Car of the Year

BMW 7 Series: 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalist

Updated 7 Series Has More Tech Than Ever Before

Updated 7 Series Has More Tech Than Ever Before

We Like: Its punchy powertrains, slick transmission, high-tech gadgets.

We Don’t Like: The numb steering, high-tech gimmicks.

The ghost of Chris Bangle still haunts BMW. The exterior design of the new 7 Series, though beautifully executed, is conservative and evolutionary. Bigger than an S-Class, the new 7 looks smaller and lacks its commanding on-road presence. Inside is the most sumptuous BMW interior ever, beautifully finished and tastefully rendered. “The interior is incredible and I hope that translates to future BMWs,” Scott Burgess said. “There was lots of great technology, from all of the driver-assist features to the gesture controls for the stereo and phone.”

Stay tuned to MotorTrend.com as the 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year contenders and finalists are revealed in advance of the official winner announcement on the evening of November 16. Learn about other Car of the Year contenders and finalists at the links below. Check out the Car of the Year introduction HERE, read about the evaluation process HERE, and discover how our Of The Year awards have evolved HERE.

The 7 Series chassis team’s starting proposition was “The Ultimate Driving Machine, plus comfort.” BMW deployed advanced technologies such as active anti-roll bars, air suspension, and transmission calibrations that can adjust to driver input and information on the road ahead from the sat-nav system. “To be fair, this is an absolutely fantastic car at the very pinnacle of modern transportation,” said Ed Loh.

The 445-hp, 4.4-liter V-8 punches hard and delivers a lot of top-end bite. The performance of the 320-hp B58 six-cylinder engine in the 340i suggests it will be more than adequate powering the 740i. We won’t see the most interesting powertrain in the new 7 until next year, when the 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid model arrives. It will feature a 2.0-liter, turbo I-4 and an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed auto. BMW claims 23 miles of EV operation at up to 75 mph (121 km/h).

With the new 7 Series, BMW has taken aim at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Per Seabaugh: “There’s no denying that it’s better than before. It’s quicker, handles better, rides better, is dead quiet on the oval. Effortless acceleration, quick shifting. Planted. This is where the 7 is most at home. A road-going cruise missile.”

2016 BMW 750i xDrive (M Sport)
BASE PRICE $101,395
PRICE AS TESTED $127,546
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
ENGINE 4.4L/445-hp/480-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve V-8
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 206.6 x 74.9 x 58.2 in
WHEELBASE 126.4 in
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,832 lb (47/53%)
ACCELERATION, 0-60 MPH 4.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 12.7 sec @ 111.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 113 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.88 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.4 sec @ 0.75 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 16/25/19 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 211/135 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.02 lb/mile

2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contenders:

2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalists: