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2021 BMW 7-Series Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2021 BMW 7 Series has a wide range of engine options, and all enable brisk acceleration. The 7 Series rides comfortably and feels stable around turns, but it’s not particularly sporty or agile.

  • "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 (2020)
  • "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. … the suspension gobbled up the few road imperfections I encountered on the Portuguese roadways. The ride was properly cushy." -- CNET (2020)
  • "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)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque (740i)
  • Available powertrains:
    • 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine and an electric motor with a combined 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque (745e)
    • 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque (750i)
    • 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 600 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque (B7)
    • 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 601 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque (M760i)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (xDrive)
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic

The standard six-cylinder engine is plenty powerful for everyday driving. It enables quick acceleration, and it provides strong passing power at higher speeds. The higher-performance V8 and V12 engines all improve the 7 Series’ fun factor and straight-line speed, albeit at a much higher price point. The 7 Series’ transmission earns praise for its quick and smooth gear changes.

  • "Engines and transmissions are at the top of the short list of highlights here. Every single one … is velvety smooth and feels more muscular than its official horsepower figures indicate. Even the 745e plug-in's combination of a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an electric motor is powerful and manages to drive with a natural feel that's absent from most hybrids. Every 7-series shares some variation of the same slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission." -- 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 (2020)
  • "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)

MPG Estimates

The BMW 7 Series' fuel economy ranges from excellent to poor, depending on which powertrain you get.

  • 740i, RWD: 22/29 mpg city/highway
  • 740i xDrive: 20/27 mpg
  • 750i xDrive: 17/24 mpg
  • B7 xDrive: 17/24 mpg
  • M760i xDrive: 13/20 mpg

Handling and Braking

The BMW 7 Series delivers a silky-smooth ride, even on rougher road surfaces, but its soft suspension puts a damper on handling. This is not a sedan that encourages sportier driving, but it does feel sufficiently composed around turns, and its brakes have fine stopping power.

  • "On one hand, it does the best impression of a Rolls-Royce of any car outside of Rolls's own showroom. On the other, though, in no suspension setting does it quite feel like that blue-and-white roundel belongs on the hood. Even with standard adaptive dampers and air springs at all four corners, none of the chassis settings quite feel right." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "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 (2020)
  • "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 (2020)
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2021 BMW 7-Series

MSRP: $86,800 - $157,800

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