First Drive: 2023 BMW 760i xDrive Review
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First Drive: 2023 BMW 760i xDrive Review

The 2023 BMW 7 Series represents a big swing for the luxury carmaker: a controversial exterior design, a dizzying array of technology and a full slate of new powertrains, including the brand’s first all-electric executive-class sedan.

Canada Drives took part in the annual BMW TestFest in Rancho Mirage, California, to sample the latest rides form the Munich-based manufacturer, including the highly anticipated BMW 760i xDrive. Let’s see if the big swing BMW taking here is a game-winning homerun or a devastating strikeout. 

Key Features:

  • Completely unique exterior design
  • All-new platform and powertrains
  • Loads of luxury amenities

Direct Competitors:

  • Audi A8
  • Genesis G90
  • Lexus LS
  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • Porsche Panamera

You’ve really got to hand it to BMW; they’re not following in any other brand’s footsteps. This has been true for some time, but it’s possibly more apparent than ever given the firm’s design direction over the recent past. Case in point, the 2023 BMW 7 Series, its executive-class send. 

2023 BMW 760i xDrive | Photo: BMW 

Not so very long ago, this segment was reserved for a manufacturer’s most conservative and technology-laden designs. While the new seventh-generation 7 Series is absolutely rammed with technology, it’s radically far from conservative. 

Like a number of recent releases from BMW, the exterior design here will have its diehard fans and its detractors. The headlights split into two sections seem to be a particular area of debate.

2023 BMW 7 Series models and price in Canada

At launch, for the North American market, there will be three different versions of the BMW 7 Series: the 760i xDrive, the 740i and the all-electric i7. Here in Canada, from the start, the focus will be on the 760i xDrive and the i7.

In years past, the 760 has been powered by a V-12 engine, but that’s fallen by the wayside. Instead, the new 760i xDrive has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V-8 under the hood. It’s no slouch, generating 536 hp, 553 lb-ft of torque and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of about 4.2 seconds. The 740i receives a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-6 with 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. 

2023 BMW 760i xDrive | Photo: BMW 

Both gas engines incorporate 48-volt mild hybrid systems and both utilize a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with an integrated starter-generator. The 760i xDrive is an all-wheel drive sedan; the 740i is rear-wheel drive. 

There are no long-wheelbase versions of the 7 Series any longer; all versions share the same dimensions, with a wheelbase 5 mm longer than the outgoing model. The new 7 Series is also longer overall, taller and wider than ever—so much for minimalism.

The starting price for the 2023 BMW 760i xDrive is $147,000; pricing for the 740i has yet to be announced.

2023 BMW 760i xDrive interior: lavish and luxurious

As controversial as the exterior design of the new 7 Series may be, the interior is no wallflower either. In contrast to past versions of BMW’s executive-class sedan, this new model verges on opulence normally reserved for Bentleys and Maybachs. 

2023 BMW 760i xDrive | Photo: BMW 

The version of the 760i xDrive tested had a dizzying array of materials—woven materials, leather, cashmere, crystal, glass and carbon fibre, most of the pieces cut into dramatic angles. The passenger cabin is very much a future-focused take on luxury, to be sure. 

The focal point for the driver is the continuous slice of curved glass that houses the 12.3-inch instrument panel and 14.5-inch centre touchscreen. These displays are, of course, seemingly adjustable to infinity and beyond. 

The sporty steering wheel is surprisingly restrained by comparison; there are a few haptic controls on the wheel itself. This is mainly due to the fact that the eighth-generation iDrive controller steers much of the action, filling in for when the touchscreen is too much of a stretch. There’s also voice-activated controls here as well, so there aren’t a lot of hard buttons to be found anywhere.

To cap it all off, there’s also another set of controls, similar in concept to the touch bar on an Apple notebook. This strip, positioned below the other controls, runs the entire width of the dashboard and into the front passenger compartment. 

Called the BMW Interaction Bar, it’s a crystalline bar that houses some touch-sensitive climate controls, the hazard lights and the button for opening the glove compartment. To be honest, in the bright sunlight, it was not easy to see past the glare of the crystal to operate these controls.

Executive Lounge for rear passengers

2023 BMW 760i xDrive | Photo: BMW 

The real star of the show for the 760i xDrive is the back seat. There are various packages available, including something called the Executive Lounge with reclining, heated, cooled and massaging seats. 

There are also two small touchscreens that resemble iPhones set into the rear doors; these touchscreens can be used to operate the rear-seat climate control settings and comfort features. For added drama, there’s an optional Theatre Package that sees a 31-inch touchscreen drop down from the ceiling to entertain rear-seat passengers—it’s mind-blowing.

2023 BMW 760i xDrive power, handling and other driving impressions

The big BMW may be quick in a straight line, but it’s also a heavyweight sedan. Curb weight rolls in at a minimum of 2270 kg (5004 lbs), so a lot of the power and torque from the twin-turbo V-8 are needed just to build some momentum. 

But in driving the legendary Palms to Pines Scenic Byway, a curvy little slice of heaven, the car handled well. The steering was light and the brake travel was a bit on the lengthy side, but the inherent balance of the car was exceptional. All things considered, the 760i xDrive didn’t “feel” like an executive-class sedan.

2023 BMW 760i xDrive | Photo: BMW 

For sure, the BMW 760i xDrive is better suited to cruising the Autobahn in absolute comfort than hammering down the Nurburgring. But there’s enough substance here to remind the driver that this car is a BMW under the slick surface.

Verdict: Is the 2023 BMW 760i xDrive the undisputed king of the executive class?

One thing’s for sure: If you want to stand out in the crowd, the 2023 BMW 760i xDrive is a great choice. It breaks from executive-class sedan tradition in countless ways and has far more potential to become a statement piece for a high-powered mogul than anything its rivals can conjure up.

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View all our used BMW 4-door cars here. Every vehicle from Canada Drives has completed a 150 Point Inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our 7-Day money back return policy.

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