730 D SE AUTO *WIDESCREEN NAV* *MUSIC COLLECTION*
Auto Head Lights, Auto Hold, Auto Windscreen Wipers, Auto Dipping Mirror, Auto Folding Mirrors, Music Collection, Suspension Adjustment, Memory Electric Seats with electric Steering wheel adjustment, Quad Zone Climate Control, 19' Alloy Wheels, Electric Windows, Metallic Paint, Immobiliser, Multiple Air Bag, Adjustable Steering Wheel, CD Player / MP3, Climate Control, Leather Upholstery, Rear Headrests, Satellite Navigation, Traction Control, ABS , Armrest , Bluetooth Phone , Cruise Control, Electrically Adjustable Seats , ESP , ISO Fix , Multi-Function Steering Wheel , Onboard Computer , Parking Assistance , Side Impact Protection , USB , Xenon Headlights
Flame Surfacing RIP
Handsome, efficient, amazing to drive
Stiff-ish 730d ride
For 4 only
A lot is optional
None are cheap
Not cheap, options add up, costly
Some lament the lack of Bangle-esque flame surfacing but park a new 7 next to an old one and it shows just how badly flame surfacing has aged. The new 7 is more conservative, sure, but it's also more handsome, better proportioned and has an elegance befitting a proper luxury saloon.
There's no such thing as a slow 7-Series. The 730d's 0-100km/h time is impressive enough but, like most deisels, it feels even faster on the move. The petrol motors are silly quick in a car this big. Fine transmissions and traction control systems do their part, too.
While nobody's going to pretend the 7-Series can go Lotus-chasing, compared to its rivals the big Beemer is ridiculously agile, particularly when fitted with rear wheel steering. Thanks to adaptive damping and rear air suspension on most models, it rides well too.
Thankfully, BMW has had an ergonomic rethink with the new 7-Series so there are more buttons and less i-Drive fidgetting, although the new i-Drive system is extremely intuitive and easy to use, although it's packed with features. Proper driving position, too.
You'd expect the BMW flagship to be the pinnacle of quality and refinement and so it proves. But the trade off for that amazing handling is a slightly busier ride quality compared to its main rival, the Merc S-Class.
Luxury cars tend to push the boundaries of safety and the 7-Series is no exception: active rear steering, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, blind junction cameras, speed limit recognition, night vision, lane departure and blind spot warning systems... the list goes on.
As with most luxury cars, there's plenty of interior space for four occupants but the fifth passenger won't be very comfortable and the boot, though vast, isn't expandable by folding down the back seats.
There is no such thing as a good value luxury car - all are expensive, depreciate horribly and cost a fortune to run but the 730d is at least reasonably cheap to run with Band E road tax and decent economy. Choose your options carefully though.
While the basic 730d has just about everything you think you could want in a car, the options list is long and very, very tempting. Tick the four-wheel-steering box, if nothing else.
That BMW has produced a diesel engine that can propel the two-tonne 7-Series to 100km/h in 7.2 seconds (as fast as a Golf GTI) and yet is only 2g/km shy of being in VRT/Tax Band E says it all. The petrols are great, too, but the diesel's the Daddy here.