BMW 7 Series interior
The BMW 7 Series has an upmarket cabin and one of the best infotainment systems in the business. An Audi A8 manages to feel even more solid inside though.
There was a time not so long ago when the BMW 7 Series played second-fiddle to the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 when it came to interior quality. Well, an Audi A8 still leads the bunch, but these days the BMW 7 Series is well and truly in the mix.
Nappa leather seats come as standard in a choice of five different colours, and so do ceramic finish switches, chrome accents and lots of dark gloss wood trim. There’s also leather on the dash top and instrument panel. The result is a classy interior that feels sturdier with presses and prods than a Mercedes S-Class, if not quite an Audi A8.
The BMW 7 Series even looks great at night, because ambient lighting is standard across the range allowing you to choose between multiple colours for your desired effect.
Of course, if you’re willing to part with some serious cash then you can take the interior of the BMW 7 Series to the next level. You can upgrade to posher merino leather, choose from an assortment of different wood trim finishes and swap your rear seats for a more comfortable set with trays that fold out from a raised central console.
BMW wowed us with the interiors on its X5 and X7 SUVs and it’s doing the same again with its latest 7 Series.
The BMW 7 Series comes with the most advanced version of the brilliant BMW iDrive. There’s a 10-inch screen mounted high on the dashboard that can be operated via a rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats, via touch or by using your voice. You can even wave your hand in front of the dashboard to do things like adjusting the volume. It’s all extremely easy to use, and DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay are all included. Not Android Auto, though, annoyingly, and you’ll pay a subscription for CarPlay beyond the first year.
Then there’s a set of digital dials for the driver which are clear but don’t have quite the wow-factor of an Audi A8’s Virtual Cockpit. Still, say ‘hey BMW’ and the standard Personal Assistant will help you with everything from changing the climate control to finding you the nearest restaurant. If that’s not enough, there’s also the option to add a head-up display.
Adding the Rear Seat Comfort Pack brings twin 10-inch rear screens which are brilliantly high definition and react quickly to touch. Also included is an equally bright and responsive tablet located in the console between the rear seats for controlling things like your climate control zone, massage seats and media.
All 7 Series models also get BMW’s Display Key – a remote fob used to lock and unlock the car but also control various functions such as the climate control and even parking when stood outside the car via its small colour touchscreen. This key used to be quite a chunky thing, but has been slimmed down these days so is less annoying to carry around with you, while charging it is can be done wirelessly in a cubby in front of the gear selector.
The standard 16-speaker, 600-watt Harman Kardon sound system is very good, but if you take your music more seriously you should consider adding the optional Bowers and Wilkins sound system. It also has 16 speakers, but has a total output of 1400w and lifts the cabin further with its beautifully designed metallic speakers.