BMW X7 review
Still as big and bold as ever, the BMW X7 is one of the most imposing and luxurious SUVs around
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.
About the BMW X7
Sheer cost and size make the BMW X7 a relatively rare sight here in the UK, but anyone lucky enough to be in the market for a high-end off-roader will want to give BMW’s flagship model a once-over.
The X7 is a big seven-seater competing with an impressive roster of rivals that includes the Land Rover Discovery, the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90. And with the priciest M60i model priced at more than £100,000, a foray into the options list could see the purchase price approaching the territory of ostensibly more upmarket rivals such as the Bentley Bentayga and Range Rover.
While the BMW may not have all the prestige of the most luxurious brands, it makes up for that with sheer scale. The model is primarily focused on the US and Chinese markets where size really does matter, and at comfortably over 5m long, 2m wide and 1.8m tall, the X7 is one of the more imposing cars on UK roads. As a result, it’s one of the most comfortable ways to travel too, especially in terms of available space for passengers in each of the seven available seats.
Behind its imposing grille, the BMW X7 shares much of its engineering with the 7 Series saloon, although its CLAR platform is also found underneath the X5 and 5 Series. As such it’s packed with advanced technology, including impressive infotainment options, driver assistance aids and safety functions. Other notable features include standard-fit adaptive air suspension, and of course leather upholstery is de rigueur too.
A facelift in early 2022 introduced some exterior styling tweaks, most notably the split-headlight front-end design that will appear on the new 7 Series saloon, while inside the cabin there's the addition of BMW’s ‘Curved Display’ infotainment set-up that is integrated into a redesigned dash. The M50i model is replaced by the M60i and all versions of the luxury SUV now feature 48-volt mild-hybrid technology to help improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
The X7 range remains pretty simple, even if its specification is not: the X7 petrol xDrive40i and diesel xDrive40d are joined by the M60i performance model, with the entry-level cars powered by 3.0-litre straight-six engines; the petrol producing 376bhp and the oil-burner 347bhp. The M60i replaces the M50i, but retains the same 523bhp V8 unit, with BMW claiming the new model is slightly more efficient.
All X7s 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.
While the entry Excellence trim includes a generous amount of kit, the X7’s bold styling is further exaggerated in M Sport guise, 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 the M60i model adds 22-inch wheels and a host of high-end additions.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingStill as big and bold as ever, the BMW X7 is one of the most imposing and luxurious SUVs around
- 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 opinion, 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 SafetyBuyers will be reassured by the X7's excellent levels of standard safety kit