• 2020 BMW 750i - Driven

    The refreshed 7 Series was unveiled in mid-2018
  • And now we got the chance to get behind the wheel of the 750i version
  • The refreshed 7 Series received updated on both exterior and interior, but most importantly offers a little bit more power
  • Just by looking at the profile you can easily identify the 750i as a 7 Series, but there are a few elements that changed
  • The 750i now comes standard with 19-inch wheels
  • But the biggest update was made up front, where the grille is 40% larger than before
  • At the rear the taillights are 1.4 inches slimmer than before, and the lower bumper was also updated
  • For the 750i, the biggest change was made under the hood
  • It gets a new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with an output of 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque
  • That's an extra 80 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to the old model
  • With the added power, the 750i is of course a lot faster: 0 to 60 mph is now made in 3.9 seconds!
  • While top speed remains of course at 155 mph!
  • The interior received a series of updates too, but nothing major
  • It features the same three-layer dashboard
  • With an updated steering wheel design - the chrome inserts on the horizontal spokes now extending into the lower spoke
  • The instrument cluster was also update to keep up with the current models
  • So, you will get the same 12.3-inch that we have seen in the 8 Series
  • The door panels and the seats have the same design, but they offer Dakota leather as standard
  • The passenger will enjoy the next level of comfort
  • With 41.1 inches of front legroom and 44.4 inches of rear legroom
  • The rear seats benefit from BMW’s Rear Executive Lounge Seating package
  • That allows the passenger to use the massage function, active seat ventilation, and use the rear-seat entertainment system
  • To be more precise, we are talking about two 10-inch full-HD displays
  • Combined with a Blu-ray player and headsets
  • Of course all these com with a price, as the 750i is priced from $102,650

Is the BMW 7 Series better than the new 8 Series? We set out to find out

Prior to 2020, the BMW 7 Series was somewhat lacking when compared to models like the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class. For 2020, however, BMW put the 7 Series through an extensive facelift that included a revised exterior look, fresh technology, and updated powertrains – most of which were all inspired by the new BMW 8 Series. With a new V-8 engine being offered in the 750i trim, it was time to see what the 7 Series can offer, and we did exactly that. This is our experience with the BMW 750i and what we thought after spending a whole week with one of BMW’s most expensive models.

BMW 7 Series Driving Impressions

  • Fast but loose in corners
  • Comfortable for 4
  • Very quiet cabin
  • Size can make parking difficult
  • Smooth transmission
  • Maintaining legal speed takes practice
  • Great interior materials
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887704

The very first thing we noticed about the BMW 750i was the easy ingress and egress, things that can be attributed to the low side sills and wide door openings. In the rear, there’s ample legroom, which facilitates entering the rear with ease as well. The driver’s seat offers a number of adjustments that make it impossible not to find the right position with you, which is also assisted by the telescoping steering wheel. It took us no time at all to find a commanding view of the road ahead. Front passengers, in general, have plenty of space, and forward visibility is good, but the bulky C-pillars do hamper rear visibility a bit. We found that the backup camera helped remedy most of this issue, however, there’s still an ugly little blindspot to compete with when changing lanes.

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887716

Outside of this, simply driving the 2020 7 Series is dreamy. The cabin is so quiet that it’s easy to forget there’s a world circling around you, and the adaptive suspension system was so good that we actually forgot that Florida doesn’t have the best roads in the country. Most normal road imperfections are swallowed up at the damper level and rarely make it into the cabin. We’re convinced that you would have to nail a speed bump or open hole to actually feel a sharp impact of any kind. The overall comfort of the seats really helps here, the front heating and cooling functions work amazing, but we’d avoid using the massage function on long drives – it can be almost too relaxing. Waiting for the wife to come out of the mall, however, feels like the perfect time to take advantage of that. I certainly did.

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887828
It gets a new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with an output of 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque

Power, straight-line performance, braking, shifting – these all get an A+ in our book. That 4.4-liter V-8 engine pumps out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, and you can feel every single bit of it. Put the hammer down from a stop, and there’s practically zero hesitation, and we managed getting to 60 mph in just under 3.8 seconds (more than a second faster than BMW’s advertised 3.9-second time.) As a car that tiptoes on the line between luxury and ultra-luxury, you don’t expect so much capability, but the 750i is almost hard to drive at simple highway speeds – at least until you get used to it, anyway. Pushing beyond the speed limit is, literally, effortless, and if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself staring at triple-digit speeds by accident. It’s actually a dirty shame that the car will never be used to its full potential on American roadways.

