When it comes to gadgetry, enhanced driving experience and luxury, the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive is one of those cars that can wear many hats.
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First and foremost, the updated 7 Series packs the most technology we have seen in a BMW to date and the comfort and confidence provided by the in and out of the cabin gadgetry has been taken to a new level by the German engineers. Second, the unique driving experience of a BMW continues to live with the new generation 7 Series. Despite a slightly overweight body, the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive is agile enough to satisfy the cravings of many drivers.
Last, in the high-end luxury sports sedan segment the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive can be labeled as the Ultimate Luxury Machine and over the course of a week, we felt pampered by the long-wheelbase 7 Series.
We have first reviewed the BMW 750i back in 2009 where the shorter version of the 7 Series gave us a first look at the F01/F02 generation of high-end luxury sedan. With the facelifted model coming to market in 2013, we decided to take a closer look at some of the changes that occurred in the updated model, both from a technology standpoint and design.
Subtle Yet Powerful Design Changes
One of the exterior changes that immediately stand out are the new “squarish” LED corona lights with an LED turn signal indicator placed in the headlight. Those beautifully designed headlights contain eight LEDs giving the car an enhanced road-focus look. While the previous model featured a kidney grille with 9 and 12 slats, based on the Night Vision Camera option, the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive features a single configuration of 9 slats.
Our test model also came with the $3,300 M Sport Package which adds a more aggressive bodykit, larger wheels and M-branded interior elements. A shadowline exterior trim brings all these pieces together into a luxurious, yet sporty vehicle.
As with all the newest BMW models, the turn signals are now part of the housing of side mirrors. At the back, chrome stripes connect reflectors. The shape of the tailights shape remains unchanged while featuring a darker red color.
Star Trek On Four Wheels
As any respectable $100,000+ car the BMW 750Li xDrives comes packed with a lot of goodies that not only make the driving experience more enjoyable and safe, but it also provides extreme comfort, convenience and luxury to the driver and the passengers.
For 2013, BMW has upgraded most of the electronics for its ConnectedDrive system. The new iDrive system now features a faster processor and additional video processing capabilities, along with 250 GB of storage, therefore the new ConnectedDrive navigation system delivers enhanced usability, with greater visual appeal, and better reliability.
Some of the new features introduced with the revised iDrive are 3D mapping, dictation function and split screen guidance.
On the safety front, the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive is loaded with goodies. The Attention Assist system monitors the driver’s behavior and displays a coffee cup if it detects an unsafe level of fatigue. The Driver Assistance Package remains available, bundling together blind-spot detection, a lane-departure warning system (which vibrates the steering wheel when the car drifts from its lane) and automatic high-beam headlights.
The $1900 Driver Asstance Package bundles together the Lane-Departure Warning system, the Blind-Spot Detection, Side and Top View Cameras and the Active Driving Assistant.
The side view cameras look around corners giving you an idea what’s coming up the road in front of you. A 360 degree camera offers a clear picture around the vehicle, a feature we found useful especially when parking the long-wheelbase 7 Series in the Chicago tight parking spaces. Above the rear view camera we have a lane watch camera that emits a vibrating warning to the steering wheel when driving out of your lane.
Notifications to the local speed limits are included as well, making us enjoy even more the Head-Up Display.
BMW’s ConnectedDrive now includes a BMW Night Vision and Dynamic Light Spot system that incorporates pedestrian recognition.
Our tester was equipped with the Executive Package ($4600) and Rear-Seat Entertainment ($2800), two excellent packages that made us spend even more time being driven around, rather than wearing a “driver’s cap”. The two comprehensive packages – read expensive – include Power Adjustable Seats, Heated and Cool rear-seats that recline. From the entertainment package, two 9.2 inc LCD screens emerged. They “float” behind the rear seats rather than integrated into them and they come with their own iDrive control, eliminating the need to bother the driver for entertainment adjustments.
Power sunshades, carpeted footrests and vanity mirrors made us feel that any long-distance feels shorter when aboard the BMW 7 Series.
