2010 BMW 7-Series

750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8

2010 bmw 7-series Reviews and News

1002 01 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG BMW 760Li+porsche Panamera Turbo
The history books would have you believe that the West was once a wild place. But if you're braving the sweltering California desert and happen upon a little town called Palm Springs, you'd never know it. The dusty bandits, merciless bounty hunters, and untamed renegades are long gone, replaced by air-conditioned cafés, opulent galleries, and swanky day spas. The only weapons in use are those rumbling under the hoods of the many exotic and classic cars cruising the boulevard. The desert people clearly favor Cadillacs over Caterhams, though - luxury rules the West now.
1002 01 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG BMW 760Li+porsche Panamera Turbo
The BMW 760Li, the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo each enter the saloon with at least 500 horses of firepower tucked away beneath a façade of formality. They look benign enough, but when the dust starts flying, there are few steeds that can match their speed. They may all hail from Germany, but there's something distinctly Wild West about these three sedans. And so we took them to Palm Springs, their natural habitat, for a gunslinging showdown.
The idea that a luxury sedan should be able to dice with a sports car is a relatively new one. Acceleration is relatively easy to achieve - just add more engine - but getting a big, cushy, heavy car to dance through the corners like a light sports car isn't. And the very essence of a sports car - the lovely sounds, the tight body control, the connected steering - is exactly the opposite of a luxury sedan. Or so you'd think.
Thanks to computer-controlled suspensions, brilliant engineering, and colossal powertrains, these three Germans break all the rules. They're do-everything machines - large, gilded cruisers with first-class interiors and all the latest techno-gizmos, and yet they can pull off sports car moves with almost no penalty to comfort. On the surface, the BMW, the Mercedes, and the Porsche are very similar: They cost the same. They're all similarly powerful - and have so much brute force at their disposal that they start out in second gear unless you request otherwise. And yet, in the details, they couldn't be more different.
THE GOOD
You could describe the BMW 760Li as angelic. If ever there was a divine luxury sedan, this would be it.
1002 05 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+side View
It may not be the most visually stunning car in the world, but nothing about the 7-series' design will offend you, either. In fact, the 7-series seems as though it were designed to be the least offensive car on the planet. That's really no surprise: BMW certainly knew where it stood as far as the last 7-series was concerned - its design and user interface generated almost ceaseless commentary. And although its creators denied any and all wrongdoing, they obviously listened very closely, because they addressed every complaint. In stark contrast to its predecessor, the new 7-series is subtle and understated in every way. Except, of course, for its exceptional performance.
With a curb weight of more than 5000 pounds, the 760Li is no lightweight, but a number of factors conspire to hide that mass. First among them is the absolutely ludicrous thrust provided by the 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 under the hood. At peak, 535 horses trample the pavement, but far more impressive than what this engine does at its pinnacle is what it can sustain: 550 lb-ft of torque available from 1500 rpm all the way to 5000 rpm. That means warp-speed acceleration is easily available with a twitch of a right toe; no big downshifts needed, no big revs required. And no notice given - the V-12 is barely audible from either inside or outside the car.
The 7 also does a good job masking its length. The V-12-powered 7-series is available in long-wheelbase form only - there's enough room between its front and rear wheels for a Smart ForTwo, with twenty inches to spare. Back-seat passengers are so far away that they seem as if they're in a different zip code - even the tallest passengers can't reach the front seatbacks. To keep the 7 maneuverable, it comes standard with Integral Active Steering, which both varies the steering ratio and angles the rear wheels. Turn-in is sharp, and the computers keep the effective steering ratio quick, so the 7 drives smaller than it is. Unfortunately, experience with other 7-series models without active steering has shown us that the system is responsible for numbing much of the feedback coming through the BMW's steering wheel.
And to be honest, there's not much feedback to the driver coming from the rest of the car, either. Despite unmatched handling balance (in this test or against just about any other sedan on the road), perfect brake action, and a telepathic eight-speed automatic transmission, the 7-series is more of a high-speed limo than a back-road stormer. Admittedly, there is no "M" badge on this 7, and BMW makes no claim that the 760Li is the sports car of the 7-series lineup, but it does say "The Ultimate Driving Machine" right on the window sticker. And the car certainly delivers the goods - just in a much quieter, more restrained manner than, say, the Mercedes.
