Mick (FL) on Sunday, September 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great car all around"
Cons: "tires ware off around 12K"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I owned Mercedes S500 then S550 and E430 before them ... the S class had miserable reliability so I said let me give this BMW (my First) a try. Boy was I surprised - PLEASANTLY! this car is amazing in design, comfort and aerodynamics. I would rate it a 10 except for one problem that is behind me now. the tires ware off at about 12,000 miles creating roaring noise. but once I ditched the OEM tires and got plain old tire kingdom tires ... problem has disappeared and now 10,000 miles later still gone. so if you dish out a $1200 for new tires for a car that is over 100K what is the big deal, right? my take on it is that. I am likely to buy this car once my lease is up in 3 months! Great Car and the mpg is good too with the hybrid!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By BMW750LIMan (TX) on Monday, September 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "A fantastic performance sedan"
Cons: "The LI is long"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I enjoy every moment behind the wheel of this amazing machine. It has so many features that I keep going back to the Owners Manual to keep learning. I have owned 3 - 3 series, a Z3, and 2 - 5 Series. If you like a performance sedan, you have to drive one. The 400 hp twin turbo delivers power to the road when you need it or just want enjoy it."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Njcrafters (TX) on Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Wicked fast but so smooth! Stunningly beautiful."
Cons: "Run flats, kind of glitchy technology, & poor mpg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Absolutely love my 750L. Striking good looks. I still stare when another one passes by. Performance is exhilarating. Passing and highway ramps are nothing short of an awe/jealousy inspiring feat. 80 feels like the perfect highway cruising speed so watch out! Downside: run flats scare me but I haven't had any issues. Yes, they are expensive but I'm most concerned that I'll need a replacement when I'm not near a big enough city to keep these specialized tires stocked. The second downside seems to be part of owning a German car... I have sensor lights go off and other gremlins that have put me on a first name basis with the service department. Granted, none have left me stranded. Its just life with a German car - sort of like a high maintenance spouse. Totally worth it - but frustrating when it gives you grief. Service department tells me 7's have more little glitches than other BMW's just because its always their newest technology. Third con: mileage is terrible - like its 1972 and gas is 25 cents a gallon terrible. Some tell me "if you can afford a 7, you can afford the gas." However, if you drive non-highway a lot, this car will fetch you between 14 and 16. Highway city combo pushes it up to about 17/18. I apologize for my carbon footprint in advance. All said, I would buy again. Nothing matches the driving enjoyment and luxury of a 7."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Tuff (FL) on Saturday, February 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Noisy run flats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Run flat tires are so noisy I thought there was a wheel bearing issue. My truck rides quieter than this car. Dealer and BMW won't do anything. Only 12,000 miles. They told me to turn the radio up. Last BMW I will buy. This is the best they can do for $80k? Do yourself a favor and never buy a BMW. What a disgrace. Annoying convenience features. Why do I have to pull the handle twice to open the door? The navigation is terrible. I use my iPhone for nav. The list goes on. I really hate this car and can hardly wait to to trade it!"
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Ed (NJ) on Wednesday, August 29, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "dont drive through water,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have owned or leased BMW 3 series, and 2 5 series for my wife with good results but to small for me. I have always driven a SUV and made the switch to the 7 series. great car, it has plenty of power, drives well over 120 mph, great cockpit, and a real head turner. The issues I have had were mostly with the dealer. The car pulled to the right since new, after two trips to the dealer they informed my it was in line. So I gave up, the lease will be up before the tires ware out. One thing to be aware of I went through 18" of water and it destroyed the engine. The intake in at the bottom. The car was down for 6 weeks for a new (rebuilt enging)"
21 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By Too old for this car (TX) on Wednesday, August 01, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,200overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "Front seat comfort."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Uncomfortable for my age and body build, as I become uncomfortable after 15-20 minutes of driving (front seat too narrow). Had to replace front brake pads at just 20,000 miles. Tires will not last another 10,000. Trunk closer malfunctioned and could not close trunk from full open. Parking sensors must be manually turned on, unless backing up. Pretty car, inside and out. Just not for me."
11 people out of 16 found this review helpful