2018 BMW Alpina B7

2018 BMW ALPINA B7 Review

Even as far as 600-horsepower super luxury sedans go, the BMW Alpina B7 is a rare breed.
8.2 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
by Carlos Lago
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The world of executive luxury sedans is small, and it gets even smaller when you are shopping the high performance versions. The BMW Alpina B7 fits that criteria and more, however, wrapping a seemingly unending supply of luxury and acceleration in a unique and highly exclusive package. 

The B7 starts as a BMW 7 Series. From there, Alpina, a specialty automotive company in Germany that's closely aligned with BMW, applies its own performance upgrades and styling changes. Though sold in the United States as a BMW, the B7 is available through Alpina as the B7 Bi-Turbo in other markets. The exclusivity provided by the name and the subtle exterior modifications, including the 20-spoke Alpina wheels, gives the B7 a distinct appearance versus the standard 7 Series.

While the previous generation of the B7 was available in standard or long-wheelbase variants with either rear- or all-wheel drive, the current B7 only comes in one long-wheelbase model with standard all-wheel drive. Alpina prioritizes refinement versus the all-out performance found in vehicles from BMW's M Division. That doesn't mean the B7 is slow; its turbocharged V8 still cranks out a sweet 600 hp, or 1 hp shy of the output from the M760i's turbo 6.6-liter V12.

In your search for supreme luxury, you'll find a few competitors that offer similar levels of performance and exclusivity, including the Mercedes-AMG S 63 and Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. There's no way to go wrong with this group, but certainly the 2018 Alpina B7 is a commendable choice.

What's new for 2018

Standard equipment now includes the Parking Assistance package, which adds a suite of cameras that show the exterior from a variety of angles. The 2018 BMW Alpina B7 is otherwise unchanged.

We recommend

Because the 2018 BMW Alpina B7 comes in the single trim, you'll only have to decide on color, upholstery and option packages. The adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist make the Driving Assistance Plus Package worth the money, as does the clarity and power available in the optional Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system. Apple CarPlay is a must for iPhone users, but you can skip the extensive rear-seat upgrades unless you plan on regularly chauffeuring VIPs.

Trim levels & features

The Alpina B7 is a four-door high-performance and equally luxurious sedan that is available in one highly equipped trim level. As in the BMW 7 Series on which it is based, its wheelbase matches that of the previous generation's long-wheelbase variants, providing extra room in the backseat. There's only one engine choice, and it's a good one: a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 (600 hp, 590 lb-ft of torque). An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard.

As you might expect from, the B7 packs a lot of standard features. Aside from a stronger engine and a transmission calibrated to transfer all that thrust, the B7 also uses an adaptive air suspension that can raise the vehicle for greater ground clearance or lower it for high-speed aerodynamics. Rear-wheel steering is standard, improving both low-speed nimbleness and high-speed stability. Perhaps the most interesting piece of technology is the Active Comfort Drive with Road Preview system, which uses cameras to watch the road ahead and adjusts the suspension in anticipation of bumps.

Alpina-specific exterior features include a specially styled bumpers, quad exhaust finishers, a rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels. Other standard exterior equipment consists of LED headlights with auto high beams, LED foglights, heated and power-folding side mirrors, soft-close doors, parking sensors, a rearview camera, automatic wipers and hands-free trunk operation.

The interior boasts 20-way power-adjustable front seats (with heat, ventilation and massage), premium leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, BMW's iDrive interface with a 10.2-inch display, a head-up display, adjustable ambiance lighting, a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof and power side-window shades. Other technology features include a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, wireless phone charging, an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, a large key fob with an LCD touchscreen, a surround-view parking camera system, and automated parallel and perpendicular parking.

BMW offers two levels of active safety features. The Driving Assistance package includes blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and speed limit information. The Plus variant of this package adds lane departure intervention and adaptive cruise control.

