The new 7 Series is a car defined by both BMW’s acknowledged strengths and its weaknesses; that it feels much like a facsimile of a BMW sports saloon blown up by 150 per cent says everything that most will need to know.
There’s much better material quality, luxury and refinement here than that simplification would suggest, of course, not to mention impressive in-car technology and outstanding performance, handling and efficiency. But most of those are traditional BMW virtues.
Where the firm has tended to fall down of late is when zeroing in on dynamic qualities specific to vehicle class and in failing to venture forth with genuinely imaginative design.
Predictably, then, the 7 Series is a surprisingly good driver’s car but could be a better luxury conveyance. Although it’s immutably built, the BMW doesn’t feel as rich, desirable or special as some of its rivals.
Instead, the 7 Series struggles to cast off the bland, pedestrian flavour of a lesser saloon, and while it has some impressive constituent parts, it never feels greater than the sum of them.
As a result the big BMW falls behind equivalent other luxury cars including the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Range Rover and Tesla Model S, however the 7 Series does, in our eyes, is a better option than the Jaguar XJ.