Gear changes were seamless and unnoticeable, and steering feels perfectly weight at speed. Low-speed steering is just as impressive, and it seems as if BMW has nailed the tuning for low-speed maneuvers – a major plus when trying to park a sedan this large in crowded parking lots. The only real downside we found in driving the 2020 BMW 7 Series was handling. Of course, this is meant to be a luxury car and not a sports car, so it’s not that surprising, but there is an alarming amount of body roll. It will turn corners quickly but feels very loose in doing so. It never seems to lose stability, maybe helped by its 4,722-pound curb weight, but it certainly won’t straighten corners with the best of them.

BMW 750i Performance and Specifications

  • 4.4-liter V-8
  • 523 Horsepower
  • 553 LB-FT
  • Thirsty - avg 20 mpg
  • Standard AWD
  • 60 mph in 3.9 sec
  • 155 mph top speed
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887829
For the 750i, the biggest change was made under the hood

The BMW 750i is two steps up from the entry 740i and one step up from the 740i xDrive, since it is only offered in all-wheel-drive configuration. By going with the 750i, you’ll also find a pure powerhouse under the hood – one that displaces 4.4-liters and pumps out 523 horsepower to go with 553 pound-feet of torque. Make no mistake; there is ample power and torque here. The smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.

As we mentioned in our driving impressions above, the 750i is amazing in a straight line. It’ll break the 60-mph barrier in at least 3.9 seconds (we managed to do it in just under 3.8), which is significantly better than the competition.

2020 BMW 750i specifications
Engine 4.4-Liter V-8
Transmission 8AT
Horsepower 523 HP
Torque 553 LB-FT
Driveline AWD
Fuel Gasoline, Premium
Fuel Economy 17/25/20
Suspension Multi-link Front and Rear
Steering Electric
Front Tire Size 245/45R19
Rear Tire Size 275/40R19
0-60 MPH 3.9 Sec
Top Speed 155 MPH

Is the BMW 7 Series Faster Than the Audi A7 or Mercedes S-Class

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887715

The BMW 7 Series is more powerful and faster than the Audi A8 and Mercedes S-Class. Where the BMW 750i can make it to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, the Audi A8 60 TFSI will make the same sprint in 4.5 seconds. The Mercedes S560 comes in last at 4.6 seconds. Top speed for the 750i is limited to 155 mph, equal to that of the S660 but more than the A8’s 130 mph limited top speed.

Is the BMW 7 Series All-Wheel Drive?

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887774

The BMW 7 Series is, dominantly, an all-wheel-drive vehicle with most trim levels, including the 750i, 745e, and M760i, all being sold exclusively with xDrive AWD. The Alpina B7 is also sold as an AWD vehicle only. If you want a rear-wheel-drive 7 Series, your only option is the entry-level 740i, which can also be had with xDrive if you wish.

BMW 7 Series Interior Design

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887820
The instrument cluster was also update to keep up with the current models

The interior of the 2020 7 Series didn’t change much compared to previous years. Updates for 2020 include updated materials and slightly better fit and finish. The instrument cluster behind the new steering wheel is new and all-digital, while the 10-inch infotainment display features updated software. There is now Amazon Alex and Apple CarPlay capability to go with gesture control, HUD, and Bluetooth support.

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887735

As far as rear passengers are concerned, they might end up being happier than anyone that sits in the front. The rear seat is admirably comfortable, but it’s also deceiving. BMW claims that the 7 Series offers seating for 5, but to be honest, going beyond four is just a little uncomfortable. You can fit three in the rear in a jam, but limited rear passengers to 2 will be appreciated by all. Legroom is downright ridiculous back here, and higher trim levels even have a futuristic touchscreen console in the center armrest for seat function controls.

