BMW continues to slowly but surely build on their already exciting 7-series car. Last model year it received a major makeover. For this model year, an electrified plug-in hybrid version is added. This was my tester this week. The 2017 BMW 740e is a new offering this model year and features a plug-in electric motor along with a twin-turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The power and performance benefit from this combination.

PERFORMANCE/POWERTRAIN

Combined the 2.0-liter makes 322 horsepower. And new for this model year is the addition of X-drive, which is BMW’s all-wheel drive system. The combination of all-wheel drive and more power is a win-win for the executive-level Beamer. And 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifting capability amplifies the driving dynamics further. Five separate driving modes also enhance the drive performance. Eco, adaptive, comfort, sport and sport plus are all different options that literally change the dynamics of this car. It performs differently in each mode, so it can be whatever you want it to be. And, with the extra power this year, the 740e is punchy and performance-driven, despite the hybrid technology.

Following the dramatic redesign last year, the 740e falls in line with the elegant and classy looks of the of the rest of the 7-series family. There’s a longer wheelbase this year, which is the only option. This rivals the main competitor of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The extended length may be an adjustment for some of the BMW purists who like a shorter wheelbase, but it absolutely doesn’t affect the performance. There’s an adaptive suspension system that, using a camera, determines the road conditions and adjusts the car accordingly. This ensures a smooth, elegant ride that is unrivaled. It’s a true executive car in this manner as well as in the luxurious looks.

INTERIOR

That longer wheelbase comes into play with the cavernous interior. The back seat, one of the main features of a large, executive luxury sedan, has more room and more features than it’s ever had. Comfort is maximized with contoured, adjustable rear seats. Legroom and headroom is maximized too thanks to the large, luxurious exterior design. Passengers can kick back and relax in style and comfort in the 740e. Too often hybrids sacrifice space for the technology but that’s not the case with the 740e as there’s 18.2 cubic feet of space in the trunk. There’s even a small pass through to make for a more versatile cargo area. That’s practically unheard for a vehicle with a battery pack.

FUEL ECONOMY

Speaking of the battery pack, the 740e can get 14 miles of gasoline-free performance, driving purely on electric. However, you have to charge up the battery in order to achieve that and without a 220-charge at my home, it would’ve taken 10 hours to get that full battery charge. To me, this seems pointless. Sure, it’s a plug in and sure those 14 miles help juice up its fuel economy numbers. But without the electrification, the 740e still gets amazing fuel economy for a fuel-size car. It’s rated at 27 mpg/gasoline and 64 mpg/electrified.

The 740e comes with a long list of standard features that include adaptive LED headlights, 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, Harmon-Kardon Surround Sound Audio system, and BMW’s e-drive sensor-based system. Other features include a stunning panoramic sunroof, WIFI hotspot, rear sunshades and 19-inch alloy wheels.

PRICING

The BMW740e has a base price of $89,100. My tester, loaded up with additional packages had a final MSRP of $100,595.

Very few of us will get to CEO level at our jobs. But the new BMW 740e lets you live that lavish lifestyle. With a plug-in option, you can still live somewhat frugally with better fuel economy, and certainly feel good about yourself environmentally. As such, BMW has a winning formula with this plug-in hybrid.

SPECS

2017 BMW 740e

Price/As tested price………………….. $89,100/$100,595

Mileage…………………………………… 29 mpg/gasoline; 64 mpg/electrified

Engine……………………………………… 2.0-liter twin turbocharged 4-cylinder

Horsepower…………………………… 332 hp/369 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… 8-speed automatic

Drive Wheels………………………. All-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point…………………. Gingofling, Germany

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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