The rationalisation of BMW's iDrive system is a welcome feature of the 7 Series' cabin, but in the event it’s just one of many improvements inside. The electric switches for the two amply supportive front seats have also been simplified, as has the entire dashboard, and there’s more space in every direction for all occupants. Even the boot is bigger than before and is capable of swallowing vast amounts of luggage.

Having said that, the interior is far from perfect, even if it has been redesigned to be more appealing to look at and more intuitive to use. The new door handles, hidden within the doorcaps, are especially baffling at first.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Magnetic-stop doors hold fast at whatever point you open them to

Same goes for the new gearlever, although you get used to it eventually in the same way you get used to driving a left-hand drive car. But you shouldn’t have to: flicking between reverse, forwards and/or Park should be entirely natural right from the word go.

On the other hand, there can be few complaints about the fundamental quality of the cabin, or its lavish specification. As standard you get full Dakota leather upholstery, climate control, sat-nav, iDrive, Bluetooth connectivity and voice control of the multimedia system. Options include a six-pack DVD changer and various finishes for the wood trim including high gloss Anthracite, otherwise what you see is what you get.

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Impressively opulent it all feels, too. More options are a lane departure warning system and a head-up display unit. All of which might point to how many 7 Series owners like to drive, rather than be driven in, their own cars.

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