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TheCarConnection.com's car experts researched Web reviews for the 2009 BMW 7-Series to compile this full review. TheCarConnection.com's editors also drove the 2009 BMW 7-Series in order to sort through the opinions they found on the Web, to hammer out a consensus among online car-review Web sites, and to help you get to the truth where reviewers had differing opinions.
- Aesthetically cleaned up
- Startling V-8 power
- Surprisingly deft handling
- Amazing backseat room
- iDrive still not a gem, though improved
- Lots of electronics; like walking into Best Buy
- shock to the wallet
Praise and hallelujahs for the 2009 BMW 7-Series—no, it's not the most practical vehicle on the road, nor is it the cheapest. But in its fifth generation, the big Bimmer gets a complete revamp for its formerly odd styling, while preserving its BMW driving feel.
The 2009 edition of the 7-Series sports a much happier, relaxed look and feel. The last version had a tall greenhouse and low nose, so it looked like an awkwardly formal top hat. Its raised decklid might have been copied everywhere, but it was still ugly. Now, the 7er (as it's called by enthusiasts) has been relieved of those awkward forms. It shines—the character line down its flanks lends some crispness to its profile, the ribs in its taillamps add a bit of upscale kink. There's a little blessed anonymity in its rear shoulders, a more open grille, and a wide, low air intake across the face that visually drops the front end. A long-wheelbase 750Li version is offered along with the more abbreviated 750i, but the visual differences are slight.
Inside, it's also a job well done, with a driver-centric design that wears a blend of modern shapes and traditional surfaces. The instruments can be completely blacked out when needed; otherwise they glimmer softly amid wood trim, ceramic-finished knobs, and the futuristic controllers that direct the transmission and driving dynamics, as well as the iDrive system (more on that later).