BMW i7: First Look Review

  • BMW's most extravagant sedan, now with a pure electric powertrain
  • Based on a modified version of the CLAR platform
  • Available in eDrive50, xDrive60, and M70 variants
  • Priced from USD 105,700 (excl. USD 995 destination & handling fee)

The BMW i7, a part of the seventh-generation BMW 7 Series family, is the most expensive sedan from the Munich-based German automaker. Launched in the U.S. in November 2022, the pure electric full-size sedan is the closest alternative to the Mercedes EQS currently available at dealerships. Recently, I had a chance to check it out in the xDrive60 variant and M Sport trim. Here are my thoughts about BMW’s über-luxury EV:

Design

At first glance, I found the BMW i7 massive due to its extra-long body, which measures 212.2 inches. I didn’t like the split headlamps, but while I could live with that feature, the XL-size kidney grille looked inexcusably odd to me. Attention is guaranteed with the i7, but I feel there’s a heavy price to pay for it. The exterior isn’t all bad, though.

The side profile of the i7 gives the impression of a proper sedan, thanks to the straight beltline, the flattish roof, and the large glasshouse. I think the electric sedan looks stately and confident from the sides. The flush-fitted door handles and 21-inch Individual aero wheels add a touch of high-tech and sophisticated styling to the car.

My favorite angle of the i7 is its rear, which looks particularly sporty. Sleek tail lamps contrast the monolithic surface design of the trunk lid. The muscular bumper adds to the dynamic styling and helps the car make a striking impression from the back. I wonder how great his sedan could’ve looked if only the front had managed to be even half as stunning as the rear.

BMW assembles the i7 at its Dingolfing factory in Germany. After spending some time closely looking at its exterior, I noticed that the panel quality, alignment, and paint finish were nothing short of excellent. This is the textbook definition of German build quality.

Interior

The BMW i7 features a lavish interior with a minimalist design and extensive glass applications, metal accents, and open-pored wood trim. My favorite part of this interior is the combination of the ambient light system and the ‘BMW Interaction Bar,’ a crystalline surface structure with touch-sensitive control panels in the dashboard and the trim of the door panels.

The touch-operated controls on the BMW Interaction Bar aren’t practical, but the way this structure lights up and reacts to alerts with dynamic light animations as part of the ambient light system gives the cabin an ultra-luxurious look. A ‘Sky Lounge’ panoramic sunroof joins the light show by illuminating light threads backlit by LED units. It is similar to the pattern of the quilting on the seat surfaces.

BMW takes theatrics to a new level with the i7, equipping it with a roof-mounted 31.3-inch 8K entertainment touchscreen in the back. Called ‘BMW Theatre Screen,’ this fold-down ultra-wide display has Amazon Fire TV built into it. Moreover, it offers HDMI connectivity, meaning passengers can hook up a Sony PS5 or other latest gaming console in the back and play their favorite high-end games on the go. Also part of the i7’s tech pack is the BMW Curved Display, which needs no introduction, as it has the familiar setup of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

I’m six feet tall, and thanks to the large doors and the relatively higher placement of the seat, I faced no issues getting in and out of the i7. When I sat in the driver’s seat, I first checked for all-around visibility, which was pretty much along the expected lines of a vehicle of this size. The steering wheel is nicely contoured and has a flat bottom, offering excellent grip.

Considering that it is a low-roof vehicle, headroom was understandably in short supply, but there can be no complaints about the seat. It is designed to hug the driver and offers plenty of back, shoulder, and under-thigh support. It comes with a massage function.

In the second row, sitting right behind the driver’s seat that was adjusted for a six-foot-tall person, I had excellent leg room and knee room. The seat position can be adjusted through a 5.5-inch touch-operated display integrated near the armrest. The menu offers three seat positions, massage function, and climate control. I was also able to work the blinds and the lighting via the same screen.

Specifications

The BMW i7 xDrive60 has an all-wheel drive drivetrain layout, enabled by two motors that produce 536 horsepower and 549 lb.-ft. of torque. A 0-60 sprint takes four and a half seconds, while the top speed is 130 mph (149 mph with high-performance tires).

A 101.7 kWh (net) lithium-ion battery pack that supports charging at up to 11 kW (AC)/195 kW supplies energy to the motors. Fully charging it through a Level 2 charger takes approximately 12 hours. Using a DC charger, charging from 10 to 80% level takes 34 minutes. It delivers an EPA-estimated range of up to 317 miles (19-inch wheels)/298 miles (20-inch wheels)/307 miles (21-inch wheels).

Price

The BMW i7 xDrive60 retails at USD 124,200 (excl. USD 995 destination & handling fee).

TopElectricSUV says

The BMW i7 xDrive60 isn’t the most beautiful car in its segment, but it has an opulent interior with plenty of space and comfort and convenience features. Despite its big and heavy body, it is said to be surprisingly good with driving dynamics, and the ride quality, too, is incredible. Its controls could’ve been simpler, but I’d skip it mainly because of the bizarre front and the steep pricing.

BMW i7 FAQs

What is the BMW i7 release date?

The BMW i7 is available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the BMW i7 price?

The BMW i7’s prices start at USD 105,700 and go up to USD 168,500, both excluding a USD 995 destination & handling fee.

Which cars are BMW i7 rivals?

The BMW i7 competes with the Mercedes EQS and the Lucid Air.