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.
The more fun (and costlier) difference between this test vehicle and our long-termer, as my colleagues have discussed, is the sport package. If you're going to spend $6500 on the sport package, after spending more than $80K on a base 7-series, you'd be silly not to fork over another $1300 for those supercool ten-spoke, twenty-inch wheels. They truly look fantastic.
Still, I must wholeheartedly agree with Phil: although the 7-series is a perfectly lovely reward for those who love (and can afford) the finer things -- it doesn't leave me pining for my next chance behind the wheel, unlike the Mercedes S-class and the outgoing Jaguar XJ.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor