Performance – While the diesel produces 258 HP, the 740Li outputs 326 HP and 450 Nm, from a low 1380 RPM, going all the way till 5000 RPM. Both engines are 3.0-litre straight-six units but the refinement on the 740Li is just astonishing, it’s super quiet and smooth lower down and only gets vocal past 4000 RPM, that too in a good way. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 5.6 seconds (0.6 seconds faster than the diesel yet 0.9 seconds and 1.9 seconds slower than the 750Li and 760Li respectively). Power delivery is linear, there is no lag from this turbo motor lower down and the mid-range is strong with a screaming top-end as it revs till almost 7000 RPM.
In spite of the lesser torque, the 740Li is still quicker than the 730Ld
The 8-speed ZF gearbox offers fast and smooth shifts and you can manually take control of cogs using the tiptronic function on the gear lever, shockingly, it misses out on paddle shifters. There are 4 drive modes – Eco Pro, Comfort, Comfort Plus and Sport with the former most and later most also getting individual settings. These modes alter the engine, gearbox, steering and suspension. To boost mileage, there is a stop-start system too and EfficientDynamics ensures the alternator is charged under braking but this car is best driven in Sport mode or chauffeured in Comfort Plus.
Driving Dynamics – The BMW 7-Series feels quite soft in comfort plus mode and a bit floaty too with a steering that’s too light. In Sport, it feels brilliant, rather phenomenal as things tighten up while still keeping the ride comfortable, only sharp bumps can be felt inside. Otherwise, the ride quality is great but the handling is surreal, the steering weighs up brilliantly well too and the body control is excellent in spite of the massive size, the car stays glued to the road at all times. Thanks to the use of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP), the big 7 weighs just 1800 kgs which is one of the reasons for its brilliant dynamics. The brakes are super strong offering great stopping power.
Verdict – The BMW 7-Series is available in 8 variants and the 740Li is among the more affordable models on offer. If you want a petrol limousine which means you are inclined to take to the wheel frequently, then the 750Li is the one you should stretch for. But if you still want a petrol limo without much driving involved yourself, the 740Li offers the best balance of comfort and fun. Still, for the price, the 730Ld seems like the more practical choice.
* Loaded with tech, remote park and gesture control are cool
* Comfortable seats with massage function pampers occupants
* Refined engine doesn’t feel turbocharged as it has great drivability
* Brilliant ride and handling balance, comfortable yet fun to drive
* Plenty of options, there is a 7-Series for almost every limo buyer
What’s Not So Cool
* No M Sport for 740Li
* Costs as much as the diesel for a lower trim
* No steering mounted paddles
* The S-Class is still the limo to be driven in
Alternatives: BMW 7-Series, Audi A8L, Jaguar XJL