BMW 9 series starts at  ₹1,22,90,000 (ex-showroom)
BMW 9 series starts at 1,22,90,000 (ex-showroom)

2019 BMW 7 Series: Muscular facelift, but technology inside remains as impressive as ever

  • While it’s meant to be a backseat car, there’s no shortage of tech on the front either
  • All touchscreens inside this car, and there are plenty, are almost as responsive as a smartphone’s touchscreen

The primary change in the 2019 BMW 7 Series is in its aesthetics. The huge grille up front and raised bonnet gives the traditional luxury sedan a more masculine appearance. You may or may not like the look, but there’s enough technology inside this car to overlook the aesthetic changes.

While it’s meant to be a backseat car, there’s no shortage of tech on the front either. There’s a wireless charging pad on the front, which can charge your phone, the BMW key and allows you to connect Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

This seems like a very small feature, but it makes a pretty big difference in terms of usability. All touchscreens inside this car, and there are plenty, are almost as responsive as a smartphone’s touchscreen. So, the fact that CarPlay just connects as soon as you place your iPhone on the charging pad makes things that much more intuitive.

Having said that, wireless CarPlay will work only for iPhones that support wireless charging. But you can expect a 2019 BMW 7 Series buyer to sport one of the newest iPhones as well.

As far as the screens are concerned, there’s one on top of the dash, two behind each front seat and one on the rear armrest, which pops out and becomes a tablet that can control the tech inside the car.

The tablet is especially useful when you’re reclining on the backseat, and it also lets you control sunshades on the windows.

For those who will actually be driven in this car, there’s a button on the door that lets you recline on the backseat. It pushes the front passenger seat forward, and puts the rear passenger seat in recline mode, complete with a footrest. Combined with built-in massagers on the seat, it’s basically a limousine-like experience.

Which makes sense too, since the BMW 7 Series is essentially a luxury-first car, even though it leaves little to question for the driver as well.

Next, there are gesture controls for the infotainment system. For certain functions, you can simply move your finger in a circular motion, point towards the infotainment screen or swipe things away in the air. You will mostly use it to control volume and music, but it does work in a few other cases, like dismissing calls. Having said that, while the gestures are certainly a useful addition, they don’t always work—they’re not always dependable when you’re driving. In our experience, they seemed to work better from the passenger’s side of the car, but that’s probably by design, to keep the driver’s attention on the road.

On the other hand, when they do work, the response to gestures felt more fluid and fast this time as compared to the preceding model of the 7 Series, though BMW hasn’t officially announced any improvements here.

The only thing one misses here is some form of semi-autonomous driving options. India isn’t ready for the technology yet, but given that Volvo, Mercedes, etc., are already deploying versions of this on Indian roads, one would expect BMW to catch up soon. Again, this isn’t a feature you absolutely need, but why not have the most advance technology you can think of when buying a car this exclusive and expensive, right?

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