The 2012 BMW 7-Series hasn't been crash-tested by either of the major agencies, the IIHS and the NHTSA. That's because it's a very expensive, and relatively rare, model, and both agencies tend to favor the most popular models.
But the BMW 5-Series has fared quite well, and the 7-Series is at least somewhat mechanically related to its smaller sibling. Furthermore, the 7-Series' big dose of safety equipment goes a long way toward earning our respect.
All 7-Series cars get the usual airbags and stability control, with the addition of front knee and rear-seat side airbags. A rearview camera is standard, as is a front-end 180-degree-view camera. Parking sensors provide audible warnings of parking-lot obstacles.
All-wheel-drive models sport hill descent control, more for messy roads than for any implied off-road ability.
On the options list, BMW offers lane-departure warnings, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitors. Take those-but pass on the head-up and night-vision displays. The concepts are sound, but the output displays distract and clutter the view out from the driver seat.