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2018 BMW 7 Series

$83,100 - $156,700
Price Range (MSRP)
BMW 7 Series

2018 BMW 7 Series Review: Can Luxury And Driving Pleasure Co-Exist?

by Adam Lynton

The 7 Series is BMW's flagship luxury sedan that's supposed to be the pinnacle of luxury and technology. As is fitting for a large luxury sedan, the 7 Series is only available with a long wheelbase, which ensures that rear legroom is ample enough to warrant the title. The 7 Series comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and depending on the engine choice, either all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive configuration. The range boasts three models, including the base 740i featuring a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine making 320 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. In the middle of the range, the 750i is equipped with a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine which produces 445 hp and 479 lb-ft. The top-end model is the M760i xDrive, with its massive 6.6-liter V12 engine that pounds out 601 hp and 590 lb-ft and is known for its impressive supercar-bating performance.

Main competitors for the 7 Series are, of course, other powerhouse German rivals such as the Audi A8 and the Mercedes S-Class, both of whom offer substantial improvements in on-board technology and affordable driveability. Still, the 7 Series remains an affordable, relatively speaking - and never dull - contender in this segment. It also offers the option of a plug-in hybrid model, reviewed separately.

2018 BMW 7 Series Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 7 Series?

There have only been minor updates to the driver assistance functions of the 7 Series: Active Driving Assistant is now available as an individual option on the 740i trims, and the features of the Driver Assistance Plus Package II have now been bundled into the Driver Assistance Plus Package. The 7 Series is due for a refresh soon, which will serve it well in future comparisons with main rivals.

Pros and Cons

  • Standard adaptive air suspension
  • Fantastic rear passenger space
  • Packed with features
  • Competitive engine options
  • Dynamic driving experience
  • Expensive optional packages and extras
  • Conservative styling
  • No standard-wheelbase model available

7 Series Exterior

The 2018 7 Series has a classic, assertive BMW front end with a bold kidney grille that is surrounded on each side by large LED headlights and underscored by an elongated air intake. As expected for a car of this class, the side profile offers long, sweeping lines, highlighting the enormous rear space and culminating in a contemporary, well-styled trunk. The rear has typical BMW LED tail light clusters sitting above the twin chrome-framed exhausts, with the overall look enhanced by an understated, horizontal chrome bar stretching across the width of the trunk. A selection of 18, 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels are available depending on trim level and available packages. The available M-Sport package, standard on the M760i, gives the 7 a more assertive look with M-car inspired bumpers and side skirts.

2018 BMW 7 Series Front View
2018 BMW 7 Series Rear View
2018 BMW 7 Series Rear Angle View
See All 2018 BMW 7 Series Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The 7 series is built somewhat like a tank - large and imposing for this segment. It has a wheelbase of 126.4 inches and a length of 206.6 inches, which is within an inch of what main rival, the Mercedes S-Class, measures. A broad 74.9-inch width offers great interior cabin space, and - standing 58.2 inches in height - adds enough space for taller passengers inside. All models have a ground clearance of 5.3 inches. Curb weights range between 4,195 pounds on the rear-wheel-drive 740i to 5,128 lbs for the fully-loaded M760i xDrive, generally lighter than other competitors, particularly on their lower-end trim levels.

Exterior Colors

There's a wide range of 13 colors to customize the 7 Series, and like the car itself, most of them are understated, yet elegant. Two standard non-metallic options are available, Alpine White and Jet Black. A variety of metallic colors can be chosen including Mineral White, Cashmere Silver, Glacier Silver, Arctic Grey, Jatoba Brown, Imperial Blue, Carbon Black, and Magellan Gray. BMW Individual color-options include Azurite Black, Ruby Black, Moonstone Metallic, and Almandine Brown, for a bespoke experience, which are priced at an additional $1,950 and are trim-dependent. While the selection seems expansive enough, there are no particularly striking colors included that stand out; granted, a luxurious vehicle such as this has no business sporting bright reds or blues.

