Exterior Design: ***
First it s conservative, then it s flame-surfaced, then it s conservative with a bit of blingery — this car s design has been through the wringer. Although the new 7 s stance is much improved, and no one misses that bootylicious butt, the car s basic proportions look a bit goofy. Not a classic.
Thanks to XXXL vacuum-assisted ventilated discs, Bimmer s portly sedan sheds speed like a Labrador losing fur. Stopping is simply not an issue; in fact, it s an opportunity to accel.
All credit to the Bavarians chassis gurus for finding a way to combine more-than-merely adequate road feel with splendid isolation, without resorting to air suspension.
Even when cornered at high velocity over a broken surface with severe undulations and metal expansion joints, the 750i (Sport Package) maintained composure— albeit with the traction control flashing slow down in Morse code. Yes, it s a barge, but as far as barges go, this one goes there just about as fast as you could want.
A huge disappointment. In Drive, the six-speed slushbox lacks the finesse needed for imperious wafting. In Sport, it s too manic. (It even went nuts once, rabbit-hopping down the road like I was a marijuana-infused learner driver mistreating a stick shift Ford Pinto.) The wheel-mounted button-shifters work a treat, but a 7 isn t a Ferrari is it?
Don t get me started. iDrive is the worst thing to happen to BMW since the allies bombed their airplane engine factories.
Everything you could possible imagine, from Bluetooth connectivity [finally!] with a neat little slide-out keypad, to voice recognition, to side and rear window shades that rides and fall at the push of a button, to cooling breezes for your butt. Only iDrive control (or lack thereof) loses that final star.
As you d expect there s plenty of room for a foursome— and their golf clubs. The rear lid swings open at key fob command, but where s the one-touch closing mechanism?
Overall Rating: ****
Look past the 7 s questionable styling, death-by-frippery complexity, hyperactive gearbox and iDrive insanity, and you re left with a super-swift sedan that can rocket down highways and byways with total confidence and mindless ease. Is that a good thing? Hell yes.
[by Robert Farago]