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BMW

New Car Review | BMW i7 xDrive 60 M Sport

Published 11th April 2023Read Time 16 min

Good Stuff 👍

Stunning looks, superb tech, impressive performance

Bad Stuff 👎

It is massive. Menus are a little over-complicated

What is the BMW i7?

BMW’s flagship saloon EV.

The BMW i7 is the largest of the i-family of cars, started all those years ago by the i3, added to by the i4 and soon-to-arrive i5 and topped off by this, the electric equivalent of the 7-Series. It comes with a 400 kW electric motor (which equates to 544hp) and comes with a whopper of a battery (105 kWh), and a massive 101.7 kWh of that is useable, which means it has the potential to drive up to 623km and a real-world range of just over 500km is realistic. It is a vast car, just under 5.4 metres long and with a 500-litre boot space. It isn’t cheap, starting at €140,000, but few shopping for one of these will care.

How about the looks of the BMW i7?

Controversial, but in the right colour, it is striking.

This is a car of halves, or rather two ends. The front is the most controversial end with the huge, almost cartoon-like BMW kidney-shaped grille. It dominates the front end and looks very different in black and M Sport spec, making that grille black and subduing the otherwise challenging looks. The lights have a split-level design, with DRLs up top and LED main beams at the bottom.

On the side, what is most notable is the vastness of the car. At just under 5.4 metres long, this is a sizeable car to navigate, and you have to think long and hard before taking on any parking spots. Still, many cameras offering unique angles keep the costly paint where it should be. There is a 500-litre boot at the back, and it is the back that, for us anyway, is the car’s best angle. It is a beautiful car from the rear. There are strong similarities to the standard BMW 7-Series, as, unlike Mercedes-Benz, BMW hasn’t given this car a different platform, so it shares the same platform as the G70 7-Series.

Paddy Comyn
“The i7 is a feast on the eyes from start to finish in the interior”
Paddy Comyn AA Road Tester

What is the inside of the BMW i7 like?

Stunning interior, but nicer to be driven in than to drive.

Wow, just wow. The i7 is a feast on the eyes from start to finish in the interior. It is a heady mix of excellent materials and combines leathers, chrome and cut glass. The touchscreen and infotainment system are gently curved and crystal clear. There is a familiar BMW iDrive jog dial, but everything is also a touchscreen, and BMW’s Operating System 8.0 central infotainment system is pretty overwhelming on first use. It looks a bit like that person that leaves all of their items on their desktop on their computer. There are icons everywhere, and it does take a little while to tame the complexity as there are shortcut buttons that make things a lot slicker once you configure them to your liking.

The seats are wide, comfy and remarkable. They can be heated, ventilated and massage you. The glass roof has LEDs built-in to provide a stunning night-time vista. Depending on the Mode you choose, linked with the car’s dynamic or performance set-up, you can have a Sporty display with lots of red across the dashboard; the seats tighten up to signal intent, for example. The Relaxing setting closes the blinds and pipes in the sort of subtle chill sounds you will hear in an expensive spa, and the Expressive Mode, my favourite, links sounds composed by famed music score composer Hans Zimmer to the throttle. Stamp hard down on the throttle, and the hairs on your neck rise with rousing, dramatic sounds from the speakers. It is remarkably compelling.

The rear seats are also a special treat, as we suspect many owners that sign the cheque for an i7 may elect to have someone else do the steering. The rear seats are sumptuous, have wireless charging pads, and speakers that allow you to conduct your phone calls via Bluetooth, and although it wasn’t fitted to our demonstrator, there is the option of a 31.3-inch widescreen in the rear that folds down from the roof. You can connect video sources to it via HDMI or USB-C cable or stream video via a dedicated eSim data connection and built0 Amazon Fire software. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround hi-fi system is superb. There is 860mm of rear legroom in the car, so more than generous.

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What is the BMW i7 like to drive?

It has multiple interesting personalities.

