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2024 BMW 750e Review: Riding in (Occasionally Silent) Style

bmw 750e xdrive 2024 01 exterior front angle scaled jpg 2024 BMW 750e xDrive | Cars.com photo by Brian Normile
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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and Cars.com in 2013, and he became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

The verdict: The 2024 BMW 750e xDrive is an excellent luxury sedan that just happens to be a plug-in hybrid, and the PHEV aspect of it doesn’t add much to the experience while adding complexity for owners.

Versus the competition: Few full-size luxury sedans remain on sale today, and even fewer are plug-in hybrids. The 750e xDrive is an excellent example of one that is, but there may be better alternatives — both within and out of the BMW stable — especially if you’re willing to either eschew significant electrification or go all in with an all-electric vehicle.

After BMW radically redesigned its 7 Series line of full-size luxury sedans for the 2023 model year, which included the launch of the all-electric i7, it decided to add a plug-in hybrid version — the 750e xDrive — for 2024. A PHEV is an excellent bridge on the path toward full electrification; they usually offer buyers enough all-electric range to cover both ends of a daily commute, they can usually be charged overnight using a normal 120-volt household outlet, and they still have a gas engine for longer trips.

So, what if a plug-in hybrid car shares a stable with an excellent gas-powered sibling and an excellent all-electric one — especially if the PHEV doesn’t really stand out? That’s the case with the 750e, and this fact may doom it through no significant fault of its own.

Related: 2023 BMW 760i xDrive Quick Spin: Luxury Lounge on Wheels

For this review, I drove a 2024 BMW 750e xDrive with an as-tested price of $135,345 (including destination). While I walked away thoroughly impressed, I also had to wonder whether the 750e stands out enough to make it worth its price premium over a gas-powered 740i, and whether its price advantage over a similarly equipped all-electric i7 will be enough for buyers.

A Hippo in Pointe Shoes

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Despite its size and heft, the 750e is nimble, especially when equipped with BMW’s optional Integral Active Steering, also known as rear-wheel steering. BMW says this feature reduces the 750e’s turning circle by up to 2.5 feet, with the rear wheels able to turn up to 3.5 degrees in the same or opposite direction as the front wheels. The result is a dainty and maneuverable car at low speeds, with extra-smooth lane changes at higher speeds and sharper-than-expected handling, all of which help make the 750e feel like a smaller car than it is.

Working against that feeling is the 750e’s sheer heft: It tips the scales at a listed curb weight of 5,635 pounds. That’s 476 pounds more than the all-wheel-drive 740i xDrive, and while the 750e has a lower center of gravity and feels solid and stable, there’s no denying it’s a heavy car. The 750e’s adaptive air suspension does an excellent job absorbing bumps and delivering a smooth ride, and it keeps the big-bodied sedan flat in corners.

The 750e’s PHEV powertrain features a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine and an electric motor inside the eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s good for a combined output of 483 horsepower and 516 pounds-feet of torque, which sounds like a lot of oomph, but the feeling is more composed and purposeful than it is sports-car-adjacent. Using just electric power, the 750e can make a selection of augmented driving noises, but I preferred to keep things silent and enjoy just how buttoned up the interior is, with little road, tire and wind noise. In electric-only mode, there’s 194 hp and 207 pounds-feet of torque, and while that torque is instant, the 750e is simply too bulky for these numbers: All-electric driving in the 750e just feels poky. It’s hard not to tip the accelerator pedal far enough to get the gas engine to kick in for more grunt.

BMW says the 750e can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. That feels accurate, yet despite that remarkably low time, the car somehow never felt sporty. It’s quicker to 60 mph than the quickest 740i’s 4.9-second mark but slower than the 760i’s 4.1-second sprint — and much slower than the quickest i7’s borderline-crazy 3.5-second run. An available Boost mode adds slightly more power; it’s activated by holding down the left shift paddle, but the power it supplies isn’t as dramatic as you’ll get from a Genesis EV’s boost mode.

Fuel economy is often an area where PHEVs shine relative to their gas-only counterparts, and the 750e’s 65 mpg-equivalent rating using just electricity far exceeds any other gas-powered 7 Series’ fuel economy estimate. With the gas engine in play and the 750e operating as a gas-electric hybrid, however, the sedan’s 25 mpg combined rating trails all but the 760i xDrive’s 20 mpg rating, and that car is powered by a turbocharged V-8. The 740i gets an EPA-estimated 28 or 27 mpg combined with RWD or AWD, respectively. Buyers of the 750e will really need to keep the car charged in order to reap its full fuel-economy benefits — and we’ll get to why that may be a pain a little later.

The 750e’s regenerative braking isn’t overly aggressive, but I wish it had a true one-pedal driving mode. Volvo offers one in its PHEVs, and it contributes to a more EV-like driving experience. On the plus side, the 750e’s brake-pedal feel is mostly linear and easy to modulate after just a short time behind the wheel.

Palatial Interior

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The i7’s interior takes a more modern, eco-friendly approach to luxury than the gas-powered 7 Series, but the 750e leans more traditional. Our test vehicle had beautiful red Merino leather upholstery standard, as well as some pricey options that really transformed the interior into a rolling palace. The first was a premium Bowers & Wilkins stereo; it added $4,800 to the price tag, and while I’m no audio expert, it seemed well worth it. Second was a $5,450 Individual Composition option that added a color-coordinated Alcantara simulated-suede headliner. Third, the 750e we tested came with the Executive Package, which adds heated front and rear seats and a heated center armrest, a heated steering wheel and massaging front seats. It also adds automatic opening and closing doors, which are both remarkably useful and a neat party trick. Finally, the $950 Panoramic Sky Lounge LED roof doesn’t open like a traditional moonroof, but it does provide an airy feeling to an already roomy cabin.