THE BAD
With a howling V-8, a great chassis, and a fabulous cabin, the S63 AMG is the S-class you don't mess with.
1002 10 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
The S63 AMG isn't the quickest S-class in a straight line. That honor goes to the S65 AMG, which, like the BMW, has a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. But that S-class costs another $70,000, and its aging SOHC engine suffers from lots of turbo lag, an embarrassingly low redline, and is paired with a timid five-speed automatic. For every point the V-12 S65 gains in speed over the S63, it loses three in involvement.
The S63 is all about the 7200-rpm V-8 under its hood - 6.2 liters of normally aspirated brute force bolted to a seven-speed automatic that shifts so fast that it squeals the fan belt. And the trump card is the noise this V-8 makes - wearing no turbochargers to muffle the exhaust, it needs to be revved, and it rewards with a demonic wail that bellows across the desert floor. The 760Li can't be heard from the next lane, but you can hear the S63 from a mile away.
And if you do, chances are that it'll be catching up to you soon. The S63 might be the slowest of this trio according to the stopwatch, but when you charge up and down mountain roads, the S63's active suspension shows off with minimal body roll, pitch, or dive. Supercars wish they had body control like this. Midcorner bumps? Who cares?! Midcorner speed bumps wouldn't even faze this Mercedes.
Nor, you might surmise, would a midcorner tree. If you had to pick a car in which to suffer a big crash, it'd be this Benz. The S63 weighs about the same as the BMW but feels a ton heavier from behind the wheel. Not because of any lack of cornering ability - no, no, this crazed steed beats the Bimmer in the twisties - but because of how solid and massive it feels. From the way the slow steering refuses to self-center at low speeds to the way the turn signals sound (a loud, crisp click of a relay, not some computer-generated chime), everything fools you into thinking the S-class is as heavy as a tank.
The dashboard has precious few buttons, but those it does have look and feel rich. The cabin creates a feeling of elegance and occasion that the BMW's can't match. Active Body Control gives a supple ride that the BMW can't equal, either. And when asked to perform luxo-limo duty, the Merc is the back-seat champion. The BMW wins on paper with more head- and legroom, but in the real world, the S63's bench is more comfortable, and it affords a better view out.
The S-class is getting on in years - it was updated for 2010, but the basic car dates to 2007, and some of its electronic systems lag behind the BMW's. Both cars are rolling electronics showcases with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and night-vision aids, but the BMW's systems work slightly better. BMW's iDrive controller is also a bit easier to use than Mercedes-Benz's aging Comand interface. Meanwhile, the Porsche, which is the newest of the three, has about a gazillion buttons on the dash, just like Mercedes and BMW used to.
THE UGLY
The Porsche Panamera Turbo wasn't designed to be pretty. It was designed to be the performance superstar of luxury sedans.
1002 19 Z+2010 Posche Panamera Turbo+rear Three Quarter View
Porsche lists a bunch of objectives in the press materials for the Panamera but doesn't once mention elegance, style, or grace. No, the Panamera isn't supposed to be comely - it's meant to be fast as hell, surprisingly efficient, and very, very practical.
And it is all of those things. First, look at the data panel on page 82 for some unbelievable test results. The Porsche reaches 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and pulls almost 1 g on the skid pad. Its top speed is 188 mph. These are among the most impressive figures we've ever printed - and certainly the best numbers from any car with four doors, a huge trunk, and a spacious, well-appointed cabin. Where the other two cars post sports car numbers, the Panamera posts supercar numbers.
In that precious data panel, the Turbo wins every single category, including the best results in EPA fuel economy testing. These are especially laudable achievements given that the Panamera is Porsche's first-ever sedan.
The Panamera is a very different machine from the two other sharpshooters in this gunfight. First of all, it wasn't initially designed as a luxury tourer and then retrofitted with serious power, suspension, and brakes. As such, it's much shorter and lighter than the other cars, but it still offers a back seat large enough for a long trip. And unlike in the other two cars, that back seat can fold down and play dead. The Panamera's hunchback hatchback may not be beautiful, but it'll swallow cargo that would need to be strapped onto the roof of the BMW and the Mercedes. (And hauling your wares home from the general store on your roof is never pretty.) The Panamera Turbo's four-wheel-drive system means it'll go places, in bad weather conditions, when the remaining two would be relegated to the stable.
