This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 7-Series review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

Thanks to the iDrive system, which is controlled via a centrally-mounted dial, the 7-Series console is uncluttered with only a few buttons on display. The layout isn't as stylish as the Mercedes S-Class and the slabby dash looks very prominent with wood trim but the driving position is good and there's plenty of adjustment in both the seat and steering column.

One of the quirks of the BMW is the column-mounted gear lever which is more like a large button than a gearshift, while an electronic, button-operated parking brake frees up room between the driver and front passenger.

As you'd expect, this is an area where the 7-Series excels and thanks to minimal road and wind noise, excellent engine noise insulation and a smooth ride it is a wonderfully comfortable place for long journeys. It's not quiet as cosseting as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class but it's not far behind. Rear legroom is excellent and for limousine-like amounts of space there's always the long wheelbase version, available with all engines.

Sumptuous leather seats are standard on all models and there are numerous options for both front and rear seats including ventilated and massaging options. Automatic air conditioning with individual driver and passenger controls is also standard.