The 2013 BMW 7-Series is a lineup of luxury cars that are also, simultaneously in most cases, surprisingly fuel-efficient.
Across the entire model range, the 7-Series has stop/start, brake energy regeneration, and an economy driving mode. Stop/start turns off the engine at idle-stop lights, for example-and restarts it when the driver moves their foot from the brake. Brake energy regeneration captures some of the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost in braking and stores it for use by the car's auxiliary systems.
The driver needs to select ECO PRO mode, but once it's engaged, it operates unobtrusively. It manages the powertrain and climate controls to maximize efficiency. It also enables coasting mode, which lets the car coast farther at speeds from 30-100 mph by decoupling the engine from the transmission. In the ActiveHybrid 7, coasting mode completely shuts off the engine to save even more fuel, restarting it when the driver requests acceleration.
The best numbers are generated by the six-cylinder Bimmers. The 740i and the 740Li both sport an eight-speed automatic, which helps them achieve gas-mileage numbers of up to 19/28 mpg, tops in the 7er fleet. That's impressive for a sedan than offers such spaciousness and long-distance comfort.
Thanks to the new V-8 engines, fuel economy numbers are up by about 2 mpg this year for the entire 750i lineup--at 17 mpg city, 25 highway, or 16/24 mpg with xDrive all-wheel drive. That said, it's still not the choice for green shoppers.
The same 16/24 mpg rating is applied to both the short- and long-wheelbase twin-turbo Alpina B7, the high-performance edition of the 7-Series, while the V-12 760Li gets just 13/20 mpg.