Because it wasn't conceived as a luxury sedan first, the Panamera falls short of the other two Germans in cushy creature comfort. The seats are, relatively speaking, hard and narrow. The interior is dressed in high-quality materials but lacks the glamour of the Mercedes or the plushness of the BMW. The instrument cluster houses concentric round gauges, and one pod is a circular LCD screen that can display any number of things, including a full-color map. It's très cool - and enough to make up for any other interior shortcoming.
In normal driving conditions, the Panamera isn't quite as supple as the other luxury sedans. Despite Porsche's adaptive suspension, the ride is a bit busy - although body control is outstanding - and road noise creeps in where it's absent from the BMW and the Merc. Of course, unlike those heavy beasts, the Porsche doesn't have double-glazed windows, and surely some of that weight savings comes from less sound-deadening material. The optional Burmester sound system, however, is among the best we've ever heard in an automobile - it turns ordinary music into what sounds like a live performance in a recording studio. Road noise? Who cares?
Around town, the dual-clutch transmission can be slightly clumsy off the line, slipping the clutch a bit more than we'd like. It can occasionally become confused, too, but never more so than the driver, who's forced to cope with steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles apparently designed by someone who wasn't born with normal hands. On the highway, the Panamera loafs along in seventh gear, whose ratio is longer than any Mexican standoff. At 70 mph, there's zero engine noise - the twin-turbo V-8 is practically asleep, turning just 1600 rpm. And, as you can imagine, fuel economy is suitably impressive - the EPA rates the Panamera at 23 mpg on the highway, far better than its rivals in this test.
1002 15 Z+2010 Posche Panamera Turbo+front Three Quarter View
Of course, that kind of mileage is achievable only if you're well-behaved. And why would you ever act in such a way in a turbocharged Porsche? Let's get back to that 3.5-second 0-to-60-mph run - this feat is accomplished thanks to the combination of several factors, not the least of which is the traction afforded by all-wheel drive. The BMW and the Benz light up their rear tires and will lay yards and yards of rubber - even on those rare occasions when you're not trying to. Second, the Panamera's transmission has a very short first gear (which yields 29 mph in first gear at redline, compared with 39 and 43 mph in the BMW and the Mercedes, respectively), and it will, at your request, perform a 4800-rpm clutch dump.
At full throttle, the Panamera is almost Nissan GT-R-ish in its lack of drama. The engine's noise isn't particularly pleasant, since the turbo whoosh easily overwhelms the V-8 music, upshifts are copious and practically impalpable, and the four-wheel-drive system is tuned for traction, not tail-out antics.
From behind the Panamera's wheel, the experience is decidedly not Boxster, Cayman, or 911 - it's about capability, not communication. The steering is quick and perfectly accurate, although it's not particularly talkative; the brakes are powerful but with no better feel than the other cars. Cornering grip, though, is unbelievable, and the Panamera feels light on its feet but unrelentingly buttoned-down, even as it transitions into moderate understeer as you cross its limits - limits so high that we doubt most drivers will ever reach them on the street.
A point which brings us back to the gunfight at hand. Even though the Porsche unquestionably dominates in the numbers department, we wonder what purpose those numbers serve other than as bragging rights. Numbers can be misleading, anyway - sure, the Panamera is the fastest to 60 mph, but much of that advantage is due to the way it launches from a stop. In real-world driving, the BMW is effectively as fast. Case in point, the 30-to-70-mph passing number: The Porsche's scorching 3.6-second result was achieved in Sport Plus mode, which keeps the engine revs up high, ready to pounce at any moment (undermining any fuel-economy advantage, by the way). Put the Panamera in "D" and floor it, and the result is identical to the BMW's - something we verified by lining up the two cars at 30 mph, racing them side-by-side, and watching them both cross the 100-mph mark together, over and over again.
But it's not as if the owners of these cars will be drag racing on the way home from their Palm Springs boutiques. Betcha you'll never see a Panamera Turbo doing launch-control hole-shots at the quarter-mile track, an S63 exercising its way around a road course, or a 760Li doing burnouts behind the neighborhood high school. Numbers are but one piece of this pie - these cars are about so much more than that.
