Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Considered alongside the Mercedes S-Class and Range Rover, the 7 Series looks positively affordable, with the entry-level 730d undercutting both rivals. Crucially, though, the Audi A8 is available for similar money to the 7 Series and boasts a little more power and four-wheel drive.
The cheapest conventionally powered 7 Series to buy and run is the regular-wheelbase, rear-wheel-drive 730d. It offers the best fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions, making it the diesel of choice for both private and company car drivers. Opting for a long-wheelbase model adds only 1g/km to its CO2 emissions, keeping it in the same benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax band.
However, the 745e plug-in hybrid is only marginally more expensive to buy and has range-best emissions of as little as 48g/km, making it easily the best company car choice – if you’re lucky enough to have a 7 Series on your list of options, that is. The V8 and V12 petrols will prove expensive to run for anyone.
There are three main trim levels in the range. Of course, they are all well appointed, with front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, heated leather seats that are electrically adjustable in the front, an electric bootlid, cruise control, adaptive LED headlights and even metallic paint as standard.
M Sport models just offer a sportier look, with bigger alloy wheels, more aggressively styled bumpers and darker wood on the inside. Unless these things are important to you, we’d recommend sticking to the standard trim. The range-topping M760Li, meanwhile, adds plenty more luxury kit, as you’d hope given its hefty price tag.
Euro NCAP hasn’t appraised the 7 Series for safety, but it comes with a full suite of airbags and automatic emergency braking as standard. Security firm Thatcham has run its tests and awarded the 7 Series top marks for its resistance to being driven away, with good marks for resisting being broken into in the first place.
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