BMW 7 Series 2019: prices, specs and first impressions
Revised luxury saloon boasts kidney grilles 40% larger than the old model
A new version of BMW’s flagship 7 Series saloon is on the horizon, spearheading the company’s product offensive for 2019.
Images of the updated model leaked online in early January, hinting that the company’s signature kidney grille would be “larger and more pronounced” than that of any other model in the range, the Daily Express says.
Now the car has been revealed in full, and it’s clear that the larger grille is here to stay. According to US motoring blog Jalopnik, the grille has grown by 40% over the old model “as if it were compensating for something”.
While the design might not be to everyone’s taste, there’s a good chance it will help boost sales in China. Autocar claims that the Chinese buyers “typically prefer more aggressive car design”, so the new model’s grille may be “pitched directly at high-flying luxury car buyers” in the country.
Other tweaks to the car’s design are less radical. The front bumper has been “re-profiled” to incorporate additional chrome highlights, while the bonnet’s design looks more defined thanks to its deeper contours, the magazine notes.
The cabin has also been revised to incorporate more luxurious materials, while those looking to keep fuel costs down can opt for a new - and powerful - hybrid model.
From engine specs to pricing, here’s everything you need to know about BMW’s new luxury saloon:
BMW’s flagship saloon has traditionally lagged behind its competition, but the critics seem to agree that the German carmaker has closed the gap.
In 745e hybrid form, the 7 Series drives “smoothly and easily”, especially when used on battery power alone, says CNet. In fact, the vehicle is so quiet that BMW has installed a sound generator to warn pedestrians when the car is approaching.
Step on the pedal, though, and the car’s combustion engine kicks into life, the tech reviews site says. The performance isn’t exactly supercar-rivalling, but the straight-six engine has more than enough power to overtake with ease.
It’s “business as usual” on the inside, says Auto Express. The cabin is packed with “cutting-edge” in-car technology, including the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. This can be accessed through the new 12.3in touchscreen panel that is placed above the centre console.
There’s also “little to moan about with regards quality, fit and finish”, the magazine says, making the cabin a pleasant place to be during long journeys.
The car rides “beautifully” on its adaptive air suspension, although the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is better at isolating passengers from coarse road surfaces, says Autocar. It’s a small difference, though, as both offer sublime rides and quiet cabins.
But the magazine says the vehicle they were testing was a development car and therefore may not be fully representative of the final product.
When will it come out?
CarBuyer claims that deliveries are expected to get under way in the summer, which suggests orders will open during the spring.
How much will it cost?
BMW has yet to officially outline prices for the new 7 Series. WhatCar?, though, is predicting a starting price of £65,000, but expect that to grow significantly on range-topping V12-engined M760Li models.
What’s it like inside?
Mostly the same as the outgoing model, bar a few upgrades.
According to Auto Express, the new 7 Series is equipped with better materials than its predecessor, while the 10in touchscreen in the centre console is now joined by a 12.3in digital instrument panel behind the steering wheel as standard.
Those who opt for the M760Li model get “sportier touches inside” as well, the magazine says.
What engine options does it come with?
You’ll have a choice of two petrol and three diesel models at launch.
The petrol range comprises a 750i model with a tweaked version of the 4.4-litre V8 engine from the BMW M5. Above that sits the “ferocious” 6.6-litre V12 M760Li model with 577bhp, says CarBuyer.
All three diesel cars use the same 3.0-litre straight-six engine, albeit with different power outputs. Entry-level 730d models come with 261bhp and are set to be the “most frugal model in the range”, with an average fuel economy of 51mpg, the reviews site says.
Next is the 740d with 316bhp, with the 395bhp quad-turbocharged 750i rounding off the diesel range.
All models get an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is an optional extra.
Is there an electrified model?
Yes. Buyers looking to cut down on their fuel bills can opt for the 745e plug-in hybrid.
This model comes with a turbocharged straight-six petrol engine that’s coupled to a “higher-voltage battery” and electric motor, says Auto Express. Together, the system produces up to 389bhp, which is notably “more powerful” than the outgoing model’s 322bhp output.
Drivers can also run the car on battery power alone, the magazine adds. Its 34-mile range won’t trouble a fully-electric car, but it’s enough for drivers to complete short journeys with zero emissions.