It's barely better than the outgoing car.
When BMW revealed the facelifted 2020 7 Series, the biggest topic of discussion was the large kidney grille up front. But BMW made some interesting changes under the hood, including a new engine for the plug-in hybrid model. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder found in the outgoing 740e has been replaced by a 3.0-liter inline-six in the new 745e xDrive iPerformance. With the addition of two cylinders, the 7 Series plug-in is now more powerful with 389 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque compared to 332 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque in last year's model.
The added power does wonders for performance, with 0-60 mph now taking just 4.9 seconds. BMW customers likely complained that the 7 Series plug-in didn't feel powerful enough, which is why it now has a larger engine. There's just one issue with stepping up to a bigger motor, fuel economy is now worse.
The EPA has rated the 2020 745e xDrive iPerformance at just 22 mpg on the combined cycle, which is worse than the 27-mpg rating for the outgoing 740e. Although fuel economy has actually gone down, BMW did include a larger 12.0 kWh battery compared to the 9.2 kWh unit found in the old model. As you'd expect, the larger battery gives the new car a longer all-electric driving range.
Well, when we say a longer range, the new car ca travel two miles further than the old car on electric power alone. The 2020 745e xDrive iPerformance will go just 16 miles on electric power before kicking on the gas engine to enable a 290-mile EPA estimated range. Other plug-in hybrid sedans like the Volvo S90 can travel 21 miles on electric power and achieve average fuel economy closer to 30 mpg. With a starting price of $96,445, we are beginning to question why anyone might want the plug-in hybrid 7 Series. At least it's eligible for a $5,836 tax credit.