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2018 BMW 7 Series

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2018 BMW 7 Series Expert Review

By Matt Degen

The 2018 BMW 7 Series is the flagship sedan from the German luxury automaker, and a pinnacle among full-size, high-end executive haulers. Totally revamped for its sixth generation just two years ago, BMW's largest and most expensive sedan enters 2018 with a variety of engines choices and just about every creature comfort you can imagine -- and some you might not even have known existed. Powertrains range from an efficient plug-in hybrid with a 4-cylinder engine to a monstrous, 600-plus-horsepower V12. The 7 Series maintains the performance bent that has long distinguished it from rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Lexus LS and Audi A8, all while packing the commendable ride quality and superb craftsmanship expected in a sedan with a starting price around $85,000.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a full-size executive sedan with a performance edge, the latest 7 Series brings it while also packing a wallop of technology and innovation. If you're more inclined to ride than drive, the 7 Series can be outfitted with a pair of reclining, massaging and climate-controlled rear seats.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The BMW's design is certainly handsome, but may be too conservative for some. If you're looking for a full-size luxury sedan at a lower cost, you can find it -- and higher predicted resale value -- in a Lexus LS.

How It Ranks
2018 BMW 7 Series Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

After a busy year filling the lineup with the powerful V12 M760i and the Alpina B7 xDrive models, the 2018 7 Series lineup mostly sees tweaks to packages and options. The Parking Assistance Package is now available on 740i, 740e and 750i models, and standard on the Alpina B7.

Driving the 7 Series
2018 BMW 7 Series Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

At over 206 inches in length and tipping the scales at more than two tons, the 2018 BMW 7 Series certainly has the size and weight of a full-size luxury...

... sedan, yet it's every bit as nimble and athletic as one would expect of a car wearing the blue-and-white propeller badge. The real attention-grabber is how BMW has enhanced this latest-generation 7 Series’ handling and steering response while simultaneously improving the car’s ride comfort. The air suspension includes an optional upgrade that can detect road conditions and adapt the suspension in real time. Three drive modes can also be adjusted on the fly, prioritizing comfort, sporty driving or efficiency. The 7 Series' suspension is so smart it can actually learn your driving style and modify the suspension to match inputs. Equally smart is the 8-speed automatic transmission that is tied into the navigation system to literally anticipate the road ahead.

M760i XDRIVE
We can count on two fingers the current number of 12-cylinder mainstream luxury sedans. Between the BMW M760i and the Mercedes-Benz S600, the Bimmer is notably quicker to 60 mph -- 3.6 seconds vs. 4.5 -- and around $14,000 less. This is the "go-big-or-go-home" BMW.

DISPLAY KEY FOB
The 2018 BMW 7 Series’ Display Key fob includes a small touch screen for remote control of the vehicle’s security systems, as well as monitoring maintenance schedules, fuel levels and range. Via the optional Remote Control Parking feature, you can even command the BMW to park itself from outside the car.

2018 BMW 7 Series Details
2018 BMW 7 Series Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2018 BMW 7 Series sedan’s interior features elegant wood veneer, aluminum trim and chrome accents. On 740i and 740e models, you can choose from five colors of Dakota leather with Nappa leather as an option, while 750i and M760i models are all equipped with the latter. There’s plenty of room in the rear seat and all models are equipped with a panoramic moonroof. A Luxury Rear Seating package swaps the standard 3-person bench for a pair of first-class seatbacks that recline, massage and even have their own fold-out footrest. The large trunk can be accessed via a power-operated trunklid that opens with the motion of your foot.

Exterior
2018 BMW 7 Series photo

The 6th-generation BMW 7 Series sedan can best be described as an evolution of the previous model despite its all-new sheet metal and extended overall length. The twin-kidney grille is more pronounced, and it incorporates an active-shutter system to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. The profile of the car features a striking chrome accent that drops down from the front fender vent and sweeps rearward. The side glass is framed by a chrome strip, and the famed Hofmeister kink at the C-pillar is incorporated into the rear door. There is an M aerodynamic package for the 2018 M760i xDrive.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

It's no surprise that even a base 2018 BMW 740i sedan comes well-equipped. Highlights include 14-way-power front seats, leather interior, 16-speaker 600-watt harman/kardon sound system with AM/FM/CD/HD Radio and USB input, rearview camera, iDrive 5.0 with touch pad, 10.2-inch touch screen and eight programmable memory buttons, navigation, keyless entry and start, power trunklid, soft-close doors, panoramic moonroof, 4-zone climate control and park-distance control. Also standard are BMW’s gesture control, Qi wireless phone charging and a head-up display on 750i and M760i models. BMW’s Active Protection System pretensions the seatbelts, closes windows and moonroof and activates post-crash braking.

Optional Equipment

Several packages and stand-alone options are offered, including a full suite of driver assists such as night-vision aid, 3D surround-view cameras, rear-crossing traffic warnings, lane-departure warning and assist, frontal-collision and pedestrian warnings, blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function. This latest generation of parking assist can automatically park the car in both parallel and perpendicular spaces and has an autonomous braking feature. Audiophiles will appreciate the Bowers & Wilkens Diamond surround-sound system that delivers 1,400 watts of sonic bliss. For a personalized experience, there's the BMW Individual Composition that enables you to pick your own exterior colors and upholstery.

Under the Hood
2018 BMW 7 Series Engine photo

Each 7 Series model has its own unique turbocharged powertrain. An inline-6 powers the 740i models, while a V8 is used on the 750i. The 740e plug-in hybrid pairs a 4-cylinder with a 111-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 322 horsepower. The car can run in several, modes including full electric. There is also the high-performance Alpina B7 model that tweaks the 750i’s V8 for an additional 155 horsepower. A V12 powers the mighty M760i xDrive. The 7 Series is rear-wheel drive (RWD), with the xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system optional on 740i and 750i and standard in the 740e, Alpina B7 and M760i. With a 0-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds for the Alpina and M760i, these 7 Series offer fabulous performance.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4/AC Synchronous electric motor (740e xDrive)
322 horsepower (total)
369 lb-ft of torque (total)
EPA city/highway fuel economy, est.: 27 mpg/64 MPGe combined

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (740i, 740i xDrive)
320 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 1,380-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (RWD), 20/29 mpg (AWD)

4.4-liter turbocharged V8 (750i, 750i xDrive)
445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
479 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (RWD), 16/25 mpg (AWD)

4.4-liter turbocharged V8 (Alpina B7 xDrive)
600 horsepower @ 5,750-6,250 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 mpg

6.6-liter turbocharged V12 (M760i xDrive)
601 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 1,550-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg

The 2018 BMW 7 Series has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just over $84,000 for a base 740i model. A RWD, V8-powered 750i begins over $97,000, and adding AWD to either is another $3,000. The 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid starts over $91,000. The blistering Alpina B7 begins just shy of $140,000; the V12-powered M760i xDrive over $157,000, including the gas-guzzler tax. The 7 Series' starting price is near that of the Audi A8, below the Mercedes-Benz S-Class's nearly $100,000 and above the Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ, which both start around $70,000. If you're looking for a large, premium sedan for significantly less, there's the Volvo S90 (under $50,000) and Acura RLX, (mid-$50,000 range). Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. The 7 Series' resale value is expected to be about average, trailing that of the Lexus LS.

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