2019 BMW 730Ld Review
Car Tested: 2019 BMW 730Ld DPE; Road Test No. 1143; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1,48,09,394/-
The BMW 7-Series facelift gets a bolder face with more character while retaining its stellar comfort and dynamics
Even SUVs can't match the sophistication and prestige of luxury saloons. From businessmen to celebrities, everyone loves to have a stately big limousine. Since they are the most premium offerings from their respective brands, they have a colossal task of standing out from competition within and outside the segment. BMW has given the new 7-Series a facelift to take on Mercedes' exceptional S-Class and the upcoming Audi A8. The new 7-Series promises to be as good as ever on the dynamic front but how far have the improvements in areas like refinement, luxury, comfort and technology gone? We find out.
Exteriors - The fascia of the 7-Series has been subject to numerous online memes, thanks to the huge kidney grilles. BMW admits it was done to please the Chinese and American customers. The front certainly looks polarising but be with the car for some time and you get used to it. The grilles do make the car stand out from the smaller 5-Series, which is a relief compared to other look-alike cars from the same brand. The grille also gives the car a tremendous road presence and we are sure many Indians will appreciate it. The slats on the grille also work to channelise the air into the engine compartment. We can comfortably say the new 7-Series has received a ‘facelift' in the most literal sense!
Though the giant kidney grille might be a bit controversial, it gives the 7-Series a distinct, beefy and premium look
We like the other elements like the narrow and sleek headlights, chrome rich sculpted bumpers, the long bonnet and the creases on it. The higher bonnet gives it an authoritative stance when looked from both the front and the side. We love chrome embellishments on the side and well-executed alloy wheel patters. The rear is possibly the best angle of the 7. The long single strip joining the two tail lights looks quite stunning, particularly at night. We think BMW has done a very good job of updating the design on the 7-Series and it looks fresh enough to take on the competition.
Interiors - The interior of the new 7-Series is a soothing place to be in and creates a stark contrast to the bold exteriors. Little has changed, but the cabin of the 7-Series seldom feels outdated. Of the minor changes, the most important one is the updated infotainment system. It is crisper, gives you more shortcuts and we love the attention to detail like the colour of the on-screen car which matched that of exteriors. The iDrive system is fantastic as always and remains our favourite.
The cabin of the 7-Series comes loaded with rich materials and all the latest tech
BMW has loaded the 7 with all the gizmos one could imagine. Apart from the loaded infotainment system, you get a Harman-Kardon premium audio system, remote assisted parking, ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, rear-seat entertainment and so on. The front seats offer very good support and are quite comfortable. The driver-centric dashboard makes it easy to control things. The sharp, clear, all-digital instrument cluster is amply customisable and very legible on the go.
The real party piece of the 7, like all limousines, is the backseat. The seats recline to a considerable degree offering first-class comfort. BMW gives you a tablet to control everything from the infotainment to the sunshades and it is really handy. The seats are first-rate and one will not be left wanting for more, be it in headroom or legroom. Equipment like the four-zone climate control and the optional lounge seats simply make it one of the best rear seats we have ever experienced.
The rear seats do recline and offer one of the most comfortable, luxurious and spacious rear-seat experiences
Quality is seriously impressive and the cabin is very well put together. The finish and the feel of the buttons is quite good and we also like the choice of colours and wood trims BMW is offering. If there is one complaint that we have, it is that the dashboard looks a bit generic. However, it is the case with all luxury saloons and with so many features and top-drawer quality, it is certainly not a deal-breaker.
Performance - BMW is offering 4 engine options on the 7-Series but our test car was equipped with the ubiquitous diesel (50% variants of this limo are powered by the same engine). Known as the 730Ld, it draws power from a 3.0-litre inline-6 oil burner which is the same as the pre-facelift model, it produces 265 HP and 620 Nm, resulting in a 0-100 km/hr time of 6.2 seconds while the top speed is restricted to 250 km/hr. Performance is linear, there is no sudden rush in power and the refinement levels are staggering as you can barely hear anything inside the cabin, be it engine, wind, tyre or road noise. BMW has worked extensively on improving the insulation inside the cabin and they have done a fab job.
