In-depth reviews

BMW 7 Series hybrid engines, drive & performance

Speed isn't in short supply in the BMW 7 Series hybrid, although it's not the best in class in this area

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

4.0 out of 5

Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
5.1-5.2s155mphRear or four389bhp

With a 3.0-litre engine producing 282bhp and an electric motor adding another 111bhp, the BMW 7 Series hybrid produces a total of 389bhp. And while it never feels ludicrously quick, it’s still genuinely fast for a car of its weight and length.

BMW 7 Series hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

The 745e can hit 0-62mph in just over five seconds, with a top speed of 155mph. It’ll even do up to 68mph – more or less motorway cruising speed – in electric-only mode, although using the accelerator harshly will force the petrol engine into life to help the car pick up speed.

Running on the electric motor alone, the 7 Series hybrid glides around effortlessly at low speeds, with the quietness adding to the sense of luxury that is, after all, the main purpose of a high-end limo such as this.

But that isn’t to say the 745e is completely without drama: purists will still love the roar from the straight-six engine when accelerating hard, an element that wasn’t present with the previous generation’s 2.0-litre engine. Yes, the Mercedes S-Class hybrid has slightly more power and is slightly faster, but the gap between the two rivals here is minuscule.

Handling

Naturally, this is no sports car when it comes to corners, but to expect a sharp response when turning the wheel is to misunderstand what the 7 Series hybrid is for. Body lean is well controlled even when the suspension is placed in its softest setting, although the 745e doesn’t absorb bumps in the road as well as the S-Class.

We’d also like to see smoother braking from the 7 Series hybrid, especially at low speeds. The BMW’s ride is still exceedingly comfortable by any standard, but the Mercedes is more composed on rougher surfaces. If luxury handling is your top priority, the S-Class is the car to have.

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