The arrival of the BMW X7 marks a historic moment for the German firm. It’s the company’s largest SUV yet and rounds out a crossover lineup that includes no fewer than seven vehicles, from the X1 to X7. It also enables BMW to compete in the very exclusive full-size luxury market, where only Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and Lincoln have had access until now.
Placed above the X5 in the lineup, the X7 is more than just a bloated midsize SUV. It sports a unique design on the outside, and it’s equipped with the best technology BMW has to offer right now. On the other hand, it’s identical to the X5 inside the cabin. Find out what we love and hate about it below.
The new X7 is the largest BMW ever built. In many ways, and despite the fact that I’m no fan of SUVs, this is really cool. It was about time that a new company stepped in to take on the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in the U.S., and BMW seems ready to play with the big boys. Sure, Mercedes-Benz is already in this with the GLS, but the German SUV needs a thorough makeover to stand a chance.
Given BMW’s recent strategy, I was expecting a bloated X5, but the big hauler boasts just enough unique features to stand out beyond its size. The massive grille and the slim headlamps give the front end an imposing look that even Escalade owners will find uncomfortable, while the boxy profile and rear end place the SUV in a category of its own. The seven-seat layout and the impressive amount of technology will probably make SUV fans take BMW dealerships by storm.
There are some things I don’t like though. For starters, the interior was transplanted from the X5. It’s not similar, it’s virtually identical. And this isn’t something I want to see in a big, luxurious SUV that costs in excess of $70,000. I know that BMW, much like any carmaker out there, is looking to cut costs by sharing features and tech between its cars, but a flagship luxury vehicle deserves a unique interior. The Escalade already offers more, while the new-generation Mercedes-Benz GLS will definitely grow bigger in terms of trunk space.
Third, a behemoth like this needs a hybrid drivetrain. Sure, BMW will probably add one in the future, but it would have been really interesting for the X7 to make its debut with a hybrid model too. It’s the 21st century, and big SUVs need to gulp less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide.
BMW has stood idly by the last decade or so as rivals have sold large seven-seater luxury SUVs, like Mercedes and its GLS or Cadillac with its Escalade. But now it has finally decided to join the party with the X7, a very dramatic new presence in the segment and one that will definitely shake it up.
It did a very good job of making it quite bold and obvious in order to compete with rivals which also major in these two characteristics - I mean it has to take on the symbol of being a successful rapper (the Escalade) so it does need to be a bit brash.
Being perceived as big, luxurious and opulent are key to its success, I think, and with that simply gigantic grille flanked by the comparably thin headlights, it will be hard to pass by unnoticed in one of these. BMW has managed to make something that looks different to any vehicle it’s ever built before, yet when you see one, it’s instantly recognizable as a BMW.
It is a bit slab-sided and squared off, compared to more muscular looking BMW high-riders, but I think its rear end design is actually cleaner, more distinctive, and overall more successful than that of the equally new X5. But its boxy outer appearance translates into what should be a very cavernous interior.
Space inside the X7 shouldn’t be an issue and even the third row of seats look comfortable and spacious enough for adults. They even get outer arm rests, separate third-row climate control, vents for the air-con, as well as speakers and dedicated lights - traveling back there really shouldn’t be an issue as these seats have all the amenities that the car can offer.
Don’t forget BMW owns Rolls-Royce, and this is one of BMW’s flagship models, one that’s designed to be more comfortable than sporty, so some of that feeling of utmost luxury has certainly trickled down into the X7’s formula. The X7 shown in the first batch of press photos really looks super luxurious and expensive, helped by the blue and very light colored two-tone leather finish.
Driving one of these X7s will certainly be an interesting experience - just as I found in my drive of the plug-in hybrid 2-Series Active Tourer, just at the other end of the scales. The automaker will offer what it calls the Dynamic Handling Package which changes the suspension and brakes and adds active rear-wheel steering and a grip-enhancing M Sport differential at the back.
BMW’s first press blurbs for the X7 also say it has off-road capability and buyers will even be able to specify optional off-road modes too, if they opt for a vehicle with adjustable height air suspension. An off-road package which adds the same M Sport differential mentioned above, but not just to reduce understeer and make corner exit more efficient, but also help give it improved traction on poor road surfaces.
One nice touch for vehicles equipped with the optional off-road pack is that they are going to get unique graphics for the digital gauge cluster and control display. I’d personally really like to see one of these with some off-road modifications - there might actually be a rendering idea in there somewhere...
Once an X7 is featured in a famous rapper’s music video, or it is mentioned in a famous rapper’s song purely for bragging rights, then and only then will it receive validation for its existence. It certainly has the looks, the luxury and the badge to achieve that fairly easily.
For some reason, I was expecting the X7 to look like the X5 itself; just a size bigger with a few tweaks here and there. But the Bavarians seem to have worked hard on the X7. Surprisingly, it looks quite nice on the X7. However, the chrome treatment is a little too much for my liking. The X7 would have looked a lot better if the chrome was used only in the grille. But what can we say to an SUV that’s wearing an ‘I don’t care’ smirk?
It’s good to see BMW work on making the X7 much more spacious than the X5. BMW also played it smart by offering a six-seat option, where the last row gets captain seats. It makes more sense, as you would not want last row occupants to be treated like outcasts. Had the rear been shaped properly, the X7 would be even more spacious. The view from the driver’s seat is the highlight for me. That cockpit could mesmerise you every time you step in. Things like a meaty steering wheel with thumb contours and physical knobs for basic operations like the A/C, amplify the ‘feel-good’ factor in the long run. Even on the tech-front, BMW has school’d the competition.
However, the drivetrains have left me wanting for more. For a beast so gigantic, I would expect the figure to be somewhere in the ballpark of 600 horses; Hoping to see it in the X7 M trim with a hybrid powertrain. Other than that, it’s safe to say that the X7 will give the Mercedes-Benz GLS and the Lincoln Navigator a run for their money.
Trying to encompass the whole ideology behind the large luxury SUVs, BMW revealed an enormous SUV called the X7. While it does represent their entry into the segment the Bavarian company has never visited before, it also introduces us to numerous novelties never seen before on a BMW, or anywhere else for that matter.
BMW did well in all the right places focusing on breaking ground wherever it could. This is important when launching a new product - to offer something no one else has offered before. So, new buyers can enjoy things like the biggest grille ever offered on a BMW, standard air suspension with advanced leveling options, Reversing assistant unlike any offered anywhere else as well as luxuries such as powered seats throughout the cabin (all six or seven of them). It is a luxurious cruiser for sure.
One starting at more than $70,000. That is a lot! That money gives you an X7 with a mandatory xDrive and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder. Honestly, don’t even bother with that one. You are looking at the X7 - the biggest and most luxurious BMW SUV ever. Go all in with the 4.4-liter eight-cylinder. This one goes for big bucks - starting at $90,000+. Tick all the amazing options on the options list, and you have yourself a $110,000+ BMW SUV. Now, that’s really expensive. Just like the X7 looks.
I think the sheer look of the thing is perfect. Not alluring as some may like, of course, but smart touches like the thin headlights, massive grille, and fine BMW signature design cues throughout make it quite imposing, even dominant on the roads. Taking into account that its competition is the GLS, the Escalade and such, an imposing character like this is only necessary.