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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.
The 2014 BMW 7-Series lineup reaches far up the luxury ladder; and while it's possible to get a 740i for less than $75k, it's unlikely that many buyers will have the restraint to keep it at that.
Truth is, you could easily add $20k or more in options. 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. And if you're a tech maven, there's plenty of opportunity to express that, too.
Front and center, iDrive remains the central interface point in the 2014 7-Series last year it added a new navigation system with faster, smoother operation, a more powerful processor, and 3D graphics. But perhaps more important, there's a revised menu system, as well as expanded voice control--including voice-to-text features and other voice editing tools.
This year, BMW has also added a touch pad to iDrive, that allows you to trace out letters and numbers; it's something that BMW stubbornly resisted in the past, but a sign that the brand is finally willing to provide redundant controls rather than a single 'right way' to find functions. Separately, BMW has rolled out its apps services, full smartphone integration, and remote services in all 7-Series models this year.
Options, even on the 760Li, include night vision, massaging rear seats, adaptive cruise control, and a choice of various materials and wood veneers. And an Executive Package includes soft-touch doors, a power trunk, and multi-contour seats.
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. An optional rear-seat entertainment package adds an iDrive controller and two 9.2-inch screens that are cleverly "floated" behind the rear seats rather than integrated into them.
Get the Driver Assistance Package and you'll have side and top camera views, as well as the Head-Up Display in all-wheel-drive xDrive models.
The 2014 BMW 7-Series offers a stunning array of in-car technology; and the iDrive interface is much-improved.