2018 BMW 7-Series


2018 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 BMW 7-Series was new.


Performance: 8.6

Whether you're rolling in the base model, the plug-in hybrid, or one of the high-horsepower versions, there's no shortage of power in the 2018 BMW 7 Series. Yet what is even more impressive is the surprising agility of this large sedan. Following through on its luxury focus, the ride is superbly quiet and smooth.

  • "In spite of its size, the 7 Series is a very competent performer. Even the plug-in hybrid 740e has considerable power, and transmission response from the eight-speed automatic is fantastic. The biggest drawback is a lack of road feel." -- Edmunds
  • "It's definitely sharper than the puffy S-Class and is as legitimately fun-to-drive as the wonderfully focused Jaguar XJ." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "In the 7 Series, you get your own galaxy, but the astral surroundings don't distract from another reality: this 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 (2016)

Acceleration and Power

Powertrain selections for the 7 Series include a four-cylinder hybrid option, an inline six-cylinder, two V8s, and a V12. While horsepower varies between them, all are refined and brisk, capable of moving this large car with ease. All powertrains come with a smooth-shifting eight speed automatic transmission, TwinPower (BMW's term for twin turbochargers), and an auto stop-start feature that can feel a bit coarse.

The base 740i comes with a 320-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine, and the 750i uses a 4.4-liter V8. Fuel economy with the 740i is one of the highest in the class, at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. This dips to 17 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway for the 750i.

The best fuel economy in the 7 Series fleet is found in the 740e plug-in hybrid. It gets a combined 27 mpg with gasoline-only power and 64 mpg-e using both electric and gasoline modes. It can drive about 14 miles on all-electric power. You don't sacrifice momentum for this fuel savings, and even heavy-footed drivers should be pleased by its 322 combined horsepower.

Two high-performance editions are also available. Even though the Alpina B7 and M760i have considerably different engine displacements, both can sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Under the hood of the Alpina B7 is a 4.4-liter V8 tuned to create 600 horsepower. The largest 7 Series engine comes in the M760i: a 6.6-liter V12. It nudges out the Alpina B7 slightly with its 601-horsepower rating.

  • "The base inline-6 should satisfy most shoppers with its seamless turbocharged thrust and laudable refinement, but the V8 takes things to another level. In our instrumented testing, a 750i xDrive launched from zero to 60 mph in a swift 4.5 seconds. Either way, the eight-speed automatic is one of the best in the industry, delivering buttery shifts right on time." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Equally smart is the 8-speed automatic transmission that is tied into the navigation system. This link allows the transmission to anticipate sudden changes in the road ahead, adjusting its shift patterns to be more responsive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "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 (2016)

Handling and Braking

The base 7 Series comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive, which BMW calls xDrive, is available in the 740i and 750i trims and standard in the 740e, Alpina B7, and M760i. Also included is Driving Dynamics Control, which adjusts components like steering and transmission shifts into one of six available modes: Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Comfort+, Sport, and Sport+. The standard air suspension system magnificently absorbs any road imperfections before they disturb vehicle occupants. Handling is also impressive for a sedan this large.

  • "At over 206 inches in length and tipping the scales at more than two tons, the 2018 BMW 7 Series certainly has the size and weight of a full-size luxury sedan, yet it's every bit as nimble and athletic as one would expect of a car wearing the blue-and-white propeller badge. The real attention-grabber is how BMW has enhanced this latest-generation 7 Series' handling and steering response while simultaneously improving the car's ride comfort. The air suspension includes an optional upgrade that can detect road conditions and adapt the suspension in real time." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Out in the wild, the 2017 BMW 7 Series is a more capable handler than its size suggests, if not a full-fledged performance car like the Panamera. The Autobahn package's predictive suspension helps produce an impressively flat cornering attitude, yet the ride is very supple on virtually all surfaces. 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 (2017)
  • "Yet for all the poise, there's not a hint of jarring. Or road noise. This is a true modern luxury sedan that happens to have some cornering skills when called upon." -- Autotrader (2017)

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