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BMW 7-Series Performance

Some auto writers say the 2015 BMW 7-Series has nimble handling, but others argue that competitors like the Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera are more exciting to drive. Critics agree that the 7-Series has a bevy of powerful engines, from the new 740Ld’s turbodiesel six-cylinder to the 750i’s mighty twin-turbo V8.

  • "Despite being the biggest BMW sedan you can buy, the 2015 BMW 7 Series puts a focus on handling and performance in a way that most other high-end luxury cars don't." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While BMW is typically known for its impressive driving dynamics, the 7 Series is more focused on comfort. It is 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
  • "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 (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 BMW 740i and 740Li are powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 315 horsepower. The new 740Ld has a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel engine that makes 255 horsepower. The ActiveHybrid 7 features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 350 horsepower. The BMW 750i and 750Li have a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that makes 445 horsepower. The 760Li is powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 with 535 horsepower. All 7-Series models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the 740i gets 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is decent for the class. The ActiveHybrid7 gets 22/30, which is good for the class, and the 740Ld gets 23/31, which is excellent for a super luxury car, though not as high as the diesel-powered Audi A8 L TDI's fuel economy.

The performance-oriented Alpina B7 has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 540 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. BMW estimates that the Alpina B7 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 194 mph.

Automotive journalists note that the BMW 740i should have plenty of power for most drivers. However, many are impressed with the diesel-powered 740Ld, saying that it is very quiet and has faster acceleration than the base model. Reviewers add that the 750i is a very tempting upgrade thanks to its stunningly potent twin-turbo V8.

  • "Despite weighing well over 2 tons, even the entry-level BMW 7 Series is still a quick car. The gasoline-powered inline-6 provides an impressive swell of midrange torque, and it produces a sub-6-second sprint to 60 mph that's competitive for the segment, even among more recently updated models. The new 740Ld xDrive feels even stronger and provides superior fuel economy to boot." -- Edmunds
  • "BMW's 6-cylinder diesel engine is one we've fallen in love with. The smooth power and surprising silence of this engine make it a pure luxury-car engine, but the 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway make it downright sensible." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The engine is fantastic. Cars this large shouldn't launch as quickly, but it does and let's all be thankful for that. Plus, that epic wave of torque is just so damn easy to ride. You can go from cruising to passing in nothing flat." -- Motor Trend (2013 750Li)

Handling and Braking

The 2015 BMW 7-Series comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive (xDrive) is available on the 740Li, 750i, 750Li and Alpina B7 trims, and standard on the 740Ld. Some automotive journalists think the 7-Series isn’t as agile as rivals, but others disagree, writing that the 7-Series offers a very engaging driving experience for the class. They note that the 7-Series has precise steering and strong brakes. Reviewers agree that the 2015 7-Series rides very comfortably, though a few note that it can’t match the ride quality of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

  • "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
  • "In terms of handling, the 7 Series is no longer a class leader, having been eclipsed by multiple performance-oriented rivals." -- Edmunds
  • "The strong brakes, precise-feeling inputs, and sporty suspension keep the driver more in touch with the road than its 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 (2014)
Review Last Updated: 3/23/15

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