BMW luxury sedan thrives on split personality

James Raia

The 2023 BMW 760i xDrive combines the best of an executive sedan and a luxury car without visible pretentiousness. It’s comfortable and stylish, smooth and quiet. It has a sizable backseat theater screen that unfolds from the headliner with controls embedded like smartphones into the rear seat handles.

From its exterior, the new BMW looks more sporty than extravagant, with its aggressive nostrils grille, 21-inch M sport package wheels, brakes and black calipers. The sportiness continues on the interior, mixed with its luxury elements.

BMW luxury sedan thrives on split personality 1

The cabin design’s upscale quality combines high-scale wood and superior-quality leather. The stainless steel door design adds to the overall classy look, with inlaid speakers and the aforementioned smartphone control panel on the inside of the rear door handles. Automatic doors, with small, hard-to-find release buttons, if needed, are a nod to the brand’s ownership relationship with Rolls-Royce.

The 7 Series lineup is varied. The 740i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six matched to a 48-volt hybrid system for more efficient mileage. The reviewed 760i xDrive features a turbocharged V8 with 536 horsepower, its sibling’s hybrid system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both vehicles also have all-wheel-drive. Gas mileage averages are 18 miles per gallon in city driving, 26 mpg on the freeway.

Competition in the segment is keen. The 7-Series competes with the Audi A8, Genesis G90, Lexus LS and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The vehicles all have strengths, with BMW getting top honors for sport-oriented consumers. Drive any of the top luxury cars on the open road at flow-of-the-traffic top speeds, and all of the manufacturers’ vehicles fare well. It’s a personal choice and it’s the best-case scenario for future competition.

The BMW 760i bolts past the $100,000 price point; some of the interior bling to blame. A narrow bar of ambient lighting is offered in changing colors across and acrylic bar on the dashboard and along the front doors. The extended, horizontal one-piece screen incorporates the driver and center infotainment areas.

Interior class abounds, with optional cashmere/wool upholstery, several wood trim options, and crystal controls on the doors for seating adjustments. The same material is used on the BMW shifter and iDrive knob.

Most flamboyant is the 31-inch rear entertainment screen option ($4,700) that unfolds for backseat passengers. With the screen ready for viewers’ preferences, the rear windshield and sunshades close and the area’s interior lighting dims. The entertainment center on wheels isn’t an afterthought. It features 8K resolution, streams 5G content in 4K and can connect to Amazon Fire.

With its spaciousness (for two, not three) in the back seat and comfort, a mini movie theater and smart device controls in the doors, a long-distance trek is among the car’s strong suits. One caveat: with the theater in use, the driver’s rear view is blocked.

The luxury sedan has all of the conveniences, technology and top-line equipment expected in the segment — air springs to adaptive dampers to self-leveling headlights. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, satellite radio, voice recognition, an 18-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, Bluetooth and multiple USB ports are also featured.

Standard equipment includes: adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors, and pedestrian and a cyclist detention warning. A handful of options packages and standalone features add up to nearly $35,500 in extras.

The 2023 BMW 760i xDrive is nearly 18 feet long and weighs about 5,000 pounds. As reviewed, it costs $149,045, and it’s the best BMW offers.

James Raia, the editor and publisher of www.theweeklydriver.com, writes a weekly automotive column for the San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times.

Article Last Updated: June 5, 2023.

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