It’s a big car with a big cabin that’s nearly impervious to any sound or feeling that would indicate there’s a world outside the windows. “Bank vault-quiet” is an overused descriptor, but from one of the cars that coined that cliche, it’s true here. You’d need to drive over an open manhole to feel something resembling a sharp impact. The adaptive suspension possesses a nearly impeccable ability to absorb and separate the regular road rash of daily life from the passengers.
The seats are exceptionally comfortable, with loads of adjustability and quick heating and cooling, although our rear passengers weren’t as impressed with the massage function. This experience is world-class luxury cruising all day.
The wide door openings, low side sills and massive rear legroom make entering and exiting the 7 Series as easy as moving from the living room sofa. A broad range of seat adjustments and a power-telescoping steering wheel help dial in a comfortable driving position that allows a commanding forward view. The bulky rear pillars restrict the view out the back, although there’s enough side glass to inform safe lane changes. The excellent backup camera also takes the edge off.
The 7 Series is listed as a five-passenger sedan, but its middle seat isn’t really suited to adults. It’s useful in a pinch but don’t count on it, especially for an adult. Control buttons, switches and knobs are still among the best and most intuitive in the business.
This new 7 Series received subtle upgrades from the former model, but its tech and driver assistance features represent its largest leap. The latest voice assistant, summoned by a “Hey, BMW” wake-up phrase, can set navigation points and control cabin temps in a conversational style. And the new gauge cluster boasts sharp graphics and customizable data screens, such as inset navigation display, freeing up the center console display for other duties. The optional Bowers & Wilkins system is exceptional and probably the most affordable way to own a Bowers & Wilkins system.
The semi-automated driving features are a boon for commuters, although the lane keeping assist makes pretty aggressive steering corrections even when you are paying attention.