TOP News

buying: 2023 BMW 7 Series and i7 First Drive Review: The Technophile's Luxury Sedans

leap in profits: BMW is optimistic

 leap in profits: BMW is optimistic The car manufacturer BMW has increased its win in the third quarter by 23 percent to 3.2 billion euros and looks "with confidence in the coming months," as CEO Oliver Zipse said on Thursday. The order books are still well filled. Despite high costs and falling order inputs, especially in Germany and England, BMW can "go into the new year with confidence," said CFO Nicolas Peter.

The BMW 7 Series has always been one of the top choices in the full-size luxury sedan segment, offering customers attractive, restrained styling and a focus on driving dynamics. That all changed when the fourth-gen E65 model debuted in 2001. Its Chris Bangle-led styling, middling on-road character and groundbreaking iDrive infotainment system were hugely controversial at the time. Despite the E65 being a sales success, subsequent 7 Series generations went much more conservative in every aspect. That course is finally reversing with the seventh-gen 2023 7 Series, which features a divisive design, a major focus on technology, an entertaining driving experience and an available fully electric powertrain.

Redesigned 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime Boast Improved Fuel Economy and Acceleration

  Redesigned 2023 Toyota Prius and Prius Prime Boast Improved Fuel Economy and Acceleration The sleeker design wraps around a more conventional dash and allows for more cargo space2023 Toyota PriusBy Keith BarryWhen you hear the word “hybrid,” chances are the Toyota Prius comes to mind. But even though hybrids have been growing in popularity, Prius sales have slumped as buyers flock to pure EVs like the Tesla Model 3 and hybrid SUVs instead. It’s a shame because we’ve always thought the Prius is one of the best options out there for car buyers who prioritize practical, economical, and reliable transportation.

Say what you will about the new 7 Series' styling, it certainly makes an impression -- and I love it. Split headlights are a new design signature for BMW's flagship models, with the slim upper unit used for running lights and the larger lower section containing the actual headlights. (The running lights are available with actual Swarovski crystals inside, which look amazing.) The outline of the large kidney grilles are illuminated, though the connected center section isn't. But aside from the controversial face, the new 7's design is pretty clean. A few crisp lines are the only major surfacing features on the sides, with the slight curvature of the doors nicely catching the light, and there's actually a prominent Hofmeister Kink. The rear can look a little tall and bulky from some angles, but overall it's my favorite 7 Series design since the Bangle-era E65.

Alleged million damage: Process against ex-BMW leadership due to suspicion of corruption,

 Alleged million damage: Process against ex-BMW leadership due to suspicion of corruption, © is provided by Wirtschaftswoche suspicion of bribery: Process against ex-manager of the Bavarian car manufacturer BMW starts. Photo: Reutersdata portal copyright = A former manager of BMW is said to have received lubricating money in the millions of two suppliers. The main hearing for suspicion of infidelity and bribery starts on December 9th in Munich. A former manager of the car manufacturer BMW must be responsible for possible bribery from December 9th before the Munich I district court.

Some of the 7's paint colors can be paired with either Black Sapphire Metallic or Oxide Grey Metallic for $12,000, giving the car a two-tone exterior that I think suits its styling. The M Sport package gives the car a whole new look thanks to unique bumpers that integrate the lower headlights into gloss-black sections, and the Professional version of the package blacks out the grille, too. I don't think the M Sport kit works with lighter colors, but it looks sinister with a darker finish like the optional Frozen Deep Grey.

2023 BMW 760i Hustles Around in Pure Comfort

760i: Comfortable and capable

The 7 Series' looks don't matter once you get behind the wheel, and BMW has nailed the driving experience. I don't get to sample the entry-level 740i, which has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system sending 375 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. The V8-powered 7 Series is now called 760i -- there's no more V12 to use that moniker, sadly -- with its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 536 hp and 553 lb-ft. (It, too, is a mild hybrid.) BMW says the all-wheel-drive 760i will reach 60 mph in a brisk 4.1 seconds, and the V8 provides a hearty growl under acceleration and even a dash of sporty overrun when you let off the gas.

2023 Kia Rio pricing stays under $20,000, one of America's three most affordable cars

  2023 Kia Rio pricing stays under $20,000, one of America's three most affordable cars 2023 Kia Rio pricing stays under $20,000, one of America's three most affordable carsThe new sums for the 2023 Kia, including that destination fee, are:

Chuck the 760i into a tight bend and it's shockingly fun, especially for a car that's nearly 18 feet long and weighs 4,969 pounds. While the 7's steering is a bit too light and quick, it has better feedback and is more satisfying than most other modern BMWs. Rear-wheel steering and an air suspension with adjustable dampers are standard on the 760i, and a 48-volt active anti-roll bar setup is available. Even when cornering hard, the 760i stays pretty flat, with minimal body roll and a ton of grip. It doesn't get unsettled by quick changes of direction, with just enough playfulness in the mostly neutral handling to be exciting. The 760i I'm driving has the optional larger M Sport brakes, and I don't experience any fade or mushiness from the pedal after several hard stops. Yet, when I get back onto the highway, the experience is absolutely serene. The cabin is dead quiet at speed, and the ride is comfortable. It's not quite as smooth as a Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Maybach, but the new 7 comes damn close.