1002 16 Z+2010 Posche Panamera Turbo+engine
Someone who is laying out $135,000 - or about $150,000, as our test cars were equipped - for this type of vehicle wants a grand sedan that gives the feeling of being in a sports car. Titillating sounds, brutal acceleration, and the feel of quick responses are far more important than quarter-mile times and peak lateral g's. These buyers aren't willing to sacrifice any comfort for that performance, and if that's the game we're playing, it's the bad guy who wins this time. The Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG is the most versatile actor in this film - it plays the most comfortable cross-continent cruiser, dresses up as the most glamorous luxury sedan, and does the best impression of a sports car, replete with a sound track to scare off even the toughest gunslingers in the West.
BMW 760Li
Price (base/as tested) $139,125/$154,925
1002 09 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+rear Three Quarter View
ENGINE 48-valve DOHC twin-turbo V-12
DISPLACEMENT 6.0 liters (364 cu in)
HORSEPOWER 535 hp @ 5250 rpm
TORQUE 550 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
DRIVE Rear-wheel
STEERING Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT Control arms, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR Multilink, coil springs
BRAKES Vented discs, ABS
TIRES Goodyear Excellence
TIRE SIZE F, R 245/40YR-20, 275/35YR-20
L x W x H 205.3 x 74.9 x 58.3 in
WHEELBASE 126.4 in
TRACK F/R 63.4/65.0 in
WEIGHT 5150 lb
EPA MILEAGE 13/19 mpg
0-60 MPH 4.8 sec
0-100 MPH 10.3 sec
0-120 MPH 14.7 sec
1/4-MILE 13.1 sec @ 113 mph
30-70 MPH PASSING 4.6 sec
SPEED IN GEARS 39/59/88/110/142/147/140/140 mph
CORNERING L/R 0.89/0.86 g
70-0 MPH BRAKING 161 ft

MERCEDES-BENZ S63 AMG
Price (base/as tested) $137,425/$148,575
1002 10 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG+front Three Quarter View
ENGINE 32-valve DOHC V-8
DISPLACEMENT 6.2 liters (379 cu in)
HORSEPOWER 518 hp @ 6800 rpm
TORQUE 465 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
TRANSMISSION 7-speed automatic
DRIVE Rear-wheel
STEERING Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT Multilink, coil springs and hydraulic cylinders
SUSPENSION, REAR Multilink, coil springs and hydraulic cylinders
BRAKES Vented discs, ABS
TIRES Continental Sport Contact 2
TIRE SIZE F, R 255/35YR-20, 275/35YR-20
L x W x H 206.5 x 73.7 x 58.0 in
WHEELBASE 124.6 in
TRACK F/R 63.0/63.2 in
WEIGHT 4960 lb
EPA MILEAGE 11/18 mpg
0-60 MPH 4.8 sec
0-100 MPH 11.5 sec
0-120 MPH 16.2 sec
1/4-MILE 13.5 sec @ 108 mph
30-70 MPH PASSING 5.1 sec
SPEED IN GEARS 43/65/97/136/155/156/150 mph
CORNERING L/R 0.90/0.91 g
70-0 MPH BRAKING 160 ft

PORSCHE PANAMERA TURBO
Price (base/as tested) $133,575/$146,720
1002 15 Z+2010 Posche Panamera Turbo+front Three Quarter View
ENGINE 32-valve DOHC twin-turbo V-8
DISPLACEMENT 4.8 liters (293 cu in)
HORSEPOWER 500 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE 516 lb-ft @ 2250 rpm
TRANSMISSION 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
DRIVE 4-wheel
STEERING Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT Control arms, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR Multilink, coil springs
BRAKES Vented discs, ABS
TIRES Michelin Pilot Sport PS2
TIRE SIZE F, R 255/45YR-19, 285/40YR-19
L x W x H 195.6 x 76.0 x 55.8 in
WHEELBASE 115.0 in
TRACK F/R 65.2/64.8 in
WEIGHT 4422 lb
EPA MILEAGE 15/23 mpg
0-60 MPH 3.5 sec
0-100 MPH 8.3 sec
0-120 MPH 11.8 sec
1/4-MILE 11.8 sec @ 120 mph
30-70 MPH PASSING 3.6 sec
SPEED IN GEARS 29/52/85/125/170/188/170 mph
CORNERING L/R 0.99/0.97 g
70-0 MPH BRAKING 157 ft
1002 02 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG BMW 760Li+porsche Panamera Turbo
1002 02 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG BMW 760Li+porsche Panamera Turbo
The history books would have you believe that the West was once a wild place. But if you're braving the sweltering California desert and happen upon a little town called Palm Springs, you'd never know it. The dusty bandits, merciless bounty hunters, and untamed renegades are long gone, replaced by air-conditioned cafés, opulent galleries, and swanky day spas. The only weapons in use are those rumbling under the hoods of the many exotic and classic cars cruising the boulevard. The desert people clearly favor Cadillacs over Caterhams, though - luxury rules the West now.
