The 2022 BMW 7 series: Plush, indulgent, and poised. Best of all, it’s extremely fast
The 2022 BMW 7 Series is an awesome large luxury sedan. Or perhaps we mean awe-inspiring. It’s amazing how something this big, plush, indulgent, and tech-rich can still be precise, poised, and extremely fast.
offer a long-wheelbase version of the 2022 7 Series? Yes, this one. No L badges signify a long wheelbase, but BMW only ships this variant to the U.S. It’s the same story with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Ah yes, the S-Class — traditional emperor among flagship sedans and the car every competitor tries (and usually fails) to beat. A new generation made its debut last year, buzzing with cutting-edge tech and bursting with luxurious details. The current 7 Series had a refresh in 2020, but it’s been around since 2016.
Admittedly, it was a touch ahead of its time back then, with an innovative construction deploying lightweight materials like carbon fiber and magnesium. Not that the finished product is noticeably light, but it allowed BMW to distribute weight as close to a perfect 50/50 front-to-rear as possible. Which contributes to the 7 Series feeling relatively athletic for a luxury sedan. Athleticism and great engines are BMW specialties.
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This class is far from a 2-horse race, though. There’s the excellent and stylish Audi A8 and the silently dependable Lexus LS. However, about the only rival to match the driver appeal of the 7 Series is probably the Porsche Panamera.
2022 BMW 7 series pricing
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the rear-drive 2022 740i is $86,800. Add the $995 destination charge, and we’re looking at $87,795. It’s another $3,000 for all-wheel drive.
At the dizzying end of the 2022 7 Series range — in terms of both performance and price — the mighty M760i xDrive comes in at $158,795. That’s nearly $15k more than the Alpina B7.
Which is the best 2022 7 Series to buy? Much of that depends on taste and budget, but the 750i xDrive (starting at just over $100k) is a popular model.
The 745e plug-in hybrid starts at around $97k. It has a special 8-year/80,000-mile warranty for its lithium-ion battery.
The Alpina B7 is available through BMW dealers and comes with a full factory warranty, even though it’s been tuned and groomed by the independent tuning house that is Alpina.
Let’s compare starting prices. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class is around $110k. The Audi A8 and Porsche
Panamera are similar to the 7 Series. The Lexus LS is about $10k below the BMW.
Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for their new 7 Series. The Lexus holds its value best, followed by the S-Class. Of the many 7 Series attributes, strong resale value is not one of them.
Driving the 2022 BMW 7 series
It might seem odd to endow a large luxury sedan with the ability to deliver driving thrills. But that’s a lot of what BMW is about.
The 740i’s 355-horsepower engine is the least powerful of the 2022 7 Series range, yet the inline-6 configuration is inherently smooth. Unless we were always on German autobahns with no speed limits, we’d be happy enough with this.
Sometimes it’s just good to know the power is there if required, like the 523-horsepower 750i, which can rush from standstill to 60 mph in a kind of crazy 3.5 seconds. That’s as fast as the Alpina B7 and even slightly quicker than the V12-powered M760i xDrive.
These top two models, however, are phenomenal in other ways as well. There’s nothing like the sound of a V12 serving up 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. And we have a particularly soft spot for the Alpina B7, how it seems to feel like a midsize sport sedan but with the accelerative power of a missile.
Naturally, there’s plenty of fine leather and smooth wood along with a few soft-touch plastics. The quality of materials, their assembly, and their layout are all top-notch. The multi-contour front seats are among the most comfortable and supportive found in any car. Standard-issue gesture control allows drivers to do things like turn up the music with a clockwise twirl of the hand. And this is just the business end of the 2022 7 Series.
At the businessman’s end are 44.4 inches of rear legroom, along with enhanced seating options that can massage, heat, or cool — just the thing after winning the Super Bowl or the NBA Championship. The 7 Series also offers a panoramic Sky Lounge roof with patterns of colored LEDs, plus the ability for rear occupants to move the front passenger seat as far forward as possible for maximum space.
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Trunk area in the non-hybrid models measures 18.2 cubic feet. For access, just wave a foot under the rear bumper.
