The 7-Series is BMW's flagship car. It's a big, comfortable luxury cruiser designed for
gangsters looking for an upmarket getaway vehicle executives who want to be driven, but who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty on the steering wheel.
We went hands on with the BMW 730Ld SE long wheel-base version with the optional rear-seat entertainment system, and options pushing its total price to £60,645.
The BMW 730Ld SE is insanely comfortable. Ease yourself into the front or rear seats and you'll feel as if you've just climbed into an enormous armchair rather than the cabin of a motor vehicle. All its seats -- and this includes those at the rear -- recline, and if you're lucky enough to be at the front and have splashed out on the massaging option, they'll even give you a good rubdown as you make your journey.
Those who expect the 7-Series's ride to be silky smooth may be a tad disappointed. It's pleasant, don't get us wrong -- engage the 'comfort' setting on the car's suspension and bumps and potholes in the road seem to scramble out of your path. It's not, however, quite as refined a ride as you'll get inside a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ride quality feels almost digital in nature. It's occasionally quite fidgety and lacks the supple, organic, almost analogue feel you'd get in an S-Class.
Handling and performance
The 7-Series is slightly more impressive from a handling and performance perspective. The car is absolutely enormous, particularly in this long wheelbase guise, but ask your chauffeur to get a move on and it acquits itself well in the turns, staying remarkably level across twisty routes. It's no fun on a track -- its 6, 5, 3 and 1 series brothers are infinitely more chuckable on a circuit -- but it doesn't totally embarrass itself when shown a corner.
Straight line performance is muscular. The three-litre diesel engine in the 730Ld cranks out 245bhp, which may not sound like much, but it's enough to get this beast from a standstill to 62mph in a thoroughly respectable 7.2 seconds. The only issue is that it doesn't feel very fast. One of the few ways you can tell you're doing the car's 153mph top speed and not the urban speed limit is that there may be slightly more wind noise and pedestrians smeared across your windscreen than usual.
Fab sat nav
The 7-Series has a list of technology as long as an orangutan's arm. The majority of the car's cabin tech is controlled via BMW's ConnectedDrive system, which incorporates an eight-inch widescreen display mounted on the dash, a circular knob-cum-joystick on the centre console and and more lines of code than it took to launch the first space shuttle.