The 2010 BMW 7-Series has come in from the cold. Last year, the 7-Series went from being one of our least-favorite luxury sedans to one of our most coveted.
Mostly it's because of the styling. BMW had a mission to make the 7er look different-and that 2002-2008 7-Series took it to extremes. The greenhouse grew tall, the fenders drooped, and the trunklid sprouted a vestigial double deck. Now, the newest 7-Series looks much more relaxed and much happier. The glass areas are slimmer, the shoulders are tailored just right, and the decklid's been smoothed over, with the trunk and taillights more tightly integrated. The Hofmeister kink, at the junction of its D-pillar and rear doors, is sublimely sporty. Even the grille looks pleased-it splits into a wider grin, and the front aero dams dip low for a grounded look. The long-wheelbase versions don't tip the shape out of balance at all, with a small stretch in glass areas in the rear doors.
We give a "well done" to the cockpit, too. We didn't like the almost chaotic mix of buttons, screens, and knobs in the last version. Here, BMW organizes the clutter and streamlines the shapes so that the 2010 7-Series' cabin "reads" more easily and more cleanly. The instruments can be completely blacked out when needed; otherwise they glimmer softly amid densely grained 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).
Edmunds: "stately, substantial and with a hint of aggression"
Jalopnik: "the design team has gone to great effort to correct the car's awkward-looking posterior"
Car and Driver: "trunklid is far less bulbous"
Car and Driver: "Only experts will be able to tell the 760 models from the more pedestrian 7-series variants"
Edmunds: "handsome, spacious interior"
Motor Trend: cabin is "a mix of fine leather and polished woods"
Autoblog: Black Panel leaves "only the gauge rings and needles...visible when the car is shut off"
Automobile: "the shifter has moved back to the center console"