If you’re in the market for a luxury electric sedan, there are now a lot more options than there were a few years ago. This includes new arrivals, like the Lucid Air, Mercedes-Benz EQS, Porsche Taycan, which go head to head with the Tesla Model S. We can now also include BMW on that list, since it has introduced the 2023 i7 xDrive60, which is a fully electric sedan that is based on the latest 7 Series.
While its rivals are all based on dedicated EV platforms, BMW decided to take a different route by electrifying the 7 Series, which means that you can now get the big sedan with either a combustion engine or an EV powertrain.
The i7 and complete 7 Series lineup have a new exterior that features the latest version of BMW’s iconic grille. We’ll leave it up to you to decide if you like the i7’s face, it’s definitely not as sleek as its rivals. Compared to the low slung Model S or Taycan, the i7 has a more imposing presence on the road, with its tall body, upright hood and squared off rear end. Basically the i7 with its more traditional big sedan layout will appeal more to buyers that want a 7 Series, but that also want an electric car.
That large footprint, allows for plenty of space in the i7, especially in the rear. Moving inside, the i7’s cabin is dominated by digital screens. At the front there’s the BMW Curved Display interface, which includes the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system runs the latest version of BMW’s iDrive system with a rotary controller on the center console. You can also just simply touch the screen to make changes or use the voice activated system to make calls or select what music you want to play from the Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
If you move to the back, that’s where the real fun is. If you want to watch a movie on the go, all you have to do is activate the Theater Screen that folds down from the headliner. It measures a whopping 31 inches and has 8k resolution, which is far cooler than the small individual screens that we normally see in other luxury vehicles.. It also has built in Amazon Fire TV connectivity. Activating Theater Mode also not only includes moving the screen, but also the side and rear window screens to fully turn the back seat into a personal theater. Just think of how much more relaxing it will be to plug the i7 in and watch a movie while it charges up.
There are also 5.5-inch door mounted touchscreens in the back that let you activate the Theater Mode and other personal settings. We also can’t leave out the automatic doors that close and open with the touch of a button – that’s real luxury!
The i7 is powered by a dual-motor powertrain that generates a combined 536 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque. BMW says that it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. That makes it only slightly slower than the V8 powered 760i XDrive. The i7 pulls away from a stop with urgency, but it doesn’t give you that wow feeling that you get with other electric sedans, like the Model S and Taycan. If you want something sportier, BMW is expected to release an M Performance version of the i7 at some point.
The i7 has a driving range up to 318 miles and it’s capable of taking 195-kW DC Fast Charging. You can add about 90 miles of range in only 10 minutes, using a DC Fast Charger or charge it from 10% to 80% in 34 minutes. BWM also throws in 3 years of complementary charging at Electrify America charging stations. If you prefer to charge it at home, it can be charged from 0-100% in under 12 hours.
If you’re looking for a high performance electric sedan, like the Porsche Taycan Turbo or Tesla Model S Plaid, then you’ll probably not want to get behind the wheel of the i7. The i7 places more emphasis on luxury and comfort with its big comfy seats and extremely quiet interior. The i7 gets a standard air suspension that prevents any of the road’s imperfections from enjoying your favorite movie on the go. With that said, it’s not a big surprise that the i7 doesn’t have the typical handling and fun to drive personality that we expect from BMW. Behind the wheel, the i7 feels big, but passengers couldn’t stop raving about how comfortable the interior is – “It’s like a lounge on wheels”. Your friends in the back will not want to get out of the ventilated massaging seats.
On the safety front, the i7 comes standard with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, blind spot monitoring. The available Highway Assistant lets you take your hands off the wheel on the highway at speeds up to 85 mph. The Parking Assistant automatically parks the i7 too.
The pricing for the 2023 BMW i7 starts at $120,295, including destination.
At the end of the day, the i7 is the perfect EV for 7 Series buyers that don’t want to give up the look and feel of a standard 7 Series, but also want to make the move to electric. The i7 impresses with its luxurious cabin, stand out tech features and comfy driving experience. It’s definitely the EV that you want to be driven in.
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