The Luxury Rear Seating package adds extra-plush seats with ventilation and massage function, heated armrests, and a 7-inch tablet to control vehicle functions. The Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package adds a reclining rear seat and footrest, rear-seat entertainment, and a table that folds out from the center console. This package also deletes the rear center seat along with the front-passenger seat massage, side bolster, lumbar and headrest adjustments.

Stand-alone options include Apple CarPlay, an Ambient Air package that infuses the climate control with various scents, a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround-sound audio system, a system that allows you to park the car using only the key fob, and a night-vision camera.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 BMW Alpina B7 (turbo 4.4L V8 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall8.2 / 10


9.0 / 10

Acceleration10.0 / 10
Braking10.0 / 10
Steering8.5 / 10
Handling9.0 / 10
Drivability9.0 / 10


9.0 / 10

Seat comfort9.5 / 10
Ride comfort10.0 / 10
Noise & vibration9.0 / 10
Climate control8.0 / 10


8.0 / 10

Ease of use6.5 / 10
Getting in/getting out8.0 / 10
Driving position9.0 / 10
Roominess9.0 / 10
Visibility8.0 / 10
Quality7.0 / 10


8.0 / 10

Small-item storage7.5 / 10
Cargo space8.5 / 10


7.0 / 10

Audio & navigation6.5 / 10
Smartphone integration6.0 / 10
Driver aids9.0 / 10
Voice control9.0 / 10


You'd expect a lot from 600 horsepower, but somehow this sedan still over delivers. Acceleration is simply bewildering. More impressive, though, is how confidently this large and heavy sedan handles and stops. The agility and quickness make the B7 capable and immensely satisfying to drive.


Really, the only problem will be keeping your license safe. With 600 hp, the B7 is among the most powerful cars on the road, and the acceleration does that figure justice. The B7 reached 60 mph in a ludicrous 3.6 seconds. Passing power is even more impressive. Yet the power always feels in control.


The powerful brakes are easy to control and halt this heavy sedan with authority, just as you'd hope from a car built in a country where some freeways don't have speed limits. Their test track performance was extraordinary, consistently stopping the B7 from 60 mph in a sports carlike 105 feet.


BMW has dialed in the right amount of assistance and resistance for the B7. The wheel offers crisp turn-in and good on-center feel. The steering assist is nicely balanced, but adjustable settings can increase resistance to absurd levels, especially in the Sport+ setting.


Despite its weight and dimensions, the B7 turns quickly and always seems to be able to corner harder, making it seem nimbler than you'd expect. It can snake up a mountain road without protest, and you might even enjoy the process. Sport modes firm up the ride without making it too harsh.


The powerful engine is very quiet until you stomp on the gas pedal, and the transmission makes smooth, almost imperceptible shifts. Aside from a slight hesitation from an intentionally soft throttle response when you're in Comfort+ mode, this sedan drives the way a luxury car should.


The B7 delivers comfort in spades. The supportive seats have wide adjustability and relaxing massage settings. The suspension and noise insulation protect the interior from most of the outside world. While the climate controls are powerful, the high level of adjustment seems needless.

Seat comfort9.5

The B7 has the kind of seats that you benchmark all other seats against. Extensive seat adjustments with multiple massage settings and pillowlike headrests ensure comfort for everyone. The middle rear seat's rock-solid backrest and elevated seat bottom mean it's best ignored.

Ride comfort10.0

The suspension is remarkably smooth but not overly soft. You don't recognize most bumps or road imperfections unless they're of a size that warrant attention. Ride height and adjustable firmness make appreciable differences to the driving experience without excessive compromise.

Noise & vibration9.0

You get some pleasing engine noise when you romp on the gas pedal, but the B7 travels the highway with minimal wind, road and tire noise. Similarly, vibrations are few and far between, even during bouts of spirited acceleration. The interior boasts the calmness you expect of a luxury sedan.

