BMW X7 review - Interior, design and technology
Its bold design may divide opinion, but few SUVs can match the X7’s blend of luxury and quality
Any notion that BMW’s controversial design language might be a little more subdued when applied to its biggest SUV is thrown right out of the window when you see the X7. This is an imposing vehicle, and one that revels its excess when compared to comparatively sleek, rivals like the new Range Rover. The design, like the rest of the X7, definitely adheres to the idea that more is indeed more.
The X7’s face received the only major exterior styling change that came as part of its 2022 update, splitting its headlights into two units as seen on the new 7 Series and fully electric i7. These flank large kidney grilles and a cleaner lower section that all together create a greater distinction between this and the smaller BMW X SUV models. The rest of the design is largely unchanged, however.
The headlights themselves are BMW’s latest Matrix LED units that notably do without the laser elements on the previous model. Instead, the new generation LED lights are said to be just as powerful, and leave space for the active elements to be more flexible in their light spread. The small units above house the daytime running lights and indicators, which now gently pulse rather than blink sharply.
The X7’s interior has also undergone a substantial update, with a totally new dashboard and user interface, bringing it in-line with BMW’s latest generation models. Like the exterior, the design is rather complex and certainly not understated, but quality is extremely impressive both in build and materials. Most models are fitted with BMW’s high-end Marino leather finish, but an animal-free leatherette is available as an option.
For the ultimate luxury experience, BMW’s Ultimate Pack bundles things like crystal-finished interior controls, a massive three-piece sunroof and brilliant Bowers and Wilkins sound system, but at £12,500 is an expensive indulgence for what is already a very well specified luxury car.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The main driver for BMW to replace the X7’s dashboard wholesale is the application of its ‘Curved Display’ infotainment. This sleek free-standing display houses both a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a 14.9-inch touchscreen central infotainment unit operating the manufacturer's latest iDrive 8 system.
In terms of the user interface, it’s perhaps not as intuitive to use as previous iDrive systems, but is fast, responsive and reliable. With so much capability within the control interface, commonly-used functions can be lost amongst a sea of rather more superfluous applications.
In this review
- 1BMW X7 reviewAs big and bold as ever, the BMW X7 surprises with a certain finesse to its driving experience matched to superb build quality and lots of kit
- 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 technology - currently readingIts 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