2019 BMW X7 Review

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2019 BMW X7 Overview

For the last twenty years, the biggest BMW SUV you could buy was the venerable midsize X5 model. But 2019 marks the introduction of an all-new SUV, called the X7. Measuring 203.3 inches long, it seats up to 7 people across three rows. It's aimed at the luxury market dominated by the Cadillac Escalade, Lexus LX, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

The X7’s exterior strikes a powerful pose, both within BMW’s lineup and on its own. Its front end houses the largest version of the brand’s kidney grille ever, flanked by two narrow LED headlights with familiar quad signatures. A chrome motif visually cuts through the front section of the car, reappearing behind the front wheels, then running beneath the doors, all the way to the rear bumpers. A set of 20-inch light alloy wheels comes standard, while 21-inch and 22-inch alloys are optional. Thick rear pillars with BMW’s trademark kink make the X7 look more substantial. At the rear, another band of chrome ties together the high-set horizontal LED taillights, while the rectangular exhaust tips surround a satin-silver skid plate. With straight, formal lines and a boxy shape, the X7 appears far more brutish than anything from BMW, yet it offers more than enough dignity and athleticism to carry the brand’s emblem.

Inside, the X7 maintains all its personality. The dashboard consists of concentric hexagon shapes, with tasteful chrome details surrounding the vents and control panels; everything is draped in generous swaths of leather. There are plenty of matte and glossy wood trim packages available, as well as one- or two-tone upholstery choices. Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the twin 12.3-inch LCDs. One screen provides the instrument cluster, the other a window to BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. iDrive can be controlled by touch, rotary controller, or gesture recognition, depending on the trim. A panoramic roof, another standard accommodation, stretches across all three rows.

By default, the second row consists of a three-person bench. If you’re the VIP sort, you can specify a set of captain’s chairs with full power movement, reducing the number of spots to six. Both rear sets of seats fold and raise electronically; drivers can even move the front passenger seat forward at the touch of a button. With all three rows in use, the X7 offers 48.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With a standard air suspension, you’ll be able to lower the X7 for easier loading, entrance, and exit. Elongated rear doors make quick work of climbing into the third row, while a power split-folding tailgate enables easier cargo loading.

BMW equips the X7 with a potent set of powertrains that define its trim levels. The basic model is the xDrive40i, consisting of a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. The xDrive40i can hit 60 miles per hour in 5.8 seconds, which is brisk for such a heavy crossover. A 4.4-liter V8 is also on offer for the xDrive50i trim, putting out 456 hp and 479 lb-ft. Both engines get an 8-speed automatic transmission and come with automatic stop-start that ties into the onboard navigation system to improve efficiency around curves and up and down hills.

Every X7 also gets the latest version of BMW’s xDrive, its all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which defaults to sending all power to the rear wheels when AWD traction isn’t needed. An available Off-Road Package adds an electronically locking rear differential. When equipped with the factory towing hitch, the big SUV can tow up to 7,500 pounds. The X7’s standard air suspension and running gear are more than competent, with two performance settings and dynamic dampers that adjust on the fly. A camera system detects imperfections in the road and allows the suspension to react before reaching them.

In traditional BMW fashion, the list of optional features and packages for the X7 is as long as the vehicle itself. Drivers and passengers can stay warm year-round with the Cold Weather Package. It features 5-zone automatic climate control as well as heated seats for the front and rear and a heated steering wheel. The Premium Package bundles remote start, rear electric side-window shades, heated and cooled cup holders, a heads-up display (HUD), a Harman Kardon surround-sound system, soft-close automatic doors, and gesture control for the iDrive infotainment system. The Executive Package comes with glass controls, laser headlights, and a panoramic LED Roof. The latter, inspired by BMW’s Rolls-Royce brand, uses LED lights across the glass surface that can generate more than 15,000 patterns and simulate a starry sky in a multitude of color schemes.

In this arena of luxury, buyers expect plenty of safety features, and the X7 delivers on that front. You’ll get a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic detection, frontal-collision warning, pedestrian warning, and speed-limit recognition standard. The Driving Assistant Professional Package, standard on the xDrive50i and optional on the xDrive40i, consists of a traffic-jam assist feature that works at up to 37 miles per hour, lane-keeping assist, automatic lane change, adaptive cruise control, and front cross-traffic detection. The Parking Assistant package, also standard on the xDrive50i and optional on the xDrive40i, enables the X7 to automatically select and maneuver into parallel parking spaces. It also includes an automated reversing system and a 360-degree camera system.

The BMW X7 heralds a brand-new era for the automaker. It leverages all its existing expertise in handling and performance in a luxurious, spacious, and high-tech package that accommodates seven. By all measures, it looks as though BMW has earned itself a seat at the uber-luxury-SUV table. The X7 is definitely one to check out if you’re shopping in this segment when it debuts in March of 2019.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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