This generation of the 7-series feels funny. It certainly has the BMW styling, driving dynamics, and refinement, but the looks are a bit awkward, the controls inside the cabin are clumsy, and the car generally feels older than most of its competition. That should change this fall when the new 7-series debuts at the Paris auto show.
I enjoyed the chance to sample a naturally aspirated 12-cylinder engine. That's a rarity these days unless you look to Ferrari or Lamborghini. Luxury sedans seem to require a turbo or two to accompany a 12-cylinder these days. Sure, the extra kick is a blast, but the penalty at the pump and the ridiculous surge in power isn't for everyone. This V-12 is incredibly smooth and quiet, but it never wants for power.
I think this is the first long-wheelbase 7-series I've sampled. I always wondered why someone would pay the extra money for a 7-series and get a short-wheelbase model. Maybe the streets in Europe justify the more compact barge, but American roads pair well with a long-wheelbase cruiser. The extra legroom for passengers is totally worth it.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor