2008 BMW 7-Series


$-639 - $4,431

2008 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 BMW 7-Series was new.


Performance: 9.2

The 2008 BMW 7-Series sedan delivers excellent performance and an engaging driving experience. Automotive.com says "the 7 Series does everything extremely well."

The Detroit News says the 7 is the "world's finest luxury/performance sedan." Automotive.com adds: "Dynamically, this may be the best car in the class. And that's no small feat, given that the competition includes some of the best cars in the world." Edmunds says for buyers who "crave an engaging driving experience above all else, the ... 7 Series remains the definitive choice."

Acceleration and Power

The 2008 BMW 750i comes with a 4.8-liter DOHC V8 engine that delivers 360 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 360 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. The 750i can go from 0 - 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Most reviewers say the engine is responsive, commenting on the V8's brisk acceleration. They also note the 750i is in its element when comfortably cruising. Kelley Blue Book says the V8 is "smooth and powerful, and you can feel the added torque when passing." Consumer Guide agrees, saying the 7's provide "effortless high-speed cruising, but also suffer languid low-speed throttle response." The 2008 BMW 750i has an Environmental Protection Agency estimated fuel economy of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway.

The 7-series comes with a six-speed steptronic automatic transmission with Adaptive Transmission Control. Automotive.com reports it's "among the most responsive we have ever experienced." Kelley Blue Book says the transmission offers "crisp, precise shifts and eliminates off-the-line lag." The Detroit News add that though the six-speed can be shifted manually, "it is so good in automatic mode, seemingly sensing what style of driver is behind the wheel, that manuals seems almost unnecessary." Yet Forbes test reports that the "shifter is a small, awkward stalk on the steering column that has only three positions - neutral, drive and reverse," later adding the "shifter and the wiper stalk look virtually identical, and several times I washed the windshield instead of backing up."

Handling and Braking

BMW's flagship sedan handles smoothly, feeling light and agile for its size. Most comment on its supple-but-firm ride and its stable feel. The 2008 7-Series comes with aluminum double-pivot strut-type front suspension and aluminum four-link integral rear suspension and Active Roll Stabilization. Consumer Guide calls the 7 a "model of smooth discipline," and MSN says, despite the car's size and weight, the "new 7-Series has nearly sports car handling." Kelley Blue Book adds you "can push the 7 Series into the tightest turns and never feel as though you will lose control of the vehicle."

The 7 comes with vehicle-speed-sensitive variable-assist and variable-ratio rack-and-pinion power steering that is accurate and enjoyable. "Just steer this thing where you want to go and the 7 Series takes you there," reports Automotive.com, It's very light at low speeds for parking lots, but firms up at higher speeds for improved driver feel." Consumer Guide calls the steering "alert".

The 7-Series' four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with electronic brake proportioning perform very well and can stop the large sedan confidently. Automobile Magazine says the "massive brakes on the 750 are still best-in-class." Automotive.com adds, "Modulating the brakes is easy, and the 7 Series can stop in a big hurry when necessary."

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