The All New BMW 7 Series
Take the concept of the word 7 series and completely erase every trace of what you think you know. I had the privilege of getting the BMW 730 D Auto M sport from Northcliff Auto recently, for a few days to test the car, and see how it goes. It was amazing. From the very second you jump in, you know this car is very different to any other luxury car you may have driven or been in. It is a very special car indeed. Below we go through a few quick comments, to show you what we mean.
The 7 series has always been at the pinnacle of automotive innovation, and offers a preview to what technology and safety will be seen in future BMW cars, further down the food-chain.
The drive is much better than any other luxury sedan I have driven thus far. I had had the privilege in the past of driving quite a few BMW cars, and other major manufacturers while working in the automotive trade in 2006 onwards. The most impressive features I can describe in short are the following:
- Much less body roll than any car of this size ( over 5.2 m) that I have ever driven
- Immense safety in rain and Highveld “stormy” weather.
- Incredibly easier to change lanes, even at high speed, with all the confidence you need when rushing to a meeting or being late for an appointment.
- Brakes and body that don’t take off or dip down on stopping abruptly.
For the two days under test, we had very bad weather in Johannesburg. So i can to sample the amazing driving technology features that BMW have brought to us in the new 7. Lane keeping assist and dynamic cruise control allow you to follow the car in front of you, when stuck on the M1, with the new road building taking place, at 30 km`s and less. Even when we sped up, and with all the rain we had in the past week, the car stuck to its guns, and I never felt like I had to intervene except when road markings were unclear. This means for a stressed out business exec, on teh drive home anywhere in the world, if you have to face bumper to bumper traffic in Durban, Cape town or Johannesburg, this would be the right car for you. All of the stress goes away, knowing the car can take over the mundane bumper to bumper traffic. At higher speeds, the car will warn you to keep your hands on the steering wheel, as the traffic starts to speed up. The dynamic drive, semi-autonomous driving and ability to quickly change direction without feeling like you need any F1 driver assistance, is amazing.
Heads up display also kept me on my toes, when it came to keeping to the speed limit. Without a single meeting with the JMPD, I could always see my speed without looking down. It also showed me the BMW Navigation system directions in the heads up display, plus allowed me to scroll through tracks. With a car that can gain speed very quickly, and with the manic traffic and general bad driving we see in Johannesburg, this is an excellent safety feature, that you can specify from the BMW 3 series and up. I highly recommend it. Even in glare and bright sunlight, the HUD was always visible.
What this car drives like, is the strength of a ballerina and well trained 100 m athlete combined. So the grace and poise of a Prima ballerina like Anna Pavlova, combined with the speed of Hussain Bolt. Combined elegance and comfort, never felt this fast or dynamic before.
I have driven quite a few different cars in the past year and a bit. The main aim of all my blogs, is to help people make a really good choice before they buy. The active and passive safety systems in the BMW 7 are numerous, too many to mention. The one thing I will mention is that I see the Heads up display, autonomous braking and suspension as part of the reason of why the 7 series is so great.
Picture driving past zoo lake – and a child kicks a soccer ball into the road, and his young sibling runs into the road to retrieve it. The BMW scans the road ahead, and is able to hit the brakes if you don’t manage to in time. A warning brings you back into focus while driving, followed by autonomous braking. While driving through Krugersdorp on a particularly misty evening, with fog and wet roads, the car even managed to brake slightly when picking up a truck through the mist, that had had its rear lights completely off at 11 pm at night. Coming home from a function with my family – this enhanced my feeling of safety in the 7 series, and took any doubt out of my mind, that the technical innovation BMW has achieved is beyond any car I have driven thus far. Needless to say most cars in this segment have similar features, but whether they work or not, especially in bad weather, you have to test for yourself, in real life, with an overnight demo.
The car even warned me when whilst stationery at a robot, waiting for the light to change, a taxi pulled a little too close alongside my left side. The car then showed me an image in the centre console display, showing which side the taxi was on, with little yellow blocks showing areas of potential contact. Some of the systems that are meant to protect the car, can seem “over-reactive” and BMW gives the option to turn them all off, or one system at a time, from the console display.
Working all the electronics is easy to do, with the touchscreen functions, air or gesture command, using your finger to wave in the air to turn volume up or down, and split fingers as a programmable function. I used the split finger command to change the music track, and it worked, even at night, with heavy rain outside the cabin – making my driving easier when driving in dodgy weather.
The price of the car we had was R 1. 5 Million. After taking a few of my financial services co-workers around the block in the car, the question about value and features vs price came up, as it always does with people who speak about NPL`s, LGD`s and ROI`s all day long. We unanimously concluded that the 7 series is the best car, it is worth the price, and we are all looking at long terms goals linked to getting finance approved for this machine. The 7 series is truly a spectacular car. It is also very discreet, so you will be able to keep your other CEO friends that come over for dinner. This is also not a man or a womans car, it is a car for people who know where they are going. BMW especially in SA, has appeal as an aspirational brand. I didn’t want to give back the keys after the review. I aspire, even as a blogger, to one day own this specific car. A white 730 D Auto M-Sport car, and for me, regardless of how the outside world views the price or status of such a machine, I care about the drive and how safe the car will keep my family. BMW offers those two things, on tap, with most of their models, but in particular with the 7 series.
We got this particular car from Shaiba Ebrahim from Northcliff Auto, with special permission from Anton (GM Sales) and the new Corporate Sales Manager (company deals) Nicole Barry. If you would like to buy a BMW, I can`t recommend a better dealer. After 5 years of working Gauteng – Northcliff Auto really stand out. Joan in service – Shaiba in Sales, led by Anton and the team – very very competent, friendly and efficient staff. I can really recommend their service.
Call Shaiba on 083 273 9508 or email on Ebrahim.firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again, thanks to Nicci, Anton and Shaiba for making me feel quite presidential this last week. If you are due for an upgrade of your Audi A6, BMW 5 series, Jag XF or even the Mercedes E Class, this 7 series would be a very, very worthy contender indeed!
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