Home / Home / BMW 745Le xDrive Road Test Review – Plugging the Gap


The Bavarians have been bold by bringing in a plug-in hybrid version of their flagship 7 Series, the BMW 745Le xDrive, and it needs to be experienced first-hand to be believed.

BMW 745Le

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Saurabh Botre


The world is ending. While there are many reasons behind that statement, one of them is the blatant continued consumption of fossil fuel and not enough serious attempts to make a move to cleaner and shared mobility. Unless we cut fuel consumption by more than half, nothing is going to change and we need to take some drastic measures to mend our ways. While there are various priorities for everyone, be it reducing the fuel import bill, saving money or, for a few thinking ahead, even saving the environment, the way forward is the same.

I’ve been on a sort of a green streak lately. I admit, the effects of a certain young woman striking for climate got my attention. I knew we needed to reduce emissions and be cleaner, but the whole CO2 target and worrying lack of action were somewhat bigger news to me. The fact that oil is driving a lot of industries — literally — is something which makes the standard, or rather the complacency, that’s set in harder to move away from for many. Entire supply chains are dependent on the system — a system that will eventually plunge us into darkness. The only way forward is the sustainable way. Burning fossil fuel for entertainment has got to stop. Where it must burn for the greater good, there is no real way out overnight. In terms of cars, though, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a perfect way to pave the way for electrics: cut down fuel consumption, reduce trips to the pump, and get familiar with the plug.

BMW 745Le

There’s nothing really different about the way the BMW 745Le looks. The dominating front kidney-grille, with active vents for optimized cooling and aero, is flanked by a pair of LED headlamp clusters. The 5.26-metre-long 7 Series body is identical to what the 730Ld and 740Li have, save for a few differences: “Le” badging on the boot-lid, 20-inch wheels with mixed rubber, and… that’s it. It’s just as luxurious as its combustion-engine-only counterparts, too.

The interior has top-notch upholstery, a supple white in this example — remember, it’s got Rolls-Royce underpinnings and it feels just so. The cabin is laden with nothing but the best material from wood to metal inlays and trim detail. The screens ahead, head-up display for the driver, soft-touch wrapped steering-wheel with essential controls, the iDrive controller on the centre console, and a good mix of buttons and touch controls for the climate, seat cooling/heating, and connectivity make the BMW 745Le a pleasant, and familiar, place to be in. There’s gesture control, too. Appreciated, indeed. The luxuries are amplified by the welcome lighting, more specifically, the Welcome Carpet — a landing strip of sorts — that illuminates the way in after dark. The ambient lighting is also a highlight, almost literally. There are multiple choices. There are also two sunroofs with their independent sun-blinds.

BMW 745Le

Things only get better at the rear of the BMW 745Le. The two lounge seats that are power-adjustable and recline. There are entertainment screens on the front seat-backs, as well as a tablet control that literally puts all the 7’s functions at one’s fingertips. From controls for the climate and media to the massage selection, it’s all there. The left rear seat even has a full-on business-class experience mode where the front passenger seat moves all the way forward and folds in as much as possible. This liberates maximum room and affords superb comfort — leg rest, Ottoman-style leg support, perfect ergonomics, and heightened by that fluffy little pillow on the head-rest. That would let anyone relax in maximum comfort, especially knowing they aren’t wasting fuel while they partake in an intercity or even a cross-country trip over hundreds of miles. Why? Because it’s a plug-in hybrid, that’s why!

BMW 745Le

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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