BMW 7 Series xDrive 3.0
What is it?
This is BMW’s all-new challenger to the mighty Mercedes S-Class. For too many years the 7 Series has stood in the shadow of the S-Class, outdone by its more lavish styling, array of tech and sheer opulence inside.
BMW has spared no expense with the new model, however, with space-age carbon fibre construction, autonomous driving features and gesture control technology all fitted to help move the 7 Series above and beyond the Mercedes.
From launch only a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine will be offered but in time BMW will introduce a powerful V12 petrol engine and a fuel sipping plug-in hybrid version, too.
- The key. Rather than a conventional key fob BMW provides all 7 Series owners with a digital key fob – like a smartphone – which can be used to set the temperature inside of the car, check the remaining fuel level and even see when a service is next due.
- Inside, there’s coloured ambient lighting which can be changed by the driver, while gesture control technology allows those inside to change volume, answer phone calls and set navigation instructions by simple hand movements.
- The tech fest continues inside with night vision cameras, a 360 degree camera, full massage chairs and even on board WiFi. It’s the ultimate mobile office.
- Long wheelbase versions of the 7 Series also come available with airline style seating which can recline up to 36 degrees and come fitted with retractable tables and even a champagne chiller.
- With all of the tech and tricks onboard, its safe to say the 7 Series is definitely a car to be driven in rather than to drive. However, there’s still plenty to like when you get behind the wheel yourself. The engine has a huge amount of torque which delivers effortless acceleration, while body control is good for a near two tonne luxury limo.
- Another thing you’ll notice is just how soft the ride is. Thanks to front and rear air suspension, it feels like the 7 Series is gliding over the top of the road surface rather than the soaring across it.
- For such a large car the 7 Series is also seriously fuel-efficient. While our xDrive four-wheel drive test car is capable of an impressive 56.5mpg, go for the standard rear-wheel drive model and that figures improves to 60.1mpg. That beats the S-Class by some distance, meaning a BIK rating of 22% while the Mercedes can only manage 27%.
- One of the coolest features is undoubtedly the remote parking system. In tight spaces the driver is able to use the digital key fob to park the car without actually being inside.
- The 7 Series is a mightily impressive machine but if there’s one criticism it’s the rather conservative design. However, an optional M Sport pack does spice thing up a little bit with more aggressive bumpers and larger alloy wheels.
BMW has finally matched Mercedes punch for punch when it comes to their respective luxury limos.
From tech to luxury, BMW has covered all bases and delivered a truly impressive car. The driving experience is effortless and enjoyable, while there’s enough tech to keep you occupied on longer journeys.
It’s the most efficient car in its sector but if lower running costs are what you desire an even more frugal plug-in hybrid model will be introduced.
Low down on the BMW 7 Series X-Drive 3.0
|Doors and body style||5 door saloon|
|Engine/gearbox:||3.0 litre 6 cyl diesel, eight speed auto, four-wheel drive|
… and what it costs
|Road tax (VED)||£130|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2015/16, 2016/17 to 17/18||24%, 26%, 28%|
|Benefit in kind 2015/16, 2016/17 to 17/18||£16,098, £17,440, £18,781|
|Annual fuel benefit (20%)||£1061|
|Annual fuel benefit (40%)||£2122|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£3,220/£268|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£6,439/£536|