Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BMW 730ld SE

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BMW 730ld SE

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Keenan

THIS BMW is one 'L' of a car. The 730Ld SE sports a longer wheelbase than the standard model - which is a roomy individual in its own right.

The larger dimensions give rear passengers a further 140mm of legroom and 10mm more headroom which equates to top-notch levels of passenger comfort.

If it wasn't so good to drive I'd be seriously tempted to jump in the back and leave the steering to someone else.

But unleashing the power of the ultra-smooth V6 diesel engine while experiencing the cat-like handling characteristics of the big German executive car is something not to be missed.

BMW gave the 7 Series a facelift in the summer of 2012, with more efficient engines including the 254bhp diesel under the bonnet of the car I tested.

As well as catapulting this big motor from 0-62mph in a shade over six seconds, the lean and mean oil burner achieves an average fuel consumption figure in excess of 50mpg while producing relatively low carbon dioxide emissions.

The line up also includes a 309bhp diesel monster as well as four petrol-powered units. All are linked to BMW's slick eight-speed automatic gearbox which is fitted as standard to all models as indeed is stop-start, brake energy recuperation and electric power steering.

The exterior is deliberately understated compared to some 7 Series of old, although the revamp did bring a restyled bumper to help improve aerodynamics around the front wheels as well as new LED headlights - with the German firm's signature 'Corona' rings - and a new kidney grille featuring fewer slats.

But it's the sumptuous interior that steals the show.

From the 16-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo system to the optional rear-seat entertainment package, which adds 9.2-inch monitors on the back of the front headrests, there's much to enjoy.

The SE trim gets rear parking sensors which are invaluable when parking, as well as a useful 500-litre boot with a lid that opens and closes at the press of a button. …

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