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Expert Rating

BMW 7 Series

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Expert Rating

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Summary


The BMW 7 Series has been around since 1977 as the German brand’s largest luxury saloon – the current model is the sixth generation and was facelifted in 2019. Styling updates added BMW’s latest enormous front grille, which divided opinions amongst traditionally conservative buyers.

Apparently the grille pleases the Chinese market, which takes 40% of 7 Series sales. Therefore the other 60% of us just have to wince and bear it.

The 7 Series is available in standard and long-wheelbase versions. Powertrain options are many, with up to 12 cylinders 585hp .These comprise three petrol units, a pair of diesels with mild hybrid technology and a plug-in hybrid. All apart from the base petrol model can be had with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive transmission.

On the road, air suspension soaks up poor surfaces but several reviewers point out the unusually light steering that takes the edge off the driving experience.

As you might expect the interior can be specified to be as luxurious as you desire and the facelift certainly improved matters, Autocar saying it “can now genuinely claim to be among the class best.”

Technology rules in this class and the BMW has plenty – the central ‘iDrive’ stick that controls many functions is clever but as Company Car Today points out, “as the sheer quantity of connected functions increases, it becomes ever harder to keep up with where to find and operate everything.”

Overall the facelift has brought the BMW closer to its deadly rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class – according to Autocar “choosing between them will largely fall down to which seat you plan on using most”.

As of August 2021, the BMW 7 Series holds an Expert Rating of 75% from 27 reviews. That puts it just behind the Audi A8, while the all-new Mercedes-Benz S-Class will be added as soon as we have enough UK reviews to calculate our Expert Rating.

7 Series highlights

  • Plenty of powertrain choice
  • Efficient plug-in hybrid
  • Good road manners

7 Series lowlights

  • Marmite styling
  • Options add significant cost
  • iDrive controller complicated

Key specifications


Body style: Large saloon
Engines: petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrid
Price: From £71,730 on-road

Launched: Autumn 2015
Last updated: Summer 2019
Replacement due: 2022


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Daily Mail

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Evo

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Honest John

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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Safety rating


No safety rating

The BMW 7 Series was not crash tested by Euro NCAP when it was launched in 2015 and we are not expecting it to happen during the rest of its model life. If it does, we will update this section accordingly.

Eco rating


No eco rating

The BMW 7 Series has not been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW 7 Series has received

2016

  • Professional Driver Awards – Car of the Year + Chauffeur Car of the Year

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW 7 Series, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi A8 | Bentley Flying Spur | Jaguar XJ | Lexus LS | Maserati Quattroporte | Mercedes-Benz S-Class | Rolls-Royce Ghost

The traditional rivals to the BMW 7 Series have always been the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8.  Also lining up against it is the Lexus LS, Jaguar’s XJ having now passed into history, while for those looking for even more luxury the Bentley Flying Spur and Maserati Quattroporte are also in the running.

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Best car rankings

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The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites