2022 BMW 735i Review: Seventh Son

Derryn Wong

BMW’s seventh 7 Series rolls on ultra-luxury lessons to create a magical motoring experience in Singapore

2022 BMW 735i Pure Excellence

Launched: October 2022 – Price: S$574,888 with VES and CAT B COE
Four-door, luxury limousine, five seats
286hp, 3.0-litre mild hybrid, VES C2, 8.2/100km

Big stature and bold design
Superb lux and tech integration
Top-notch refinement
Still the best-driving big limo

Design reduces interior visibility
Most expensive 7er gen to date

According to legend, the seventh son of a seventh son can be anything from a mystic, to a healer or a magician, a fly-by-night vampire or even a werewolf. In the case of the new 7 Series, which marks the seventh-generation of BMW’s flagship luxury limousine, it’s not quite a mythical beast, but it’s clearly something special.

Some Leow guy drove the i7 in California in 2022

CarBuyer was on the scene at the international preview of the new, seventh-gen 7 Series, with a full rundown on the internationally-available drivetrains and variants. Following which, the car debuted in Singapore in October 2022, with the fully electric i7 eDrive60 and the 735i in Pure Excellence and M Sport variants. 

The torch-waver for this generation is the fully-electric i7, which the team has tested both in the United States and Singapore and pronounced Very Bloody Good. But the motoring world isn’t even fully half, nor even a third electric, yet so the big question is – how good is the petrol-powered 7 Series that most buyers are likely to go for?

The short answer is, Also Very Bloody Good, because it goes beyond the traditional expectations of a luxury limo, while firmly keeping its 7-Series-Ness.

Rising Son

We’ve covered the car’s looks in other stories, but the new ‘split/squinty-eyed’ face paired with that ever-increasingly massive grille will obviously not be to everyone’s taste. That doesn’t really matter, as history has shown – we use the once controversial Bangle Butt as a reminder.

But the effect of this, along with the longer, larger, wider, and even more tall (almost 5cm taller) slab-sided 7 Series, is that it really makes an impression. BMW has never shied away from design edginess and controversy, but at least it’s New Controversy, rather than rehashing old tropes. 

Crystal headlights with ‘Iconic Glow’ constantly emit a gentle glitter

If I were to spend half a million on a luxo-barge, I would want it to draw attention in a new-fangled way, at least, and this is obviously not a leather-and-wood-and-cigars type deal. And if the exterior implies that, the interior positively screams it.

Like the iX, there’s lots of leather, crystal furniture, but it’s even more of a treat to all the senses except taste. You can’t miss the hugeous, numerous, screens – 12.3” for the driver’s display, 14.9” (!) for the main infotainment touchscreen, and two 5.5-inch in-door displays for the rear passengers to control things individually too. 

The Digital Art mode asks you question why you’re taking life so seriously

It’s not just screen time all the time, but the way the tech is weaved into the luxury experience. BMW’s Interaction Bar mixes mood lighting, sculpture, and ergonomics – some control buttons are inset into it – and it changes according to the car’s My Mode setting.

The latter goes beyond just driving modes now, with a relax mode and a conversation starting Digital Art mode. BMW isn’t the first to have tried this sort of thing, but the grandeur and the excellent execution, and integration, of the car’s features to create various ambiences is quite something. Audi’s understatement in the A8 works in its own way, but is obviously less eyeball grabbing, while Mercedes-Benz’s RGB-everything approach can be a bit overkill.

It almost goes without saying that space is the premium too. With significant gains to its overall dimensions, the 735i is very spacious inside, with no complaints about shortage of room anywhere.

The King of Self Drive

That the 735i packs a whole lot of tech tricks – 48v mild hybrid, adaptive air suspension, all-wheel steer, a horde of electric safety nannies – is not surprising nor a stand-out thing. How it ties all those things together in a superb driving package, is.

The 7 Series has always been the best limo to self-drive when the mood strikes, and the 735i is no different. While this is ‘just’ a 735i (there’s no longer a 730i) it’s still more than fast and powerful enough for just about anything, and is fully up for wheely-fun hijinks. It’s a well-tuned package, with the pleasing grunt, smoothness, and sound of the inline six pairing excellently with the well-judged suspension and steering.

Ironically ‘self-drive’ also takes on a new meaning, since the new 7 is, as BMW claims, capable of Level 3 autonomy, but naturally this is only something that will happen in the future when it becomes legal here. Audi’s A8, it must be noted, has been technically capable of this long ago.

For a 5.4-metre long car, it’s amazingly agile and still capable of putting a smile on your face. Almost all luxury limos out there will be capable of pulling one lateral G in anger, whether or not you’ll enjoy the process of getting there is where the difference lies. 

The excellent thing is, the 735i can put a smile on your face just as well as it can massage out frowns. To go with the big size, snazzy lux and tech, it also has a highly imperious on-the-road feel, with excellent refinement and ride quality. That the car creates its own, hermetic environment is a big part of that.

There are some minor hiccups – no double-glazed windows, and the start-stop system isn’t as smooth as on the A8, S-Class, or the LS, but overall, it isn’t enough for us to rank the 7er with the best in terms of driving ability.

Also, while we had no problem recommending past 7ers as still manageable for daily driving in Singapore, the 7th 7er has now grown so massive, even we’d think twice about driving it into tight spots. While it has numerous aids to help you, the interior visibility isn’t the best, and this is still a very large, long car.

The but is that the 7er is arguably no longer a ‘normal’ car, it’s far removed from the ‘affordable’ 730i models of yore (apologies for inverted comma spam, but it’s necessary).

Hype(lux) Beast

BMW, on paper, leaves the hyper-luxury stuff to Rolls-Royce. But our theory here on what makes the 7th 7er special is the Rolls-Royce-ification of BMW: The slab-sidedness, the newfound height, the automatic doors, the creation of a space on wheels for owners. BMW’s taken ultra-lux lessons and applied it to its ‘regular’ lux limo.

It won’t heal you, but it’s definitely the opposite of an energy vampire. The hermetic cabin and special ambiance but it goes a fair way to helping you feel untroubled by the outside world – another very Rolls-Royce-esque thing. 

Two tone paint with coachline is a five-figure option

The downside of the Rolls-ification of the 7er is that it’s almost S$600k now, and boasts almost similar costing options too : The two-tone paint on the test car is flawlessly executed, with no hint of orange peel effect, but it’s also the cost of a year or two of university education (S$36,000). 

The 7 Series has always been the tip of the BMW spear, and the considerable capability of the new car marks it as a stand out in the luxury limousine segment, and a return to form that shows it’s really re-learning how to roll with the best of them. 

2022 BMW 735i Pure Excellence

Drivetrain type Petrol-electric mild hybrid 
Engine 2,998cc, inline 6, turbocharged
Power272hp at 5000-6500rpm
Torque400Nm at 1750-4500rpm 
Gearbox8-speed automatic 
Electric Motor18hp/200Nm
BatteryLithium Ion, unknown capacity
System Power286hp
System Torque 425Nm
0-100km/h6.7 seconds
Top Speed250km/h
Fuel Efficiency8.2 L/100km 
VES Band C2 / +S$25,0000
AgentEurokars Auto
Performance Motors Limited
PriceS$574,888 with COE and VES
Availability Now
Verdict BMW injects Rolls-Royce-ness and high tech to make the best 7 Series to date


4-door 5-seat 7 Series 735i 735i Pure Excellence bmw luxury Luxury limousine petrol sedan

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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