1002 02 Z+2010 Mercedes Benz S63 AMG BMW 760Li+porsche Panamera Turbo
The BMW 760Li, the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, and the Porsche Panamera Turbo each enter the saloon with at least 500 horses of firepower tucked away beneath a façade of formality. They look benign enough, but when the dust starts flying, there are few steeds that can match their speed. They may all hail from Germany, but there's something distinctly Wild West about these three sedans. And so we took them to Palm Springs, their natural habitat, for a gunslinging showdown.
0911 06 Z+2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7+front Three Quarter View
Remember when enthusiasts all decried the imposition of regulations on emissions, saying that government regulation would make our cars pale shadows of what they had been? And they all believed that, never imagining that we would arrive at the present situation, with luxury limousines like BMW's Active Hybrid 7 - to use the official nomenclature - accelerating to 60 mph in less than five seconds, running to 155 mph (an artificially restrained Gentleman's agreement figure), while being both more economical and cleaner.
0911 06 Z+2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7+front Three Quarter View
The 7 Hybrid is a magnificent engineering achievement. It not only attains the "impossible" standards we now demand, but is also a good bit faster, quieter and easier to live with than the basic internal combustion only model. Technologies developed in concert with Mercedes-Benz allow BMW to add features formerly unavailable, like the transparent stop-and-start system. When you come to a stop, the V-8 shuts off, leaving the cabin absolutely silent, and releasing the brake pedal has the engine running in microseconds, the car already moving under the impulsion of the 51-pound three-phase synchronous 20 hp 120 Volt electric motor interposed between the crankshaft of the twin-turbocharged V-8 and the all-new eight-speed automatic transmission when there is the slightest touch on the throttle.
BMW is not new to turbocharging. There was a 2002 Turbo in the Seventies, one of the first applications in series production, and the 745i was essentially just a a turbocharged 733i E-23 sedan, but earlier models were achieved by adding a turbo to an existing engine. The V-8 in the current 750i and 750iL models is completely new, conceived specifically to be blown, with the turbos nestling in the vee of the block, and intake coming through the underside of the heads. in the Hybrid 7 the engine is stripped of most of its accessories. There is no starter; that function is handled by the integrated traction motor. The air conditioning compressor under the hood is electrically driven by the 120V system - which means that it can be remotely activated to cool the cabin down before anyone gets into the car, a very luxurious touch in hot climates.
The whole mild hybrid system, including the 60 pound Lithium-ion battery pack in the trunk, adds some 220 pounds to the already hefty 750i (around two and a quarter tons in the lightest model). In compensation there is a 17% reduction in CO2 and an increase in total power from 407 to 465 bhp. Torque is up 16.7% and the heavier Hybrid gets to 100 kph (62 mph) three-tenths of a second quicker. Any time the brake pedal is activated energy is recovered and fed into the battery, located just behind the rear seats in space that is ordinarily used for a rear A/C unit. The battery is protected by a sturdy shield as a safety measure.

Step By Step

The Active Hybrid 7 is identified by chrome badges on the trunk lid, on both C pillars, and by specific 19-inch wheels carrying 245/45 front tires on 8 inch rims and 275/40 rears on rims a half-inch wider. This means that each lightweight low-rolling-resistance tire on the car is specific to its place. There is special instrumentation to let the driver know how the various systems are interacting, but none of it is of "Tokyo by Night" quality. Like the rest of the interior, it is restrained and slightly understated. Many differences cannot be seen, as for example the use of the 760i's larger differential to cope with the higher torque levels of the hybrid.
