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2019 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.7

With its array of turbocharged engine options, the 2019 BMW 7 Series is prepared to meet a variety of needs. From the fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid to the blistering horsepower of its high-performance models, this BMW won’t have any trouble zipping along the road. Even more impressive than its power is this large sedan’s agility. Its sharp and crisp handling makes it fun to drive, without sacrificing comfort. It’s called a super luxury car for a reason, and its silken, whisper-quiet ride helps explain why.

  • "The 7 Series is a very competent performer in spite of its size. Even the plug-in hybrid 740e has considerable power, and the transmission response from the eight-speed automatic is fantastic." -- 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. … [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

The 2019 BMW 7 Series has several powertrain options, including a four-cylinder, a plug-in hybrid, an inline six-cylinder, two V8s, and even a V12. The horsepower output varies from 320 to 601, but each engine offers enough power to easily propel this large car forward. The only transmission offered is an eight-speed automatic that makes smooth, timely shifts. Each of the engines is turbocharged (BMW refers to its turbocharged engines as TwinPower Turbo units), and an automatic engine stop-start feature is standard.

The base 740i features an inline six-cylinder engine making 320 horsepower, and the 750i has a 4.4-liter V8 making 445 horsepower. The 740i has some of the highest fuel economy estimates in the class, rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The 750i’s estimates are a little lower at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Models with all-wheel drive lose about 1 mpg from each estimate.

The BMW 740e hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 322 horsepower. Capable of driving about 14 miles on all-electric power (though some reviewers anticipate a bump for 2019), this plug-in hybrid gets the best fuel economy in the 7 Series lineup. It is rated at 64 MPGe and 27 mpg combined city/highway with the gas engine running. With a Level 2 charger, its 9.2-kWh battery can be recharged in less than three hours.

BMW also offers two high-performance models. The Alpina B7, like the 750i, has a 4.4-liter V8 engine. However, this one makes 600 horsepower. The M760i has a brawny V12 that makes 601 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Despite their differences, both models can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Their fuel economy dips slightly as well. The Alpina B7 has the same EPA estimates as an all-wheel-drive 750i – 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The M760i has estimates as low as 13/20 mpg city/highway.

  • "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

Ride quality in this sedan is everything you could hope for in a super luxury car. The standard air suspension absorbs blemishes on the road, allowing for a smooth, comfortable ride. There’s no wind noise or jostling to disturb occupants. For a large sedan, its handling is also surprisingly deft.

Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive (which BMW calls xDrive) is available in the 740i and 750i trims and standard in the 740e, Alpina B7, and M760i. This BMW also features Driving Dynamics Control, which can adjust steering and transmission shifts with one of six available modes: Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Comfort+, Sport, and Sport+.

  • "The 7 Series boasts an impressively smooth ride and exceptionally quiet interior, as well as a number of options for personalizing the climate for each passenger and standard seats that are comfortable and highly adjustable." -- Edmunds
  • "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
  • "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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