Ride & Handling

BMW took the right approach with the new 7 Series by acknowledging that even though potential buyers might appreciate the BMW performance-car experience, they want their full-size luxury sedan to ride comfortably. The 750i excels at this.

Even on the heavily rutted roads of Chicago, the 750i floated softly along with its adaptive suspension in Normal mode, preventing the rugged pavement from jarring occupants. This is the kind of ride comfort buyers will expect, and it's good to see that BMW delivers it in the 7 Series, as opposed to the firmer suspension tuning found in the midsize 5 Series and compact 3 Series sedans.

If you prefer a sportier driving experience, BMW gives you that option. The 750i's standard Dynamic Driving Control includes a few modes that control suspension and gas pedal responses, automatic-transmission characteristics and steering assistance. Besides the Normal setting, there's a Comfort mode that allows more body motion over bumps. There are also Sport and Sport+ modes that firm up the suspension, let the engine rev higher before shifting (which then happens with more firmness), and make gas pedal response more immediate.

The responsiveness of the gas pedal is one of the issues I have with the car's Normal mode; accelerating from a stop, there's a significant delay before the car responds. When cruising along, it takes a good nudge of the gas pedal to get more engine power, too. Aside from the gas pedal lag, I like the transmission's smooth performance in Normal mode. If I could, I'd take the more responsive gas pedal setting of the Sport mode and pair it with the Normal mode's shift quality.

One area that's in keeping with BMW tradition is that the steering wheel provides a decent amount of feedback for a big car, so you can feel the road a little bit through the wheel. In cars like the Lexus LS 460 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the steering systems mostly filter out road feel. The thin-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel feels nice in your hands, and while there's more power-steering assistance than you'd find in one of BMW's smaller models, it feels appropriate for a large car like this. Road feel really increases at highway speeds, though, and I wouldn't have minded if BMW had dialed it back a little in this situation.

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