BMW 7-Series Performance

#3 in Super Luxury Cars Performance Score: 8.4 / 10
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2017 BMW 7-Series Performance Overview

The 2017 BMW 7 Series has several powerful engines, topping out with two performance-oriented trims that produces 600 horsepower or more. The 7 Series gets good gas mileage for the class, and the new-for-2017 plug-in hybrid trim gets the best fuel economy of the whole 7 Series lineup. The 7 Series also delivers a satisfying blend of ride comfort and cornering ability, and it has sturdy brakes.

  • "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)
  • "… 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)
  • "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 (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The base 740i features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 320 horsepower. This engine has plenty of power for most driving situations, but there are stronger options in higher trims.

The 750i comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 445 horsepower. This 7 Series feels quick whether accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway, especially in all-wheel-drive (xDrive) models. The high-performance M760i is the most powerful car in the lineup. It comes with a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 that puts out 601 horsepower and goes zero to 60 mph in a scant 3.6 seconds. Right there with the M760i is the Alpina B7. It features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 600 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.

The new-for-2017 740e plug-in hybrid features a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 322 horsepower. That's more than enough power for most drivers. The 740e only comes with all-wheel drive, giving it better road grip and making it feel a bit quicker.

All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth, accurate shifts. The transmission is synced with the navigation system, letting it detect upcoming changes in the road and altering shift patterns to keep you riding smoothly.

The base 740i gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Those are strong ratings for the class. Fuel efficiency does drop with the more powerful engines, however. The 750i and M760i get 17/26 mpg city/highway and 13/20 mpg city/highway, respectively.

As you might expect, the new 740e plug-in hybrid gets the best fuel economy of the 7 Series lineup. The 740e can go 14 miles just on electric power, and under electric-only power, it gets 64 mpg-e. With the gasoline engine engaged, fuel economy is still outstanding for a super luxury car, as the 740e gets a 27 mpg combined rating, which is better than any other 7 Series.

  • "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
  • "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
  • "And on the straights, the 750i xDrive felt like a rocket ship." -- Left Lane News (2016)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard in the BMW 7 Series, and BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system (AWD) is available, even in the base trim. That's one of the changes to the 2017 7 Series; in the 2016 model, AWD wasn't available in the base trim.

There are five driving modes to choose from in the 7 Series: Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus. Changing driving modes affects the throttle response and suspension firmness to create a different driving experience. Run through all five to see which mode you prefer, but many people find that Sport mode offers the most enjoyable drive.

Among super luxury cars, the Porsche Panamera is in a class by itself when it comes to handling. However, the 7 Series is probably the best of the rest, and most agree that it's more agile than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8. The 7 Series is fairly nimble for a large car, and it handles corners with ease. The brakes provide ample stopping power, and the ride is smooth, even over bumpy roads.

  • "BMW's flagship 7 Series sedan for 2017 is the largest 7 Series to date, yet 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 the 7 Series' handling and steering response while simultaneously improving the car's ride comfort. The new air suspension includes an optional upgrade that can detect road conditions ahead and adapt the suspension in real time. The driver can also intervene by choosing from three modes: Comfort, Comfort+ and Sport. The 7 Series suspension is so smart it can actually learn your driving style and modify the suspension to match inputs." -- 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
  • "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 (2016)
Review Last Updated: 2/17/17
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2017 BMW 7-Series Pictures