The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 is simply the most recent in a rising line of latest BMWs which are as startlingly good to drive as they’re startling to take a look at. Given the corporate’s historical past, you’d count on any all-new 7 Collection to be an amazing automotive, however getting the electrical model so proper on the primary go-round is worthy of commendation.
And sure, I do know fans might flip their nostril away from the brand new 7 after one look at that unusual schnoz, however don’t suppose for a minute that it’s going to sink the automotive. In per week of driving, I obtained tons of reward for “that sharp automotive” from random passersby. It could be tough for individuals who want for a return to the previous BMW styling, however this daring means ahead is catching individuals’s consideration.
Exterior of the ill-proportioned light-up kidney grille up entrance, I’m an enormous fan of this new 7 Collection’ look. Its common monumental top and size initiatives Rolls-Royce vibes, which is the very best reward relating to full-size luxurious sedans. Stroll as much as the beast, and neglect about yanking open a door to get in — simply press the button on the recessed door deal with, stand to the aspect, and look forward to the auto-opening doorways to do their factor. The auto operate works effectively when you get the hold of the place you might want to stand, because it’s understandably cautious about opening the door into one other object or human in its means.
This inside has about one million celebration tips, and the beautiful cashmere/wool mix seats are assuredly considered one of them. Leather-based options are all the fashion lately, however of the concepts offered by numerous OEMs to this point, this one’s one of the best. The fabric doesn’t get chilly in winter months, nor does it get too scorching in the summertime. It’s super-comfy, gentle to the contact and nice to sit down on. Plus, it simply plain seems cool.
As soon as settled within the cozy however supportive entrance buckets, you may both press the brake pedal or faucet a button to shut the door mechanically, a clue to the minimal effort this car requires of its driver. Have a look across the sprint and middle console, and whereas the design and execution could be very completely different from the Mercedes-Benz EQS, BMW’s method to inside luxurious is arguably higher. Virtually each merchandise you would possibly are available in contact with is gorgeous crystalline glass, steel or a pleasing-to-touch plastic. The screens are futuristic, but in addition offered room for inside designers to have some enjoyable with fascinating supplies comparable to wooden and glass on the sprint. The flowing, angular glass that spreads from the doorways to the sprint is likely one of the most spectacular bits, particularly at evening as lights make it come alive, feeling far richer and extra refined than the myriad strips of LEDs that adorn Mercedes merchandise. The superbly reduce speaker grilles for the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond audio system convey much more panache to a panache-filled inside. Even the unimaginable McIntosh system within the Grand Wagoneer would have its fingers full to try to beat the 36-speaker sound system on this i7.
The again seat can’t be beat by something relating to audio and visuals due to the 31.3-inch 8K “Theater Display” that drops down from the ceiling and runs Amazon Fireplace TV. Photographs and video merely can’t convey how spectacular this extensive display is in particular person — there’s nothing else prefer it. Make use of the i7’s HDMI port to play the most recent online game consoles on the highest high quality potential or watch epic motion pictures with a buddy. Mix the wild speaker setup — in-seat “4D audio” that creates vibrations within the seat to a music’s bass — and the i7 will very doubtless rival the house audio setup in many individuals’s houses.
After all, what good is a rolling tech and audio lab on wheels if it isn’t truly good to drive? Fortunately, the i7 drives exceedingly effectively. BMW dialed within the experience and dealing with steadiness to a level that my notes actually learn: “No notes.” The worst roads you may throw on the i7 aren’t going to section it within the least — anyone who drives one repeatedly will shortly lose contact with how horrible our highway infrastructure is due to the air suspension and electronically-controlled dampers working to tune all of it out. I threw the whole lot that Michigan needed to supply at it, and the i7 by no means as soon as got here out a loser.
The identical could be stated for dealing with prowess, as similar to 7 Collection prior to now, the i7 is sneaky enjoyable to drive. Stick it in Sport Mode, and physique motions are managed, predictable and conducive to scything your means via a twisty highway with each ease and a smile. It’s uncanny how lithe the i7 could be when requested. A smidge of rear-axle steering, responsive and dialed-in brakes and an enormous serving to of energy all assist make it way more enjoyable than this 5,917-pound sedan has any proper to be.
BMW cut up energy between the 2 electrical motors such that it nonetheless looks like a rear-based all-wheel drive system, because it outputs 308 horsepower on the rear and 255 horses in entrance. Full-throttle begins aren’t as violent as what we’ve turn out to be accustomed to in additional performance-focused BMW EVs just like the i4 M50 or iX M60. Acceleration builds as you achieve pace in a sublime and sleek method, suited to this automotive’s function. There’s no tip to be gained from breaking the neck of the wealthy denizen you’re chauffeuring, in any case.
The view at evening certain ain’t delicate, however I like the Swarovski crystal lights, and the inside truthfully simply will get higher at nighttime. pic.twitter.com/I42kM0cjKB
— Zac Palmer (@zacpalmerr)
April 13, 2023
I put a number of hundred miles on the i7 all through the week of testing, and its 308-mile EPA vary got here out trying like a secure determine to depend on, because it was handily besting expectations with out even making an attempt to drive effectively. Public charging went off and not using a hitch, too, because the i7 peaked at and frolicked round its 195-kilowatt max cost price for an extended whereas. BMW says the 10-80% cost will take about 34 minutes, so whereas the cost pace is stable, sooner would nonetheless be appreciated on highway journeys.
If the journey is a shorter one, although, the i7’s keys are what I’d be grabbing on a regular basis. BMW’s new hands-free freeway driving help system is completely excellent. Severely, it’s solely second to Tremendous Cruise relating to common competence, lane-following and lane-changing, and the driving force monitoring system works effectively to verify the driving force is paying full consideration to the highway.
The i7’s largest downsides are what we famous in our first drive: Its person interface. BMW’s iDrive 8 might look new and flashy, nevertheless it’s sadly a step again in ease of use versus what BMW put in on its vehicles simply a few years in the past with iDrive 7. Its lack of buttons is not any new phenomenon, however the weaving via menus for fundamental controls like adaptive cruise management distance settings and the heated steering wheel is exasperating. It’s the one mar on an in any other case stupendous electrical luxurious sedan.
The worth of $151,995 as examined is one other hurdle to climb over, nevertheless it’s not far more than a equally outfitted gas-powered 760i mannequin with related tools. That barely cheaper V8-powered 7 may have a silky-smooth engine and transmission, however nothing will beat the silent home on wheels that the i7 could be relating to sheer luxurious motoring. It doesn’t take a lot time in an electrical 7 Collection to know that this form of powertrain is the perfect associate for such a car, and the i7 got here away doing far more than simply proving that it’s one of the best flagship BMW to purchase. It’s additionally a powerful candidate for one of the best full-size luxurious sedan you should purchase, full cease. Get previous the grille and into the driving force’s seat, and it’ll doubtless flip you right into a believer, too.