BMW 7-Series Performance
Test drivers say that the 2013 BMW 7-Series excels on the highway, thanks to its range of powerful engine choices and composed driving dynamics.
- "BMW has addressed our complaints about excessive bump and highway-speed wind noise. The B7 suffers from some coarse-surface tire thrum that's not present on the 760Li. Speaking of the 760, its V12 engine sounds great when accelerating and fades to silence at cruise." -- Consumer Guide
- "Nevertheless, the 7 Series absolutely will not disappoint those looking for a confident, comfortable long-distance cruiser. The ride is comfortable yet composed, and the different drive settings allow each driver to set the car to reflect individual preferences." -- Edmunds
- "… I declare the best of the new bunch to be the 750Li. Sure, it's got less power, but 445 hp from a twin-turbo V-8 is only ‘less’ in a bubble. A tiny, privileged bubble." -- Motor Trend
Acceleration and Power
A number of powertrains are available in the 2013 BMW 7-Series. BMW 740i and 740Li models come with a 315-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, which is paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. The EPA reports that the 2013 740i gets 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly better than what the Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ get. The 750i and 750Li feature a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 445 horsepower, which is 45 horsepower more than the outgoing 2012 model. All-wheel drive is optional on the 740Li, 750i and 750Li. BMW 760Li models only come with rear-wheel drive, and feature a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces 535 horsepower. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is also available, which pairs a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 350 horsepower.
The high-performance BMW Alpina B7 comes with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that produces 540 horsepower at 5,200 to 6,250 rpm and 538 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 to 5,000 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. BMW says that the Alpina B7 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with a top speed of 194 mph.
Reviewers say that 740i models make enough power to keep most drivers happy, while more powerful trims offer exceptional acceleration. One reviewer says that the top-tier 760Li and Alpina B7 are so powerful that they feel like sports cars, while another critic loves the quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission that you’ll find in every 2013 7-Series.
- "Only the Alpina B7 and 760Li were available for evaluation during our preview drive. Both accelerate more like sports cars than large, luxury sedans." -- Consumer Guide
- "Despite its significant curb weight, the 2013 BMW 7 Series is deceptively quick. Even though it has just six cylinders, the 740i offers a prodigious swell of midrange torque. Of course, the 750 and 760 models are that much more impressive." -- Edmunds
- "Speaking of the tranny, like every other ZF 8-speed I've driven, I am boggled by how quickly this one shifts. I've driven dual-clutch units (like the one in BMW's M5/M6!) that seem slower." -- Motor Trend (750Li)
- "Power from the standard turbocharged 6-cylinder is adequate for day-to-day driving, though for a marginal penalty in fuel economy we recommend opting for the 445-horsepower, turbocharged V8." -- Kelley Blue Book
Handling and Braking
While one reviewer says that the 2013 7-Series has strong brakes and precise steering, other test drivers note some differences in handling across the model lineup. They note that models with smaller engines, such as the 740i and 750i, are among the best-handling cars in the lineup, and that the high-performance Alpina B7 drives like a much smaller, sportier car. In contrast, one reviewer writes that the 760Li provides a more comfort-tuned ride, while another notes that cars like the Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera are more athletic.
- "Handling prowess depends on which model you choose. The Alpina B7 is surprisingly sporty, with direct steering, minimal body lean in fast turns, and the general feeling that you're driving a smaller car than you really are. The 760Li, while plenty capable in its own right, is more a boulevard cruiser than a track-day superstar." -- Consumer Guide
- "It still delivers plenty of driving engagement, but the Jaguar XJ, Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche Panamera offer more athletic handling, while the Audi A8 matches the 7 Series in most regards." -- Edmunds
- "I simply adore it. That said, the top shelf 7 Series doesn't have the (relatively) nimble moves of its smaller-engined brethren. Is the extra weight from the 6.0-liter V-12 to blame? Maybe. Or maybe all that extra power gets the 760Li into situations that the car wasn't tuned to handle." -- Motor Trend (760Li)
- "Braking power is remarkably strong and easy to modulate, while the steering provides more balanced weighting and truer response than any of its rivals." -- Kelley Blue Book