By Nauman Farooq
For the last 43 years, if you’ve been in the market for the ultimate luxury vehicle, one of the best answers has been the BMW 7 Series.
It has always lead the way in terms of technology and performance, but nowadays, buyers tend to gravitate towards luxury SUVs over luxury sedans; so will the latter become extinct like the dinosaur or should buyers ditch the utility boxes and keep the big sedans in business?
To find out, I spent a week with the 2020 BMW 750Li, to see if it’s still relevant!
Styling: Let’s address the elephant in the room, first! Yes, like pretty much every new BMW, this updated 7 Series has a large front grille. The internet is having a ball, making photoshops of the front end with the grille becoming as wide as the car.
When I saw pictures of this new front end, I also thought it was too big for the car. However, after a few days of living with it, I got used to it, and now actually think this car looks very good!
My favourite angle is from the rear ¾ – the revised tail lights give this car an elegant, sophisticated look. I know that “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” – but in my opinion, the new BMW 7 Series is the nicest looking car in its class.
Interior: Open the door, and you’re greeted by an interior that is very well made, featuring excellent materials, and lots of technology. In fact, my tester even had massaging chairs and a fridge – now that’s classy!
Space has never been an issue with the 7 Series, especially in the long-wheelbase ‘Li’ trim. This is the roomiest BMW in existence, and one of the few cars where the rear seat passengers get even more room to lounge in.
Its infotainment system offers everything you’ll possibly need, whereas technology such as a head-up display help you keep your eyes on the road!
Engage adaptive cruise control, and it’ll not only keep you from running into the car ahead, but also keep you in its lane. In short, if there is a bit of automotive technology on the planet, the 7 Series has it!
But… there is a but! While the interior is well made, well equipped, and comfortable, it just doesn’t feel like a special place to spend time in. The problem – I think – is that smaller BMW’s, such as the 3 Series and the 5 Series, have very similar interiors, and hence the 7 Series doesn’t make you feel like you’re in something unique. I hope that for the next 7 Series, BMW does an interior that has no resemblance to any other BMW model. Perhaps, BMW should consult with one of the car companies it owns, i.e. Rolls-Royce, and pick up hints on how to make the car’s occupants feel extra “special.”
Powertrain: Under the hood is a familiar 4.4L V8 engine that BMW has been using for a decade or so. However, for 2020, it is a bit healthier, as this twin-turbo unit now produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. This is essentially the same engine as found in the new BMW M850i coupe and convertible. Power is fed to all wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which is smoother than melting chocolate!
Performance & Driving Dynamics: There are cars you instantly fall in love with, and some cars take time to grow on you – this 750Li falls under the latter.
Go for a short drive, and it’ll feel too plain, and not give you enough feedback. A short drive might lead you to believe that this is a boring car.
Live with it for a bit, and you’ll find its sweet spot! You’ll learn what type of throttle inputs really wake it up, and how its all-wheel drive system works. You’ll also learn that it has cameras and sonar radars that read the road ahead of you, so the car adjusts its ride according to what dip or pothole you might hit! Hence it just glides over things that would jolt you in a normal car. I think the only thing that could potentially ride better than a BMW 7 Series is a hovercraft.
Once you’ve discovered the charms of this car, nothing else will do! This might be a limousine of a car, but trust me, it can out handle many sports cars. The grip, the chassis and suspension layout, the steering (which does feel very robotic at first) all work extremely well, to get you from point A to point B as effectively as possible.
If you like to drive – and I mean, really drive – you will understand why this is very possibly the most capable luxury car on the planet. This is a rolling masterpiece!
Fuel Economy: In my fuel economy test (where I drive a vehicle 170 km on the highway + 130 km in the city) the 2020 BMW 750Li averaged 12.4 L/100 km. How a car this big, heavy, and powerful, drink this little gasoline is beyond me! I mean, this drank the same amount of fuel as a Subaru Ascent – despite the 750Li having twice as many cylinders and carrying more weight!
This, I suppose, is the magic of BMW engineering.
Pricing: All this excellence doesn’t come cheap. The 2020 BMW 750Li has a base price of $126,900.
My very well equipped tester had nearly $30,000 in options – for a total as tested price of $156,300.
A lot of money, for sure, but you also get a lot of car!
Verdict: The 2020 BMW 750Li is not the prettiest car on sale, and nor does it have the greatest interior ever designed for a car.
However, when you consider its performance and handling, and the fact that this is the final step before you get to something extreme – like a Rolls-Royce – then it begins to make sense.
The world might want SUVs, but I still prefer luxury sedans, and the 2020 BMW 750Li is about as good as they come.