Published on November 14th, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
BMW i7 Electric Luxury Sedan Test Drive Review
Has the BMW i7 got enough luxury and comfort to tickle a used Rolls Royce customer
This is a car that delivers a ‘sense of occasion’. It is not just another electric car or just another luxury car. It is much more.
In case you did not know this, BMW Group bought British luxury car maker Rolls Royce in July 1998 for USD66 million and using its manufacturing, distribution, engineering and technology know how, they transformed this small volume seller into its success story today.
Today, the battery powered Rolls Royce Spectre carries most of the BMW i7’s technology and luxury cabin features, despite their PR department’s remarks that Rolls Royce remains independent and completely high above any luxury BMW.
Meanwhile, it is well known fact that with the earlier Rolls Royce models under BMW’s ownership, some cabin features and technology was shared, like the iDrive system and chassis technology in the first generation Rolls Royce Ghost.
Let’s Size It Up
This is large sedan. Very large. Take it into any car park and you will fill in the lines side to side and the nose will peek out of the car park box by about 8 inches.
This BMW 7-Series has grown by 5.1 inches in length to 212.2, by 1.9 inches in width to 76.8, and by 2 inches in height to 60.8. Its wheelbase is now 0.2 inches longer at 126.6, which also helps bring about a further improvement in seating comfort in the rear.
The headroom in the interior of the new BMW 7-Series has also been noticeably improved. The boot of this i7 provides 11.4 cu ft of luggage space.
This means, best to be chauffer driven as mall and street parking will be almost impossible as the passengers will not be able to get in or out of the car if there is another car parked next to this i7.
What About The Looks
Well, it is a dignified looking vehicle and definitely a BMW from the nose to the rear. With the latest BMW Iconic Glow crystal headlights and the strikingly illuminated kidney grille frame it is easily noticed even in a traffic jam.
What About The Cabin
From the moment the automotive opening doors greet you, there is a huge sense of occasion inside this i7. The combination of high quality leather and surface materials to the curved infotainment and driver information screen, this i7 delivers in all areas. The driver gets a great seating position and a visual feast. The fully digital screen grouping consists of a 12.3-inch information display behind steering wheel and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches.
The steering wheel and the gear selector on the centre console also have a new design. And the BMW Interation Bar makes its debut here as a new generation operation and design element. This functional unit, which boasts highly effective backlighting, extends across the full width of the instrument panel and well into the door panel trim. Lets not forget the Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound System that comes as standard and delivers a truly immersive acoustic experience.
The rear passengers are well pampered and they have more than just great rear seat comfort. There is also a cinematic experience for the rear passengers as BMW cabin designers have included a roof mounted folding 31.3” Theatre Screen and automatic rear blinds to provide a cosy, private and comfortable cocoon for taking in long journeys.
We must add that another luxury feature of this new BMW is the automatic doors. To open or close the front and rear doors, passengers simply touch the handles set flush into the body or the buttons in the BMW Interaction Bar at the front of the cabin or the rear door trim. The opening and closing sequence can also be activated using the key fob.
For you part of the world, it might not be used as often as most luxury travel is done via air and maybe in with a large luxury MPV instead.
Still, getting the morning news to the office and the stock market report in the afternoon on the way to the golf club will be very enjoyable.
What About The Drive
Well, it’s a BMW and without a doubt they have been delivering luxury sedans long enough to keep providing the best. This is why we mentioned the association with Rolls Royce in the second paragraph. Take a ‘ride’ in this i7 and then jump into the back of any modern Rolls Royce and we are quite sure the experience will be almost similar. Meanwhile, this BMW i7 electric delivers a possible 615 kilometers of emission free driving and is price at just RM729,800.
If you prefer having a petrol powered engine then the hybrid M Sport 7-Series is priced at RM699,800.
This is the next best vehicle to a Rolls Royce at about 25 percent of the price. Yes, it will not deliver the same prestige and envious looks but there are enough people to look at you entering and exiting this luxury electric sedan.
Then there is the most obvious rival, the Mercedes EQS 500 4Matic electric luxury sedan which is priced at RM648,888 and delivers a possible 696 kilometers of emission free driving range and has a luxurious cabin to compete head to head with this i7. It does get stares when gliding along the road and provides that sense of occasion when you get inside. So, it is your personal preference in badge snobbery and overall looks that will tickle your purchase decision.
By the way, if you need to get your company accountants approval to upgrade to this i7, you can share with them the ‘Straight Line Financing Plan’ from BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia, where this All-Electric BMW i7 xDrive 60 can be yours with a monthly instalment plan starting from RM8,401.00 (based on estimates of an 80 percent loan on a seven-year tenure).
BMW i7 xDrive 60 EV Specification
Rated Output: 544hp
Rated Torque: 745Nm
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 4.7 sec
Top speed: 240km/h
Electric. Range (WLTP): 630km
AC charging time 0%-100% SOC (11kW): 1 hour 38 minutes Wallbox
DC charging time 10%-80% SOC: 50 minutes