Say hello to…
…the BMW i7, the all-electric version of the new 7-series. The latest model continues a fine tradition of offering the latest and greatest technology in limousine form.
With all cars in this class, the experience isn’t just about the driving, but also the passenger comfort.
The i7 is powered by two electric motors, one driving the front wheels and the other the rears. Combined there’s 544hp on offer which makes for a (very) fast car. However, due to all the luxuries and a whopping 102kWh battery the car weighs in at around 2.7 tonnes. However, the plus-side to a big battery is an official range of well over 350 miles.
BMW offers the i7 in two trim levels:
- M Sport
Standard equipment on the Excellence includes non-adaptive cruise control, auto lights, auto wipers, adaptive air suspension, drove modes, powered boot lid, 4x USB sockets, wireless phone charging, high beam assist, four-zone climate control, soft-close doors, powered memory seats and heated front and rear seats.
M Sport adds M Sport body kit and larger alloys.
Is The BMW i7 Suitable For My Fleet
If you’re running a chauffeur fleet, or need a car for the chief executive’s (and their driver), the i7 is an impressive bit of kit. The real-world range may be short of the official figure, but we found that with no thought to eco mode the car would provide a reliable range of more than 250 miles. Go with a bit more care and that’s likely to be above 300 miles.
In terms of the practicalities, there’s more than enough legroom in the back seats – as you’d expect – but there’s also a good sized 500 litre boot too.
What’s more, having a car with a list price well north of £100,000 yet sitting in the 2% benefit-in-kind tax bracket is a huge advantage to any business user.
What’s more the maximum charge speed is a healthy 195kW.
Leasing A BMW i7
Intelligent Car Leasing is offering the i7 in xDrive60 M Sport specification for £1,951 a month on a 3+36 contract with 20,000 miles a year. Which may sound like a lot, but you also get a lot.
Gensen Reports shows that while the lease rate (and P11D) may be high, the maintenance costs look more reasonable at £94 a month. And the Class 1A NIC is just £25 a month.
Driving A BMW i7
A sense of refined occasion is what all good limousines should provide and the BMW i7 has this nailed down. In the right (darker) colours the front-end styling is just the right level of ‘purposeful’.
Despite the large dimensions, the car’s nearly 5.4m long, it doesn’t look massive. And when you’re driving the car doesn’t feel unwieldy at all. The turning circle is particularly good thanks to some clever rear-wheel steering engineering.
You would expect refinement to be very good, but it’s even better than that. The loudest noise in the cabin (when the stereo’s off) is occasionally the climate control when it’s working harder on warmer days. And while we don’t normally discuss stereo quality in FleetandLeasing.com reviews, the Bowers & Wilkins setup in the i7 is the best we’ve ever listened to.
The rest of the driving experience is pretty amazing too – especially in a car weighing 2.7 tonnes. While you don’t expect the i7 to be as engaging as a smaller car, it is still surprisingly good to drive on cross-country routes. Body control is impressive when changing direction and the huge amount of torque or shove from the twin electric motors means you can cover ground quickly. And this all happens in first-rate comfort whether you’re in the front or back seats.
Around town and on the motorway – where the car is more likely to spend its time – the i7 is also exceedingly comfortable and always feels stable and assured.
In fact the only real weakness to the whole of the i7 is the iDrive infotainment system. The screens on which it runs are amazingly hi-res, clear and bright, but the operating system just isn’t simple enough which makes finding and the very great number of functions harder than it should be. Oddly, the twin door-mounted screens and systems for the rear-seat passengers are far simpler to use, although they only have to control a limited number of functions.
This point aside, the overall feel to the cabin, its construction and the materials used is again superb. The leather seats are soft yet supportive, the crystal dashboard in-lay looks classy and the optional (huge) 31-inch 8k rear TV screen that descends from the roof is decedent and wonderful.
FleetandLeasing.com Verdict On The BMW i7
Very close to being the perfect limousine.
- Model: i7 xDrive60 M Sport
- Power: 544hp
- Torque: 745Nm
- Max speed: 150mph
- 0-62mph: 6.1s
- Official range: 368 miles
- Test range: 265 miles
- CO2 emissions: 0g/km
- BIK tax band 2022/23: 2%