2012 BMW 7-Series Hybrid Interior
This interior review was written when the 2012 BMW 7-Series Hybrid was new.
The automotive press is pleased with the room inside both regular- and long-wheelbase versions of the 2012 BMW 7-Series Hybrid. They also like the high-quality materials and impressive list of standard cabin tech features. Additionally, critics say that BMW’s iDrive interface, which controls navigation and entertainment functions, has evolved over time and become easier to use. One reviewer particularly likes the navigation system with Google integration, which allows you to search for destinations using a keyword rather than an address.
- "Exquisite and roomy interior." -- Car and Driver
- "The 7-Series cabin is mostly understated, perhaps too much so for some, given this car's lofty price." -- Consumer Guide
- "Supple leather and rich wood accents adorn almost every surface, and the highly adjustable front seats ensure comfort for virtually any body type." -- Edmunds
- "With it all comes BMW 7-Series comfort, elegance and opulence -- four-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with plush leather seats, rich wood-grain accents, ambient interior lighting for night driving, onboard navigation with a high-definition backup camera, and myriad active and passive safety technologies." -- Cars.com
- "BMW pushes all the boundaries, integrating Google with the navigation system, creating good phone integration, and designing a high-quality audio system. Add to that the available rear-seat entertainment system and a raft of driver assistance features, and the ActiveHybrid 7 earns an outstanding score." -- CNET
Inside, the 7-Series Hybrid offers impressive room for its passengers, both in the front and rear. Reviewers generally like the seats, which are comfortable and supportive. Up front, the 20-way adjustable heated seats are standard. However, seat massage and ventilation, which were standard on the 2011 model, are now options.
- "The cabin is spacious, particularly in the back seats, but I would have liked more adjustment down in the front seats. Even at my short height, I was quite close to the headliner." -- AutoWeek
- "Plenty of headroom and legroom for even the lankiest occupants." -- Consumer Guide
- "The rear seats are similarly accommodating for taller adults, and the extended-wheelbase versions offer even more legroom (by about 6 inches) and slightly increased headroom. Available rear seat heating and even a massage feature should satisfy the most demanding of passengers." -- Edmunds
BMW’s iDrive system, which controls most navigation and entertainment functions, was once loathed by reviewers for being counterintuitive. However, the system’s ease of use has improved tremendously in recent years. Reviewers generally like the system in the 7-Series Hybrid, which uses a single knob to make adjustments. However, one auto writer says that screens for browsing points of interest or the music library are still not the best.
The ActiveHybrid 750i has basically the same interior as the gas-only 7-Series, but also includes displays that monitor the hybrid system. Tech features in the 7-Series Hybrid are slightly better than the standard equipment in its gas-only siblings. All models come equipped with four-zone climate control, push-button start, leather upholstery, navigation, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a backup camera and a 16-speaker surround-sound stereo.
- "Climate controls are mounted low on the dash but are easy to reach. The navigation system is relatively simple to program, and the large, 10.2-inch dashboard screen shows a very clear image." -- Consumer Guide
- "One, a bar graph, shows how active the hybrid system has been for the past 15 minutes, and the other shows the usual hybrid energy flow in beautiful high definition. Otherwise, it’s the same old 7-series, which is to say it is attractive, spacious, and comfortable (especially in long-wheelbase form)." -- Car and Driver
- "The iDrive system has evolved to become one of the best of its breed, employing a controller knob along with several physical buttons to simplify commonly used functions." -- Edmunds
- "A weak point in BMW cabin tech has always been the screens for finding points of interest or browsing a music library, and that problem remains in this new hybrid. The screens look like they were designed by a computer programmer rather than an interface expert." -- CNET
Most hybrids sacrifice some storage space to make room for their hybrid batteries, and the 7-Series Hybrid is no different. However, its lithium-ion battery takes up much less space than it does in rivals such as the Lexus LS Hybrid. The 7-Series Hybrid loses just 1 cubic foot of trunk space to the gas-only model, taking cargo capacity down to 13 cubic feet. Still, rivals like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Jaguar XJ offer more room for cargo.
- "Tiny trunk for a huge car." -- Car and Driver
- "Impressively, the trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery subtracts just 1 cubic foot from the standard 7's 14-cubic-foot cargo capacity." -- Edmunds