- A look that's hard to find unattractive
- Strong, strong acceleration
- Impressive handling (for such a big car)
- Tech overload
- iDrive still finds foes
- ActiveHybrid 7 should be smoother
The 2012 BMW 7-Series is the Bavarian automaker's flagship model, and it cleverly wraps vast interior space, industry-leading tech, and the expected BMW fleet-footedness.
Even several years after its release, we still think that the BMW 7-Series is one of the best-conceived big sedans on the market—and one of the best BMW has produced.
Why? For one, the awkward proportions and surfaces of the 2002-2008 model are gone, with the slim, exciting proportions of the current car agreeable to most eyes. Performance is better than ever, too, and a well-networked set of electronic componentry somehow works magic to assure that the 7-Series models drive with the quintessential BMW feel—as if they were much lighter than they are.
There's a version, practically, for anyone well-funded enough to lay down a minimum of $70,000 for a four-door sedan. The in-line six versions are sprightly enough; the twin-turbo V-8s have the gusto to pull off triple-digit autobahn passes—yes, even if you just want the bragging rights. And for those who want to maintain a little more green credibility, the ActiveHybrid 7, with its V-8 and hybrid system, is a particularly strong performer while still earning a 24-mpg highway rating.
Whether you go with the standard-length version or the extended-length (Li) version of the 7-Series, you'll find interior space vast. Long-wheelbase cars have chauffeur-style room for front and rear-seat passengers, and the ride is about as quiet as you can imagine. And with pretty much every typical luxury-car convenience standard here, the options are left for items like night vision, a Head Up Display, or custom wood and leather trim.
With a base price in the low seventies in the 740i, climbing to more than $135,000 for the 760Li, the 7-Series covers a wide range of purposes and budgets, but in any of these categories it remains remarkably well designed, tech-savvy, and opulent flagship sedan.