No changes to the 2022 7 Series for this trip around the sun. Still, the attention-grabbing grille and the so-called hockey stick details on the lower flanks.
It’s the big guns that make the biggest splash. For example, the M760i xDrive with 20-inch alloy wheels and V12 badges on the rear pillars. The Alpina B7 comes with a 20-spoke alloy wheel design exclusive to this tuning house, and in a couple of special Alpina metallic colors: blue or green.
Luxury rear seating
Although the 7 Series is a hit from the driver’s perspective, let’s not forget that many owners desire extreme luxury in the back seats. The Luxury Rear Seating package adds heated/ventilated/massaging power-adjustable seats and heated armrests. Going even further, the Executive Lounge Seating package brings an entertainment system with a 7-inch tablet controller, plus a power-operated footrest.
Plug-in hybrid model
There’s a best-of-both-worlds aspect to the 745e xDrive. On the one hand, it can travel for 16 miles in pure electric mode and achieve the equivalent of 56 miles per gallon. On the other, a forceful 442 lb-ft of torque comes in at just 1,500 rpm for excellent acceleration — intensified by the traction of all-wheel drive. The battery reduces trunk space, but there’s still a useful 14.8 cubic feet.
Apart from all-wheel drive, the 740i (with rear-wheel drive) and 740i xDrive have pretty much the same standard equipment. This includes a self-leveling air suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, panoramic moonroof, powered rear window shade, quad-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, 12.3-inch digital driver information display, power-adjustable steering column, heated/20-way power-adjustable multi-contour front seats, soft-closing doors, and ambient cabin lighting.
The infotainment system is based around a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It features Wi-Fi, satellite radio, two USB ports, navigation, gesture control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, and a 464-watt/16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.
Advanced safety features include active blind-spot monitoring, a self-parking function, and a 360-degree camera system.
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The number of standard features in the least expensive new 7 Series models could easily satisfy most people. But luxury car buyers aren’t “most people.” As we mentioned earlier, the Remote Parking feature is now an individual option.
There’s also an Autobahn package bringing rear-wheel steering and a suspension system that reads the road and makes lightning-fast adjustments to suit. Plus a Driving Assistance Professional package for partially autonomous driving. Massaging front seats, heated rear seats, and a glorious 16-speaker/1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio are also on the options list.
Then there are the choices of drivetrains. It’s always cool to have a V8 in a luxury car, like the 750i xDrive. Even cooler to have a V12 — the M760i xDrive is one of the few 12-cylinder cars available these days. The Alpina B7 has its own sport-tuned air suspension.
Engine and transmission
Propelling the 2022 740i and 740i xDrive is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 developing 335 horsepower. The 740i has rear-wheel drive (RWD) as standard, the 740i xDrive — like the rest of the 2022 7 Series lineup — has all-wheel drive (AWD).
Another turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 is in the 745e xDrive plug-in hybrid model, joined by an electric motor for a combined output of 389 horsepower. Using just the motor and its lithium-ion battery, this model has a range of up to 16 miles.
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Twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engines are in both the 750i xDrive and the Alpina B7. In the former, it makes a perfectly wonderful 523 horsepower. In the latter, there’s a considerable 600 horsepower ready to be unleashed by the right foot.
The same amount of horsepower is generated in the M760i xDrive, but here it’s conjured up through a turbocharged 6.6-liter V12 and out-torques the B7 with 627 lb-ft.
All variants of the 2022 7 Series employ an 8-speed automatic transmission. And premium gasoline is recommended, even with the 745e plug-in hybrid.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (740i, 740i xDrive)
335 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
330 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (RWD), 20/27 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6/12-kWh synchronous electric motor (745e xDrive)
389 horsepower (total) @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
442 lb-ft (total) @ 1,500-3,500 rpm
EPA combined fuel economy: 22 mpg/56 MPGe (with 16 miles of electric-only range)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (750i xDrive)
523 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm
553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (Alpina B7)
600 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
590 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg
6.6-liter twin-turbocharged V12 (M760i xDrive)
600 horsepower @ 5,500-6500 rpm
627 lb-ft of torque @ 1,550-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg
This story originally ran on KBB.com.