BMW 7 Series (2016 – 2022) Review

BMW 7 Series (2016 – 2022) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
BMW’s 7 Series holds its head high in the rarefied and competitive luxury sector, up against the might of the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8.

+Air ride provides outstanding ride quality, huge array of high tech gadgetry as standard, superb long distance comfort, strong performance from all engines.

-Steering feels overly assisted even in Sport setting.

Insurance Groups are between 44–50
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

As you’d expect of a car in this class, the 7 Series rides bumps with a magically smooth ride and it has engines that range from surprisingly frugal to very fast. There’s also a hybrid model to make the BMW in tune with latest trends and you can also specify four-wheel drive. Of course, it’s still a BMW and the Seven is enjoyable to drive, though the steering is a little vague compared to a Jaguar XJ’s.

This BMW 7 Series was launched in 2016, updated in 2019 and is the largest car the German brand has ever produced. The long wheelbase version is huge and stands at more than 5.2 metres long, yet thanks to those familiar BMW proportions it hides its size well, looking more like a 6 Series Gran Coupe. This is no bulky four-door but a surprisingly sleek and good-looking saloon.

Of course, luxury cars are all about wafting around with the minimum of fuss and maximum of comfort, and the 7 Series is impeccable when it comes to how it deals with lumps, bumps and potholes. Its predecessor didn't ride very well but there are no such problems with this generation. 

BMW has ditched coil springs and dampers in favour of what the Americans call 'air ride', where cushions of air take the place of more traditional steel springs to absorb the blows dished out the by the road’s surface.

This sophisticated self-levelling air suspension system comes as standard and means the 7 Series is wonderfully smooth over even the poorest of surfaces. It really comes into its own at motorway speeds where the lack of road noise and its ability to effortlessly glide along make this a relaxing car to drive or travel in. This sort of effortless ability makes it one of the main contenders for your attention and cash at this pricey end of the market.

Performance is all that you'd expect of the flagship BMW model, with the mainstay engine being the impressive 730d.

It offers all the power you need with 265PS but it's the strong in-gear acceleration that makes more of an impression in everyday driving as you just don’t expect a car of this size to build speed with such ease. It's also available with xDrive four-wheel drive for added traction and security in wet or wintery conditions.

Alternatively, there’s a more powerful 740d model or the silky smooth 740i or 750i with petrol V8. If you have bottomless pockets, the V12-powered 760i is the ultimate BMW limo in many ways, but others will prefer the frugal charms of the petrol-electric hybrid 745e.

When it comes to technology, the 7 Series can give the Starship Enterprise a run for its money. It has an iDrive system, an excellent head-up display and an incredible 360-degree camera. You can even remotely park it using the key.

There is, of course, acres of space inside, particularly in long wheelbase models, although the lengthy rear doors mean you have to be wary of standard parking bays which the 7 Series dwarfs. The interior quality is impeccable with a truly luxury feel and great attention to detail.

The only criticism of the 7 Series is the steering, which feels light and overly assisted even in its sportiest setting. Then again, this isn't a car designed to tackle tight corners. What it does do is offer more standard equipment than its S-Class rival for the same sort of money, making the BMW one of the best luxury saloons around.

Ask Honest John

Should I buy a high mileage BMW 740e?

"I am considering a BMW 740e, and have found one with 137,000 miles for £23,000. I usually gamble on cheaper higher mileage cars and have never been bitten too badly by them. Is this a reasonable price in the current inflated market? Other than general maintenance costs, are there any specific, expensive problems that this car is likely to face as it ages? "
Sounds like a fair price, we've not had any reports of issues with the 7 Series – but that's most likely because it's relatively rare. That said, we do know of a recall that you can read about, here: I'd suggest asking a BMW forum for advice on problem areas and it's always good to buy a car with a full service history.
Answered by Russell Campbell

My car is entirely unusable for months due to a part stock shortage. What can I do?

"I have a 2015 BMW 7 Series. My garage has diagnosed a faulty column control module and there are no stocks in the UK or Germany. I've been advised that it may be several months until one becomes available. The unit controls indicators and wipers so the wipers are permanently on and the indicators don't work — rendering the vehicle unusable. I've complained to BMW UK, which state that it's pandemic related and I assume refers to the worldwide chip shortage. It seems crazy to me that there are no stocks kept by the manufacturer and that a car with a list price of £83,000 is effectively unusable for the foreseeable future. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. My inclination is to get rid of it as soon as it's eventually repaired, particularly if BMW parts are so scarce."
It sounds like it'll be down to the semiconductor shortage. Unfortunately, there's not a great deal you can do – it's not just BMW being affected, we're hearing of similar issues with all brands. Most carmakers operate a 'just in time' approach to manufacturing, without large stockpiles of parts. The only thing we can recommend is shopping around – you might find a dealer with the part in stock.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Should I buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid car?

"I always bought new cars every 3 years and, in 2015, with 2 grandchildren, bought a BMW 218d Gran Tourer. Great car; no complaints and no issues. Don't believe in electric cars so due to the shunning of diesel and petrol cars — I held off buying a new car. But now I'm hankering for a car like my 2000 Jaguar XJ and its comfort. Having looked at secondhand prices, BMW 7 series seem good value so was thinking of a 740e Hybrid or PHEV. Is it a good buy? What year would you suggest and should I go hybrid or plug-in hybrid? The 745e is still too pricey. I would, as ever, appreciate your advice."
Tread carefully. A BMW 7 Series is a huge luxury car that's quite complex before you start adding hybrid power to the mix. Have you considered a BMW 530e instead? They're more popular – so finding a good used example will be easier – and, with less weight to haul around, it should be more efficient. It'll still feel like a step up in terms of refinement compared to your 218d Gran Tourer. To get the best from a PHEV, you'll need to be able to charge at home and cover mainly short journeys. Careful, though, once you discover the benefits of a PHEV, it's a slippery slope towards an electric vehicle...
Answered by Andrew Brady

Should I continue to get my BMW 7 Series serviced at a main dealer or switch to an independent?

"My car is due for a service shortly. The last three services have been done via a main dealer. It is a 2016 model with less than 19,000 miles on the clock and does less than 1000 miles a year. Is it worth using main dealer or an independent as I intend to keep the car for the foreseeable future?"
Some people value a car more if it's got main dealer stamps in the book, but if you're planning to hang on to it you should have a look at your options. Is there a reputable independent near to you that you'd trust with your car?
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a BMW 7 Series (2016 – 2022) cost?