2020 BMW 750i interior dimensions
Front Headroom 39.9
Front Shoulder Room 59.2
Front Leg Room 41.4
Rear Head Room 38.9
Rear Shoulder Room 57.7
Rear Leg Room 44.4

Apply CarPlay Functionality Issues

Previous BMW models experienced some issues with Apple CarPlay that included freezing and improper operation. We only spent a week with the updated, 2020 7 Series, but it appears as if these issues have been corrected.

What is the BMW Cold Weather Package?

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887704

BMW’s cold weather package is generally the same across all models in the lineup and includes:

  • Heated front seats
  • Heated Armrests
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Front and Rear Heated Seats
  • Remote Engine Start (via the key Fob or BMW Connected App)

BMW’s Cold Weather Package Costs $750 and is definitely not something you want to pass up if you live in a colder climate. On a side note, it can also be helpful if you live in a hot climate as the remote start function can just as easily be used to cool the car on hot summer days.

2020 BMW 7 Series Exterior Design

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887831
But the biggest update was made up front, where the grille is 40% larger than before

The BMW 7 Series was updated quite drastically for 2020, and a big part of that upgrade (figuratively and literally) includes that outrageously large grille on the nose. We don’t know why BMW won’t ditch the whole “bigger grilles are better” idea, but it’s certainly getting old at this point. We thought that, perhaps, the big grille would grow on us over the week, but it did not. It doesn’t help, mind you, that the headlights are now smaller, which really offsets the whole front end. By themselves, the headlights look great. Next to the grille, things are just awkward.

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887830
At the rear the taillights are 1.4 inches slimmer than before, and the lower bumper was also updated

The rear end of the 7 Series also changed for 2020, and we’re glad that it did. From 2020 onward, the 7 Series has a light bar that links both taillights together. The taillights were also reshaped and are a little sleeker, but still feel somewhat old for such a modern and luxurious car. The chrome strip isn’t even too much since the only other chrome back here are the subtle bits on the exhaust outlets. That said, the rear end is also a little too bland for our taste. It feels like the lower half was designed as an afterthought, and the fact that the body line is identical to that on the front fascia just doesn’t rub us the right way.

How Big is the BMW 7 Series?

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887834
The refreshed 7 Series received updated on both exterior and interior, but most importantly offers a little bit more power

In terms of large, luxury sedans, the BMW 7 Series ranks up there in terms of size. At 207.4-inches longer, it’s longer than the Mercedes S-Class, but more than an inch shorter than the Audi A8. The 7 Series is also 74.9-inches wide and 58.2 inches tall. And, despite the fact that it’s shorter than the Audi A8, the BMW 7 Series dominates in terms of wheelbase at 126.4 inches – more than three inches longer. That wheelbase also beats out the S-Class by nearly 2 inches as well, something that compliments slightly better driving dynamics at speed.

In terms of garage parking, don’t even think about storing this baby in a single-car garage. Of course, if you have 7 Series money, it’s doubtful you have a single-car garage anyway, but even two-car garages can come up short, so be sure to check the depth of your garage, at the very least, before signing paperwork on a new 7 Series. With a six-figure price tag, it’s not a vehicle you want to leave sitting out in the elements.

2020 BMW 750i exterior dimensions
Length 207.4
Width 74.9
Height 58.2
Wheelbase 126.4
Ground Clearance TBA
Front Track 63.4
Rear Track 64.6

2020 BMW 7 Series Color Options

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887825
While top speed remains of course at 155 mph!

The BMW 7 Series is offered with a long list of exterior color options to choose from. Free non-metallic colors include just Alpine White and Jet Black. Free metallic colors, on the other hand, are extensive:

BMW 7 Series Color Options
Carbon Black Metallic Mineral While Metallic
Black Sapphire Metallic Royal Burgundy Red Metallic
Cashmere Silver Metallic Arctic Grey Metallic
Glacier Silver Metallic Donington Grey Metallic
Imperial Blue Metallic Bernina Grey Amber Effect
Dark Graphite Metallic

There are also three colors available that come at an added cost of $1,950:

  • Dravit Grey Metallic
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic
  • Azurite Black II Metallic

BMW lists both Dravit Grey and Tanzanite Blue II as BMW individual colors with the warning that selecting either could increase your wait time by as much as ten weeks after a dealer confirms your order due to the extensive process of mixing and applying special colors. The Azurite Black II Metallic isn’t listed as a BMW Individual color despite the fact that it’s priced the same.