0911 02 Z+2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7+rear Three Quarter View
Obviously there are substantial costs involved in attaining higher performance and lower emissions, but an owner can reasonably expect to gain much of that cost back at the pump. BMW expects 45% of the hybrid 7s to be sold in the US, 20 % in Germany, 7% in China, with the other third of production dispersed in the rest of the world.
It all works so well, so transparently, to such good effect that we think BMW will spread this mild hybrid approach to almost all its ever-widening range of models - maybe even into its motorcycles. It's that good.
0911 02 Pl+2010 BMW 760Li+side View
0911 02 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+side View
There exists no conceivable occasion for which the standard BMW 750Li's 400 hp is insufficient. With two turbochargers strapped on presumably just for fun, its V-8 produces so much grunt that only someone afflicted with a congenital cognitive defect would require more power.
Oh, but luxury isn't about meeting requirements - it's about stroking wants. And apparently, there are some 7-series customers whose wants can be stroked only by the unparalleled smoothness of a V-12-powered automobile. For those select few, there exists the 760Li, which is some $30,000 dearer than a comparably equipped V-8 model. Behind its enormous nostrils reside twelve pistons that dance in perfectly balanced, happy harmony - and two turbochargers to rile them to the tune of 535 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque.
0911 03 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+rear View
The turbos are small, the injection direct, and the boost pressures moderate (11.6 psi), so the 6.0-liter V-12 can produce its peak torque output throughout almost its entire operating range. From a dead stop, the 275-mm summer-compound rear tires scramble for traction the entire way to 60 mph, a feat accomplished in 4.5 seconds, says BMW. In second gear.
That's right - not only does the 760Li have power to spare, it has an abundance of gears, too. Between the enormous engine and the abused rear tires lies a ZF automatic transmission with eight forward speeds - the most ever in a BMW. First gear is used only in Sport mode and at the risk of leaving behind a cloud of tire smoke. Eighth is superlong for relaxed cruising - the engine turns over at an almost inaudible 3600 rpm while oozing down the autobahn at its governed top speed of 155 mph. Allowed to run free, the 760Li could attain another 50 mph or so, and it's precisely these tremendous performance reserves that make the BMW flagship seem so relaxed even in the fastest traffic.
0911 04 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+engine
Double-glazed windows ensure that only a whisper of wind noise enters the cabin. Equipped as standard with almost every option available on lesser 7s, the 760Li is a rolling technology showcase whether you're up front or in the capacious rear seating area. Many of BMW's newest driver-assistance systems - blind-spot detection, lane-departure warning, rear- and sideview cameras, high-beam assistant, and a head-up display - are included in the price of entry. Integral active steering (which varies the steering ratio in addition to using the rear wheels to steer the car) is also standard.
0911 01 Z+2010 BMW 760Li+front Three Quarter View
Twenty-one years ago, when the first V-12-powered 7-series debuted (with a comparatively paltry 300 hp), we suggested that BMW "buy or borrow a Rolls-Royce . . . to see how best to convey the aura of absolute superiority." In the two decades since then, BMW has indeed bought Rolls-Royce (the entire company, not just a single car) and has obviously learned a thing or two about luxury. The 760Li drips with opulence but remains a luxury sedan best enjoyed from the driver's seat. Especially if you're the type of driver who wants your car to slice through traffic with the speed of a sports car and the poise of a stretch limousine.
On Sale: Now
Price: $137,425
Engine: 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-12, 535 hp, 550 lb-ft
Drive: Rear-wheel
31673659
BMW's recent styling staff shuffle continues, as the automaker announced yesterday that designer Karim Habib has been appointed head of BMW exterior design.
BMW 750 Front Three Quarters Driver 2
The combination of a rich, luxurious interior; a smooth, powerful engine; and truly refined road manners make it hard to top a BMW 7-series when it's time to embark on a road trip, so I was more than happy to sign out the 750i xDrive for my journey to Michigan's west coast for the weekend. Because the occasion was a high-school reunion, I plugged in my iPod and chose a classic rock playlist so that I could aurally transport myself to the late 1970s. Turns out, though, that was the only thing that reminded me of the '70s, because the 7-series is a true twenty-first-century car packed full of state-of-the-art technology. Thirty years ago, it would have been hard to fathom a car like the modern 7-series. Of course, thirty years ago paying $100,000 for luxury BMW sedan would have been hard to fathom, too.