  • Azurite Black Metallic, Priority 1
  • Ruby Black Metallic, Priority 1
  • Moonstone Metallic, Priority 1
  • Almandine Brown Metallic, Priority 1
  • Alpine White
  • Carbon Black Metallic
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Glacier Silver Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic
  • Singapore Gray Metallic
  • Magellan Gray Metallic
  • Jet Black
  • Cashmere Silver Metallic
  • Dark Graphite Metallic
  • Imperial Blue Metallic
See all 17 colors

7 Series Performance

A full-size luxury sedan has no business bating supercars and sports cars and instead should focus on utmost luxury and comfort. Still, AMG turns their hand to an S-Class and in much the same way, BMW has given the range-topping 7 Series a dash of M performance. With all-wheel-drive as standard on the M760i xDrive (AWD optional on lower trims in place of standard RWD) and a behemoth of a twin-turbo V12 under the hood cranking out more than 600 hp, 0-60 mph takes just 3.6 seconds before racing on to 190 mph - still electronically governed for the sake of sanity. Lesser derivatives are slower, but not by much, with the 740i achieving the 0-60 sprint in 5.1 seconds, while the V8-powered 750i splits the difference neatly. Large-displacement V12 engines might soon be a thing of the past, but BMW's reliance on one here is welcome for the sheer brutality it brings to the table.

2018 BMW 7 Series Front View Driving
2018 BMW 7 Series Rear View Driving
2018 BMW 7 Series 4.4L V8 Turbo Engine

Engine and Transmission

Three engines are available in the 7 Series line-up, with the 740i kicking things off with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six developing 320 hp and 332 lb-ft. The 750i ups the ante with two extra cylinders, a V-shaped configuration, and outputs of 445 hp and 479 lb-ft from its 4.4-liter displacement. The range-topping M760i xDrive, meanwhile, receives a bi-turbo V12 displacing 6.6 liters and delivering a creamy 600 hp and 590 lb-ft. Regardless of engine choice, an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox is the standard and only transmission available.

All engines proffer varying levels of impressive performance, and you'd truly never be found wanting in either. But the V8 in the 750i strikes the sweet spot between performance, refinement, and soundtrack, while still saving you a fair amount in terms of base price and gas usage. The M760i xDrive is novel and all, but when you're being chauffeured in the back seat, do you really want your personal driver launching from 0-60 in under four seconds?

  • Engines
    3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas, 6.6-liter Twin-Turbo V12 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Considering how enormous the 7 Series really is, the designers have cleverly married engine and chassis to create a drive more akin to the nimbler, smaller 5 Series. The 7 Series is agile on both the straights and around bends due to the effective air suspension. In Comfort Mode, it drives like a relaxed cruiser that effortlessly glides over the tarmac, keeping the occupants cradled in serenity, away from the outside world. At the touch of a button, Sport mode flips the proverbial switch and engages rip-roaring beast-mode, allowing the BMW to take on any performance sedan in the segment. For such a large car, with so much momentum at higher speeds, braking is certainly sufficient and is very responsive, without ever feeling strained.

Compared to the S-Class, which feels more luxurious and tame, the 7 Series focuses on driving dynamics and providing the best experience possible. It succeeds in the performance and handling attributes, although the interior can be a bit noisy at high speeds. Still, the 7 Series is comfortable and offers an ideal cabin to spend many hours in; it is easily one of the best options for longer trips, especially in the M760i xDrive form with all the bells and whistles equipped.

7 Series Gas Mileage

Due to the range of available engines, fuel economy ranges from acceptable to bad; fantastic figures from the 740i, as well as the poorer estimates for the V12 variant, are logical - and almost predictable. The rear-wheel-drive 740i trim offers EPA estimates of 21/29/24 mpg city/highway/combined while the 750i gets 16/25/20 mpg. For the top-performing powertrain, the M760i manages only 13/20/16 mpg, which is pretty dismal - but not unexpected - for a V12. Equipping all-wheel-drive to the lower two trims is accompanied by drops to 22 mpg and 19 mpg on both combined cycles respectively.

