What's the used BMW 7 Series saloon like?
Great long-running rivalries have littered history throughout the years, and the same is true in the top-flight luxury car world.
For years, BMW has been churning out its impressive 7 Series luxury limo, and for years it’s always had to play second fiddle to the imperious Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However mighty and unbeatable BMW’s more lowly cars have been, executive icons such as the 3 Series and the 5 Series, the flagship 7 Series has never quite lunged far enough forward into the public’s affections to topple the Merc phenomenon.
This latest one, the sixth-generation model launched in 2015, is so loaded with high-quality tech and all of the engineering prowess the Munich firm can muster that it could only emerge as a truly impressive car, and it is. It uses carbonfibre and aluminium extensively to make it both stronger and lighter, so this large car can jink through bends like a much smaller one, while its occupants go around in unabashed luxury and in the utmost refinement.
There’s a range of strong and hushed engines, starting with the 261bhp 3.0-litre and 315bhp diesels in the 730d and 740d, then going up to the four petrol options including the 321bhp 740Li, the 444bhp V8 750i and the four-cylinder hybrid 740e. Heading the range is the 592bhp 6.6-litre V12 M760Li, which is capable of 205mph.
There are three main trim levels in the range. Of course, they are all well appointed, with the standard trim getting a 10.25in infotainment screen with BMW Professional Navigation, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, four-zone climate control, Nappa-leather seats with heating all round, a massaging function in the front seats and a rear-view camera. Exclusive trim adds BMW Gesture Control to operate the infotainment with a swipe of your hand, soft-close doors and massaging seats in the rear. M Sport models just offer a sportier look with bigger alloy wheels, more aggressively styled bumpers and darker wood on the inside.
Performance is pretty effortless in all of these, and elsewhere much work has been done to make this long limo handle as well as those smaller Beemers. There is a hint of uncertainty to its low-speed ride, but otherwise it glides supremely.
On top of this refinement, comfort and isolation, the interior of the 7 Series is also rather splendid. The driving position is excellent, and there’s plenty of space within its opulent and leather-lined cocoon, its seats are supportive and the design is first class.
If you fancy an alternative to an S-Class the time has come to consider this 7 Series. It will please the driver, the passengers will be cosseted and as a good used buy it’ll make itself an invaluable companion to many looking for a luxury-car bargain.
As a bonus, the 7 Series received a mid-life facelift in 2019, complete with a bigger grille, more efficient engines, extra sound deadening and an updated infotainment system.