What Car? says...
If you’re in the exceedingly fortunate position to be considering a car like this, the BMW 7 Series has always offered something a little different. Although it can cosset and calm its occupants, BMW has long suggested that it’s also the ideal choice for luxury limo buyers who want to do some driving, rather than just be driven around.
With a unique ‘Carbon Core’ to reduce weight and make the 7 Series’ structure stiffer, handling is promised to be a cut above similar-sized and priced rival luxury cars. To make the most of this, a range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as hybrid versions, are available. At the sensible end of the spectrum is a 261bhp 3.0-litre diesel (badged 730d), while plutocratic performance fans are best served by the M760Li xDrive and its monster twin-turbo 6.6-litre V12 with a mighty 577bhp.
A raft of upgrades for 2019 aim to bring the fight to more recently released or refreshed rivals. Look past the giant grille – a whole 40% bigger than before – and you’ll find a revised infotainment system, an entirely digital instrument cluster (instead of analogue instrument dials) and improved semi-autonomous driving functionality.
It should be quieter, too thanks to thicker 'acoustic' glass on the side and rear windows and improved sound deadening around the rear seat area. If rear seat luxury is your priority, most versions are available in a long-wheelbase form that stretches the distance between the front and rear wheels by 14 centimetres, increasing rear leg room.
The latest 7 Series won’t have an easy time of things, though; not only does it face old foes such as the Mercedes S-Class and What Car? award-winning Audi A8, but also luxury SUVs, including the Range Rover and BMW’s own X7.
Read on over the next few pages for our in-depth impressions, and to find out how the 7 Series competes with those aforementioned rivals. And if you feel like treating yourself to a new luxury limo, head over to our New Car Buying pages, where you could save a small fortune on the brochure price.