In so many ways the new BMW 7 Series is a very impressive car, especially in 730d SE guise with its near-unbeatable combination of performance and economy mated to a level of equipment that appears unusually generous considering the price.

That’s before you even consider how much technology is simmering away beneath the skin.

Apart from the remarkable diesel engine, the 7 Series is mediocre

But no matter how superb its on-paper credentials, it fails to tread new ground when it comes to luxury transport. Without its excellent engine and gearbox the 7 Series would feel much like any other 7 Series from the last 10 years, except that the edge of driver appeal – vital in a credible BMW – has gone missing.

Ignoring your USP is never a wise route to take at any point in time, but right now it does the 7 Series very few favours. Despite being an excellent car technically and on paper, it is a curiously disappointing one in reality.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the BMW range

Driven this week

  • Rolls Royce Cullinan 2020 road test review - hero front
    28 February 2020
    Car review
    It began a new era for the brand, but now Goodwood’s big, bold super-luxury...
  • Kia Soul EV 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    27 February 2020
    First Drive
    Appealingly quirky electric crossover touches down in the UK with a 64kWh...
  • Skoda Citigo-e iV 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    27 February 2020
    First Drive
    Skoda’s version of the VW Up is reinvented as an affordable electric city car...

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the BMW range

Driven this week

  • Rolls Royce Cullinan 2020 road test review - hero front
    28 February 2020
    Car review
    It began a new era for the brand, but now Goodwood’s big, bold super-luxury...
  • Kia Soul EV 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    27 February 2020
    First Drive
    Appealingly quirky electric crossover touches down in the UK with a 64kWh...
  • Skoda Citigo-e iV 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    27 February 2020
    First Drive
    Skoda’s version of the VW Up is reinvented as an affordable electric city car...