Test Driving the BMW i7: Electric Cars Can Offer Driving Pleasure Too

The development of electric cars has entered a new phase, no longer solely focused on range and performance but increasingly emphasizing driving experience and comfort. As someone who has owned a Tesla Model S since 2018, my expectations for electric cars have evolved beyond just speed – now, I also seek driving enjoyment. Last year, I embarked on a journey to find my ideal electric car, test-driving nearly all high-end electric car brands on the market, including Mercedes-Benz EQS, Porsche Taycan, and the Range Rover XM, among others. Ultimately, I chose the BMW i7 because it offered me the perfect combination of driving pleasure and comfort.

Ordering and Delivery
I placed my order in February when the BMW i7 had not yet been officially released; I could only reserve it through the official website. I opted for a black exterior, wool fabric interior, and a full set of luxury features, including semi-reclining rear seats, automatic doors, crystal daytime running lights, illuminated speakers, rear-wheel steering, and smartphone-controlled driving functions. The total price reached $160,000, considerably more expensive than the Tesla Model S, but I believed it was worth it.

In September, I received a notification that my car was ready for pickup at the dealership. I eagerly arrived at the dealership and immediately spotted my new car parked at the entrance. Its imposing presence, gleaming crystal daytime running lights, sleek body lines, and i7 badge at the rear all showcased its identity. Approaching the car, I unlocked it with my phone, and the doors automatically opened, inviting me inside. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I felt the softness and comfort of the wool fabric, while the steering wheel and dashboard design exuded simplicity and modernity. A massive touchscreen on the center console controlled various vehicle functions. I pressed the start button, and the car silently displayed a welcome screen before entering navigation mode. After entering my destination and engaging the gear, I gently pressed the accelerator, and the car smoothly started without any jolts. I drove out of the dealership, beginning my first journey with the BMW i7.

Driving Experience and Handling
The driving experience and handling of the BMW i7 are my favorite aspects, proving that electric cars can indeed offer driving pleasure. The i7 boasts powerful performance, equipped with two motors with a total output of 530 horsepower, accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in just 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour. Its power delivery is smooth, without any delay. Stepping on the accelerator unleashes a thrilling surge of power, exhilarating the senses. The braking system is responsive, with an automatic regenerative braking feature that adjusts braking force based on traffic and road conditions, ensuring gradual deceleration instead of abrupt stops, thus enhancing safety and comfort. The steering is precise, aided by the rear-wheel steering system, which improves maneuverability, reducing the turning radius and facilitating navigation in narrow spaces. The suspension is also outstanding, automatically adjusting to road conditions for a smooth ride, even on rough surfaces. The i7 offers multiple driving modes to suit individual preferences and needs, including Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Custom modes, each affecting power delivery, suspension stiffness, steering responsiveness, and even speaker color. Personally, I prefer the Sport mode, which enhances power delivery, stiffens the suspension, sharpens steering, and changes the speaker color to red, igniting a sense of passion and challenge.

I believe the driving experience and handling of the BMW i7 can rival that of the Porsche Taycan, both being exceptional electric cars that provide drivers with driving enjoyment. The difference lies in their focus: the Taycan leans more towards sportiness, delivering more intense power, firmer suspension, and sharper steering, evoking a sense of tension and excitement. In contrast, the BMW i7 leans towards comfort, offering smoother power delivery, softer suspension, and more stable steering, providing a sense of relaxation and enjoyment. Personally, I prefer the style of the BMW i7 for daily driving, as it doesn’t induce fatigue or tension, while still offering driving pleasure in a gentle and elegant manner.

