2013 BMW 750iL review

An old car for old people? Naturally then we let a kid loose in it

By Shahzad Sheikh

2013 BMW 750iL review

“Can I drive it?”

“No, don’t be silly.”

“Why not? It’s easy.”

“Easy? You can’t reach the pedals and you can’t even see over the steering wheel!”

That didn’t stop my 7-year old daughter, Leena, reviewing the car anyway.

2013 BMW 750iL review

Well after all, our own Fraser Martin already tested the revised 2013 BMW flagship saloon after flying to St Petersburg for the international launch.

There’s not too much that I can add to his wisdom, especially as there really ain’t that much new to this car. Sure, there are a few tweaks up front, the air intake is all new, lights are mostly all-LEDs and there’s a bit of extra chrome on the back.

2013 BMW 750iL review

Inside there are more mild tweaks and the electronics have been updated. Fraser would have been too busy driving to notice that the iDrive is now better than ever – quicker, smoother and faster to navigate and using it is childsplay, which explained a lot.

The radio station kept changing, I thought it was broken until I realised that Leena was operating it from the back. “I have the same things on my screen here that you have,” which means she could operate the sat nav, and the entertainment system, as well as read about the car, but she didn’t want to do the reading bit – it was boring and there were long words.

2013 BMW 750iL review

“Why are there no games on this? Why can’t I get Cartoon Network to play? And Moshi Monsters aren’t on here.” Who or what the hell are Moshi Monsters I wondered as Leena continued trying her hardest to break all the gadgets in the back?

Waiting at the traffic lights I looked over my shoulder to find her transfixed on the screen, but she looked tiny in that cavernous rear compartment – she is after all considerably smaller than a fat-cat banker sporting a girth cultivated at Alfie’s Dubai. But she was making the rotary knob on the rear armrest dance to her tunes – which tragically for me was that bloody PSYchotic Korean song.

2013 BMW 750iL review

Fortunately there’s been something of a makeover under the bonnet too, and whilst a 4.4-litre V8 sitting up front in the 750iL is familiar and still nonsensical, it now puts out 10% more power at 450bhp and 8.5% more torque – 479lb ft between 2000-4500rpm. So I floor it before she can hit replay and the g-force and tightening seatbelt means that Leena is left with an outstretched arm inches away from a screen on the back of my head rest that she can’t reach now.

Far from being annoyed though, she is giggling like crazy. Not for long though, as just 4.8 seconds after a standing start we’ve passed 100kph and I’m already easing off as we sweep towards the legal limit.
Now she is annoyed. “Why can’t we go faster?” After the initial rush and the lightening fast changes through the new ZF eight-speed torque converter automatic, it all settles down into an unruffled ride.

2013 BMW 750iL review

I’m impressed, but Leena isn’t. And frankly neither is the car. The big Seven seems to retain that insanely surreal surrender to the Sire of speed that is so unseemly of a big serene saloon that really should just silently slither along unfussed. Well that’s what the new Lexus LS does for example. Not so the Seven, particularly if you’re juvenile enough to put it in the Sports, or even Sports Plus setting – which of course I am.

It doesn’t exactly turn into a hooligan, nor does it become a sideways showoff, what does happen is that the ride is ruined and the tempered deployment of torque is replaced with all or nothing thrust. It handles remarkable well for a leviathan though, with drama-free body control.

2013 BMW 750iL review

Leena’s already lost interest though and is back to playing with all the buttons on the armrest: “I’m like a captain on the Enterprise,” thankfully she stops short of barking an order to “Engage”. Still whether you travel at Warp or coast on Impulse Drive, this is a magnificent machine, make no mistake.

However, with the impending arrival of a mighty new Mercedes S-Class (which is inevitably going to be utterly brilliant) and the lightweight Jaguar XF being a sportier drive, not to mention the new Cadillac XTS trumping the Beemer in terms of value and gizmology, frankly speaking this mild makeover might not have been enough to keep the Seven in the game. Particularly as the fresh styling of the sexy new Gran Coupe, makes this car look rather frumpy and so last-season.

2013 BMW 750iL review

In fact therein is actually the Seven’s biggest problem – from within BMW’s own stable – it is that all-new 6 Series Gran Coupe four-door, also now available with this engine. Frankly I’d rather have that any day.
But since this is Leena’s review, the 7 still wins – she can see out of it better. Kids eh?

BMW 750Li
Price: AED482,000 ($131,000)
Engine: 4.4-litre V8, 449bhp @ 5500rpm, 479lb ft @ 2000-4500rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 4.8s, 250kph (limited)
Transmission: Six-speed auto, four-wheel drive, 8.6L/100km
Weight: 1960kg


4 responses to “2013 BMW 750iL review”

  1. luckyarcher says:

    Great review, could you let me know which camera you used to take these pics? Thanks.

  2. iBalushi says:

    You should’ve asked her how does it look.
    I love kids’ replies. Simple and exact.

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