BMW 750 Front Three Quarters Driver 2
Our Four Seasons 750Li's rear tires often had a hard time staying connected to wet road surfaces, especially from a stop, so, in my mind, adding all-wheel drive to any BMW 7-series is a no-brainer. And with a mere $3000 premium over the base 750i and a loss of only 1 mpg combined according to the EPA, there isn't much of a downside.
BMW 750 Front Three Quarters Passenger
Building an impeccable sport sedan or a flawless luxury flagship is nothing short of a herculean task for any automaker. Perhaps it's all the more amazing, then, that BMW can build both within a single vehicle -- the 7-series -- without breaking a sweat.
BMW 750 Front Three Quarters Static Driver
On nice summer days like those we occasionally get in Michigan, it's almost impossible to tell if a 7-series has an xDrive all-wheel-drive. Despite a 150-pound weight penalty versus the base rear-wheel-drive 750i, the driving experience of the xDrive-equipped car feels almost the same, which is to say, surprisingly sporty for such a large car. The fuel-economy penalty is a bit more noticeable, though, as xDrive makes for a fairly significant hit at the pump, with the EPA fuel-economy rating 1 mpg lower in the city and 2 mpg less on the highway (14/20 mpg city/highway versus the RWD car's 15/22 mpg).
BMW 750 Front Three Quarters Static Passenger
Base price (with destination and guzzler tax): $87,175
Price as tested: $100,575
1003 Z 04+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+front Fascia
It's amazing how a few visual tweaks can totally change the character of a vehicle. Whereas our Four Seasons 7-series is an old world Q-ship with its beige paint and smallish eighteen-inch wheels (yes, I just called eighteen-inch wheels "smallish" - welcome to 2010), this particular model looks like a taut four-door sports car. M-sport twenty-inch wheels visually shrink the body, while the gunmetal gray paint brings out the 7's high-tech, modern side. I also prefer this model's darker interior, as it again hides the car's girth.
1003 Z 04+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+front Fascia
A quick glance at the spec list indicates that, if you wanted to, you could load up this 7-series with another $15,700 worth of options, bumping its list price close to the $120,000 mark. Yow. Of course, once behind the wheel of this particular 750Li xDrive, you don't exactly feel as if you're lacking in amenities, what with iDrive, navigation, satellite radio, a heated steering wheel (great for cold early-spring weather), all-wheel drive, and the M sport package and wheel upgrade.
1003 Z 02+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+rear View
It's amazing to me how many different ways buyers can order a 7-series and still come up with an identical price tag. Our Four Seasons 750Li was equipped with virtually every option, save for the deluxe rear seating, all-wheel-drive, and the M sport package. Total price? $103,420. This 750Li's options are limited to the all-wheel-drive, premium audio package, cold weather package, and the M sport pack. Total price? Roughly a thousand dollars less than our example.
1003 Z 03+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+wheel
For as many options that are missing on this 750Li xDrive, it really isn't at a loss for it. If I were ever in the market for one of these vehicles, I imagine mine would be spec'd out similar to this. Sure, it doesn't have night vision, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot helpers, or a rearview camera, but it doesn't need it. Instead of relying on flashing lights and warnings, just use your properly adjusted mirrors; we all learned that once.
1003 Z 01+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+front View
I agree with previous comments that this particular spec 7-series is just as compelling in its own way as our identically priced 2009 Four Seasons 750Li, which is loaded up with almost every imaginable luxury and safety feature. I much prefer this particular car's baseball-mitt leather over black carpet and trim to our Four Seasons car's all-cream interior, which has taken a beating, especially the carpet, over twelve hard months of use. Cream colors always look good in dealer showrooms, but they are never practical in real-world usage.
1003 Z 02+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+rear View
The biggest problem with $100,000 vehicles is that they don't actually have any problems. Reviews turn into a license to split hairs and usually make the slightest difference between these über-sedans seem like the end of the world.
1003 Z 01+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+front View
Even in my short time behind the wheel of the 750Li xDrive, the benefit of all-wheel drive was apparent. In our rear-wheel drive Four Season's 750Li, I've accidentally squealed away from numerous stoplights. But even in standing water, this XDrive model produces seriously quick forward motion without attracting police attention. Plus, because the V-8's turbo lag can make pulling away from a stop an all-or-nothing affair, sending power to all four wheels helps prevent its 450 lb-ft of torque from overwhelming the rear wheels.
