Thanks: VOL MOTORS
2022 BMW 7-Series
Starting at: $87,795
Highs Stately design, silky-smooth powertrains, relaxing interior.
Lows Gimmicky gesture-based infotainment controls, doesn’t live up to agile-handling predecessors, doesn’t feel that luxurious without a bunch of options.
Verdict Buyers expecting sports-sedan moves will be disappointed, but the 2022 7-series makes for a comfortable and spacious cruiser.
If you’re looking for a large car to be driven in, the 2022 BMW 7-series checks a lot of boxes, especially for its spacious and relaxing cabin that can be optioned with all manner of luxury features. All models are powered by a silky-smooth powertrain, ranging from an inline-six in the base 740i to twin-turbo V-8 and V-12 options; there’s even a plug-in-hybrid model that can run on electricity for up to 17 miles before switching to its gasoline engine. Drivers won’t find much to entertain themselves, since the biggest BMW sedan has taken a comfort-first approach, but the 7-series doesn’t disappoint as a cruiser, as its compliant ride easily erases road imperfections.
What’s New for 2022?
Only one change is in store: Buyers can order the remote-control parking feature as a stand-alone option. Otherwise, BMW’s flagship sedan carries over unchanged from 2021.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
745e xDrive: $96,895
750i xDrive: $103,995
Alina B7: $144,195
The leadfooted among us may disagree, but the base powertrain—a turbocharged inline-six—in the 740i is perfectly suitable for this car’s relaxed nature. It provides plenty of gumption when you need it, but otherwise is quiet and smooth, so it’s the one we’d recommend. Plus, its lower starting price frees up your money to go toward some luxury interior features. We’d splurge on the Driving Assistance Professional package, with a semi-autonomous-driving mode that is particularly useful in traffic jams, so we can relax and let the car do some of the work.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Engines and transmissions are at the top of the short list of highlights. Every engine here, from the 740i’s 320-hp turbocharged inline-six to the M760i’s insane 601-hp twin-turbo V-12, is velvety smooth and feels more muscular than official horsepower figures indicate. Even the 745e plug-in, with its combination of turbocharged six-cylinder engine and electric motor, is powerful and manages to drive with a natural feel that’s absent from most hybrids. Each 7-series shares some variation of the same slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive (xDrive in BMW marketing-speak) is optional on the 740i and standard on the rest of the lineup. No matter which drive mode you select, the suspension is pillowy soft and body control is in short supply. The 7-series has adequate cornering grip, but the suspension’s moves in general—and the numb, light steering in particular—discourage exploring it.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
If not for the thirsty 12-cylinder M760i, the 7-series lineup overall would have an impressive set of EPA fuel-economy ratings. The six-cylinder 740i and the 750i both returned better-than-average numbers on our 200-mile real-world highway fuel-economy test route at 30 and 29 mpg, respectively. The 745e plug-in hybrid model uses a 12.0-kWh battery pack that’s said to provide up to 17 miles of electric-only driving. Located in the trunk, the pack can be recharged using 110-volt, 220-volt, or DC fast-charging systems, the latter two of which are recommended for adding juice quickly. For more information about the 7-series’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
For decades, BMW’s interior aesthetic has been serious and businesslike. That was acceptable when its cars were more about the serious business of driving. Lacking that ethos, the latest 7-series affords occupants the bandwidth to notice build quality, materials, and design that are merely average for this rich segment. Sure, it’s spacious, but so is every limousine in this class. It’s luxurious, but one turn in a Mercedes-Benz S-class or even the Genesis G90, and you’ll be left wanting more from a car that starts north of $80,000. Numerically speaking, the BMW’s 18-cubic-foot trunk is at least two cubic feet larger than those of competitors such as the Cadillac CT6 and the G90. But the reality of packing it with real-world-size carry-on bags tells a different story: We could fit only three carry-on suitcases inside our 740i test vehicle’s trunk, whereas the other sedans held twice as many.
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