BMW’s Enormous new Theater Screen Blocks Your Rear View

A view of the BMW Theater screen in the back of the new 7 Series sedan.

The theater screen doesn’t look distracting at all.
Image: BMW

BMW prepares to launch its next generation 7 series sedan and, as you’d expect, it’s chock full luxury technology. One of the notable new features is a large 31-inch screen on the back that folds down from the ceiling. But BMW admits that the screen blocks the driver’s view when in use.

The 31-inch Theater Screen was one of the big talking points in the interior of the new 7 Series, which was unveiled earlier this year. It’s a big part of the 70-inch screen you’ll find all over the car, which is ours Laurens Hodge, warned the risk of being too much of a good thing.

When the screen is stowed, it sits flush against the roof of the luxury sedan and is barely noticeable. But once in use, it protrudes so far down that it could obscure your view to the rear. And this is something BMW has acknowledged could be an issue with the new car.

A photo of the rear seat in the BMW 7 Series.

Prefer a Theater Screen or good view?
Image: BMW

A spokesperson for the brand told us that “it is true that the theater screen, when in use, affects the rear view directly behind the vehicle.” However, as with everything else in the new sedanBMW has come up with a solution to the problem it faces.

According to the company, the first remedy is to just flip the screen away when you need to look over your shoulder. The driver has control over when the screen is deployed and not. So if you want to see behind you, all you have to do is flip a switch and stow the screen back into the roof of the car.

But, if you’re the kind of person who hands out six figures for a luxury sedan, you don’t want that extra hassle, do you?

In that case, you want to lean on the extensive range of the new 7 Series of driver assistance functions to replace your rear view.

A photo of the rear quarter of the BMW 7 Series.

You don’t even need this rear window, do you?
Image: BMW

The 7-series is equipped with systems such as active blind spot detection, side-collision prevention and active park distance control. This, BMW says, “fills out” the driver’s awareness of traffic and objects around the vehicle. So, I think you might not even have to look behind you anymore.

And anyway, if the automaker points out that many vehicles have even worse rear visibility than could have the new 7 series.

Limousines, vans and some low-slung supercars have even less rear window visibility and far fewer driver assistance systems than the 7 Series. So maybe looking back is overrated?

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