2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 defines EV performance sedan luxury

James Raia

The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 is among a small group of luxury electric sedans with good intentions and still trying to appeal to a not-yet-convinced consumer majority.

Matched primarily against the Lucid Air, Mercedes-Benz EQS and Tesla Model S, the i7, like its competitors, is a compelling choice for many reasons. It’s electric, fast off the line and further impressive accelerating at highway speeds. It’s plush and spacious and built with top-line material and innovative features.

The 2023 BMW i7 x60 defines luxury in the performance brand's new EV sedan.
The 2023 BMW i7 x60 defines luxury in the performance brand’s new EV sedan.

The 7-Series has long been BMW’s full-sized flagship. The i7 was introduced in April 2022 as a 2023 model to coincide with the nameplate’s 45th anniversary. The i7 xDrive60 and M70 have dual electronic motors and all-wheel drive. The i7 has a single-speed transmission, 544 horsepower and advances from 0-to-60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds on its 21-inch wheels.

Some of BMW’s competitors are quicker, a factor not-so-important when vehicles accelerate in the industry standard test in less than five seconds. How fast is fast enough for drivers not taking cars to tracks or desert testing locations to espouse their bravado.

More relevant for high-end sedan buyers? Can the vehicle, as upscale as any BMW, attract brand loyalists to switch to an EV from their previous internal combustion car? And will potential new BMW buyers consider paying more than $150,000 for an EV knowing they’ll be required to alter their driving habits?

The i7 xDrive60 is a four-door, five-seat sedan with a 310-mile range. It’s restricted to a top speed of 149 miles per hour and features three driving modes, Sport, Efficient and Personal.

The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 has a plush interior with glass dials and a massive info screen
The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 has a plush interior with glass dials and a massive info screen.

Statistics aside, the vehicle is all for comfort around town. But it’s a big sedan ideally suited for long hauls on big highways. An auto-leveling air suspension is standard and combines with a road-leveling system. It can read the road conditions ahead and adjust the drive to appropriately negotiate asphalt imperfections.

The result is a smooth, church-quiet ride. Select your favorite music and enjoy the drive further via the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound auto system ($4,800). Supremely comfortable seating is also part of the joy. While front-seat occupants have plenty of room and plenty of seat adjustments, rear-seat occupants get the best of it.

BMW offers a slew of option packages, including the Rear Executive Lounge ($7,250). It features spacious reclining options as well as heating, cooling and massaging functions. Temperature and fan speed choices are offered in different parts of the car. Legroom and headroom are generous, giving rear-seat occupants the feel of being chauffeured in a town car.

With strong competition, BMW doesn’t leave anything not offered among the opulence. Six packages are available, including Parking Assist ($900) to Executive ($6,500) and M Sport ($1,300) to Driving Assistance ($2,100).

Lots of high-end features weigh, a glass shifter and glass seat controls on the side doors, automatic soft door opening and closing and Merlino leather seats. Smart devices installed on the interior of the rear doors and locking stations for bigger devices of the back of front seat headrests add to the top-line presentation.

Likely the vehicle’s most polarizing feature beyond its dual-kidney shape grilles, is the exterior paint color BMW calls Frozen Deep Grey. Comments ranged from “It looks like a primer coat” to “That’s the best car paint I’ve ever seen.” It’s an attention getter and it adds another $5,000 to the price.

Among the leading luxury e-sedan group, the 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 ($119,300) debuts as a worthy competitor. Its expansive options list elevates the MSRP to $156,595. It’s a hefty tally BMW stalwarts will likely accept since it’s the brand’s most luxurious vehicle. It’s also likely too expensive to attract converts.

Article Last Updated: September 28, 2023.

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