EXPERT REVIEW

2023 BMW 760i xDrive Quick Spin: Luxury Lounge on Wheels

bmw 760i x drive sedan 2023 01 exterior dynamic front angle scaled jpg 2023 BMW 760i xDrive Sedan | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry
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Senior Research Editor Damon Bell has more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, beginning as an Engineering Graphics researcher/proofreader at model-car manufacturer Revell-Monogram. From there, he moved on to various roles at Collectible Automobile magazine and Consumer Guide Automotive before joining Cars.com in August 2022. He served as president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association in 2019 and 2020. Email Damon Bell

BMW’s flagship sedan is fully redesigned for 2023, gaining provocative new styling, larger dimensions, lots of new technology features and an all-electric model named the i7. We have a full review of the i7 coming soon, and we have some quick-spin impressions of the current flagship of the gasoline-engine 7 Series models (760i xDrive) right here.

Related: 2023 BMW 7 Series Adds Electric Model, Movie Theater Backseat

I got behind the wheel of the new 760i for a brief test drive at the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s 2023 Spring Rally in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., and also explored a few of the ultra-luxe optional features while the car was parked. I had nowhere near enough time to fully explore all the features and details of BMW’s largest car, but I got a good taste of things nonetheless.

Plentiful Power, Drives Smaller Than It Is

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Unlike its previous-generation predecessor, the new 760i has V-8 power; BMW retired its V-12 powerplant with some fanfare on a special run of a dozen fully loaded M760i xDrive sedans. The new 760i’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 engine might not be quite as powerful or have the same exotic-car cred as the old V-12, but it’s more than up to the task of powering this plus-size sedan with authority. The engine is rated at 536 horsepower and 553 pounds-feet of torque, the drivetrain incorporates a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, and it’s paired with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a rear-wheel-steering system that aids both low- and high-speed maneuverability.

The 760i is a big, heavy car — its curb weight is nearly 5,000 pounds — but it drives smaller and lighter than it is thanks to its rear-wheel steering and prodigious power. BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of just 4.1 seconds, and the car felt easily that quick by the seat of my pants. The V-8’s noise is impressively muted; it’s almost inaudible until you dip deeply into the throttle, then emits a satisfyingly muscular V-8 growl. And even with the 21-inch wheels and low-profile tires on our test car, the ride was suitably supple (an adaptive air suspension is standard).

Classy, Tech-Forward Interior

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Any all-new flagship luxury vehicle had better impress when it comes to interior ambiance, and the new 7 Series does. The materials and fit and finish are truly top notch; a carbon-fiber trim insert on the dashboard, intricately patterned speaker grilles on the doors, crystalline Glass Controls on the center console and individual smartphone-style touchscreen controls built into the rear door panels are but a few of the standout details. Our test car also wore unusual upholstery: In addition to the expected premium leather was an unconventional brocade-style cloth that reminded me of the paisley-patterned upholstery in the 1970 Buick Electra 225 my parents had when I was a kid.

The new interaction bar and ambient lighting panel that stretches across the dashboard and into the front door panels is another unorthodox touch, but not entirely in a good way. I had a difficult time seeing the markings for the virtual buttons due to normal daylight reflections and the panel’s faceted surface. And all those shiny virtual buttons and the Glass Controls in the console show smudges and fingerprints very easily. Still, I’m very much looking forward to driving this car at night because with all the configurable ambient lighting features of the dashboard light bar and the rest of the cabin, the after-dark vibe inside will likely be more dazzling than most night clubs.

That said, the 760i does have a bewildering array of controls that will require lots of familiarization, and some of the design choices seem to favor style over functionality. The hidden climate-control vents in the dashboard are needlessly complicated and didn’t seem to be effective; I had the fan speed on high and the air flow was disappointingly weak.

Gee-whiz available technology features abound. The Rear Executive Lounge Seating option includes a colossal 31.3-inch widescreen rear-entertainment display that powers down from the headliner. We didn’t have the opportunity for a full demo, but it looks to provide a real movie-theater experience for rear-seat passengers. The option package also includes reclining rear seatbacks with a power-extending leg rest for the passenger-side rear seat — an indulgent feature to be sure, but at 6 feet, 6 inches tall, I didn’t have quite enough space; my feet were hitting the front-passenger seatback.

A Big Price Bump

The 2023 BMW 760i starts at $117,395 (prices include destination), a bump of more than $13,000 from 2022’s V-8-powered 750i — and that’s just for starters. The test car we drove was loaded up with a lot of options that pushed its bottom-line price to $162,045. The priciest items on the options list were the Black Sapphire Metallic two-tone paint ($12,000) over Aventurin Red Metallic, the Rear Executive Lounge Seating ($7,250) and a BMW Individual Composition coordinated Alcantara simulated-suede headliner ($5,450). Serious money all, but for that coin, buyers will get an exceptionally quick, capable executive express with an almost bewildering array of technology and comfort features.

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