2023 BMW i7 Proves the Future of Luxury Is Electric

i7: The future is here

As much as I love driving the 760i, once I slide into the driver's seat of the fully electric i7 it's hard to give a crap about the gas-powered 7 Series. The i7 provides a more enjoyable experience across the board, and it's yet more proof that the future of luxury cars is electric. Currently available in dual-motor xDrive60 form, the i7 makes 536 hp and 549 lb-ft, enough to sprint to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, a few ticks slower than the 760i. Thanks to the electric motors' instantaneous torque, the i7 feels quicker and acceleration is accompanied by cool Hans Zimmer noises. The i7 is almost 1,000 pounds heavier than the 760i, clocking in at 5,917 lbs, but it has a near 50/50 weight distribution with a lower center of gravity, leading to more planted handling and an even nicer ride. Strong regeneration with true one-pedal driving is available by tapping the electronic shifter into the B position, and it's easier to modulate than other EVs.

Tested: 2023 Toyota Prius Drives Even Better Than It Now Looks

  Tested: 2023 Toyota Prius Drives Even Better Than It Now Looks It's no longer necessary to sacrifice styling, acceleration, handling, or your dignity in the name of fuel economy.That ends now—except for the part where the 2023 Toyota Prius generates stellar fuel economy. In fact, Toyota estimates it's even better at this core mission. How does 57 mpg combined (57 city/56 highway) grab you? That's for the LE with front-wheel drive and 17-inch wheels—the L Eco model is history. The XLE and Limited front-wheel-drive models are good for 52 combined (52 city/52 highway) on their standard 19-inch rolling stock.

On the roads around Palm Springs, California, I'm able to try out BMW's updated Highway Assistant, which provides Level 2 hands-free driving at speeds up to 85 mph and is included in the $2,100 Driving Assistance Professional Package. With the regular adaptive cruise control activated, the car's gauge cluster will prompt you when Highway Assistant is able to be activated by the press of a button on the steering wheel. The system works well, with no ping-ponging within the lane or any other scary behavior. The car's eye-tracking cameras allow me to look away for brief moments without triggering an attention warning, which is helpful when I need to adjust the climate control or change a setting in the main infotainment screen. Plus, light taps of either pedal won't immediately deactivate Highway Assistant, and a longer driver input will just put the car back in normal adaptive cruise mode instead of shutting down the system completely.

The 7 Series' cabin is positively brimming with interesting materials and technology. BMW © Provided by Roadshow The 7 Series' cabin is positively brimming with interesting materials and technology. BMW

One stunning interior

Adding to the 2023 7 Series' driving experience is the fabulous interior, which is one of the best on the market. The new 7's cabin takes cues from the electric iX SUV, but it turns down the weirdness ever so slightly in favor of an even bigger focus on opulence and technology. BMW's now ubiquitous curved display pairs a 12.3-inch gauge cluster with a 14.9-inch touchscreen under a single pane of glass, running the latest iDrive 8 software. The infotainment system is filled with menus and submenus and is overwhelming at first, but it's actually very easy to get used to, especially once I rearrange my home screen and quick-access functions. Nearly all of the climate controls are now housed in the screen, which is totally fine by me, since they're just one tap away at all times and easy to adjust. I do wish the gauge cluster screen was more customizable, though the new augmented-reality view is great.

2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 Seamlessly Integrates Its Electric Powertrain

  2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 Seamlessly Integrates Its Electric Powertrain Bigger and more luxurious than ever, the new BMW 7-series now also comes in EV form, though it doesn't shout about it.With its new-for-2023 7-series, BMW has come down firmly in the camp of making electrification simply another powertrain alternative. The i7 xDrive60, as the EV version is called, differs from the V-8-powered 760i xDrive in only minor visual details: The BMW roundel on the hood has a subtle blue ring around it, the start/stop button inside is blue, the grille is solid and has a small "I" in a vertical element, and, of course, there are no tailpipes.

Debuting on the 7 Series is the Interaction Bar, a backlit crystalline trim piece that spans the width of the dash and extends onto the doors, also acting as a neat way to hide the air vents. The bar contains some touch-sensitive control buttons, like sliders for fan speed, and it uses animated ambient lighting to react to events and augment functions such as incoming phone calls or safety-suite warnings. It looks especially cool at night or with the lighting set to one of the crazier colors, and it pairs well with the available crystal controls for iDrive and the seats.

The new 7's interior is best experienced with the optional BMW Individual Composition that pairs Smoke White leather on the upper parts of the seat with Light Grey cashmere wool upholstery covering the rest of the seats, extending to sections of the door panels and the headrests. The cashmere looks cool and feels expensive as hell, and unlike some other cars that offer wool seats, the BMW's are available with ventilation. The massaging seats are fantastic and actually stay on for more than 30 minutes, too. Other wonderful details include the complex design of the metal speaker grilles, the weirdly shaped steering wheel that has a nice thick rim, and the quilting patterns on the seats and doors that look straight out of a Bottega Veneta ad.

