BMW’s Enormous new Theater Screen Blocks Your Rear View

A render 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 is preparing to launch its next generation 7 Series sedan and, as you’d expect, it’s packed full of fancy technology. One of the standout new features is an expansive 31-inch screen in the back that folds down from the ceiling. But BMW admits that, when in use, the screen blocks the driver’s view.

The 31-inch Theater Screen was one of the big talking points on the interior of the new 7 Series, which was unveiled earlier this year. It forms a big chunk of the 70-inches worth of screen you’ll find throughout the car, which our own Lawrence Hodge, warned risks being too much of a good thing.

When the screen is stowed away, it sits flush to the roof of the luxurious sedan and is hardly noticeable. But, once in use, it sticks down so far that it could get in the way of your rear view. And this is something BMW has acknowledged could be an issue with the new car.

A photo of the rear seats inside the BMW 7 Series.

Would you rather have a Theater Screen or good visibility?
Image: BMW

A spokesperson from the brand told us that “it is true that the Theater Screen, when in use, impacts rearward visibility directly behind the vehicle.” However, as with everything else in the new sedanBMW has over-engineered a solution for the problem it finds itself with.

According to the company, the first remedy is to just fold the screen away whenever you need to look over your shoulder. The driver has control over when the screen is and isn’t deployed. So, if you want to look behind you, all you need to do is flick a switch and stow the screen back in the car’s roof.

but, if you’re the kind of person that is shelling out six-figures for a luxury sedan, you don’t want that extra faff, do you?

In that case, you’ll want to lean on the new 7 Series’ extensive array of driver assist features to replace your rear visibility.

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

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

The 7 Series is equipped with systems such as active blind spot detection, side-collision prevention and active park distance control, amongst other things. This, BMW says, “supplements” the driver’s awareness of traffic and objects around the vehicle. so, I guess you might not even need to look behind you anymore.

And anyway, as the automaker points out, many vehicles have even worse rear visibility than the new 7 Series could have.

Limousines, cargo vans and some low-slung supercars come with even less view out the back window and way less driver assistance systems than the 7 Series. So maybe, looking back is overrated anyway?

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