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FEATURES | 10 out of 10
Boy, this car is a tech-fest.
More gadgets, gizmos, bells, and whistles than your average electronics megastore.
Backseaters get a pair of video screens.
Continuing to call it iDrive is almost an insult to its vastly improved control strategy...
Car and Driver
Available rear seat heating and even a massage feature should satisfy the most demanding of passengers.
There are so many features and options offered in the 2013 BMW 7-Series lineup, it's possible to get a little lightheaded over all the possibilities. It's also possible to get a little carried away, and add $20k or more to what's already a premium price. Especially as you move up the model line, to the 760Li (which can top out at over $160,000), the 7-Series' features tend toward absolute comfort and ultra-luxury upgrades. But if you want to geek out, there are plenty of chances to do so.
A revised version of BMW's iDrive interface is included in all 7-Series models. So is a new navigation system adds 3D elements to the display, thanks to a more powerful 1.3-GHz processor and a dedicated 3D graphics card, improving the overall speed of the system as well. And what makes this latest iDrive better is its revised menu system, revised navigation displays, and expanded voice control--including voice-to-text features and other voice editing tools.
An optional rear-seat entertainment package adds an iDrive controller and two 9.2-inch screens, cleverly "floated" behind the rear seats rather than integrated into them. And on the audio front, a new Bang & Olufsen Surround Sound system brings 16 speakers, active digital signal processing, and Dirac Dimensions technology to improve the listening experience. All-aluminum speaker grilles enhances the look of the system, too.
Options, even on the 760Li, include night vision, massaging rear seats, adaptive cruise control, and a choice of various materials and wood veneers.
Of note is the Driver Assistance Package, with side and top-view camera views; that package also includes the Head-Up Display in all-wheel-drive xDrive models. And an Executive Package includes soft-touch doors, a power trunk, and multi-contour seats. Even as in BMW's much more affordable vehicles, smartphone integration and BMW Apps compatibility (for streaming from services including Pandora) remain optional.
A much-improved version of iDrive and better entertainment systems highlight the 2013 7-Series' stunning array of in-car technology.