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 oddly tiered rear end that drew so many snarky comments from many longtime BMW enthusiasts a number of years ago; the current version is a standout, with a much more relaxed silhouette and more exciting proportions.
In front, the 2013 7-Series gets a slightly sharpened look, with a front end that brings the eyes to focus downward on a long, horizontal air intake that cuts across the front end. The twin-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 band that spans the bumper, while its taillights grow more detailed and contrast-oriented.
There's plenty to like about the current fifth generation of the 7-Series. There's a fair bit of wedge in the shape, which is tough to draw on a long sedan. The 7er has more kick in its tail, and with the long-wheelbase version, another 5.5 inches of rear-seat legroom.
Inside, the front passenger seats have been slimmed, while in back, on long-wheelbase models there's a touch more headroom. The cabin has a straightforward, uncluttered look with streamlined shapes, wood trim, and ceramic-coated controls. But most notable is the all-new version of iDrive. It combines with a reconfigurable display ahead of the driver, and means the cabin experience for the driver should be more aesthetically coordinated.