This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 7-Series review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The 7-Series was launched with a choice of three engines: 730d, 740i and 750i. The 730d is a smooth and refined engine with 245bhp on offer. Although there was a 730d available in the previous generation car, the engine offered here is all new. Improvements mean that it's lighter and therefore burns less fuel, making it more economical. It now returns 39mpg where previously it was only capable of 36mpg.

Performance is a shade better too, with 62mph achieved in 7.2 seconds. The 740i is a six-cylinder 3.0-litre engine that's also found in the 3-Series. It uses twin turbochargers for smooth and potent performance - 0-62mph comes in 5.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 155mph. Like the 730d, it's cleaner than before, yet 20bhp more powerful. The range-topping 750i is V8-powered and has 407bhp on offer.

It's lighter and more frugal than before. In September 2009 a 740d model was launched, however despite its name it is actually a 3.0-litre diesel with twin-turbochargers which delivers 306bhp. As a result it sprints from 0-62mph in just 6.3 seconds but manages to retrun an impressive 41mpg. At the same time the engine in the 730d was revised to be more economical (now averaging 42mpg) while performance remains almost identical.

Emissions also fell making it cheaper to tax.

Despite its size, the 7-Series feels reasonably agile and corners with far less body roll than before. It's a definite improvement on the old model with sharper, more responsive steering, better driver involvement and crisper gearchanges. Ride comfort is good too and it's possible to tweak the settings. Comfort softens the suspension at the expense of handling, while Sport hardens it for sharper handling.

Although cruise control is standard on 7-Series, it is possible to upgrade to 'Active Cruise Control' which automatically keeps a consistent distance between you and the car in front.