The new Interaction Bar is quite the clever piece of tech. BMW © Provided by Roadshow The new Interaction Bar is quite the clever piece of tech. BMW

Impressive tech galore

Many of the 7 Series' other standout tech features could be seen as gimmicky, but I find them easy to adapt to. The doors open automatically with the press of a button on the exterior handle, and they use sensors to avoid hitting curbs or other cars. Once I'm inside, the doors can be closed with a button on the dashboard or through the main infotainment screen -- or I can use BMW's smartphone app to remotely open or close any of the doors, including doing them all at once. Honestly, I never want to open or close my own doors again. A 5.5-inch touchscreen is integrated into each rear door panel, controlling things like the audio system, climate control, interior lighting, seats and more. The standard panoramic sunroof is massive and has integrated LED light threads that put on a little show when I get in the car. The 7 Series can replicate saved parking movements and execute them remotely using the app. There's even a selfie camera inside that's activated via voice command.

2023 Honda Civic Type R First Drive Review: The Hooligan Grows Up

  2023 Honda Civic Type R First Drive Review: The Hooligan Grows Up Even with newfound refinement, Honda's sweet little hot hatch will still give you the giggles.Seriously, Max is freaking caning the Civic. And from the passenger seat, all I can do is giggle, too. The Civic Type R clearly loves being thrashed, and at the hands of an F1 champ, this car's inner hooligan has every opportunity to shine. That inherent playfulness was one of the previous Civic Type R's best traits, and not an ounce of that spirit was lost in the development of the new car. Instead, Honda worked on smoothing out many of Type R's rougher edges, and the Civic is better for it.

The real centerpiece is BMW's Theater Screen, a $4,750 standalone option that adds a fold-down 31.3-inch 8K screen for rear seat passengers. The Theater Screen uses the car's 5G connection to stream 4K videos through Amazon Fire TV, which includes other apps like Netflix and YouTube. Three different aspect ratios can be used -- 16:9, 21:9 or 32:9 -- with the unused edges of the screen able to show weather data and other information. I can also play downloaded media, stream music or connect gaming consoles via HDMI. Rear-seat passengers can move the screen fore or aft, and it can be controlled via touch or the door-panel displays. When the screen is deployed, the car automatically raises the door and rear-windshield sunshades, which are nearly as good as blackout curtains, as well as closing the sunroof shade and dimming the interior lighting. Annoyingly, the 7 Series doesn't have a digital rear view mirror, so if you want to see behind you with the screen down, oh well.

The 7 Series' Theater Screen is so good, it might keep Nicole Kidman away from AMC for a while. BMW © Provided by Roadshow The 7 Series' Theater Screen is so good, it might keep Nicole Kidman away from AMC for a while. BMW

While awesome on its own, the Theater Screen is best experienced as part of the Rear Executive Lounge Seating Package, which also includes the Luxury Rear Seating Package, the Executive Package 2 and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system. (Some of these features come standard on the 760i and the i7, with this setup costing nearly $20,000 depending on model.) This smorgasbord of features includes a rear armrest with an integrated table and charging tray, ventilated and massaging rear seats that are power adjustable with over 42 degrees of recline, and a right rear seat with an extending legrest and a fold-out footrest on the back of the front passenger seat. The 36-speaker B&W sound system has integrated speakers in the headliner, bass shakers in the seats and surround speakers in the headrests, and not only is it one of the best audio systems I've ever experienced in a car, it puts many high-end home setups to shame, too.

The 2023 740i starts at $94,295 including the mandatory $995 destination charge, which is far less expensive than Mercedes-Benz's six-cylinder S500, which starts at $112,150. The $114,595 760i is $4,155 less than the V8-powered S580, while the $120,295 i7 comes in at $6,655 cheaper than the equivalent dual-motor Mercedes EQS580. Fully loaded, a 2023 i7 will set you back around $150,000, and it's worth every penny. Get over the grille, because the new 7 Series is the best car in its class.

Editors' note: Travel costs related to this story were covered by the manufacturer, which is common in the auto industry. The judgments and opinions of CNET's staff are our own, and we do not accept paid editorial content.

This was originally published on Roadshow.

Looking to purchase a car? Find your match on the MSN Autos Marketplace

Tested: 2022 Lexus NX350h Luxury AWD Is an Old-School Hybrid .
This traditional-style hybrid is less expensive than a plug-in but also less desirable.Compared to a PHEV, the NX350h's much smaller, lithium-ion battery pack has only enough energy to power the SUV short distances on electricity alone, whereas its plug-in peers are all capable of traveling more than 20 miles on battery power. The old-school NX350h still delivers impressive fuel economy, though, and its more basic powertrain also keeps costs down, allowing the $42,700 gasoline-electric Lexus to take the title of most affordable hybrid in its segment.

See also