Comfort and Interior
The comfort and interior of the BMW i7 are also aspects that impress me greatly, demonstrating that electric cars can offer luxury. The interior space of the i7 is spacious, providing ample headroom and legroom for both front and rear passengers. The rear seats can even recline halfway, enhancing passenger comfort. The interior materials are of high quality; I opted for wool fabric, which feels soft and comfortable, as well as being resistant to dirt, unlike leather interiors prone to dust and stains. The interior design is modern and tech-forward, with a massive touchscreen on the center console controlling various functions, including navigation, music, climate control, vehicle settings, and even some fun games. The i7 also features a full LCD instrument cluster displaying speed, battery level, range, and auxiliary driving information. The sound system is excellent, producing beautiful sound quality, with speakers that change color based on the driving mode, adding a touch of fun to the cabin. The lighting system is also impressive, with stunning crystal daytime running lights that attract attention both day and night, while the headlights and taillights provide ample illumination on dark roads, automatically adjusting brightness and angle based on road conditions to avoid dazzling other drivers.

The comfort and interior of the BMW i7 are one of the main reasons I chose it over the Range Rover XM. I found the XM’s interior too conservative and traditional, lacking the excitement and freshness I sought, and its comfort level was inferior to that of the i7; its suspension was too soft, resulting in a floating sensation, and its cabin noise was relatively high, inducing a sense of insecurity.

Assisted Driving and Safety
The assisted driving and safety features of the BMW i7 are also aspects that I greatly appreciate, demonstrating that electric cars can be intelligent. The i7’s assisted driving system can achieve L2-level autonomous driving on highways, automatically controlling speed, distance, direction, and lanes, allowing me to relax during long drives, reducing fatigue and improving safety. While the i7’s assisted driving system may not be as versatile as Tesla’s in urban settings, it is stable and reliable, avoiding sudden loss of control or misjudgments, and promptly alerting me when manual intervention is needed, allowing me to take control of the vehicle in time to avoid danger. The i7’s assisted driving system also offers other features, such as automatic parking, obstacle avoidance, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, automatic wipers, automatic climate control, and more, making driving more convenient and comfortable.

The safety of the BMW i7 is also commendable, equipped with up to 12 airbags to protect occupants in the event of a collision, as well as other safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, vehicle stability control, anti-lock braking system, tire pressure monitoring, etc., providing effective warnings and protection while driving, ensuring peace of mind.

The assisted driving and safety features of the BMW i7 are one of the main reasons I chose it over the Mercedes-Benz EQS. I found the EQS’s assisted driving system too complex and cumbersome, requiring frequent calibration and updates, and its response speed was not fast enough, sometimes resulting in delays or errors, causing me to feel distrustful and dissatisfied.

Range and Charging
The range and charging capabilities of the BMW i7 are also aspects that I am very satisfied with, demonstrating that electric cars can be practical. The i7’s battery capacity is 113.8 kWh, with an official range of 600 kilometers. In actual use, I found its displayed range to be very accurate, closely matching the actual range, and its battery consumption is stable, without sudden drops or fluctuations. The i7’s charging speed is also impressive, supporting up to 200 kW fast charging, capable of charging up to 80% in half an hour. Furthermore, it supports wireless charging, allowing automatic charging when parked on a charging pad, which is very convenient. The i7 has access to numerous charging stations, compatible with most charging stations on the market, and it has its own charging network, which displays nearby charging station locations, prices, and statuses on the navigation system, making it easier for me to find suitable charging stations. Additionally, it can automatically pay for charging fees, requiring no manual intervention, demonstrating its intelligence.

In summary, the BMW i7 is an excellent electric car that excels in driving experience, comfort, intelligence, and practicality, demonstrating that electric cars can offer driving pleasure, luxury, intelligence, and practicality. It is the most satisfying electric car I have test-driven and ultimately chosen. I believe it surpasses the Tesla Model S from 2018 and other high-end electric car brands. BMW’s foray into electric vehicles has begun in earnest. The biggest change it has brought me is that it has made me enjoy driving; previously, I was someone who would always choose cycling over driving, but now I am willing to drive the BMW i7 anywhere and enjoy the pleasure and comfort of driving. If you also want to experience the charm of the BMW i7, I recommend you test drive it; I believe you will fall in love with it.