by Aiden Eksteen
As eco-friendly, low-emissions cars become increasingly popular throughout the world and in the larger consumer markets like the USA, more and more automakers are starting to electrify or hybridize the majority of their ranges, including their most premium flagships. Ergo, the presence of the 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid - the distinguished German automaker's full-size flagship sedan and core adversary to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, and Lexus LS PHEV and HEV models. Generating power for the 7 Series Hybrid's 8-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive system is a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder unit augmented with an electric motor for combined outputs of 389 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. While the 7 Series does provide a premium driving experience with polished performance and an utterly luxurious interior, it's a lot more expensive than the regular gasoline-only version and not really an auspicious PHEV. So, is the 2021 7 Series Hybrid sedan a sensible choice over the regular variant or against other HEVs?
The 745e xDrive is not at all new to the US, as part of the sixth-generation 7 Series, and comes into 2021 with no major changes for the new model year. This is understandable as last year's model was just updated significantly and came with a more powerful engine and a bigger electric motor than its predecessor. However, a few standard features have been reshuffled - the in-dash CD player has been removed, a Drive Recorder has been added, and heated front seats, armrests, and a heated steering wheel have been added. Eight available paint colors have been removed, too, along with four interior upholstery options. Lastly, a number of options have been rearranged, and night vision, as well as BMW's Laserlight Icon Adaptive headlights, are no longer available.
With 389 hp and 443 lb-ft on tap, the 7 Series Hybrid sedan always has more than enough pep for accelerating off the line and commencing high-speed maneuvers on the highway. Power delivery from the 3.0-liter turbo inline-6 is vigorous and serene and the eight-speed auto gearbox complements this with quick and silky smooth shifts. Put the pedal to the metal and the sedan will launch from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and onward to a top speed of 130 mph. In electric-only mode, you'll get around 16 miles out of the battery, after which it'll take around ten hours to fully charge on a universal outlet, or around three hours on BMW's Level 2 public outlets.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
As a luxury, high-end vehicle, the 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid sedan hits all the right marks and more. You certainly get what you'd expect from a car with a price tag of $95,900. As a plug-in hybrid vehicle, however, the 7 Series just seems nonsensical, offering a measly 16-mile EV-only range and fuel economy estimates that barely surpass those of its gasoline-only counterpart. It also sacrifices a significant amount of trunk space to accommodate the PHEV components, making it less practical than the typical executive 4-door sedan. We wouldn't recommend the 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid at its price, unless you want one just to say you have a PHEV that also boasts oodles of creature comforts and conveniences and no compromise in reliability. In review, the 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid should be seen only as a premium, luxury cruiser and not an ally of the eco-conscious.
The 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid is presented as a standalone model, so in this regard, you will only be considering the line's optional packages and add-ons. With that, we recommend the Driving Assistance Professional Package. For $1,700, it adds an extensive list of active driver assists focused around easy driving and crash prevention. The Luxury Rear Seating Package is also a desirable option for buyers who will regularly have passengers in the back seats. It comprises a heated steering wheel, a seven-inch touch-command tablet, and installs comfort seats in the rear with ventilation and massage functions.
The most popular competitors of 2021 BMW 7 Series Hybrid: