car tests

Review – BMW i7 (2023): The ultimate premium electric limousine?

May 28, 2023

For a change, we start our BMW i7 review not in the front, but rather in the back. After all, that’s the place you most want to sit in this limousine, mainly because of the huge amount of legroom, the silky smooth and extensively adjustable seats as well as the impressive BMW Theatre Screen. With it, you transform the i7 into a full-fledged home theater in the blink of an eye.

The 31.3-inch touchscreen has 8K resolution and runs on Amazon Fire TV. That means you can download various apps, for example, to watch live sports but also to watch series through your favorite streaming service. Through the HDMI port, it is also possible to connect a game console or a Chromecast to the screen. Thanks to the sublime quality of the screen and the superb sound from the 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, the ride in the back of the i7 really can’t last long enough. Indeed, during the testing period at home, yours truly did sit in the back of the i7 to watch a movie.

BMW i7 Review – AutoRAI TV

Watch first, then read on? Check out our video review of the BMW i7 on YouTube!

Wellness on wheels

The huge BMW Theatre Screen draws a lot of attention to itself, but it would be a shame to then forget all the other luxuries in the BMW i7’s interior. We stay in the back for a while, where as a passenger you are bathed in a sea of Nappa leather, Alcantara and high-pile carpet. In both doors are two smaller touchscreens that allow you to control various things in the interior. Climate control, of course, but also the rear sunshades, seat position, seat ventilation and heating, and seat massage can be activated via the touch screens. The rear right passenger benefits from a lounge seat where you can lie with your legs stretched out. Even people nearly two meters tall can lie there comfortably.

A party in the front as well

In prewar cars, it was still sometimes the case that the rear passengers traveled in extremely luxurious surroundings, but the driver sat outside in the cold. Fortunately, this is not the case in the i7, as “luxury” is also the magic word in the front of the top limousine. This is primarily a sleek, modern form of luxury. Immediately catching the eye is the luminous crystal trim, the BMW Interaction Bar. Hidden in this light bar are a number of controls. On either side of the dashboard, for example, are buttons that allow you to electrically open and close the doors, while in the center are some controls for climate control. Also noticeable is that the BMW i7 has no visible air vents at all. In fact, these are incorporated behind the Interaction Bar.

The two large curved screens, which look like one, run the now familiar iDrive 8. Operating the interface takes some getting used to, but at least you have a choice of two control options: the traditional iDrive buttons on the center console or the touchscreen. After a while, you get used to it and can read and write with it. Some more physical buttons, for example for seat climate control and climate control, would have been welcome on the one hand, but on the other hand the automatic function works so well that the manual controls hardly need to be consulted.

V12 performance, but electric

Start driving the i7 and you whiz away in silence, gently accompanied in the background by the sounds that composer Hans Zimmer composed for BMW. With 544 hp and 745 Nm of torque, you actually always have more than enough power. Moreover, these values are comparable to the V12 of the previous generation BMW M760Li. The difference, however, is that that V12 had to build up power first when you accelerated, while all the power of this electric powertrain is instantaneous. While a V12 is obviously an impressive piece of engineering, the quiet electric powertrain really raises the bar quite a bit in terms of luxury and comfort. If desired, the i7 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, but you never actually do that in practice. Above all, this car invites very quiet driving.

You also notice the latter in the comfort of the i7. Whereas the BMW 7 Series always had a sporty edge, that has completely disappeared in the i7. The 5.4-meter-long and over 2,700-kilogram sedan does stay nicely balanced when you throw it into a corner, thanks to air suspension all around, all-wheel steering and all sorts of clever technology in the suspension, but it still feels somewhat unnatural. The car is much more at ease when you adopt the driving style of a private driver: calm, controlled and fluid.

Suitable for longer trips

In the bottom of this BMW i7 xDrive60 lies a battery pack with a net capacity of 101.7 kWh. This allows the top electric limousine to achieve a range of between 591 and 625 kilometers according to the WLTP test cycle. In practice, however, you are more likely to end up with about 500 kilometers. Thanks to the maximum fast-charging capacity of 195 kW, the battery can be recharged from 10 percent to 80 percent in 34 minutes, making the i7 also very suitable for longer trips.

BMW i7 prices

Quanta costa, such an i7? In the case of our test car, the price comes to almost two tons, 198,872 euros to be exact. The i7 is available from around 145,000 euros, so that means the test car comes with over 50 grand in options. A few things stand out, such as the Individual interior (11,495 euros), the Bowers & Wilkins audio system (6,193 euros), the Executive Lounge in the rear with the BMW Theatre Screen (6,730 euros) and the M Sport package (7,994 euros). They are quite bizarre amounts, but then you have all the luxuries your heart could desire.

Conclusion BMW i7 review: the best top electric limousine

After this review of the BMW i7, we can really only come to one conclusion: this is the best premium electric limousine currently on the market. Actually, the Mercedes-Benz EQS is currently the only competitor, but that car offers much less luxury than the i7, especially in the rear. In short, BMW is setting the bar pretty high in this segment when it comes to all-electric models. The looks obviously have to be your thing, but if you can look around that, you can’t really ignore the i7.