2016 BMW 7-Series

Performance


$47,431 - $57,118

2016 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 BMW 7-Series was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

The redesigned 2016 BMW 7-Series offers a satisfying blend of ride comfort and cornering performance, reviewers say, though some think it isn't quite as comfortable as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or as agile as the Porsche Panamera. They also note that the brakes could use a firmer pedal. The 7-Series' base engine is strong, test drivers report, and its optional twin-turbo V8 is downright explosive.

  • "It's definitely sharper than the puffy S-Class and is as legitimately fun-to-drive as the wonderfully focused Jaguar XJ." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "[T]his car is fun to drive. Not in the same manner as the 3 Series, obviously, but it's hard not to like a beefy V8 sending big time power and 480 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2016 BMW 7 Series retains its nimble spirit of athleticism, but has greatly enhanced ride comfort without sacrificing the car's road-holding abilities." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The base 2016 BMW 740i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 320 horsepower. The 750i and 750i xDrive (all-wheel drive) have a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes 445 horsepower. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, the 740i gets 21/29 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. The 750i gets up to 17/25. The 7-Series comes standard with auto start-stop technology, which shuts off the engine when the car is stopped in order to reduce fuel consumption.

Test drivers say the base six-cylinder engine should provide enough power for most buyers, though they prefer the brawny acceleration provided by the 750i's twin-turbo V8. Critics add that the 7-Series' eight-speed automatic is one of the best transmissions on the market, thanks to its smooth, quick gear changes.

  • "The base inline-6 should satisfy most shoppers with its seamless turbocharged thrust and laudable refinement. … [T]he eight-speed automatic is one of the best in the industry, delivering buttery shifts right on time." -- Edmunds
  • "And on the straights, the 750i xDrive felt like a rocket ship." -- Left Lane News
  • "The 4.4-liter V-8 has plenty of punch - BMW claims a 0-60mph time of 4.3 sec for the 750i xDrive, making it about four tenths of a second sec (sic) quicker than the S550 4Matic - and the eight speed automatic is smooth yet responsive, even at light throttle." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 750i xDrive, with its boost-happy V-8 and snappy ZF eight-speed automatic, packs the kind of wallop you associate with full-blown M models." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 BMW 7-Series, while all-wheel drive is available on the 750i. The 7-Series has five standard driving modes that adjust suspension firmness and other performance settings: Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus. Available features include four-wheel steering and a camera that scans the road for bumps and automatically adjusts the suspension.

Reviewers agree that the 7-Series has agile handling for its size. They also believe that it corners better than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8, though not as well as the Porsche Panamera. The 7-Series' brakes offer respectable stopping power, but some critics wish the brake pedal felt firmer. Test drivers think the 7-Series has a very smooth ride on bumpy roads, though some don't think it rides quite as comfortably as the S-Class. According to auto writers, the 7-Series performs best with its driving mode set to "Sport," which provides the most satisfying mix of ride comfort and cornering performance.

  • "On two-lane roads through the Catskills, the 7 Series tracked through corners at speeds that would embarrass an Audi A8 or Mercedes S-Class." -- Automobile Magazine
  • The brakes are strong and progressive, but the pedal is rather soft-and got softer as the laps progressed." -- Car and Driver
  • Out in the wild, the 2016 7 Series is a more capable handler than its size suggests, if not a full-fledged performance car like the Panamera. … There are five selectable drive settings in the 7 Series - Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus - but if it were our car, we'd just leave it in Sport, which strikes a winning balance by gracefully soaking up bumps while keeping body motions disciplined." -- Edmunds
  • We'll wait until we try the car on rougher roads we know well before making a definitive call, but our first take is that while this may be one of the smoothest-riding 7 Series ever, it still doesn't quite match the S-class in terms of rolling ride comfort." -- Motor Trend
  • Unlike the S-Class, which is happiest with its suspension in Comfort mode, the 7-Series is best enjoyed with the air suspension turned to Sport." -- Left Lane News

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