BMW 7-Series Performance
According to automotive journalists, the 2014 BMW 7-Series is a comfortable, serene cruiser at all speeds. Some critics say that the 7-Series has composed handling, but mention that it isn't as engaging to drive as some of its rivals. Still, reviewers agree that the base 740i has plenty of power and that the more powerful models deliver incredibly fast, sports car-like performance.
- "Its quiet performance doesn't get our pulses racing, although the available V8 and V12 engines make it phenomenally fast. Its competent handling fails to excite despite technically high limits." -- Edmunds
- "On the road, you'll be getting one of the world's supreme fast-lane cruisers in the 2014 7 Series. BMW basically engineers this car to do 155 miles per hour on the German Autobahn with maximum composure. We can't go that fast in this country, of course, but suffice it to say that the 7 Series has few peers at high speed." -- AutoTrader
Acceleration and Power
The BMW 740i and 740Li are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 315 horsepower. The ActiveHybrid 7 features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and an electric motor that together produce 350 horsepower. The 740i is rated at up to 19/29 mpg city/highway by the EPA, which is fairly good for the class. The ActiveHybrid 7 is rated at 22/30 mpg. The BMW 750i and 750Li have a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that produces 445 horsepower. The 760Li is powered by a turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 with 535 horsepower. All models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The high-performance Alpina B7 features a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that produces 540 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. BMW estimates that the Alpina B7 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
Test drivers report that the turbocharged six-cylinder engine in the 740i has plenty of power and enables quick acceleration. Still, some reviewers find the V8-powered 750i more appealing, saying it makes the 7-Series even faster without much of a toll on fuel economy. Auto journalists agree that both the BMW 760Li and Alpina B7 have supercar-like performance. The standard eight-speed automatic transmission is praised for its quick and smooth shifts.
- "Under the hood, the 740i's acceleration is swift and seamless enough to satisfy most tastes. Still, we wouldn't be able to resist the siren call of the 750i's twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8. This is one of our favorite engines, doling out force and refinement in equally awesome doses. It's a wickedly fast yet refined sedan." -- AutoTrader
- "Even the base 2014 BMW 740i is a quick car. The turbocharged inline-6 provides a prodigious swell of midrange torque, and its sub-6-second sprint to 60 mph would have been the envy of many executive sedans not too long ago." -- Edmunds
- "The 740i's turbocharged 6-cylinder engine doesn't quite live up to the status of this car and we would opt for the 750's twin-turbo V8 any day of the week. With 445 horsepower on tap, the difference in fuel economy is marginal (although the difference in price is not). Both the all-out-enthusiast Alpina B7 version and the range-topping 760Li deliver performance numbers once reserved for dedicated supercars." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts crisply in the sport-themed B7 and is virtually unnoticeable in the 760." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Almost as important, for 2013 both the 750 and the 3.0-liter twin-scroll 740 get ZF's excellent, fast-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, a high-torque version of the units found in BMWs like the 3 Series and the X3 as well as several other cars ranging from Dodge to Rolls-Royce." -- Motor Trend (2013)
Handling and Braking
The 7-Series comes standard with rear-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive comes on models bearing the xDrive designation. Reviewers report that 7-Series passengers are well-isolated from road imperfections, noting that ride comfort is very good. Critics say that while the 7-Series remains composed through turns, some rivals are more performance-oriented and more engaging to drive. According to automotive journalists, the 7-Series’ steering is accurate, though somewhat numb-feeling and its brakes have plenty of stopping power.
- "Back in the day, the 7 Series was the default choice if you wanted a driver's car in this class, but again, times have changed. BMWs have become heavier and more comfort-oriented in recent years, a trend that began with the previous-generation 7. The current car remains an accomplished handler by the numbers, but it's just not especially communicative or engaging, whereas rivals like the XJ, Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte seek to draw you into the driving experience." -- Edmunds
- "Though its size and weight prevent it from cornering with the zeal of a 3-Series, the 7-Series still provides accurate steering along with a good tradeoff between ride comfort and handling." -- Left Lane News
- "Despite weighing nearly 4,300 pounds, the 2014 BMW 7 Series sedan has been designed to round corners at high speed and remain as planted and rock steady as the nimblest 1 Series coupe. The brakes are easily modulated and always strong, and the 7's steering feels more in touch with the road than its nearest rivals." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "We do prefer the invincible Mercedes-Benz S-Class on rough roads, but the BMW's underpinnings are nonetheless highly skilled at soaking up bumps." -- AutoTrader