BMW X7 review
The BMW X7 is one of the largest and most luxurious SUVs money can buy
The X7 is BMW’s flagship – large, luxurious and filled with the latest technology. A range of powerful engines are offered and while it’s not the cheapest to run, the X7 drives far better than you’d expect for a car of its considerable size and weight. A Volvo XC90 will be cheaper to own and the Land Rover Discovery is a better all-rounder, but it’s hard to ignore the BMW’s great blend of quality, luxury, high-tech equipment and good driving experience.
The X7 is BMW’s biggest, most luxurious SUV, designed to suit trends in the lucrative US and Chinese markets. There’s no escaping the X7’s five-metre-plus length and bluff front end; it’s one of the biggest and most imposing cars on sale in the UK today. It’s noticeably larger than most of its rivals, namely the Land Rover Discovery, Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 – but the result is a car with ample space for seven adults to travel in comfort.
The X7 is built on BMW’s CLAR platform as found underpinning the X5, 5 Series and 7 Series. Much like the latter saloon, the X7 is aimed at the upper end of the market and so is packed with technology and high-end materials; adaptive air suspension is standard along with extended leather upholstery, sophisticated infotainment with connected services and a host of automatic driver assistance systems.
The range is simple: the entry X7 petrol xDrive40i and diesel xDrive40d are joined by M Sport and M50i and M50d performance models. The entry-level cars are powered by 3.0-litre straight-six engines, with both producing 335bhp.
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The M50i is powered by a 523bhp V8, while the marginally more sensible M50d gets a quad-turbo straight-six diesel with 395bhp. Performance is strong but economy is not fantastic – even the most efficient model returns less than 37mpg on average.
BMW has also introduced the limited run X7 Dark Shadow Edition, featuring the same engine and drivetrain as the M50i
All come as standard with BMW’s tried-and-tested eight-speed gearbox and xDrive four-wheel drive system. The standard height-adjustable air suspension can be raised to tackle rough roads or lowered for ease of access; it’s not as capable off-road as a Discovery but shouldn’t struggle with farm tracks or grass car parks. The optional xOffroad pack prepares the X7 for more treacherous conditions, including rough-terrain driving modes, a locking differential and a sump guard.
The X7’s bold styling is further exaggerated in M Sport trim, which adds unique 21-inch wheels and a range of exterior and interior styling changes – along with more powerful brakes and a sportier steering wheel. The step up to either M50 model adds 22-inch wheels and Cerium Grey trim pieces, while inside there’s a host of high-end additions, including an uprated Harman/Kardon sound system.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe BMW X7 is one of the largest and most luxurious SUVs money can buy
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe X7 is one of the best large SUVs to drive, but certainly feels its size
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe BMW X7 is a large, expensive car with running costs to match – regardless of which engine you pick
- 4Interior, design and technologyIts bold design may divide option, but few SUVs can match the X7’s blend of luxury and quality
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe X7 is one of the most practical cars in its class, not least because it’s so big
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe BMW X7 is largely unproven in the safety and reliability stakes, but owners should have little to worry about