2017 BMW 740Li review, test drive

    New 3.0-litre, turbo-petrol straight-six is a great option if you don’t want the big V8 or a diesel.

    Published on May 02, 2017 12:55:00 PM

    87,646 Views

    Make : BMW
    Model : 7 Series

    What is it?

    It’s a mid-range variant of BMW’s flagship luxury limousine that caters to the growing demand for petrol-powered cars. Until now, you could have your 7-series with either a 265hp, 3.0-litre diesel (730Ld) or a 450hp, 4.4-litre V8 petrol (750Li), but this new 740Li is powered by a 3.0-litre inline-six petrol. This makes it a great choice for the ever-growing number of people who don’t want a diesel, but at the same time, don’t want to splurge on the full-fat V8 petrol. And it would be quite a splurge; since this is a CKD (Completely Knocked Down unit) assembled in India, its price is a more reasonable Rs 1.28 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi) as opposed to the Rs 1.57 crore of the imported 750Li.

    The 740Li is only available in one specification – Design Pure Excellence Signature – which, like the engine, is the mid-level offering in the range. It gets a bit more kit than the starting variant and uses a classier, more chrome-heavy look than the racier, more expensive M Sport top trim offered with the other two engines.

    What’s it like on the inside?

    We’ve said in past reviews of the car that the new 7-series’ interior is leagues ahead of its predecessor’s in terms of craftsmanship and the kinds of materials used. There’s softer leather, contrast stitching, lighter-coloured wood grain and loads of brushed metal all over the place. The design, however, is still a bit too business-like, especially compared to the dramatic dashboards of the Mercedes S-class and Jaguar XJ.

    It does pack in loads of tech though, with BMW’s latest and greatest iDrive onboard computer now operable by not just the click wheel and touchpad, but also a touchscreen and even a handful of gesture controls, the last of which work with varying degrees of effectiveness. The back seat is ridiculously spacious, and this DPE Signature trim gets a bench seat that’s made of two reclining chairs with an armrest that folds down in the centre, housing the seat controls and a Samsung tablet that lets you operate just about everything, from the air-con, the ambient lighting and infotainment, to the seat heating, cooling and massage, the sun blinds and the sunroof.

    Strangely, however, while the rear seats and driver’s seat are lavishly equipped, the front passenger seat isn’t. It only has basic electric adjustment (no lumbar and side bolster adjustment, and you can’t even adjust the headrest), and it lacks the massage function. It seems its main purpose is folding forward to liberate even more room for the rear-left passenger and releasing the footrest that’s fixed onto the back of it. Another disappointing omission is paddle shifters; yes this is a limousine, and it’s not the M Sport version (which does get them), but it’s still a BMW, and as you’ll see in the next section, owners might be quite inclined to take the wheel from time to time.

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