Monday, January 25, 2016

2016 BMW 750i xDrive Sedan: A Well-Executed Tech-Filled Flagship

Highlights: In the U.S., the all-new 7-Series will only be offered in a long-wheelbase model, making it more than one inch longer than its predecessor. Added to that, a plug-in hybrid will join the line up later this year.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $129,245 (base price 740i:$82,295)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a rearview camera; a tire pressure monitoring system; adaptive LED front headlights; ambiance interior lights; an auto dimming rearview mirror; keyless entry system; electric parking brakes; automatic high beams; heated side mirrors; a radar-activated cruise control system; parking distance control; a rain-sensing wiper system

Standard Features (Base model): 18-inch wheels; run flat tires; an 8-speed automatic transmission; leather seats; power front seats; three-stage heated front seats; chrome accent finishes (front air intakes, rocker panel strips, rear trunk strips); power side mirrors; a 12-inch screen; a navigation system; a iDrive touch screen/touchpad controller; memory setting tied into the key for the climate control system, exterior mirror, power seat settings, radio presets, central locking preferences and lightning preferences; concierge services; a fuel-saver engine start-stop system; a panoramic roof; power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; power trunk-lid opening/closing; soft-close automatic door operation; WiFi hotspot system; a wireless charging system; a four zone a/c system; a rear a/c control system; and 4/years (and) 50,000-mile maintenance plan

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: integral active steering; active comfort drive with preview; active driving assist plus; surround view with 3D view; parking assist for parallel parking (and perpendicular parking); power side window shades; front ventilated seats; a leather-wrapped instrument panel; front massaging seats; ceramic controls; wood trim grab handles; wood rear seat belt cover; wood trim for rear armrest; luxury rear floor mats; Alcantara headliner; heated steering wheel, seats and armrest; rear ventilated seats; rear comfort seats; reclining seats and footrests; executive lounge rear storage console; rear massaging seats; a rear seat entertainment system; a sport leather steering wheel; 20-inch alloy wheels; an ambient air package; panoramic dual sky roofs; an upgraded Bowers and Wilkins sound system; and a night vision pedestrian system

Other Trim Level:


Standard Audio On Test Vehicle:  a 16-speaker, a 600-watt Harman Kardon audio system with AM/FM/HD and satellite


Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 6-cylinder turbocharged/320-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New:  The brand’s luxury flagship is all-new this year, offering the latest technology that pushes the vehicle closer to being an autonomous vehicle, while surrounding the vehicle with loads of luxury touches.

Pros: The all-new sixth-generation 750 is available in a rear-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration, with two powertrains, a six-cylinder or an eight-cylinder engine. The exterior styling is more evolutionary than revolutionary, with just the right updates to garner new customers, while not alienating its base. The brand’s Mercedes-Benz S-Class-fighter is available in a variety of driving modes: economy, comfort and sport. And unlike some vehicles, one can actually tell the difference in both the handling and the suspension system, as one easily flows through each of the settings.

Added to that, the 750 we reviewed was outfitted with a 445-horsepower, 8-cylinder engine, the latest intelligent safety and driving systems, almost bringing the flagship closer to becoming an autonomous vehicle. Some of these features include everything from a collision warning system to a perpendicular parking assist system to a radar-activated cruise control stop-and-go resume feature to a traffic jam assist system.

The brand’s flagship also included a standard Gesture Control system, which allows pre-selected hand movements to control such features as the audio volume regulation, accept or reject incoming calls and control aspects of the navigation system.

Moreover, this is one of the first vehicles we have reviewed that was outfitted not only with a leather instrument cluster, but heated front and rear armrests, too, that included the center armrest and the doors armrest. Yes, the meticulous team left no stone unturned, so to speak. Our vehicle was also equipped with a touch command mobile 7-inch tablet for the rear occupants, which allowed them to adjust the seats, interior lights, ventilation system, surf the net or to be used as a gaming console. All of this can be viewed on two mini flat screens attached to the rear of the front headrests.  

Furthermore, our vehicle was outfitted with the optional night vision pedestrian and animal detection system. This system only kicks in at dusk, helping to avoid a collision with both deer and people. In our opinion, this feature should be a government mandate.

Cons: We have very few gripes about the new 7-Series. Unlike the fifth generation model, a fuel-sipping diesel model is not a part of the lineup for 2016. And, with the addition of the optional executive lounge seating package, the vehicle is limited to only seating 4 occupants, as opposed to 5.

Verdict: As we’ve found in some flagship vehicles, this is no land yacht. BMW engineers have been able to find the perfect harmony of blending the ride and handling characteristics without it being too firm or too floaty. BMW has managed to find the perfect balance, making the new 7-Series an engaging, luxurious and well-executed high-tech vehicle.

Competition:  2016 Audi A8, 2017 Genesis G90, 2016 Jaguar XJ, 2016 Lexus LS and 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class


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