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transformative level. In Comfort mode it's very nearly as quiet and
wafty as the Mercedes S-Class, in Sport it feels far more taut and
responsive than something this size has any right to, digesting rough
and twisty roads at speeds that would make some of its rivals feel
like blancmanges. The cabin is excellent - spacious, well nished and
beautifully designed - and the gesture control works extremely well.
We predict that 7 Series owners will soon be frantically swiping the
air in any car they happen to be sitting in.
A breath of fresh air
Engine choice has been simpli ed to the binary equation of petrol or
diesel, with both using 3.0 litre, six-cylinder turbocharged units. We
drove the 730d diesel, which will represent the vast majority of sales
in the UK, and which combines solid urge with decent re nement,
even when worked hard. Four-wheel drive is an option for the rst
time, and a plug-in hybrid 740e version will follow.
The big saloon market has been growing increasingly sensible in
recent years, conservative to the point of often being reactionary.
Even without its fancy fragrance system, the 7 Series feels like a
breath of fresh air; it's a technology leader, but not one that's fallen
BEST BITS: Brilliant cabin, connectivity, gesture controls.
WORST BITS: Exterior styling doesn't deliver much excitement.
BUYERS OF THE NEW 7 SERIES
WILL BE DISCOVERING NEW FEATURES
FOR MONTHS, POSSIBLY YEARS
2AUDI A8 3.0 TDI QUATTRO SE LWB
A likeable car, but one that's getting long in the tooth - and
which is noticeably light on gadgets when compared to the BMW
and Merc. Standard Quattro four-wheel drive makes it particularly
well suited to high-speed cruising in bad weather. Price: £63,585
JAGUAR XJ LUXURY 3.0 DIESEL LWB
The XJ's characterful styling still helps it to stand out against its
staid rivals, but its cabin and driving experience are starting to feel
some way o� the pace these days, and like the Audi it can't match
the equipment levels of the S-Class and 7 Series. Price: £59,985
In this segment it's become hard not to buy a Mercedes S-Class,
its default choice status earned by its relentless excellence in
pretty much every regard. Supremely comfortable and relaxing,
but not as involving as the 7 Series to drive. Price: £68,990