All the models have a 20.6-gallon fuel tank, and based on the combined figures, the 740i has a range of 515 miles. The 750i can travel 414 miles per tank while the big-daddy M760i xDrive has a range of only 329 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    20.6 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 21/29 mpg
* 2018 BMW 7 Series 740i Sedan

7 Series Interior

While not as magnificent as the Mercedes S Class, the interior of the 7 Series is brilliant in its own right and creates a sense of occasion with its opulence. The flowing dashboard has a sophisticated yet practical layout with a combination of expensive wood grains, hard and soft-touch plastics, as well as aluminum trim. All the knobs and dials are user-friendly with many of them just a touchpad that resembles a conventional button. Of course, there's a number of different trims to finish off the layout, as well as various leather upholstery options available. As expected of a high-end luxury sedan, it has a cavernous interior with more than enough space for five adult occupants to sit in comfort.

2018 BMW 7 Series Steering Wheel
2018 BMW 7 Series Dashboard
2018 BMW 7 Series Front Seats
See All 2018 BMW 7 Series Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The 7 Series has a spacious interior that can easily seat five occupants in comfort; the fifth passenger, when seated in the rear center, may not have the benefit of the spacious, comfortable seats, but will still be able to fit in without too much fuss. Front passengers get headroom of 39.9 inches and legroom of 41.4 inches, offering more space above than the Audi A8. With only the extended wheelbase model available, the rear passengers get 38.9 inches of headroom and a massive 44.4 inches of legroom - considerably more space than main rivals, in fact, ten inches more than what the Mercedes S class can provide in the back. Headroom all around is on par for the segment, with most competitors offering similar figures to the 7 Series, making this an ideal vehicle for even six-footers.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Compared to most cars, the BMW 7 Series has a broad selection of high-quality materials available in various color schemes, to make each vehicle unique. Interior trims are available in a wide variety of classy wood-grain finishes, such as Light Poplar Wood, Chestnut Wood, Piano Black, Fineline Black, Gray Poplar, and Eucalyptus Smoke. Each trim contrasts well with the aluminum finish of the dashboard and looks particularly handsome when matched with one of the many corresponding leather options available.

The 740i is outfitted with Dakota Leather available in Canberra Beige, Black, Ivory White, Mocha, and Cognac. The higher-end 750i and M760i both feature Nappa Leather in Canberra Beige, Ivory White, Zagora Beige, Mocha, Cognac, and Black.

Exclusive BMW Individual trims are also available, offering unique leather options in the highest quality Merino Leather at additional cost. Available interiors in this range include Caramel or Fiona Red leather with Black stitching, and Smoke White with Black. Other combinations can also be had, unique to each dealership.

7 Series Trunk and Cargo Space

The 7 Series is fabulous for long journeys due to the vast amount of space available overall, but it really doesn't offer much more trunk space than mid-sized or even compact luxury sedans. For a vehicle of this size, there is obviously more than enough space for luggage and other items. The trunk has a capacity of 18.2 cubic feet, which is more than the competitors in this segment. Comparatively, the Audi A8 has a trunk space of 14.2 cu-ft, and the Mercedes S-Class has a 16.3 cu-ft. Fortunately, the rear seats also fold down to increase the cargo space, and there are storage compartments inside the trunk, as well as cargo hooks.

In addition to the enormous trunk, the 7 Series also has numerous storage areas for smaller items in the cabin. The glove box and door pockets are quite small, but it still has front cupholders and a storage bin on the center console, as well as another big storage tray and rear cupholders on the center armrest in the back seat.

2018 BMW 7 Series Rear Passenger Seats
2018 BMW 7 Series Sunroof
2018 BMW 7 Series Rear View
  • Trunk Volume
    18.2 ft³

7 Series Infotainment and Features

Features

The list of factory-fit features on the 7 Series is extensive, and there are many standalone add-ons and packages available to boot. Standard equipment includes an adaptive air suspension, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, power-closing doors, front and rear parking sensors, a power trunk lid, four-zone climate control, a panoramic moonroof, and fourteen-way power-adjustable seats. A rearview camera is included, as well as onboard navigation and wireless phone charging. Additionally, features available as part of packages or standalone options include blind-spot detection, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, rear window shades, night vision, heated and ventilated seats with massage function, to name but a few. The 7 Series also has the option of including Active Driving Assistant, which uses voice command for a number of functions, as well as learns the driver's habits and adjusts the driving experience accordingly.

