2017 BMW 7 Series Hybrid Review

by Edmunds
Edmunds Editor
Following last year's full redesign, the big news for the 2017 BMW 7 Series is the expected arrival of a new plug-in hybrid variant. Dubbed the 740e xDrive, this all-wheel-drive technology showcase will derive around 320 combined horsepower from its gas-electric power system, along with an all-electric driving range of over 20 miles. If you like the idea of owning a Tesla Model S but prefer to skip the range anxiety, this new 7 Series might be a viable alternative. A stretched wheelbase comes standard on the 2017 BMW 7 Series, but the sleek styling does an admirable job of hiding it. Of course, the specialized 740e and top-model M760i will only account for a small fraction of 7 Series sales. The main attractions continue to be the six-cylinder 740i and eight-cylinder 750i models, with both now providing optional AWD (the 740i came only with rear-wheel drive last year). Every current 7 Series has a long-wheelbase body style that boasts nearly 2 more inches between the wheels than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, breaking with the longstanding BMW tradition of offering both standard and long wheelbases. Other 7 Series highlights include a standard adaptive air suspension with an available camera-based predictive program (Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview) that monitors road conditions in real time, changing the damper profiles in milliseconds to ensure the ride remains as smooth as possible. The primary rival in this rarefied segment is the dignified S-Class, which has hit its stride for the current generation with a veritable smorgasbord of powertrains and options. If you want to enjoy the drive to the fullest, the redesigned Porsche Panamera remains the top athlete of this group. For those who want to ride in unique style, the Jaguar XJ is an unusual but worthy choice, while the Audi A8 still merits consideration ahead of next year's redesign. But if you're looking for a technological tour de force with performance to match, the 2017 BMW 7 Series merits strong consideration. The 2017 BMW 7 Series comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard is the BMW Assist emergency communications system, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency response button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle recovery. The available surround-view camera system includes a wide panoramic view, a top view and a 3D view that features a computer-generated landscape of the car and its surroundings. A number of additional safety technologies are available via the two abovementioned Driver Assistance Plus packages. A night-vision camera system is a stand-alone option.

what's new

We anticipate that the 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid will debut for 2017, while the touchscreen-equipped Display Key is now standard on every 7 Series. Also, the base 740i gains the option of all-wheel drive.


The base inline-6 should satisfy most shoppers with its seamless turbocharged thrust and laudable refinement, but the V8 takes things to another level. In our instrumented testing, a 750i xDrive launched from zero to 60 mph in a swift 4.5 seconds. Either way, the eight-speed automatic is one of the best in the industry, delivering buttery shifts right on time.

The 2017 BMW 7 Series has an athletic stance that hints at a sporting character, and that's what the optional predictive suspension provides.

Out in the wild, the 2017 BMW 7 Series is a more capable handler than its size suggests, if not a full-fledged performance car like the Panamera. The Autobahn package's predictive suspension helps produce an impressively flat cornering attitude, yet the ride is very supple on virtually all surfaces. There are five selectable drive settings in the 7 Series — Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus — but if it were our car, we'd just leave it in Sport, which strikes a winning balance by gracefully soaking up bumps while keeping body motions disciplined. Road and wind noise are held to a minimum, allowing passengers full enjoyment of their various entertainment options.

The top-dog M760i maintains the high levels of 7 Series luxury and comfort while also adding ridiculous amounts of performance. While it's not an "M" car in the traditional sense, it corners with unflappable tenacity, and the power from the V12 is giggle-inducing. We recognize that it's far beyond the expectations of any reasonable 7 Series driver, but we love it just the same.


While the previous 7 Series' cabin design was rather conservative, the new-generation model goes all-in on the latest technology. A standard LED "light carpet" illuminates your entry as you approach the car, while you're greeted upon entry by ambient LED lighting and the latest version of iDrive, which notably adds touchscreen functionality and the Gesture Control system. The latter strikes us as more of a gimmick than anything else, but you'll certainly impress your passengers when you turn up the volume by moving your fingers through the air.

The optional Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system promises concert-quality sound on the go.

The 7 Series' standard long wheelbase affords truly copious rear legroom and is complemented by an unprecedented array of rear-seat luxuries, including the optional and very cool tablet-based infotainment system that'll have you feeling as if you're in a sci-fi movie. Bespoke touches like wood-trimmed seat belts suggest that a page has been taken from Porsche's highly successful ultra-luxury playbook. Of course, it's not a bad thing to be up front, either, what with the sublime available multicontour seats and nifty heated armrests. No matter where you are in the 2017 7 Series' cabin, it's a privileged place to be.

The 7's trunk is suitably grand, measuring 18.2 cubic feet. Additionally, a standard cargo pass-through allows longer items to poke into the rear seat via an opening in the rear seatback measuring 8 inches wide and 9.5 inches high.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.