MSRP
$86,450
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

On the highway, the 2020 BMW 7 Series offers a smooth, quiet ride, and its driving dynamics are more responsive than the typical long-wheelbase sedan. Its five powertrain options include a lively base six-cylinder, an efficient plug-in hybrid, and a potent V12.

  • "Remember, this isn't a sports car. It's two and one-half tons of luxury sedan. But it does a damn good impression of a sports car in a straight line." -- Car and Driver
  • "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 (2018)
  • "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)

Acceleration and Power

The 7 Series has more than enough oomph, no matter which of the five turbocharged powertrains you select. The top-of-the-line models are extremely satisfying, but they are tied to price tags north of $140,000. Most reviewers say the sweet spot between power and price lies with the 750i. Every engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly.

The base 740i comes with a 335-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. In addition to providing lively acceleration, models with this engine get great fuel economy for a super luxury car. The 740i delivers an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

The midlevel 750i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 523 horsepower. The 750i gets 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The 745e is a plug-in hybrid that comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Its combined output is 389 horsepower. With a full battery, the 745e has an all-electric range of 16 miles, and it earns 56 MPGe and 22 mpg combined city/highway. When the battery is depleted, the 745e's fuel economy ratings are similar to the 740i's. It takes about four hours to recharge the battery using a 240-volt outlet.

Like the 750i, the Alpina B7 also comes with a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, though it is tuned to produce 600 horsepower. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available, but the nearly identical 2019 model gets 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

The M760i’s turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 engine doesn’t mess around. This range-topper cranks out 600 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 mph in only 3.6 seconds. It gets 13 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

  • "Peak torque lasts from 1800 to 4600 rpm, and with ZF's excellent eight-speed automatic transmission backing it, the engine is never caught flat-footed." -- Car and Driver
  • "On country roads and on highways, acceleration was very good, and there was never a want for more power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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)

Handling and Braking

The 7 Series is silky smooth on the highway. It's also more agile than many vehicles in the class in part because of its responsive steering and minimal body roll.

Only the base 740i trim comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All other trims feature BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. An adaptive suspension system is standard, as are five drive modes (Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Comfort+, and Sport). Performance upgrades include sport-tuned suspension and exhaust systems, an aerodynamic kit, a rear spoiler, and a Sport+ drive mode.

  • "The 7 Series' adaptive suspension allows you to maximize the sportiness of this sedan, and while it does still have some performance chops, the 7 Series is most at home in Comfort mode." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's capable, just not enthusiastic. Anyone should appreciate a quick, responsive steering rack that almost never demands you turn the steering wheel more than 90 degrees outside a parking lot. There's little body roll for a vehicle of its size, and the standard air suspension is sporty stiff but absorbs and disperses the road's chatter well." -- Motor Trend
  • "At its core, it's a luxury cruiser that aims to be comfortable to drive and be driven in. Dial up the Comfort setting and everything smooths out. After muted response at initial throttle tip-in, power delivery was calmer in Comfort, and the suspension gobbled up the few road imperfections I encountered on the Portuguese roadways. The ride was properly cushy -- so much so that my co-driver fell soundly asleep while I chauffeured him around." -- CNET
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2020 BMW 7-Series

MSRP: $86,450 - $157,700

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