Infotainment

The infotainment system in the 7 Series is quite impressive, although a couple of issues remain a hindrance. Apple CarPlay is an optional feature, which is ridiculous considering how much the car costs to begin with. Furthermore, Android Auto isn't available at all. What the 7 Series does have is a 10.2-inch touchscreen with BMW's iDrive controller, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, onboard navigation, gesture control, a sixteen-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with two subwoofers, AM/FM radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio with one year's subscription, and USB input.

As part of the Luxury Rear Seating Package, there's also a seven-inch tablet available that can control many of the car's settings, including the seat settings, interior color settings, and even the fragrance inside the car. If rear entertainment screens are fitted, this can also be remotely controlled.

7 Series Problems and Reliability

There has been one recall issued for the 7 Series for a crankshaft sensor with incorrect firmware that had the potential to cause the car to stall. Other than that, there haven't been any complaints about the 7 Series. It currently has a four-star predicted reliability rating according to J.D. Power.

As with most BMW's, it has a four-year/50,000-mile powertrain and basic warranty. It also has a 12-year unlimited warranty on perforation and corrosion, and BMW Ultimate Care for three- years/36,000-miles. There is also a four-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan included.

7 Series Safety

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS have no test scores available for the 7 Series. It is not uncommon for large, expensive sedans to have no formal ratings available, but the extensive list of safety features means this is of no real concern.

Key Safety Features

There are many safety features available to the 7 Series, but it's unfortunate that many of them are expensive extras, considering how costly the car is already. At least there are some standard features worth mentioning, including a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, as well as dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, front knee airbags, stability control, traction control, tire pressure monitoring, four-wheel ABS, emergency brake preparation, and post-collision system.

Features available as extras include night vision, surround parking camera, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, and lane-keep assist.

Verdict: Is the 2018 BMW 7 Series a good car?

The 7 Series is a fantastic car, for the lucky few that can afford it. It represents the premium level of vehicle design for BMW, elevated to the status of king in the BMW family. All the engine options are great, and provide excellent performance to match the agile handling and smooth ride. The interior feels special and plush, with its premium trims and abundance of leather, wood, and other high-quality materials. Not many cars have this much attention to detail; every part of it feels high-end, no wonder it is fit for heads of state - not to mention royalty.

As with any car, there are a few small gripes worth noting. Not having Android Auto is a major flaw, as it the exorbitant price of optional extras. If we have to nit-pick for additional negatives, the tiny glove compartment and door pockets can be singled out. Overall, there are few better luxury sedans when looking for a superb example of quality and performance, all of which the 7 Series personifies very well.

What's the Price of the 2018 BMW 7 Series?

The entry-level 740i rear-wheel-drive has an MSRP of $83,100 while the xDrive model goes for $86,100. In the middle of the range, the 750i starts at $96,400 in rear-wheel-drive configuration, with the xDrive model coming in at just under the $100k mark at $99,400. The top of the range M760i xDrive is substantially more expensive, with a price tag of $156,700. These prices exclude any tax, registration and licensing fees, as well as a destination fee of $995. Thanks to the V12 engine, the M760i xDrive also has an additional gas guzzler tax of $1,700. By way of comparison, the Mercedes S-Class entry-spec model has an MSRP of $89,900, with the fully-loaded, V12-powered S65 priced at a whopping $229,500.

2018 BMW 7 Series Models

The 7 Series is available in three basic trims, 740i, 750i, and M760i xDrive, with xDrive sub-trims available for the two lower models.

The 740i is the entry-level model in the range and has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. It comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, power closing doors, fourteen-way power-adjustable heated seats, leather upholstery, automatic high beams, a rearview camera, wood trim, and a panoramic moonroof. It boasts a 10.2-inch infotainment unit with gesture control and iDrive system, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, wireless charging, AM/FM Radio, USB ports, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

One step up, the 750i has a 4.4-liter V8 engine, as well as the addition of ventilated front seats, an extensively power-adjustable passenger seat, Nappa leather instead of Dakota leather, and driver's seat thigh extension. It's also available with 20-inch wheels.