1003 Z 03+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+wheel
For luxoboat owners who live in snowy or very rainy climates, xDrive all-wheel drive would be a smart way to add $3000 to the cost of a BMW 7-series. But as we've learned with our Four Seasons 750Li, the rear-wheel-drive car does pretty well in the snow when fitted with a set of good winter tires. And fuel economy with xDrive drops by 1 mpg on the highway: 14/20 mpg city/highway versus 14/21 mpg for the standard RWD edition.
1003 Z 04+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+front Fascia
2010 BMW 750Li xDrive Sedan
1003 Z 02+2010 BMW 750Li XDrive Sedan+rear View
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The ten all-stars on our cover aren't the only winners of 2010.

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Certified Pre-Owned 2010 BMW 7-Series Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$33,275

Used 2010 BMW 7-Series Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$82,000

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Your Selected Vehicle's Ranking

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2
2010 BMW 7-Series
2010 BMW 7-Series
750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
15 MPG City | 22 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
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1
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16 MPG City | 23 MPG Hwy
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2010 BMW 7-Series
2010 BMW 7-Series
750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
15 MPG City | 22 MPG Hwy
rank
3
2010 Audi S6
Base AWD 4-Dr Sedan V10
14 MPG City | 19 MPG Hwy
rank
4
2010 BMW M5
Base RWD 4-Dr Sedan V10
11 MPG City | 17 MPG Hwy
rank
32
2010 BMW 7-Series
2010 BMW 7-Series
750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
$82,000
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
rank
5
2010 BMW 7-Series
2010 BMW 7-Series
750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
400hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
rank
5
2010 BMW 7-Series
2010 BMW 7-Series
750i RWD 4-Dr Sedan V8
400hp

2010 BMW 7-Series Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
4.4L V8Engine
Fuel economy City:
15 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
22 MPG
Horsepower:
400 hp @ 6400rpm
Torque:
450 ft lb of torque @ 1800rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation
Vehicle
50,000 miles / 48 months
Powertrain
50,000 miles / 48 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 48 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:00
Component
EQUIPMENT:OTHER:LABELS
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009-2010 7-SERIES AND MODEL YEAR 2010 550i GRAND TURISMO VEHICLES FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 110 "TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS." THESE VEHICLE'S ARE EQUIPPED WITH A TIRE PRESSURE LABEL INDICATING THAT THE VEHICLE'S SEATING CAPACITY IS FIVE (5) PASSENGERS. THE ACTUAL SEATING CAPACITY IS FOUR (4) PASSENGERS. THE TIRE SIZE, TIRE PRESSURE, AND VEHICLE CAPACITY WEIGHT ON THE LABEL ARE CORRECT.
Consequences
THE TIRE LABEL DOES NOT CONFORM TO FMVSS 110.
Remedy
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS AND AUTHORIZED BMW DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE TIRE LABEL FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON APRIL 16, 2010. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW AT 1-800-831-1117.
Potential Units Affected
1,040
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:11
Component
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINE:OTHER FUEL TYPES:TURBO-CHARGER
Summary
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 5-SERIES, MODEL YEAR 2010-2011 5-SERIES GRAN TURISMO, MODEL YEAR 2009-2011 7-SERIES, MODEL YEAR 2010-2011 X5 SAV, AND MODEL YEAR 2008-2011 X6 SAV VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 8- OR 12-CYLINDER, TURBOCHARGED, ENGINES BECAUSE THE CIRCUIT BOARD FOR THE ELECTRIC AUXILIARY WATER PUMP CAN OVERHEAT.
Consequences
THIS COULD LEAD TO A SMOLDERING OF THE PUMP OR AN ENGINE COMPARTMENT OR VEHICLE FIRE.
Remedy
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE AUXILIARY WATER PUMP FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON DECEMBER 19, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AND SERVICES AT 1-800-525-7417.
Potential Units Affected
32,084
Notes
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC


IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Front Side
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
No Test Planned
NHTSA Rating Rollover
No Test Planned
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
IIHS Best Pick
N/R
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R

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