BMW 7 Series vs. Audi A8 vs. Mercedes S-Class

Which is Better, the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class?

left right

The Mercedes S-Class is a hardcore competitor in the large luxury sedan segment and, despite the fact that it’s actually six years old as of 2020, there are parts of it that feel more modern than the 2020 7 Series. It was last updated for the 2018 model year and, while it does exude a sense of elegance on the outside, it also has a little too much sports\AMG DNA. The lower part of the front fascia, for example, just doesn’t work on a car that’s supposed to be luxurious. The same can be said for the inside where a flat-bottom steering wheel – one that looks like it was jerked straight of AMG’s production line – gives a confusing but sporty ambiance to the cabin.

2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class High Resolution Interior
- image 713873

The technology in the current S-Class feels a little more modern to us than that of the 7 Series. It features hand-down (or hand-up, in this case?) tech that was introduced in the E-Class, so it has the digital instrument cluster and MBUX infotainment that appears as one piece. It could be the simple wide mounting here that makes the S-Class feel more interesting and modern.

left right

Since we drove the BMW 750i, we’ll talk about the Mercedes S560 here. It is powered by a 4.0-liter V-8 that really feels the lack of displacement compared to BMW’s 4.4-liter, as it has just 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. With a deficit of 60 horsepower and 37 pound-feet, the S560 isn’t nearly as fast, either. It needs an extra 0.7-seconds to reach 60 mph (4.6-seconds compared to 3.9 seconds), but it does top out at 155 mph. And, this raises the question of which is better – the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class. The S-Class, in S560 form, has an MSRP of $104,450, while the BMW commands $102,650. So, it’s just a hair more expensive, and it isn’t as fast, either. But, we’re talking about luxury cars, not sports cars and, honestly, when it boils down to comfort a luxury, the S-Class might just take the cake here.

BMW 750i vs Mercedes S560
BMW 750i Mercedes S560
Engine 4.4-Liter V-8 4.0-Liter V-8
Transmission 8AT 9AT
Horsepower 523 HP 463 HP
Torque 553 LB-FT 516 LB-FT
Driveline AWD RWD
Fuel Gasoline, Premium Gasoline, Premium
Fuel Economy 17/25/20 17/26/20
Suspension Multi-link Front and Rear Multi-Link Front and Rear
Steering Electric Electric
Front Tire Size 245/45R19 245/45R19
Rear Tire Size 275/40R19 275/40R19
0-60 MPH 3.9 Sec 4.6 Sec
Top Speed 155 MPH 155 MPH
Price $102,650 $104,450

Is the Audi A8 Better Than the BMW 7 Series

left right

Thanks to the BMW 7 Series’ big grille and the Mercedes S-Class’ identity crisis, the Audi A8 is actually a good option if you want something that really looks the part of a luxury sedan. Of course, you should know that it pretty much looks like a larger version of every other Audi sedan, but the thin and wide grille is attractive, and there aren’t any hints that it wants to be a sports car. It’s also void of any extreme design cues, so it’s toned down and fairly attractive all of the way around. It’s the longest of the bunch too and is wider if you don’t count the mirrors on the Mercedes S-Class.

2018 Audi A8 High Resolution Interior
- image 722781

The interior of the A8 also exudes a keen sense of luxury without trying to confuse you about what you’re driving. It has a two-spoke steering wheel that screams luxury and three digital displays – the instrument cluster, infotainment system, and lower control center. For an Audi, the materials are top-notch and you’ll struggle to find better fit and finish. The thing is, however, that the Audi is also just as toned down on the inside as it is the outside – there’s not a lot of over-exuberant extras here – just functional luxury through and through.

left right

The Audi A8 is the least powerful of the bunch, with its 4.0-liter V-8 churning out just 453 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque (we’re talking about the A8 60 TFSI, by the way.) With that kind of power, the A8 will get you to 60 mph in 4.5-seconds (at least 0.6-seconds slower than the 7 Series), and it is electronically limited to just 130 mph. That sounds kind of like a bum deal, really, but Audi manages to succeed in something that neither BMW or Mercedes can – producing a large luxury car that isn’t trying to be a sports car. The Audi A8, in 60 TFSI form, starts out at just $94,000, so it’s $8,000 - $10,000 cheaper than the models it competes with, but it comes at a cost: Fuel economy. The A8 is rated at just 15 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg combined – all figures that are at least two mpg lower than either model it’s competing with.