At the top of the range is the M760i xDrive. With a twin-turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 engine, it plates up 601 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Standard features on the M760i are 20-inch wheels, twenty-way power-adjustable Nappa leather seats, heated front, and rear leather seats, illuminated door sills with V12 logo, unique M-themed leather steering wheel, and a head-up display. Additionally, a heated steering wheel, surround-view camera, lane departure warning, and a massage function on the seats are included.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
740i Sedan
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$83,100
740i xDrive Sedan
3.0-liter Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$86,100
750i Sedan
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$96,400
750i xDrive Sedan
4.4-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$99,400
M760i xDrive Sedan
6.6-liter Twin-Turbo V12 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$156,700
See All 2018 BMW 7 Series Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

BMW offers a number of packages to improve the performance, as well as visual and internal features of the 7 Series. Some of the popular packages include:

The Interior Design Package, at $1,800, adds wood trim grab handles, rear safety belt and a center armrest in wood trim, luxury floor mats, and an Alcantara headliner.

Also available is the Driver Assistance Plus Package at $1,700, which equips the Active Driving Assistant, side and top view cameras, parking assistance, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, frontal collision mitigation, and lane departure warning.

Another noteworthy bundle is the M Sport Package which costs $3,400 and changes out the alloys wheels for 19-inch double-spoke bi-color alloys, an aerodynamics kit, Anthracite headliner, M-themed door sills, footrests, and Fineline black wood trim.

There are also other packages available, as well as standalone options, providing for such features as blind-spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay, and an upgraded Bowers and Wilkins infotainment unit.

What BMW 7 Series Model Should I Buy?

All of the models in the range are fantastic in their own right, but determining the best one for you depends on what you are looking for. However, we'd recommend the 750i for a number of reasons. Not only is it extensively equipped, but the V8 provides more than ample performance along with a soundtrack worthy of a halo model luxury sedan. The M760i xDrive may seem appealing, but it's truthfully too much performance, and it's offset by too much weight. Do you really want supercar pace in a car you're supposed to be driven around in rather than be the one driving?

Check out other BMW 7 Series Styles?

2018 BMW 7 Series Comparisons

2018 BMW 7 Series
2018 BMW 7 Series

2018 BMW 7 Series vs Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan

The historic rivalry to see who produces the best luxury sedan with groundbreaking features and superior performance is epitomized by the BMW 7 Series versus the Mercedes-Benz S-Class comparison. Both vehicles feature the latest in technology (albeit at extra cost in some instances), which subsequently filters down to other models. The 2018 7 Series is priced between $83,100 and $156,700, the latter price being the starting cost for the top-of-the-range M760i. Meanwhile, the S-class starts at $89,900 for its base model, almost tripling in cost for the top-end S65, which has a starting price of $229,500. Still, the S-Class is probably the most tech-laden car on the market and also has a far superior interior which is miles ahead of what the 7 Series has to offer. It also comes with a variety of engine options. While the BMW simply can't match the interior of the S Class, it certainly challenges the Merc in terms of driving dynamics. The BMW feels more balanced and agile and is by far the sportier sedan of the two. Considering that the top of the M760i is almost $60,000 cheaper than the S65, it's definitely the one to go for in terms of value for money.

See Mercedes-Benz S-Class Sedan Review

2018 BMW 7 Series vs Audi A8

Compared to the S-Class, the A8 is more of a dark horse and always seems a bit late to the party. It's a more subtle and understated car, but still packs a punch and shouldn't be underestimated. While the cheapest 7 Series costs $83,100, the base model Audi is priced at $92,000. At the top-end of the Audi range, the L 3.0T has an MSRP of $115,900, which is still substantially less than what the fully-loaded M760i costs. Whereas the Audi is only available in its all-wheel-drive quattro system, the 7 Series can be had as rear-wheel-drive in all but the top-end model. Also featuring a beautiful, comfortable interior, the Audi has a more modern-looking dashboard; yet the BMW retains a more classy and sophisticated feel. In the top-of-the-range models, M760i makes 601 horsepower while the S8 makes 605 horsepower - costs $40,000 cheaper than the M760i. Practicalities aside, there's something special about a V12 engine, and who knows how long they will be around for? It's worth paying the extra $40,000 for something special - if you happen to have it on hand.

See Audi A8 Review

BMW 7 Series Popular Comparisons