BMW has always had a strong focus on active safety and design features which help prevent accidents in the first place, which is now seen as an essential ingredient of car design.
Safety and Security
BMW has always had a strong focus on active safety and design features which help prevent accidents in the first place, which is now seen as an essential ingredient of car design. A long wheelbase, wide track, 50:50 weight distribution contributes to overall vehicle stability while features like DSC and DTC, ABS and so on act as prime ingredients of good active safety design.
All models in the 7 Series range are equipped with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as standard. This electronic safety aid reduces power and torque to the rear wheels, and even applies the brakes to individual wheels, in order to restore stability when required.
The BMW 7 Series ensures the highest standard of passive safety in the market with a range of key safety features and a rigid passenger cell benefiting from 15 per cent more torsional rigidity than its predecessor. And as expected there is the usual array of airbags: front driver and passenger bags, front and rear side bags and curtain bags.
Comfort and Refinement
The Bi-Xenon headlights automatically come on at dusk or when entering a tunnel, the headlights feature the trade mark angel eyes (glowing halos around the headlights). One feature we had not seen before was that you can set the headlights to flip between low and main beam automatically. The process is controlled by a sensor in reverse of the mirror which can detect other road users, either when following them or when on-coming. It worked very well with little intervention from the driver, quite clever and a welcome feature.
You can specify optional adaptive headlights which work on the steering angle input and other parameters. One feature that we would have liked to have tested was BMW’s Night Vision system which uses an infra red camera to scan the road ahead, displaying the road ahead on the TFT telematics screen. Warm objects appear light and cold objects dark, therefore is possible to spot other road users and animals through hedges and around bends etc, where the headlights would not normally pick them out - giving you advance warning.
There are deep door pockets in both the front and rear doors, a glove compartment with a torch and between the front seats a lockable air conditioned compartment which houses the phone mount, a 12v and mp3 sockets and car manuals. Additionally there are two useful compartments that slide out from the dashboard to hold pens and oddments.
At night there are LED's in the outside door handles so that you can locate the door handles to enter the vehicle, which when open have puddle lights in the doors. Foot wells both front and rear are illuminated.
We are particularly keen on BMW ambient lighting system which utilizes a number of orange LED's throughout the car to illuminate the interior i.e. door handles, the centre consoles front and rear, there is even lighting under the door trim and you can vary the brightness to suit.
As we have mentioned we tested the BMW 730Ld, which is not merely a stretched version of the short wheel base model (the body is 140mm shorter). The long wheel base 7 Series gets is own engineering number and is known as the BMW E66. The roof, rear window line and general proportions have been designed to complement the longer car. We were surprised that the rear seats did not recline nor apart from the head rest were they electrically adjustable. Rear seat passengers benefit from foot rests and are protected from the glare of the sun with an electronic rear window blind.
BMW 7 Series Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||BMW 730 Ld|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||7.9 Seconds|
|Top Speed||148 mph|
|Transmission||Six-speed automatic transmission with Steptronic|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||44.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBC|
|Warranty||3-Years / Unlimited Mileage|
|Price (when tested on the 27/01/08)||£54,550|