You could bank on the 7 Series scoring well with its engines. The 730d’s is in a class-leading position in all kinds of ways. Quiet, powerful, flexible and efficient, it lends the car the distinguishing air of assuredness you expect from something so large and expensive – but often fail to get in entry-level mechanical spec.
BMW’s ‘near-source’ NVH control measures certainly do the trick. At idle, you’d hardly know that the straight six was even running, with engine noise registering just 40dB on our noise meter. And when the car gets under way, the engine’s relative smoothness and good manners continue to impress. There’s very little thrash or grumble in evidence at all – just a soft-edged and industrious thrum in the audible background.
BMW has always intended for the 7 Series to occupy a pseudo-sporting position in the limousine market, making the car faster and more interesting to drive than the luxury norm without compromising comfort levels adversely.
It has enjoyed mixed success with that approach over the years, for reasons we’ll get to. But, for the owner-drivers who may care, this new version remains fleet-footed enough still to justify that billing.