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Saturday 3 December 2016
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Test Drive: 2016 BMW 750i xDrive Review

Test Drive: 2016 BMW 750i xDrive Review

I don’t think I have ever been intimidated by a car before, but this 2016 BMW 750i has my head spinning with all its technology.  Seriously, you have to study the owner’s manual just to operate the key fob! 

Going back, the first BMW 7-Series was built in 1977, and this 2016 is the sixth generation of its flagship sedan.

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Although this week I have the 750i with a 4.4-liter V8, it also comes in a six-cylinder called the 740i.  This 4.4-liter has twin-turbos that help it push out 445-horses.  It is mated to a silky-smooth shifting 8-speed automatic that adjusts using the navigation system to adapt to the road ahead.  My review car also has xDrive, which is BMW’s full time all-wheel drive system.

The exterior of the 750i is simply stunning. It has the signature two-piece Beemer grill that has active shutters that open under heavy acceleration for better airflow. Air is also inducted into vents right behind the front wheels, and you’ll notice the 20” alloy wheels that complete the side view.  The rear end is classic BMW with integrated dual exhaust. 

For 2016, the 7-Series was made lower to the ground and slightly wider. Underneath the beautiful sheet metal is new a carbon core construction that made the car lighter, and gets it from 0-to-60 in 4.3 seconds, which is lightning fast for a car this size.

I mentioned the key earlier, it is electronic and syncs with the car. From the key, I can check the status of the car, make sure it is locked, see how much fuel is left in the tank, and schedule when to start it in advance of driving off to make sure the cabin temperature is just right.

As you open the door, the level of luxury is immediately noticeable. Soft Nappa leather seats with extensive stitching wraps around you.  Hit the pushbutton start to reveal bright, colorful gauges and the largest heads-up display I have ever seen. It will tell you how fast you are going, along with the speed limit where you are.

For years, people complained that the i-Drive system was hard to navigate and was confusing to operate the different systems in the car. BMW has simplified it now with a huge 10.2” color touchscreen right in the center of the dash above the console. If you choose not to touch the screen, navigate from a round knob to the right of the center console. As crazy as it sounds, some features can be activated with just gestures in the air. 

For instance, circle your finger in the air to the right to turn the radio up, to the left to turn it down. If you want to enter an address in the navigation system, the aforementioned round knob can be used as a notepad with just your finger, and of course, anything you want to do can be done by voice commands.

The large screen features a host off apps and settings so you can truly personalize the 750i and make it fit just your style.  You can even heat the armrests on those cold mornings. Also from the center console, choose your driving dynamics by going between the boring Eco mode, to comfort, then sport, and finally sport plus. Each one creates a very different driving experience.

This is where the decisions get tough… do you drive this beast yourself or settle into the back seats which are heated, cooled, and will massage you?  I can make the case either way and not be wrong. The rear seats are adjustable for your ultimate comfort.  If you want a nap, just lean back against the soft, supple, pillowed headrests.

Here’s the cool part.  Reach into the rear center console and pick up a Samsung handheld tablet to operate everything in the car.  At the push of an app, change the radio or air conditioning, hit one app and power shades come up all around you, and the cover over the rear moon roof closes. You can turn on the dual rear seat entertainment screens, and since the entire interior is a Wi-Fi hotspot, stream your favorite Netflix movie or check your emails.

This particular car has $30,000 worth of options including active steering that corrects you if you stray out of your lane. It also has adaptive cruise control, an incredible surround-view front and rear camera.  It has dual-pane power sunroofs that emit light at night, a powerful Bowers and Wilkins sound system, night vision, and ambient air package, which allows you to choose a scent of your liking that is distributed through the air vents.  This week’s tester has the M Sport appearance package, everything else is included at no charge.

The interior cabin room in front and back, the headroom, and the trunk are massive.  Four very large or tall people can be riding in total comfort.

I have owned the S-Class Mercedes and an Audi A8 L, the top competitors to the 750i, but I have never experienced the level of performance and luxury this car has.

Fuel economy is actually good for a car this size with 445- horses. It is rated at 16 in town, 25 on the highway and it is actually doing slightly better.

Of course, all this luxury and technology comes with a hefty price tag of almost $128,500, but as the tag line goes, this truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine, at least for me.


  • What I liked most:  EVERYTHING, interior, exterior, technology, performance.
  • What I would change: Not. One. Thing.    
  • MSRP: Base price $97,400, as equipped $128,445.
  • Fuel Economy:  16 City/25 Highway, 19 Combined.
  • Fuel Tank: 20.6 gallons.
  • Dimensions:  206.2” long/74.8” wide/58.2” high.
  • Weight:  4610 Pounds.
  • Trailer Towing:  Not rated.
  • Miles When Tested:  2400 miles.
  • Final Assembly Point:  Dingolfing, Germany.
  • 2016 BMW 750i in a few words:   I finally found the Ultimate Driving Machine.
  • Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance and all factory maintenance.
  • Manufacturers website:  BMW
Photo Credit: BMW