The i7 is, of course, based on the 7-Series, so its core competency needs to shuttle around generously-bottomed execs in vast comfort, and for that, it excels. The ride is silky smooth, and you can quickly soak up bumps. But there is a lot more to this car, which also has an excellent chassis that a proper BMW driver feels to it and thanks to xDrive all-wheel drive because of an electric motor on each axle, outstanding grip and composure for a car of this size. Like so many large luxury EVs, it is astonishingly quick, and this can be a real issue at first, as your perception of speed in this car is messed up. You can think you are doing 100km/h, and it is, let’s just say, not. 0-100km/h takes just

This is a massive car, and that, of course, does play a role in how you drive it, but after a few days and because of the arsenal of sensors and four-wheel steering, you get pretty chilled with the size quite quickly. The active chassis system is impressive at controlling body roll, and even at motorway speeds, this car is quiet and refined.

How does the BMW i7 perform as an EV?

Fast charging speeds and extended range.

The benefit of the size of this car is that you can fit in some whopper batteries. BMW has crammed in 101.7 kWh of useable battery under the skin, and that is good for over 500km of real-world range, but driven carefully, you could pass 600km, making it one of the longest-range cars on the market. Regarding charging speeds, at the suitable charger, it can take up to 200kW up to 40% but then starts to slow from there, but it is still taking 100kW at around 68% SOC (state of charge). You can charge from 10% to 80% on a 150 kW IONITY charger in 33 minutes, and all i7 customers get a year of free IONITY charge.

Which BMW i7 should I buy?

We would have the M Sport

Once you have decided that you want an i7, the choices come down to how you want it to look and feel and how many toys you want. There is, of course, no basic one, but you can get into the weeds when it comes to the options list. Prices start at €140,175 for the i7 xDrive60 Excellence. It isn’t that much of a leap (when you are spending this money) to the M Sport model we were driving  (+€5,540). Some paint options can cost over €14,000 (for BMW Individual Two-tone paint), and the Sky Lounge Pack includes the Sky-Lounge Panoramic Glass Sunroof (standard on Excellence Pro and M Sport Pro models). The €3,557 M Sport Pro Pack looks the part and is worth going for, adding 21” wheels, M Sport Brakes with Black Calipers, Sun Protection Glass and most importantly, a black grille frame, radiator grille struts, rear trim strip, insert and rear lights in high-gloss Black. This styling help tones down the prominent grille styling.

Our test car was also fitted with the Technology Plus Pack, which includes a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound system, Driving Assistant Professional and Parking Assistant Pro.

If you want the Executive Pack, which adds the Executive Lounge Rear Console, the Executive Lounge Seating, rear massage seats, ventilated front and rear seats, rear side windows, and windscreen electric blinds. You can also bundle most of the excellent options in the Ultimate Pack, which at €31,666 is around the same price as a 5-door Mini. However, at this stage, it is monopoly money.

We would have the M Sport with the M Sport Pro Pack and work from there.

Is the BMW i7 safe?

Incredibly so.

There is no Euro NCAP rating for the BMW i7, but given the iX scored a massive 91% for Adult Occupant protection, it would be safe to assume the i7 will be a pretty safe place to hang out. There is an incredible arsenal of every possible driver assistance system you can think of in the i7, and the plethora of a cameras even make parking it pretty easy.

Verdict

Possibly not the prettiest, but without doubt one if the ultimate EVs on sale today

This is an astonishing piece of technology and one that shows that BMW are now hitting their stride when it comes to EVs. The i7 is huge and it is probably a car to be more driven in that to drive, but that would mean you miss out on what is an incredibly capable barge. The forthcoming i5 might just be the sweet spot, but for now the i7 represents the best of what BMW can offer in terms of an EV saloon.

Spec Check ⚙️

BMW i7 xDrive 60 M Sport

Motor

400kW, AWD

Torque

745 Nm

0-100km/h

4.7 seconds

Range

Up to 623km WLTP, 510km real-world estimate

Charging

AC - 11kW, DC – 200W peak

Top Speed

240 km/h

Co2

0g/km at the tailpipe

Luggage capacity

500 litres

Pricing

From €140,175

For more information go to BMW Ireland i7 Page.

 

 

 

Video Review

 

 

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