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I Don't Care if People Call It Ugly, the New i7 Is an All-Time Great BMW

Okay, folks, let's talk BMW for a second. More specifically, let's talk about their i sub-brand. In the past, their lineup of plug-in EVs and Hybrids, like the i3 family car, i8 sports coupe, and even the recent iX SUV have all been pretty hit or miss. Either people love them, or they laugh at them.
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Normally, I wouldn't challenge this notion. I only enjoyed looking at an i3 when Larry David was driving one in Curb Your Enthusiasm. I could have been more impressed by the i8, or iX, at least from a looks perspective. But I'm whistling a demonstrably different tune regarding the BMW i7 full-sized luxury EV sedan.

Why is that? Well, if defeat by overwhelming force was the name of the game, then the level of features, luxury, and refinement in the i7 is nothing short of astonishing. I can already hear people lampooning me for liking a car that most people think is ugly. But hear me out on this one. In a sea of BMWs with ungainly large front grilles, the i7 manages to make the most out of what's generally seen as a bad situation.

While I can't speak for everybody, I think the problem with the styling of modern BMWs isn't in the huge, split front grille. Instead, it's all about the vehicles BMW chooses to apply these looks to. Take the modern M3 and M4, for example. On vehicles that have always been marketed as solidly mid-sized sports sedans/sports coupes, large front grilles only serve to make the car look larger and more ungainly than they actually are. I think that's true even with the larger M4 and electric i4.

But with the i7, I think BMW's finally found a goldilocks zone as far as proportions. Yes, the front grille is still large and in charge, much like the M3 and M4. But it's safe to say the sleek, streamlined curves and bends in the body of a low-slung sports car don't lend well to a big, gawking mouth like an authoritatively bulky luxury sedan. There's a case to be made that a large sedan form factor lends itself to BMW's styling scheme considerably better. A lack of front grille vents on this, the non-ICE 7-series BMW, helps with its appearance in my opinion.

In fairness, proportions more forgiving to enormous BMW front grilles is an attribute of the iX SUV as well. But at least to my eye, the i7 does an even better job of making the best of "controversial" styling cues on the part of BMW recently. Perhaps the modern phenomenon of American roads being filled with similarly sized SUVs works against the iX in looking unique or special.

That's not an affliction that ails the i7. If anything, the "stately" appearance of the i7, as Doug Demuro put it, gives the BMW a slight leg-up in the looks department compared to its rivals, like the blobby Mercedes-Benz EQS, the slightly oddly proportioned Audi e-tron GT, or the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq. But in truth, the remarkable thing about the i7 is that we haven't even covered its best feature, the interior.

When we tell you the quality of materials and technology inside of the cabin of an i7 is truly next level, we mean it in the strongest possible terms. With responsive touchscreens, polished metals, and plush, high-quality leather galore, it all serves as a great foundation for the i7's true party piece.

Of course, that's the optional 31-inch 8K theater display that deploys from its stowed-away position inside the interior trim work. If you're wondering, the computer screen on which I write my daily articles isn't even that large. Some people's televisions aren't even that big. Add on a dual electric motor drivetrain jetting 536 horsepower and a zero to 60 sprint of 4.1 seconds, and you might just have the most desirable luxury EV driving experience on the planet on our hands.

If you're looking to pay upwards of $120,000 to $200,000 for a top-of-the-line luxury EV sedan, the i7 should be at the top of anyone's test drive list this Christmas season.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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