Here Is A Very Bad Review Of A Very Good Car, The 2016 BMW 7 Series

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BMW loaned us a 2016 BMW 7 Series for a few days. It did not last a few days. It did not even last us more than a few hours. I broke it. BMW loaned us another 2016 BMW 7 Series for a few days. I broke that one, too. This is that review.

(Full Disclosure: BMW wanted us to drive the new BMW 7 Series, with all of its carbon fiber-metally goodness, so badly that they loaned us one for a couple days. I picked it up from the garage where they kept it, and it had a full tank of gas and everything. It was a long-wheelbase model with the executive seating package in the back, I think, if I remember correctly.


This is a bit of an aside, but bear with me. A lot of the time when we borrow a car, we try to kill two birds with one stone by getting our driving time in when we use it for projects. This BMW was planned perfectly, you see. I had to somehow trick video guy Michael Roselli into thinking we were doing something big with a car, and yet also transport a bunch of people and gear so we could shoot that Ferrari video without him knowing. And then I was going to take it on a mini-road trip to Washington, DC to visit some friends. It was all going to be brilliant and comfortable and awesome. Couldn’t think of a better car to do this in.

So yeah, picked up the car the night before we were going to shoot that video. In the morning, we pile people and gear into the car, and on the way, we also shoot a smaller video of the BMW infotainment system’s gesture controls, which actually work a lot better than you think. I mean, they turn the radio off and on, and they raise and lower the volume, so they do what they’re supposed to. Humanity already had buttons and dials for those things, making gesture controls unnecessary, and the BMW still has those buttons. Which is why I don’t get why BMW had to go and spend money doing this. But do I care? No. It’s a gimmick, but I love gimmicks. Gimmicks are great and they let you be a total goof and you can shove them in your friends’ faces. It’s just you being all “bahahaha look what my car can do, yours can’t, I AM THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP.”

But back to the car. We’re driving up to our super-secret filming spot, a little over an hour out of New York City, when we hit a pothole because it was late February or early March, I can’t really remember, but that’s when potholes are around. Normally potholes aren’t too bad, but this one immediately felt different. There was a judder, a tug on the steering wheel, and it started vibrating badly. Then the tire pressure monitoring system started firing off what seemed like a million alerts.


“I think that last one busted the tire,” I said. Managed to pull over at the next off-ramp, and it did. Tire was a complete mess. It looked like all of that air had been completely squeezed into one point until it violently burst out the sidewall, right where the tire meets the wheel. Nasty gash. We weren’t going anywhere. Our big video, the Ferrari video, the video for which we’d all been preparing for months and for which we had been deceiving our beloved coworker Roselli because we are horrible human beings, was pretty much trashed.

Or so I thought.

I called up the fleet company that manages BMW’s press fleet in New York, explained that the four of us who were in the BMW were now stranded somewhere in a parking lot in the godforsaken wilds of far northern New York City suburbs, and that our flesh was probably about to be picked from our bones by the vultures circling above. Also, I apologized for ruining their car.


“I’m sorry I ruined your car,” I said.

Oddly enough, they were totally cool with it. Way cooler than we deserved. “We’ll just bring you another one,” they said.


I did not know such magnanimity was possible. But like I said, I’m a horrible person.

They actually brought another brand-new BMW 7 Series to that godforsaken parking lot, along with a flat bed tow truck to take the other, three-legged 7er away from us.


As we piled into the new 7 Series, which was almost identical in every way except it was white and had the M Sport package equipped but not the executive seating in the back, one of our video producers remembered they left their phone in the back seat of the old car, which was now on the back of a tow truck. Long story short, we got that one back.

We went, did the Ferrari video, and everything was grand.

I drove the new, four-tired 7 Series back to the office, where I picked up our Editor-in-Chief, Patrick George, who was visiting the office and was crashing on my floor because we are a hell of a lot thriftier than anyone thinks. Also, I got a pretty good floor. We use a Swiffer on it—wet AND dry—and everything.


I’m driving back to my apartment, my boss in the passenger seat, regaling him with tales of how I broke yet another press car and how I suck.

Right as my terrible story crescendoed—you know the story, you just sat through it, my god I can’t believe you’re even still reading this—I hit ANOTHER pothole. Boom. Tire was blasted. Again. Same tire, too. The front right tire. Because this is what happens when you live in a godforsaken city that no one likes and has terrible roads.


We were only about three miles from home, so I limped it back and just parked it. I felt terrible about everything, about myself, about what dumb person even invented roads to begin with knowing full well that one day they would make me fail. Twice. In one day. It was like 10 p.m. It wasn’t even a full day. Everything is terrible.

I called Pierre, the incredibly kind man who runs the fleet company, in the morning. He laughed at me, which I deserved. He also offered to loan me a Cadillac ATS-V to get down to DC, which was a car I did not deserve. He came to my apartment, picked it up, and limped it all the way back to wherever it lives when it’s not being abused by ham-fisted cretins who can’t see a pothole coming from 17 miles away. He is too kind, and the Cadillac did not break.


I promised that I’d write a review of the 7, but it’s hard to review a car when you’ve had it for less than 24 hours and broke it, twice. Also, that’s why all the pictures in this review are stock BMW photos. Didn’t even have enough time to take any of our own. It’s also why I can’t really give it the proper review it deserves, since we didn’t really drive it that much. But I’ll do what I can based on my memory from maybe 2 hours of driving.

Whew, thanks for sitting through this. Sometimes blogging just feels like therapy, you know? Glad I could share this with all of you, my friends. My internet friends. With the cars.)


The BMW 7 Series is a good car. I remember it had big comfy seats.

You can also put it in this mode that’s called Comfort+ and it makes everything feel all floaty and awesome. I don’t know why you’d put it in any other mode. It’s an expensive car, but it is a good car. I think? I’m trying to remember here. I remember really liking it when I drove it. It doesn’t feel too heavy, and when you point with two fingers at the radio it turns off and on.


It also comes with an Android tablet in the back if you want to change the radio sitting in your big back-seat lounger. And a heads-up display. Really useful, that is. A lot of good tech.

If you have somewhere between $100,000 and $135,000, and you want to spend it on a big car, you should buy this one.


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About the author

Michael Ballaban

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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