2020 BMW 750Li xDrive Review: Flawless, On Nearly

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The new 2020 BMW 750Li xDrive is the type of car that makes one wish they worked or lived on the road.

I needed a set of wheels to drive myself to an event about 300km from home and thought I’d harass BMW for an X2 or something reasonable. That’s a lie… I asked for an M4 but I got something better. So much better. BMW offered me a 2020 BMW 750Li. When they asked me if it would do the job for my 600-km round trip drive, I quipped that I might find myself driving far beyond my intended destination, on purpose.

More often than not, new product drive events we participate in take us to lovely places like Vancouver, Los Angeles or Madrid. Once in a while, a car manufacturer pulls the trigger on organizing a launch event in Quebec, my home Province. Whenever this is the case, I generally select to drive myself to the location – this is one of the best ways to become reacquainted with my “Belle Province” and spend quality time with my weekly tester.


If you have to ask…

2020 BMW 750Li | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

We have some incredible driving roads here and I typically forget that this is the case. This latest road trip to the product launch event was not one of these memorable drives – it was traffic, highway, and lots and lots of rain. The 2020 BMW 750Li got me to Quebec City not only in impressive time but feeling almost refreshed and charged for the day ahead.

It’s quite honestly difficult to review such a car. I can tell you that, as tested, it retailed for nearly $156,000 and for many, this is complete nonsense. I can totally relate as I’ve just learned that a lovely watch, a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon, sells for more than $3.3 million. I knew Rolex sold expensive $25k-$50k watches but this is mental. The last watch I ever wore was a Casio I got as a gift in the late 80s. It cost $29.99 and it was far easier to tell the time than on this PP.

Obviously, one cannot compare a crappy 30-year old Casio to a Patek Philippe, much like you can’t equate a 2020 BMW 750Li to a 1989 Toyota Corolla – both will get you where you need to go but the experience won’t be the same.


The facelift

2020 BMW 750Li | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2020 BMW 7 Series is fresh from a serious mid-cycle update that feels more like a complete overhaul. Aesthetically, and possibly tragically, the 7 Series is the first BMW car to receive the much-discussed oversized kidney grille treatment. BMW says the piece is 40% larger but to you and me, it look 40 times bigger. It somewhat fits on the 7 but I fear for all the other Bimmers…

The 750Li is otherwise a fiercely attractive car. The extended wheelbase gives the 7 power and prestige that few cars can match. My tester’s Donington Grey paint scheme with mild chrome touches is majestic. The rear end gains new thin taillights which resemble the new 3 Series’ setup. The car’s limited adornments actually make it more attractive than the 760Li but, the ultimate 7 remains and will always be the Alpina B7. Always.

The cabin is updated as well but the changes are not as drastic. Already a beautiful place to be, the interior earns a new steering wheel, BMW Live Cockpit (with included 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch Control Display), new trim accents and some gorgeous and exclusive quilted Nappa leather.

My tested unit included the Executive package that includes a leather dashboard, massaging front seats, among many more items. It also held the Executive Lounge Tier 1 group with fully power adjustable, cooled and massaging rear seats. And because Nappa leather is too “regular”, my car was covered in superb Merino leather.

As far as lounges go, the 2020 BMW 750Li’s rivals the most luxurious mansions.


But it’s way more than that

2020 BMW 750Li | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The principal reason behind dismissing the 2020 7 Series’ update is found under the bonnet. The 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 has returned with a slew of updates borrowed from the M850i. Instead of the “tragic” 443-horsepower and 479 lb.-ft. of torque it once offered, it now produces no less than 523-horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,800-4,600 rpm. Funny thing is that, like the 8 Series, the V8 seems lazy most of the time but it can also turn ferocious in less than a moment.

Although the car weighs just shy of a full 5,000 lb. (!), it rockets to 100 km/h in only 4 seconds. 4 seconds. Again, 4 seconds… The standard xDrive AWD system and 8-speed automatic transmission make this possible without drama and barely an audible purr from the V8. There are only two other hints that speed is increasing.

The first, are the numbers on the head’s up display that climb at an alarming rate. The second is that the horizon disappears, with only sky peeking through the large windshield. The reason for the latter is that I always set the standard 2-axle self-leveling air suspension and adaptive dampers to comfort. Said suspension actually has a “comfort+” setting  which, I can only surmise, is inspired by the company across the hall at BMW, aka Rolls-Royce.

No matter the situation, the BMW 750Li xDrive delivers consistent and superior confidence to the driver. The optional Dynamic Handling Package with Integral Active Steering (4-wheel steering) shrinks the large land-yacht to an incredibly manageable size. The complete array of improved soundproofing with acoustic glass shield the driver and passengers from essentially everything. It’s as though all unwanted distractions are eliminated for a sublimely restful driving experience.


Is the BMW 750Li perfect?

2020 BMW 750Li | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

I’m not one for fashion or fashionable items – I don’t believe in paying astronomical sums for shoes, a watch or a coat but when it comes to cars, I could see myself spending $300k on a McLaren 570S, $130k on a Porsche 911 Carrera S, or $150k+ on a large luxury car.

While I do love this 2020 BMW 750Li and am a fan of the Mercedes-Benz S 560 4MATIC LWB, the sedans all have a problem, or two. Namely, the issues are the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo and the soon to arrive Audi RS 6. With the possible exception that the RS 6 won’t be as polite and polished as the 750Li, the Panamera certainly can be.

In a brief nutshell, sedans are for old people. The hatchbacks and wagons, and by extension 4-door coupes, are for hip, young up-and-comers. The 750Li would be more perfect as a Gran Coupé – thankfully, there’s an M850i xDrive Gran Coupé. Could this be a flawless automobile?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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