BMW's flagship, the large and luxurious 7 Series, was extensively revised for the 2006 model year, therefore changes are few for 2007. "Comfort seats," heated front seats, and power-folding exterior rear-view mirrors have become standard on all 7 Series sedans, and membership in BMW Assist, a roadside and vehicle maintenance program, expands to four years. Audio systems now include auxiliary input jacks for iPods or MP3 players. For those who want to personalize their BMWs, the BMW Individual program now offers Merino upholstery, Alcantara headliners, illuminated doorsills, and 20-inch wheels.
BMW's 7 Series is available in three versions: 750i, 750iL, and 760iL. The 750i has the standard wheelbase while the L versions stretch the distance between the front and rear axles, providing an even smoother ride and more interior space, especially for those in the rear seat. Power comes from either a 360-hp, 4.8-liter V-8 or a 438-hp, 6.0-liter V-12. Needless to say, both are more than adequate for the job of propelling these large sedans, which also feature big brakes, larger tires, and suspension and steering systems designed to delight both the driving enthusiast as well as those riding in the limo-like back seat.
The now standard comfort seats include a gentle massage action and ventilation for both front seats, and the rear seats are heated as well. Available are audio systems with as many as 13 speakers, a rear entertainment package with a 6-disc DVD changer, and the 760Li even includes a "cool box" behind the center armrest to chill beverages. Also available are active cruise control that uses radar to maintain a safe distance between the 7 Series and vehicles ahead of it on the highway, and Night Vision, which uses a thermal-imaging camera to help detect pedestrians or animals in the roadway at distances up to 1,000 feet.
The BMW 7 Series competes in the Large Premium Conventional segment, which consists of eight models. Buyers in this segment look for performance, quality, and comfort, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Cadillac DTS (58,224 units sold), Lincoln Town Car (39,295), and Mercedes-Benz S-Class (30,886). The BMW 7 Series sold 17,796 units in 2006, a decrease of 2 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Large Premium Conventional segment include the Lexus LS Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ-Series, and Maserati Quattroporte.