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JD Power’s Automotive, Power, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) study has long been an excellent resource for prospective buyers to learn what attributes of a new vehicle existing owners like most. And for a luxury vehicle like a BMW 7 Series, it’s probably not that surprising that current owners really appreciate its driving feel and powertrain. But what exactly unites BMW 7 Series owners in their enthusiasm for those two characteristics above others?

Why the BMW 7 Series performance stands out

JD Power’s annual APEAL study often offers prospective car buyers some interesting insights. For example, JD Power found the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, rather than a more prominent model, to be the most appealing midsize pick-up truck of 2022. However, it doesn’t take a lot to guess that the BMW 7 Series would be a hit with large premium luxury car owners, nor that they’d appreciate its performance.

That’s because BMW has a long track record of success in this and multiple luxury segments. Their engineers work hard to ensure that drivers and passengers enjoy a serene and blissful driving experience. They put a lot of time and effort into not just the powertrain but also the chassis, the driver assistance systems, and other elements that make you feel like you’re gliding down the road or highway.

BMWs command a pretty penny at the dealerships, so it only makes sense that each vehicle offers the kind of refined driving experience that’s hard to match elsewhere. And as the latest APEAL results note, BMW’s promise of a superior driving experience is more than just marketing gimmickry. Real owners love the BMW 7 Series’ driving feel and powertrain the most.

Which powertrain is the best?

The APEAL results are nestled in JD Power’s Expert Review of the 2023 BMW 7 Series. Unfortunately, for prospective buyers, this study doesn’t specify which powertrain offering is most popular with study respondents.

However, with just two powertrain options, it’s unclear how much that matters. If one powertrain option were absolutely terrible and the other excellent, more than likely, the APEAL study would have reflected this. The study has owners rank 10 attributes. If both powertrain options weren’t superlative, chances are respondents would have collectively ranked one of the other eight attributes higher.

But driving feel takes the top spot, followed by the powertrain. And even though BMW modified the 2022 models’ critically lauded powertrain offerings for the 2023 model year, they still have real winners on their hands.

What does the BMW 7 Series come equipped with?

So what exactly do you get with a new 2023 BMW 7 Series? As Edmunds notes, the base model, known as the 740i, comes stocked with a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six engine coupled with a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can generate 375 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. It comes with RWD standard as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination will also get you a fuel economy of 25/31 mpg city/highway or 27 mpg combined.

For a bit more power, you can opt for the 760i xDrive, which comes with a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. This option produces 536 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, and AWD is standard. Fuel economy is a bit less at 18/26 mpg city/highway (21 mpg combined), which is the trade-off for the boost in power. Also, the 760i xDrive costs a good bit more. Its starting MSRP is $113,600, compared to $93,300 for the 740i.

But both options handle as few others do. That’s the consensus opinion of both the APEAL respondents and JD Power’s expert reviewer. And with each model filled with amenities like an 18-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, a 14.9-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, four-zone climate control, and a heated, leather steering wheel standard, it’s hard to go wrong with either version of the 2023 BMW 7 Series.


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