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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Takes what was right about its predecessor-its stunning proportions-and rids it of the ugly details
its style still polarizes
The most luxurious-feeling interior yet from BMW
Handsome, spacious interior.
Stately, substantial and with a hint of aggression.
The 2013 BMW 7-Series has been refreshed, not redesigned, so what you see at first glance is quite familiar--just with a newfound sense of being a little more detail-oriented.
Design-wise, the current 7-Series has all along been a standout in its class, with great proportions. Forget about the tiered decklid (the Bangle butt) that got this model in trouble with so many longtime BMW enthusiasts a number of years ago; the current version is a knockout, with a much more relaxed silhouette and more exciting proportions.
In front, the 2013 7-Series gets a slightly sharpened look, with a front fascia that brings the eyes to focus downward on a long, horizontal lower intake that runs across the nose of the vehicle. The kidney grille looks a little more gaping, with the number of slats reduced from 13 to 9, and all the surfaces around it have been freshly contoured. And in back, there's a long chrome strip across the bumper, while the taillight design is a little more detailed and contrast-oriented.
There's plenty to like about the current fifth generation of the 7-Series. There's a nice amount of wedge to the shape (always hard to achieve in a long flagship), more kick in its tail, and with the long-wheelbase version, another 5.5 inches of rear-seat legroom.
Inside, driver and front passenger seats have been slimmed, while in back, on long-wheelbase models there's a touch more headroom. The cockpit is a win overall, as the design is straightforward--not chaotic and cluttered, as luxury cars can often be--with streamlined dash shapes and densely grained wood trim and ceramic-finished knobs. But most notable is the all-new version of iDrive that's at the center of the dash; combined with the new reconfigurable information display ahead of the driver, the cabin experience for the driver should be more aesthetically coordinated.
The BMW 7-Series still looks slim and exciting for such a large car, with new details for 2013 adding more punctuation and elegance.