2016 BMW 7 Series

BMW 7 Series:

a car so accommodating, you’ll want to name it

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By Larry Printz

Have you ever named your car?

It sounds silly, but odds are you already have named at least one in your life. It happened when you bought a car, and it let you down, which is when you let loose with a string of expletives. No doubt, you called it something.

So, we really have all named our cars, and even if that's something you're not likely to do, you might have a change of heart once you experience the all-new, redesigned 2016 BMW 740i and 750iX.Being that these are the German automaker's flagship sedans, you'd expect size and comfort to be a part of the mix. It is. You'd also expect that, being a BMW, driving dynamics would be nimble for such a sizeable vehicle, and it is. And it has a price tag to match its status. Given that too many players in the luxury market puff up their prices without the underlying quality to justify it, you may well wonder what justifies their price.

Plenty, as it turns out. Every facet of this car's design is meant to serve, offering up sheer delight at every turn. In fact, it's so accommodating, you might be tempted to name it Jeeves.

2016 BMW 740i

Let's start with the car's sheer size. Offered exclusively in long-wheelbase form, the new car's wheelbase is now more than inch longer than the old car. This has allowed BMW to build the largest 7 Series ever, and it now measures a generous 206.6 inches long, 85.4 inches wide and 58.2 inches high. And it now moves on wheels ranging in size from 18 to 21 inches.


Keeping the weight off is the ideal way to maximize fuel efficiency. After all, who wants the hired help to be more expensive than needed?

More importantly, keeping weight down makes the most of the car's available power, which comes from one of two turbocharged engines. The 740i comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder gas engine that produces 320 horsepower. In order to keep the engine's weight down, its crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump are made from aluminum. For those who desire more power, the 750iX's 4.4-liter V8 is the engine of choice, as it produces 445 horsepower.

Both models use an eight-speed automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel and Launch Control for acceleration runs. The driveline also features captures energy created while braking, and automatically stops and restarts the car when stopped at a traffic light, or similar circumstances.

As in other BMW's, the 750's iX designation signals that all-wheel drive is standard; the 740i is rear-wheel drive. A 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid will be available in 2016, and will pair electric motors with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine. This driveline will allow up to 23 miles of purely electric driving at speeds up to 75 mph.

Being a BMW, you expect great ride and handling and, just as your butler, housekeeper or executive assistant knows exactly what you need and when you need it, the automaker has added a new active chassis control system dubbed Active Comfort Drive, which uses the 7 Series' air suspension and damper controls to minimize body roll in corners while allowing increased suspension travel on straightaways for added comfort, all just when you need it.

Of course, even the most demanding drivers need more than great ride and handling, and the new 7 Series obliges.

The biggest change is the newest version of the iDrive 5.0 operating system, which now has a feature called Gesture Control. Through the use of a 3D sensor in the center console, hand movements can adjust the audio volume, or accept answer a mobile phone call or other actions without touching a button or screen. And, if you want to charge your phone or another wireless device, the center console now has wireless charging with an LED light to display the state of the device's charge.

But the 7 Series goes beyond gadgetry, offering up a hefty dose of opulence, including four-zone climate control and new leather trim choices. But if you really need to gild the lily, opt for the Luxury Rear Seating Package with its rear ventilated and massaging seats, heated front and rear armrests, removable seven-inch tablet, reclining seatbacks and a foldout footrest. But this package goes beyond seating, and equips the rear cabin with a center console, a foldout table, two cup-holders and a storage compartment. In other words, this package offers all of the comfort of your den.

As if you needed reminders that this vehicle is very special, BMW not only has fitted ambient lighting, but also has incorporated it into unexpected places, such as in the carpet, b-pillar, and in the Panoramic sunroof. And of course you can order rear blinds, for when privacy is called for.

To keep you entertained, there's a Bowers & Wilkins 1,400-watt, 16-speaker audio system.

To keep you safe, there's an optional Active Driving Assistant safety package with rear cross traffic alert, front collision warning, pedestrian warning with braking function, blind spot detection, lane departure, active cruise control, front cross traffic warning, traffic jam assistant, and lane keeping assistant with side collision protection. In addition to the night vision camera there is any number of cameras and sensors to ensure that all of this works so effortlessly that, in effect, the car is idiot-proof.

For instance, to make the 7 Series easy to park, a new parking assistant can autonomously park the car, whether you're parallel parking or perpendicular parking.


  • Engine: Turbocharged 3.0-liter six; turbocharged 4.4-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 320 (740i); 445 (750iX)
  • Torque: 330 (740i); 480 (750iX)
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds (740i); 4.3 seconds (750iX)
  • Top speed: 130 mph
  • Wheelbase: 126.4 inches
  • Length: 206.6 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,225-4,610 pounds
  • Cargo capacity: 18.2 cubic feet
  • EPA fuel economy (city/highway): 21/29 mpg(740i); 16/25 (750iX)
  • Fuel type: Premium unleaded
  • NHTSA safety rating: Not rated
  • MSRP: $82,295-$98,395

But even when the car is parked, it is here to serve.

Say you've just been economically active at the mall, and you approach the car with your arms loaded. Just wave you foot under the rear bumper and, voila, the trunk lid opens automatically. Look ma, no hands.

And to ensure that your 7 Series is unique, you can work with Designworks, BMW's California based design studio, to create your car with special color, leather and trim.

So go ahead, name your new 7 Series. It's a sign of affection
to a new member of the household that's always ready to help transport you, or carry your shopping bags, or comfort you, or keep you entertained, all the while keeping you safe.

And it looks so good that, when it's parked, it is transformed into a great work of driveway art.

And not every car can say that; at least, not one that you can call by name.