The refined diesel engine offers linear performance and decent fuel economy
However, being a BMW, there is a sporty note that can be heard once you push the motor past 4000 RPM, redline comes in at 5000 RPM. Tweaks have been made to the 8-speed ZF sourced torque-converter gearbox which offers smooth and quick shifts, one can also manually shift gears using the tiptronic function on the gear lever but can't hold onto a gear, there are no paddle-shifters which is very surprising. The car is quite frugal and returns between 9-12 km/l, it has an 80-litre fuel tank, giving it a stellar 800 km range on a full tank. The 7-Series gets 7 drive modes - Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, all of which get a standard-setting while EcoPro and Sport get individual settings and Comfort gets a Plus setting, the 7th mode is Adaptive which predicts vehicle movement and accordingly alters the engine, gearbox, steering and suspension.
Driving Dynamics - The BMW 7-Series is quite a light car by limo standards, it weighs under 1800 kgs, largely because of the CarbonCore structure as it uses CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer), aluminium and high tensile steel. It's just not light in terms of the weight but also in the way it drives, feeling quite nimble for its size. The modes really alter the parameters as there is a stark difference between Comfort and Sport modes, the steering being lighter in the former while weighing up better in the latter. The car uses self-levelling air suspension on all wheels which brings in some float at high speeds but it's quite minimal, although, at lower speeds on bad roads, you can feel a bit of the stiffness, the ride quality, for the most part, is nothing short of phenomenal.
The 7-Series has lost weight and it shows in the way it drives and handles
Body roll is well contained for a limo and the 7-Series is quite eager around the corners with great traction at all times, you can turn DSC to Sport or turn it off completely and it will spin the rear wheels when you launch the vehicle aggressively. The steering is excellent and the aero bits do help in ensuring great high-speed stability (the massive grille closes the vents to make the car more aero efficient and there are functional air curtains too). Braking performance is exemplary and there is no nose dive or uneasiness even when you stomp hard on the brake pedal.
Safety and After Sales Service - The 7-Series gets the latest in safety tech including 8 airbags and other active and passive features. The rock-solid high-speed ride, confident cornering manners and impeccable build quality also add to the safety factor indirectly. Being a luxury saloon, expect great service and reasonable long-term reliability.
Verdict - The updated BMW 7-Series is more than just those large grilles. You'll realise this as you look around, sit inside and get driven around. BMW has really worked on the shortcomings of the older car and has given a more complete package that truly excels in key departments like ride comfort, refinement and on-board features. It still remains incredibly good to drive with strong performance and impressive dynamics. BMW has also taken the lead with plug-in hybrids in the segment as they are offering the 745Le xDrive in the line-up. With all the above attributes, it won't be an exaggeration to say that the new 7 is closer to being an all-rounder than ever before.
* Elegant and sophisticated design
* Spacious and luxurious interiors
* Refined and frugal diesel engine
* Impressive dynamics and ride quality
* Comes with the latest safety features
What's Not So Cool
* Design might not be to everyone's taste
* Dashboard could have been more adventurous
* Misses out on paddle shifters
Alternatives: - Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8L, Jaguar XJ-L, Lexus LS
2019 BMW 730Ld Specifications
* Engine: 2993cc, 6-Cyl, Diesel
* Power: 265 HP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 620 Nm @ 2000-2500 RPM
* 0-100 km/hr: 6.2 seconds
* Top Speed: 250 km/hr
* Transmission: 8-Speed AT
* Fuel Consumption: 9-12 km/l
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Tyre Size: 245/45/19 (Front), 275/40/19 (Rear)
* Suspension: Air Suspension (Front & Rear)
* Brakes: Disc (Front & Rear)
* Safety: 8 Airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP
2019 BMW 730Ld Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 5238 mm X 2169 mm X 1485 mm
* Wheelbase: 3210 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 80-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1800 kgs
Further Reading -
2019 BMW 730Ld
2019 BMW 730Ld Review
The BMW 7-Series facelift gets some significant cosmetic changes, mainly with the large kidney grille. The grille’s design is subjective but you cannot deny the fact that it does lend a lot of character to the sedan. The 7-Series rocks it when it comes to space, comfort and refinement while in terms of driving feel, it never ever disappoints. The 7-Series is definitely one of the best cars in this price bracket.