BMW fans may notice something I haven’t mentioned: BMW’s Theater Screen, which is a flip-down 31-inch display for rear passengers. To my utter disappointment, this 750e was not equipped with the screen despite it being an available option (and yes, apparently getting to test a luxury flagship sedan makes you a bit uppity). Rear passengers also had to do without options like massaging, ventilated and adjustable seats. What my rear passengers did get was a touchscreen on each door for controlling climate and audio functions. Interestingly, and to the surprise of at least one parent on our staff, the rear-door displays could also be used to adjust the car’s My Mode driving mode and interior ambiance system — a surprise this editor discovered when his son activated Sport Mode with no warning. Perhaps the thinking is that the 7 Series is meant to be a chauffeur-driven sedan, and maybe an important passenger in the rear wants to go faster? In any case, drivers may end up with sharper accelerator response than they were expecting if they don’t pay attention to what their rowdy sons are doing in the backseat.

Comfort is almost a given in the 7 Series regardless of where you’re sitting, but I was surprised at how snug the cockpit felt for such a big car. If you had blindfolded me before I got in the car and removed all interior indications that I was driving a 7 Series, I’d probably think I was behind the wheel of a 5 Series. The front roof pillars are large and raked back significantly, which both contributes to the small feeling and impedes forward visibility a considerable amount. Visibility in all other directions is excellent, though I found the rear sunshade (power-operated, naturally) completely blocked the view out the rear window.

Interior technology is another area where the 750e shines, though BMW is dangerously close to falling into the abyss of “more technology = luxury.” The car’s configurable 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 14.9-inch touchscreen offer a wealth of information in crystal-clear graphics. The touchscreen itself has an almost dizzying number of app tiles for its functions, but it helpfully narrows them down by general category. I also found it helpful that the display can bring up a specific set of granular controls via a physical cabin control (for example, displaying the sunshade controls when I pressed a button to close the Sky Roof cover), and there was no frustrating delay as it danced between functions.

What is frustrating is that BMW has moved the majority of the car’s climate controls to the touchscreen, which I cannot stand; it makes it unnecessarily distracting to operate basic, frequently used controls. The head-up display is useful and can display turn-by-turn navigation instructions (including from Apple Maps, in my experience), but my polarized sunglasses made the display almost invisible. And if I’m really going to nitpick, the wealth of massage functions available to front-seat occupants all felt the same. (I know, I know, I should just be grateful to have them.)

Putting the ‘Pretty Good’ in PHEV

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Where the 750e doesn’t excel as much is in the nitty-gritty of being a PHEV. With an EPA-estimated 33 miles of range on a full charge, the 750e may not have enough electrons to pull off an electric-only daily commute. That will be fine if owners have access to charging at work, but if you’re only charging at home, you may have to dip into your fuel reserves.

That said, 33 miles is not bad for a luxury PHEV; the upcoming 2025 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid will see a claimed 70% increase in its EV range, but that only puts it around 30 miles. Bentley’s Flying Spur PHEV tops out at a measly 21 miles, and the Lincoln Aviator PHEV also has an estimated 21 miles of electric driving range. The Volvo XC90 Recharge SUV comes close at 32 miles, but the S90 Recharge eclipses the 750e with 38 miles of range. The Mercedes-Benz S580e PHEV, which is an apples-to-apples alternative to the 750e, has an estimated 46 miles of all-electric range. The Land Rover Range Rover and Range Rover Sport PHEVs both top out at a whopping 51 miles of EV range.

The 750e has a 7.4-kilowatt onboard charger, and in my time with it, I saw in-car charging estimates under four hours on Level 2 service. That’s a long time to wait; if you’re in and out of your house running multiple errands, you may not add significant range in the time you have at home in between. Compare that with the S580e’s 9.6-kW onboard charger and optional DC fast-charging capability, which Mercedes says can take that car’s battery from 10% to 80% in 20 minutes. That alone makes the Merc more appealing despite its overly complicated cabin and interior controls.

If you want to get the most all-electric use out of your 750e, installing Level 2 home charging will be helpful to keep it charged up in between drives, but if you’re going to take that leap, going all-electric with an i7 might make more sense; the i7 offers in excess of 300 miles of range and can DC fast-charge at up to 195 kW when you need to use public charging. Or, if much of your driving of a 750e will exceed its electric-only range, the 740i and 740i xDrive are more fuel-efficient compared with the 750e when it’s operating as a gas-electric hybrid.

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Making Its Case

At an as-tested price of over $135,000 — and with a starting price of nearly $108,000 — the 2024 750e will be out of reach for many buyers, and while it is another excellent entry in the BMW 7 Series lineup, it isn’t the most stellar of the bunch. After experiencing it, I’m left wondering if buyers might be better off either saving some money with a 740i and not having to worry about the added complexity that comes with charging a PHEV, or taking better advantage of a possible upgrade to Level 2 home charging by going fully electric. Outside the BMW lineup, the Mercedes-Benz S580e makes more sense as a PHEV on paper, and there are luxurious all-electric sedans like the Lucid Air that can provide a similarly positive experience.

Where the 2024 BMW 750e won’t disappoint is with the select group of car shoppers looking for a full-size luxury sedan; in that class, this car is another excellent offering that’s worth your consideration.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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