June 11, 2015
BMW has big plans for 2016. Many unveilings and reveals, but the biggest change is the new generation of 7 series. The old BMW 7 series is a masterpiece, so this might be an excellent chance to get one of last generation’s offering for a steal. I will admit, I went in as a secret shopper, and was totally shut down when it came to actually driving it. Greg, my salesperson, said that no one is allowed to test drive their premier luxury sedans. Maybe I can go back as a journalist and try it. It should be mentioned, BMW doesn’t usually exaggerate, and their motto is the ultimate driving machine… and I am inclined to believe them. The M badge only appears on pure magic… and they have more generations than Hogwarts. It is true, I am a huge BMW fan, but my opinion on them is not biased. The Audi logo is branded on my heart. I went to my local BMW dealership with the expressed intent of learning more about the 7 series under the guise of shopping for my parents. That’s a big part of the car’s appeal, it is very mature. The big Bimmer knows it’s place, it isn’t on kids’ bedroom walls, it is on their parents’ bucket list. The instrument options are unreal. So many options, I would never list them all. The build a car option is great for you to get an idea of the packages beforehand. The only thing I would really like to add to the base model are the ventilated seats, because in a city like Houston, cooled seats are worth their weight as a giant diamond. However, to add the seats to the 7 series, my salesman Greg, told me I would have to add the whole $3700 Bang and Olufsen sound system. Which, other than the upgraded speakers has nothing to do with sound. The package includes, ventilated multi-contour seats, a holographic HUD, and a power tailgate. All of those I'm sure are welcome additions, but when I want only one thing, and the build your own BMW page does not let me add that package without classifying the car as an M sport edition, it becomes annoying. This by the way cost $4000 and adds run-flat tires, 19 inch rims, the aforementioned seats, top and side cameras, the HUD, leather for the instrument panel, and soft close doors. Thankfully, the sound system is no longer necessary, though, it automatically added $4600 paddle shifters with an aerodynamic package on to my bill. Those were easily removed, but $4000 just for ventilated seats is still a bit much, at less than 80,000, that is more than 5% of the car. The one premium option I really like for my mother, is an infrared camera. That safety feature is $2300, which is not a bargain, but it would open up a whole new world for my mom. She has never been able to drive at night, because she has night blindness. It is so bad, that in the winter she actually can’t even make it all the way home from work, so she stays with my aunt. Not necessarily a BMW 7 series, but the IR camera might be my mom’s last chance for night driving. The luxury sedan is also roomier than maybe 40 percent of people’s homes around the world. The smallest model, the 740, is absolutely enormous. There is enough room for Shaq and Charles Barkley to get in a drunken fight in the back seat. Then, when they eventually pass out there is enough room in the trunk for at least one if not both. Eccentric storage space is peppered all over the car. below the rear AC controls is a small cubby for what seems perfect for a Klondike bar. There is another above the glove box, perfect for half a box of monopoly. On the left side of the steering wheel there is another small glovebox style cubby for the driver. The center console is fantastic for phones, it has both AUX and USB ports next to a phone cradle, though the split doors are a little awkward as you have to reach over them. The interior is very BMW, premium materials all over creating a unique blend of elegance and efficacy. The cup holders are works of art, they are flush with the wood panelling until pressure is exerted on the right spot, though a cup might be in the way of the AC panel. The seats can be adjusted in every direction until perfection is attained, though that is not exclusive to the seats. Anything inside the BMW can be made perfect with a little tinkering. The only problem the luxury sedan has to do with gas mileage. The Hybrid gets you only a few more MPG for thousands more. The diesel can get you 27 miles to the gallon, which is nice but the A8 TDI does 32 for about the same price, and frankly is more aesthetically pleasing. But which car you drive home in is a matter of taste, one if for driving and the other for admiring. The last generation 7 series, has classic luxury charm; a great engine, good old leather and wood interior, high end gadgets and a chance to be mistaken for a celebrity.