Quick Drive: 2009 BMW 7-Series

February 2, 2009
It's been on the auto-show stage since last year, and goes on sale here in American in March--so today, we're reminding you of the much-improved 2009 BMW 7-Series as it heads to showrooms in both short- and long-wheelbase form.

There's plenty to like about the newest and fifth generation of the 7-Series. For one, the imbalanced, awkward rear end's been surgically altered into something much more pleasing. There's more wedge to the shape, more kick in its tail, and with the long-wheelbase version, another 5.5 inches of rear-seat legroom. The details work, inside and out, down to the wide air intake across the 7er's front end.

Just one engine propels the 2009 7-Series--for now--but it's a rippling 400-hp, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 with nearly as much power as the old V-12 engine in the 760Li. With the six-speed transmission and all sorts of electronic help, like Active Steering, the 7-Series drives much lighter and smaller than its actual heft.

Of course it's comfortable--but it's also more refined. The dash flows lovingly, and even details like the iDrive joystick don't stick out in the blend of formal and cutting-edge shapes. All sorts of aesthetic and luxury add-ons ensure a swift and cozy ride. There's HD Radio, Google Maps for plotting the navigation system's waypoints, even automatic high beams to avoid scarring the other drivers on the road.

Our quick recap of the 2009 7-Series:

Likes:

  • Aesthetically cleaned up
  • Startling V-8 power
  • Surprisingly deft handling
  • Amazing backseat room

 

Dislikes:

  • iDrive still not a gem, though improved
  • Lots of electronics; like walking into Best Buy
  • shock to the wallet

This time around, a less radical shape does wonders for the 2009 BMW 7-Series’ appeal, though the dense layers of electronics require some patience and practice. Cruise over to our model page for more on it, and stay tuned for more news on the upcoming 7-Series Hybrid and other possible versions as TheCarConnection.com reports on the Geneva motor show in March.

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