BMW 750i vs Audi A8
BMW 750i Audi A8
Engine 4.4-Liter V-8 4.0-Liter V-8
Transmission 8AT 8AT
Horsepower 523 HP 453 HP
Torque 553 LB-FT 487 LB-FT
Driveline AWD AWD
Fuel Gasoline, Premium Gasoline, Premium
Fuel Economy 17/25/20 15/23/18
Suspension Multi-link Front and Rear Five-Link Front and Rear
Steering Electric Electric
Front Tire Size 245/45R19 255/45R19
Rear Tire Size 275/40R19 255/45R19
0-60 MPH 3.9 Sec 4.5 Sec
Top Speed 155 MPH 130 MPH
Price $102,650 $94,000

Which BMW 7 Series Vehicle is Best

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887706

In terms of coming as close to ultra-luxury as possible, the BMW M760 xDrive is the best 7 Series vehicle (sans the Alpina B7, but that’s a different story altogether.) In this model, you get the best of both worlds: Ridiculous luxury and a 600-horsepower V-12. The problem is that the M760 still suffers from the same loosy-goosy feeling as the 750 and, while it masquerades as a sports car, it really is not. The 740i, even with xDrive, might feel you wanting for more, and you’ll ultimately start to check off option boxes. It starts out at less than $90,000, though, so depending on what you want, it might be cheaper to go with the entry model and option it as you like. For us, the 750i xDrive is the sweet spot. It has enough power to get you up to speed in a hurry, but it’s not overly powerful or thirsty. It does cross into six-figure territory, but not by much, and you probably won’t be considering too many options at this trim level.

2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887836
The refreshed 7 Series was unveiled in mid-2018
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887835
And now we got the chance to get behind the wheel of the 750i version
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887834
The refreshed 7 Series received updated on both exterior and interior, but most importantly offers a little bit more power
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887833
Just by looking at the profile you can easily identify the 750i as a 7 Series, but there are a few elements that changed
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887832
The 750i now comes standard with 19-inch wheels
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887831
But the biggest update was made up front, where the grille is 40% larger than before
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Exterior
- image 887830
At the rear the taillights are 1.4 inches slimmer than before, and the lower bumper was also updated
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887829
For the 750i, the biggest change was made under the hood
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887828
It gets a new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 engine with an output of 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Drivetrain
- image 887827
That’s an extra 80 horses and 74 pound-feet compared to the old model
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887826
With the added power, the 750i is of course a lot faster: 0 to 60 mph is now made in 3.9 seconds!
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887825
While top speed remains of course at 155 mph!
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887824
The interior received a series of updates too, but nothing major
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887822
It features the same three-layer dashboard
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887821
With an updated steering wheel design - the chrome inserts on the horizontal spokes now extending into the lower spoke
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887820
The instrument cluster was also update to keep up with the current models
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887819
So, you will get the same 12.3-inch that we have seen in the 8 Series
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887818
The door panels and the seats have the same design, but they offer Dakota leather as standard
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887817
The passenger will enjoy the next level of comfort
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887816
With 41.1 inches of front legroom and 44.4 inches of rear legroom
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887815
The rear seats benefit from BMW’s Rear Executive Lounge Seating package
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887814
That allows the passenger to use the massage function, active seat ventilation, and use the rear-seat entertainment system
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887813
To be more precise, we are talking about two 10-inch full-HD displays
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887812
Combined with a Blu-ray player and headsets
2020 BMW 750i - Driven Interior
- image 887811
Of course all these com with a price, as the 750i is priced from $102,650
Philippe Daix
Obsessive and Compulsive Automotive Expert - phil@topspeed.com
Always on the lookout for the latest automotive news, Philippe Daix is our most senior editor and founder of TopSpeed.com. He likes to see himself as a consumer advocate with a mission to educate motorheads of all ages.  Read More
About the author

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