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The BMW 7 Series has received a welcome facelift with improvements in looks, power and infotainment features.

04 Oct 2019


When it comes to facelifts, we seldom see cars that look vastly different from the ones that came before.

But here, the 7 Series has gotten one, or Life Cycle Impulse as BMW calls it. The visual changes are significant enough that it looks like a whole new model, even if it's still based on the previous 7 Series.

The facelifted BMW 7 Series (left) brings about big visual changes compared to the pre-facelift model (right)

That said, it is a timely update for the 7 Series, because competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A8L have either received facelifts or are completely new models.

Question is: Will the 7 Series be good enough to hold its own against its established and newer competitors?

Big changes outside

The most visible differences are on the 7er's sheet metal. Let's start off with the grille. It is big - up to 40% larger and 50mm taller than the previous model.

If you look carefully, you'll notice that the kidney grille is now a single, complete piece

Surprisingly, despite the size of the grille, the 7 Series as a whole looks much slimmer and athletic compared to before. Further accentuating this characteristic are the slimmer head and taillights, the latter being 35mm slimmer.

Small changes inside

Inside, those familiar with the 7 Series might find it looking pretty similar. It doesn't sport the new gear selectors we've seen in the X7, or the neater centre console buttons, for example.

Still, it is only till you meddle around a little more that you'll notice the subtle changes.

Switchgear in the cabin feels very similar to the 7 Series that came before

The iDrive infotainment system is now running BMW's latest Operating System 7.0, and it also sports a crisp 10.25-inch Live Cockpit digital display, instead of the semi-digital dials of before. Calling out "Hey BMW" will also bring out the car's Personal Assistant, a feature that's also found in the 3 Series.

Despite minimal changes, the 7 Series still offers a well-appointed interior befitting of its flagship sedan status. But you can't help to feel that it does come across as a little dated when compared to the brand's other flagship offerings like the X7 and the 8 Series Coupe.

More power is better

The next improvement happens under the hood. The 740Li gets a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six that now pushes out about 14 more horses, totalling the power output to 355bhp and 450Nm of torque.

Yes, the 7 Series is reasonably brisk, and getting up to speed is effortless. It rides impressively well, too, without being floaty and devoid of any feel. More importantly, it is how easy it is to put this big luxury sedan on the road.

In fact, its not harder to drive than, say, a 5 Series, thanks to the clear and wide view that the 7 Series offers the driver. 

The 3.0-litre turbocharged powerplant offers the 740Li a decent century sprint time of 5.8 seconds

Plus, it has a full suite of safety assistance features like Lane Keep Assist and Blind Spot Monitoring, plus a 360-degree camera for driving through tight areas. Thus, there's no reason to be overwhelmed driving a big car like the 7 Series.

You only notice the sizeable footprint when you've parked the car. The nose of car tends to stick out of standard size parking lots, with the big kidney grille taking precedence.

The 7 Series isn't a hard car to pilot despite its size, and feels nimble and easy to place even in tight spaces

Still top-of-the-line

Changes however big or small, we can agree that the 7 Series is now fresher than before. It still offers the same luxurious experience for those who can afford its $469,888 (as of 3 October 2019) asking price as it did before, too.

You could compare this to the facelifted S-Class. The Merc sported updates that mainly related to driver assist systems and infotainment. It is glitzy and glamorous on the inside, but it effectively looks the same as it did back in 2014.

If you're looking for a large luxury sedan that is both comfortable and nice to drive, the 7 Series is it

The Audi A8L, on the other hand, may be new, but it doesn't have the same visual presence like the 7 Series.

And that is why we reckon the BMW trumps its competitors in a segment where first impression counts the most.

In short, if you want a large luxury sedan with a big impact, the 7 Series could well be it. It has the looks and the luxury that will punch its way through the competition.
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Car Information

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BMW 7 Series 740Li Pure Excellence (A)
Rate it

Price

: $470,888

Engine Type

:

6-cylinder in-line TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

2998cc

Horsepower

:

250kW (335 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

450 Nm / 5200 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Steptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

5.6sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

12.7 km/L

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