Climate control8.0

The four-zone climate control system is quiet and supremely capable of cooling the cabin. Occupants will love the heated armrests, too. But the amount of customization is daunting. There are simply too many adjustments even when the system is set to auto, and some are fussy.


The fundamentals of the B7's interior, from getting inside to getting comfortable to seeing out, are stellar. And while you can get familiar with the bulk of the interior controls, the reliance on touch-sensitive switches and abundance of adjustments can be a source of frequent frustration.

Ease of use6.5

Daunting options and adjustments. Reliance on capacitive switches causes distraction. The rotary iDrive controller's top is too easy to graze, often changing the screen. Other inconsistencies are maddening: Sometimes the radio turns off with the engine; other times it waits until you lock the door.

Getting in/getting out8.0

Large doors and a low stepover make big openings to climb through. The rear doors are even bigger, accommodating passengers of any size. You can increase the ride height so passengers don't have to duck down far. The doors also pull shut automatically if you get them close enough.

Driving position9.0

The driver's seat has many adjustments, including headrest, side bolsters, lumbar and a lower leg extension. Combined with a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, it's easy to put yourself in the right position with all controls and gauges in easy view.


The ample size of the B7 translates to lots of interior space. Rear passengers especially benefit with abundant rear legroom. The only complaints will come in those rare instances when someone is forced to sit in the middle rear seat. Its elevated seating position reduces headroom.


The B7 is a large car, but the blind spots are minimized thanks to large side mirrors and electronic monitoring. The hood may be long, but it's easy to see over, and you can sense where the bumpers are when parking. The comprehensive exterior cameras have every angle covered.


Generally strong, but there are some warts. The headrests sound hollow and cheap when you tap them, and the underside of the steering wheel squeaks if you press it with your thumbs. During our test, the left rear door occasionally refused to open from the inside even with the child lock disabled.


A large vehicle has advantages when it comes to space, and the B7 makes full use of its size. The trunk is massive, while the interior has plenty of storage for small items. Installing car seats can be annoying, but you probably wouldn't want kids touching leather this nice anyway.

Small-item storage7.5

You won't have trouble finding places to put stuff. Front seats have an averaged sized center console, two cupholders, and an open tray. In the back, there's storage within the center armrest and a thin cubby in the back of the center console. Doors have large pockets and additional cupholders.

Cargo space8.5

With 18.2 cubic feet of storage, the B7's cavernous trunk is among the largest you'll find in a luxury sedan, so it will easily carry four full-size adults and their luggage or golf clubs. While the rear seats don't fold, a pass-through behind the center armrest makes space for longer objects.

Child safety seat accommodation6.5

The outboard lower anchors are hidden behind zippers that are pretty but difficult to open. Rear tethers are covered by plastic lids. The massive rear space easily accommodates a child seat, though you might feel a little guilty installing car seats on leather that looks this good.


BMW has taken the kitchen sink approach, adding everything plus more. The overall package has a solid foundation but is hampered by gimmicks. The gesture controls give false positives, and the overly complicated key fob adds little benefit and many inconveniences, such as requiring charging.

Audio & navigation6.5

The optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo system sounds fantastic, and the powerful navigation system is relatively easy to learn and operate. Unfortunately, gimmicky gesture controls often trigger when you don't intend them to, adding needless frustration. At least you can turn them off.

Smartphone integration6.0

Android Auto is not supported, and wireless Apple CarPlay is a $300 option. Other luxury and far less expensive cars support both at no cost. The BMW Connected app replicates some functions of those systems and generally works well. Occupants have access to two USB ports and four 12-volt outlets.

Driver aids9.0

Adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist take the frustration out of stop-and-go, taking over steering, gas and brake application. All you have to do is keep your hands on the wheel and watch traffic. An excellent camera system shows every angle you'd want for parking.

Voice control9.0

The B7 understands and responds to voice controls with surprising ease and quickness, making it a breeze to navigate through the entertainment system. It had no difficulty comprehending the addresses and desired stereo settings we called out.

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.