Pulling out all the stops for the top-of-the-line BMW X7.
Long a leader in luxury utility vehicles, BMW finally rolled out its first three-row crossover with the 2019 X7. Despite being late to the market, the BMW X7 immediately shoots to the top of the segment. Notably, much credit should be given to its opulent interior, robust engines, and standard all-wheel drive.
The X7 gives BMW its seventh utility vehicle with each one identified by the X appellation followed by a number (e.g, X1, X2…). Its direct competitors include the Cadillac Escalade, Audi Q7, Lincoln Navigator, and the Mercedes-Benz GLS. The X7’s base price is about $75,000, but our fully-loaded test model topped $117,000, demonstrating just how costly this SUV can run.
The layout of the X7 is a familiar one, roughly paralleling the X5’s strong silhouette with its upright pillars and sweeping lines. The most noticeable difference is the grille, which takes the familiar twin-kidney design and enlarges it to overlap the base of the hood. The look is at once powerful and beastly, the latter not especially so in an endearing way.
Where the X7 shines is inside, as the cabin seats seven in opulence. The standard package includes imitation leather seats. But as with any BMW product, a seemingly endless list of available decor upgrades rival the best designs procured from Fashion Avenue. Indeed, the finest leathers, exquisite wood touches, and aluminum trim bedazzle the senses across all three rows. The quilted leather seats and pillowy-soft second-row headrests in our test vehicle were the best we’ve seen outside this SUV’s heated, ventilated, and massaging front-row thrones.
The BMW X7 comes packed with user-friendly technology, including a 12-inch infotainment system display, Bluetooth, AppleCarPlay, a 10-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and six USB ports. The list of options includes 12-, 16-, and 20-speaker audio systems and a rear entertainment system.
One of the more fascinating features is the available optional gesture control system offered in the Premium Package. With just a twirl of the finger, the driver can adjust the audio volume. However, if you’re prone to talk with your hands, then things can get interesting fast!
Forward emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind-spot warning, and lane departure warning are standard. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist are available. One of the more intriguing conveniences is “backup assist.” This enables the BMW to automatically back itself out of tight spaces for up to 50 yards.
Two Powerful Engines
Shoppers have two engine choices for their consideration. The first one is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The second one is a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine with 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Both engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission which sends power to all four wheels.
Although both engines are certainly up to the task, the burly V8 means business and it doesn’t hesitate to supply an exhilarating boom under hard acceleration. Steering is light to the touch, but the ride is exceptional thanks in part to an adjustable air suspension, which also lowers the X7 for ease of passenger access and egress as well as for cargo loading. The available rear-wheel steering and rear differential sets this vehicle apart, representing handling upgrades supplied by BMW’s heralded M performance division.
When equipped with a trailer hitch, the BMW X7 is rated to pull a laudable 7,500 pounds.
BMW X7 Exclamations
Aside from the polarizing front end, the BMW X7 is an exercise in automotive greatness. It’s spacious, luxurious, powerful, and represents a compelling alternative to the flagship 7 Series sedan. But it is also expensive with the up-level xDrive50i and its V8 engine a near $19,000 upgrade. Numerous package options dictate your final cost, which almost places the BMW X7 in a league of its own.
See Also — Cadillac’s Sedans Pack a Powerful 1-2 Punch
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