The Bang & Olufsen audio system is a fairly expensive option for the 7-Series. But $3700 later and we felt that it was worth every penny. The high-fidelity sound system also uses the pop-up Acoustic Lens (speaker) technology, located in the center of the dashboard rather than smaller twin speakers at each corner, as seen in the Audi A8.
So how does it sound? Nothing short of amazing, crystal clear high notes, and an exceptionally natural sound from 16 speakers distributed around the cabin. The two bass speakers, seven mid-range speakers and seven tweeters all have individual amplifiers, creating an Active Sound system. The total watts output is 1200.
As you would expect in a 7 Series, and especially in a long-wheelbase model, the legroom for rear-seated passengers is more than one can ask for. Even at 6″2 or roughly 1.88 meters, I was able to comfortably stretch my legs. The massaging and ventilated seats just simply point to high-end luxury cleverly packaged in the flagship bimmer.
On the safety front, the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive is full of airbags including front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for both rows, and knee airbags.
Yet Still An Ultimate Driving Machine
Four years later (see our previous review) and the BMW 7 Series continues to impresses us. The 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive provides exemplary handling matched with an adjustable ride quality that satisfies a wide range of customers. Thanks to the new adjustable Dynamic Damper Control that works together with the Driving Dynamics Control, the tailored driving experience is sublime. The driver can select between the Sport, Sport+, Comfort, Comfort+ and new for 2013 models, ECO PRO with Coasting Mode which can reduce consumption by up to 20%.
Over the course of nearly 1000 miles, we have equally tested all the driving modes to get a feel for what the car can do in different situations. As expected, the Comfort and Comfort+ modes are geared towards those looking for a smoother, calmer ride or simply for cruising. In the negatively famous Chicago traffic and roads, we found those two driving modes to be ideal while MPG rates were kept in check.
Now switching over to Sport or Sport+ the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive transforms itself. The throttle is sharper, suspensions are more loaded and RPMs were raised a bit, all of those setting up the car for spirited driving. In Sport+ especially the 750Li xDrive is very agile despite its 4800 lbs curb weight.
The power delivery is robust and eloquent making the 750Li xDrive a large luxury sedan that enjoy being pushed around.
All this performance is possible thanks to the updated 4.4 liter V8 TwinTurbo engine which now had Valvetronic added – BMW’s throttles intake system – resulting in additional 45 horsepower and 35 lb-ft torque to a total of 443 hp and 479 lb-ft. The shorter exhaust path to the turbochargers is one of the reasons for the significant power upgrade.
0 to 60 comes in a staggering 4.6 seconds, just a tenth of a second slower than the 6.0 liter V12 760Li.
Compared to the pre-facelift models, the new 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive has improved its fuel consumption by 15%, in our test that translated into 19MPG combined.
Our test car also came equipped with the Active Damper Control and Active Roll Stabilization which help reducing body roll in high-speed corners by measuring lateral acceleration and uses hydraulic actuators to stiffen the antiroll bars.
Should I Buy It?
If you have the money and love the brand, then the 2013 BMW 750Li xDrive makes a compelling case for itself. At $118,000 (as tested), the 750Li xDrive is far from being considered affordable, and it’s already competing in a segment with other great vehicles from Mercedes-Benz (S550), Audi (A8 L), Jaguar (XJL) and even the Porsche Panamera 4S.
But what BMW continues to bring to the table is the driving experience that very few can match. Couple that with an improved interior design and more gadgets, and the 750Li xDrive goes on the short list of anyone looking for a high-end luxury sedan.
Vehicle Tested: 2013 BMW 750 Li xDrive
Base MSRP: $94,425
Options on Test Vehicle: M Sport Package ($3300), Executive Package ($4600), Rear-Seat Entertainment ($2800), Lighting Package ($1900), Luxury Rear Seating Package ($3700), Active Roll Stabilization ($2,600), Bang & Olufsen ($3700)
2013 Mercedes-Benz S550
2013 Audi A8L
2013 Jaguar XJL
[Photos: Johan Lee Photography]