2023 BMW 740i First Test: Performance and Luxury all in one!

The base version of BMW’s latest top-shelf sedan is plenty powerful, but can it stack up to the available V-8 and EV?

When it comes to purchasing a flagship sedan, there are several factors you need to consider. Is it luxurious enough? Does it boast the latest in technology? Does it have enough power? The 2023 BMW 740i more than delivers on the first two fronts when properly optioned. But with the new BMW 7 Series lineup also boasting twin-turbo V-8 and all-electric power plants, does the six-cylinder-equipped 740i have enough oomph to motivate the monied masses?

BMW 740i 0-60-MPH And 1/4-Mile Times, And Handling Results

We wondered the same thing when we first put our foot into the 2023 BMW 740i’s throttle and woke up its 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with 375 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque (the car’s 48-volt mild hybrid system can temporarily boost torque to 398 lb-ft). It’s not neck-snapping, but it’s more than snappy enough; we recorded a 0-60-mph time of 4.6 seconds using the launch control feature. The big BMW sedan’s quarter-mile time is respectable, as well, with a best 13.2-second run at 106.5 mph. That’s not miles behind the all-electric, all-wheel-drive BMW i7 xDrive60 we just tested (4.3 to 60 mph and 12.6 seconds at 115.3 mph).

Halting the 4,863-pound 740i took just 107 feet, with little brake fade after repeated hard stops. The brakes are tremendous, as long as you don’t get greedy. That number was two feet shorter than the i7’s stopping distance, though the BMW EV is roughly 1,200 pounds heavier than the 740i, with bigger brakes.

When it came to our dynamic tests, the 2023 BMW 740i wasn’t extraordinary, with a 0.86 g (average) number on the skidpad and a Ride n Drive figure-eight time of 26.0 seconds at 0.71 g (average). Both of those numbers were handily bested by the i7 xDrive60 (0.95 g and 24.5 seconds at 0.78 g). But we found the 740i’s overall performance envelope to be better than expected. This big sedan can dance pretty well; it’s quite quick across the middle of the figure eight, and the chassis is impressively controlled thanks to the fancy dampers and active anti-roll bar.

Capability, Meet Luxury And Technology

Given its powertrain, the 2023 BMW 740i isn’t a blazingly fast super sedan, but it’s more than capable in most any day-to-day situation, and for those who care, it’s actually somewhat efficient for its size at 25/31/27 city/highway/combined mpg. On concrete highways and byways, the 740i had more than enough go for any situation, with a smooth transmission. Pull the boost paddle and it provides a multi-second burst of wild-child power, complete with a head-up-display light show. Press the Sport setting and the car’s character changes significantly. The gears hold longer, and its reworked air suspension, dampers, and active steering all tighten up substantially.

At speed, its dazzling cabin was one of the most isolated we’ve ever been in, and that includes the Bentleys and Rolls-Royces of the world. Wherever you look, there are high-end touches, from the glass dials and switchgear to the intricate metal grillwork of the $4,800 Bowers & Wilkins sound system (it also “excites” the seats to amp up a 4D experience) to the “Interaction Bar,” a sleek backlit crystalline structure that bisects the dash and houses several vehicle controls. The 740i’s curved display with a 12.3-inch instrument panel and 14.9-inch touchscreen that showcases BMW’s iDrive 8.0 is also duly impressive, though as we’ve outlined in previous stories on the new 7 Series, it can be mildly irritating to find and access certain controls at first. But we do think we’d get used to it, and the app-like setup is among the better we’ve seen among the new-generation infotainment systems. Look up and you find the “Panoramic Sky Lounge” roof with LED accents that extends to the rear seating.

Out back is where the luxury limo lifestyle takes hold, as the $4,750 fold down, 31.3-inch 8K touchscreen with Amazon Fire TV integration offers an experience unlike anything else in the space. Dual 5.5-inch screens integrated in the rear doors also control numerous entertainment and comfort and convenience features, and the optional ($3,000) Luxury Rear Seating thrones are as comfortable and adjustable as any in the segment. Another neat party trick are the automatic-open doors that come with the $4,600 Executive package—just touch a button and open sesame. We found this system was a bit wonky at times, though like the front touchscreen controls, we’d probably get used to it after a while.

Outside Lines And Value

As for its exterior appearance, you can quibble with this take on BMW’s kidney grille (and we know many do), but the rest of the car is classy and muscular in a traditional large sedan way, with several strong character lines, a new interpretation of the automaker’s Hofmeister kink, standard adaptive LED headlights with a unique optional Swarovski crystal setup, and on this car, a beautiful shade of what BMW calls Tanzanite Blue II Metallic ($1,950).

At $96,695 to start, you’ll need to heavily option the 2023 BMW 740i to get it to the same level as our loaded-up test car which featured all of the top-tier gear the new 7 Series has in its arsenal. The all-in price for our tester was $131,795—a pretty solid deal for what you get at this stratospheric level. You’re going to pay some 20 grand more for the V-8 to start, and tack on an additional six grand for the i7. Is the extra power worth the extra cash? It depends on how much power and what powertrain you think a modern flagship like the 7 Series needs.

Regardless, the 2023 BMW 740i and its powertrain are worthy of carrying the 7 Series mantle—that is, as long as it’s loaded to the kidney grilles.

Source: Motortrend