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The BMW 7 Series has received a 'facelift' in the truest sense. The 730ld's grille is being most talked-about, it is the largest grille that the company has put on any of its cars. The 7 Series is a bestseller in China and America, where a lot of bling is appreciated and that is why the refreshed sedan looks the way it does.
We got our hands on the facelifted 730ld for a couple of days. We took the sedan for a spin in the city and on the highway and yes the car surprised us at a lot of places. Read on to find out how the 7 Series drives, performs and handles.
Exterior & Design
At the front, the sedan gets the BMW's laser LED headlight units that are extremely bright along with LED DRLs. Now according to the company, on the high beam, the laser led can throw the light beam up to 500 metres. You really do not need a set of fog lights as the cluster is more than enough.
Now, as we mentioned above, the grille of the vehicle is massive and features active vents. They open whenever more air is required in the engine bay and shut whenever not required. Once they are shut they provide better aerodynamics and yes, it is a super-cool feature. The sedan gets an aggressive bumper at the front, that has vents at the side and yes the bumper makes the 7 Series look really muscular. Also, there is a lot of chrome present all over the car, especially, at the front.
Moving on to the side, the first thing that will catch your attention is the 19-inch multispoke alloy wheels that are finished in a single-tone colour. There are vents on either side of the fender that channel air to the brakes and they also help improve the car's aesthetics. You also get a strip of chrome that runs along the side of the sedan joining both the doors.
You do not get chrome on the sides. Instead, the garnishing around the window is finished in brushed aluminium. You also get a large panoramic sunroof and a shark-fin antenna on the roof. Also, the 730ld does not feature aggressive body lines and creases on the side.
Moving on to the rear, the sedan gets a pair of sleek-looking LED taillights and a twin exhaust setup. There is a red LED strip that runs along with the entire boot of the car connecting both the taillights. It also gets a reverse parking camera with active guidelines that will help you park in tight spaces easily and yes the quality of the imagery from the camera is extremely good.
To open the boot there is a dedicated button as the 730ld features an electronic boot release and shut feature. Speaking about the boot, the sedan gets a massive boot space of 515-litre, Unfortunately, if there is more space required then the rear seats cannot be folded down.
Interior & Features
The cabin of the BMW 730ld is finished in dual-tone (black & beige). There is a lot of soft-touch material present on the door panels and on the dashboard. When it comes to the dash, the centre stage is taken by the 10.25-inch infotainment system that features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The touch is really sensitive and does not have any lag. There are gesture controls also through which one can increase or decrease the volume and play, pause and change the music.
The instrument cluster is now fully digital and features a 12.3-inch screen and looks extremely fascinating. The display configurations on the screen change on changing the driving modes of the car. The screen can also be configured according to the driver's needs. Sadly, the 730ld does not get a heads-up display.
The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and has a fantastic grip to it. However, the sedan does not get a flat-bottom steering wheel. The steering-mounted controls are placed nicely and one can toggle through the instrument cluster and the infotainment system using them.
The front seats are wrapped in leather and are very comfortable. They can be adjusted electrically but only the driver's side gets the seat memory function. However, the seats are comfortable and hold the driver in place. You also get an adjustable button for the side bolsters. Both the front seats are ventilated with hot and cold settings.
The rear seats are the place to be in when inside the 7 Series. There is room for three passengers but two will sit very comfortably. The rear seats are also ventilated and are electronically adjustable. The seat adjustments can be done through the buttons present in the centre armrest.
All seats, except the front passenger seat, get the massage function. However, the rear left seat is the place where all the magic happens. With a press of a button, the seat not only adjusts itself but the front passenger seat goes ahead, folds down and deploys a footrest. You can lean back, put on the massager, stretch your legs and just relax while you are being chauffeured back home from a long day of work.
It also gets two separate touchscreen displays placed behind the front seats for your personal entertainment. There is four-zone climate control and there are two sunroofs since the car is too long and the best part about the roof is that it features the galaxy star pattern that eliminates and gives a starry sky feel. The colour of the roof changes with the colour of the ambient light.
Engine & Handling
Under the hood, the 730ld features a 3-litre, six-cylinder, diesel engine. The oil burner pumps out 261bhp at 4,000rpm and a maximum torque of 620Nm between 2,000 - 2,500 rpm. The engine is mated to an 8-speed gearbox and the power is sent to the rear wheels only. The car accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in under 7 seconds!
There are four driving modes on offer: Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive. In the Eco Pro mode, the steering becomes light and the throttle response becomes very laggy but saves fuel. In the Comfort mode, the steering and the throttle response improves a little and this is the mode that we will recommend buyers to drive in around the city. In The sport mode, the throttle response becomes sharp and the steering stiffens up and one can use the maximum potential of the car in this mode. The power delivery is linear, but there is a sudden boost in power if you floor the car that will throw you back to your seat. Sadly there are no paddle shifters.
The suspension setup on the 730ld is fantastic since it features the air-matic setup. One can also increase or decrease the height of the ride if needed. The suspension setup is so comfortable that none of the potholes or the broken roads could be felt inside. Also the NVH and insulation level is excellent and when you are inside with all the windows shut, it just cuts you off from the outside world.
Now, since this is a limousine, it is not meant to be driven rapidly everywhere. Basically, you buy this car to relax in the rear seat. But what if you felt like driving someday? Well, BMW has used the Carbon Core technology in the 7 Series. What that means is that there has been a lot of carbon fibre that has been used in the chassis to reduce the weight of the car and because of that the sedan handles pretty well.
Even when you put the car in sport mode, though the suspension stiffens up, you still have some amount of body roll since it is a big and a long car. You will be able to cut through corners at decent speeds, but once you lose the rear end at higher speeds, it actually becomes difficult to get it back straight.
On the safety front, the 730ld comes loaded with features such as six airbags, ABS, Traction Control, Attentiveness Assistance, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Cornering Brake Control (CBC), electric parking brake with auto hold, side-impact protection, electronic vehicle immobiliser and crash sensors. ISOFIX child seat mounts are also present.
As far as the fuel-efficiency is concerned, the BMW 730ld left us impressed. In the city, we managed to pull out figures between 12.5 to 13.8 km/l depending on the traffic conditions. The sedan also gets an automatic start/stop function that shuts the engine down when the car comes to a halt in traffic and starts it when you hit the throttle. This helps save around 15 to 20 per cent of fuel according to the company. Highway efficiency figures were between 13.5 to 17km/l, again depending on the speed.
The BMW 730ld carries a price tag of Rs 1.67 Crore ex-showroom and goes up against the likes of the Mercedes Benz S-Class and the Porsche Panamera. The car offers the right blend of elegant styling and luxurious features. With the overall exterior tweaks, the sedan looks really amazing. The ride quality in the seven series is unbelievably good, thanks to the air-matic suspension. And as we mentioned above, when you don't want to be chauffeured around you can have some fun by yourself as now the 730ld handles much better due to the lighter chassis. The heads-up display is sorely missed, but other than that, we would just be nitpicking.